A few years ago, I made a pair of bean bag chairs from Amy Butler's gum drop pillow pattern. I was sure that I'd blogged about them at the time, but I couldn't find the post in my archives so I'll tell you about them now. The pattern said to fill the pillows with polyfill, but I wanted bean bag chairs for lounging in front of the TV. I spent a small fortune on the tiny polystyrene beads used for filling bean bags, and had Brandon help me get them filled. They made great bean bags chairs, and lasted us through a good four years of
abuse use. Recently, though, I noticed that one of the seams on the brown one had started to come open, and was leaking those filler beads. It wasn't bad yet, but I knew it wouldn't take long for them to be all over the place.
Enter Pinterest. I'd seen and pinned this tutorial for Land of Nod inspired floor cushions quite some time ago, but happened to see it again right around the time that I noticed the bean bag leak. Coincidence? No, I think it was Destiny.
|photo from original post on Living With Punks|
Ok, so maybe it wasn't Destiny, but it certainly was convenient. I headed on in to JoAnn's to get some home dec fabric, and lo and behold, they had the perfect brown and cream floral on clearance for $5 a yard. They didn't have the ready-made piping in the right color, though, so I snagged some quilt binding and made my own.
If you've never done piping before, it's actually pretty easy. This is the tutorial I used the first time I did it, and it helped a lot. Since I bought the quilt binding, I got to skip the part where I have to cut the bias strips, which made me very happy. All I had to do was open up the binding, press it flat, cut it in half lengthwise, and voila! I turned 3 yards of quilt binding into 6 yards of 1.5" bias tape.
And I didn't have a compass, and really didn't want to mess with doing that anyway, so I just went looking for the biggest circle in my house, which turned out to be the lamp shades on my bedside lamp. I ended up with a 16" circle, instead of her 17" circle, and I decided to make the outer panel 10" instead of 9", so it would be a little taller.
When it came time to do the handle, instead of folding the ends in on themselves and stitching it to the top of the outer panel like she did, I stitched them into the outer panel when I pieced it together.
My fabric was only 45", so I had to add about 7 inches to it to make it long enough to go all the way around the circle. That 7" panel was just about the right width, so the handle was stitched onto it at either end. Then I went back and top stitched it with the X, and I think it looks a lot better. The only other thing I changed was to fill it with the polystyrene beads from my leaking beanbag, rather than using polyfill.
We had some filler left in that beanbag, and the first one turned out so well that I had to make a second one. I was originally going to make them exactly the same, but I accidentally cut the strip for the outer panel at 6" rather than 10". I stared at it in consternation for a moment, then decided it would be cool to have 2 cushions at different heights. (Photography props, anyone?)
I am in love with the way they turned out. They match my decor to a "T". I even got the piping right. I had to sacrifice some of the filler from the green bean bag for the second cushion, but I don't care. The new cushions are perfect. They're really full, so they're really firm and don't sink down too much when someone sits on them. The big one is the perfect height for Elora, the little one is the perfect size for Kaylie. They can be stacked for extra height. I like sitting on them, especially when playing with the girls at the coffee table.
Seriously, what is not to love? I'm already wanting to make more. My MIL has requested one. Or two. And how does it work, if I want to offer custom cushions in my shop, since I got the idea from someone else's tutorial? Would any of you purchase something like this?