Monday, January 4, 2010

Tutorial and Pattern: Counting Bean Bags


I have to confess that I am positively in love with these counting bean bags I designed over the holidays (yes, yes, calling making bean bags designing is a bit of a stretch--I know)--I love the white muslin fronts with the bright applique numbers and the way they feel in your hand and their sweet simplicity. They just seem wholesome and good somehow. You get that, right?

Of course, they are bean bags, so they are pretty simple to make, just a few supplies needed--the applique numbers do add an extra bit, but I think they make these little bags what they are. And if you want to make your own set, well, I happen to have put together a little tutorial and pattern for you:

I know, they are just bean bags, nothing revolutionary about that--but bean bags are versatile and classic. Just a few ideas for how you can put these lovely little sacks of beans to use:
  • Pleasantly tactile for babies
  • Stacking for toddlers
  • Well-sized for gnawing and teething
  • Learning numbers and counting for the pre-school set
  • Addition or subtraction drills for the elementary school set
  • Toss the bean bag in the bowl types of games--you win the number of points appliqued on the bean bag for each you land in the bowl
  • Perfectly sized for throwing across the room at people when they either say rude things or you need their attention--also, they won't leave marks on the face.
    See what I mean? The possibilities are endless. And if you really do not want to make your own but would like the convenience of a set of these arriving in a nice little package delivered direct to your doorstep--you are in luck because I will be putting a couple of sets up in my shop very soon.

67 comments:

Hazel's Mommie (aka liz) said...

oh man! I made beanbag sets for friends kids for christmas this year, and they were nowhere near as cute as yours! guess i'll have to make my own toddler a set! thanks for the tutorial, too!

outrosretalhos said...

Cute bags! My little boy will love them. Thank you for sharing.

Liz said...

Absolutely love this! I wonder if I'll ever find the time to make a set. I am definitely going to post this over at my blog - I can't wait to share it with everyone - another fun and fabulous tutorial! :)

http://fraybabybibsandmore.com/blog

Melody said...

Adorable! My little one is in the teething stage, so if I make a set now, they'll be around for a long time!

Fiona said...

brillant!

Debra said...

These are wonderful! Thanks for sharing the tutorial. :)

Elizabeth said...

Simple and lovely...this sewing newbie can't wait to make them. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tutorials. I want to make them all!

nima said...

wow...excellent idea...thank you for sharing

Tracey said...

I needed some of these for classroom games last year.. THIS is the year for making them. Thank you SO MUCH!!!!

monsoonsandmangoes said...

Ohh! they are amazing!! what a clever idea :)

Little Green Doll said...

Wow, thank you!!! It's a great idea!!!

Gail said...

I'm loving this! I really hope I have time to make them for a 3 year old's birthday later this month. Otherwise I'll remember them for future gifts for my Godchildren. So charming!

Tayla B. Design said...

I love these! I would say they are designed very well :)

Codruta said...

Wooow, these are amazing. What a great idea!

Nicole said...

love these! THanks!

Mary said...

Could the back have items... like, for number one, one dot, two-two dots, three- three dots?

Or even the same set, but with Chinese/Arabic/other number systems?

What a fun idea!

!!

:)

Very cool idea. It's awesome, and I can't wait to make a set.

Tricity Hokes Creations said...

Absolutely Adorable, Love Them!

Tricity Hokes Creations said...

Absolutely Adorable, I love these!

julie329 said...

I cracked up about the fact that they don't leave marks on the face!

These are really cute and much cuter than the very quick and utilitarian ones I made for my now 3 1/2 when he was 18 mo. New set may be in store.

Thanks!

The Tiny Homestead said...

these are very cute and I really like all the ideas you have for using them. I especially like the idea of throwing them across the room at people. I may have to make a stash for myself to throw at my husband. hehe, I kid!

Laura said...

I am loving this soooo much, that I now know exactly how I am going to spend my evening after the little ones are in bed! I have an almost-two-year-old who will be over the moon about these! Thanks so much for sharing.

The Home Ec Teachers Daugter said...

Super cute. My friend is having a baby i think this will go well as a gift as the baby grows!

Emily said...

love them! thanks so much! i linked.

Sonja said...

I love this idea! Great job

Holly said...

Thanks to everyone and their comments--please share photos of your bean bags design in the Beeper Bebe flickr pool. I would love to see them.

aforestfrolic said...

Love the number idea...I might have to try this out! Thank you for all of your creative inspiration...loving your blog.

Jamie :)

mandy said...

my little counter needs some of these for our growing collection of things to count.
i made these cards awhile back:

http://mandygerth.blogspot.com/2009/11/for-my-little-counter.html

a big hit.
bean bags + numbers = awesome

GS said...

What a great idea, thanks for sharing!!! I made bilingual ones (Chinese characters on the other side) for my niece. I used remnant fabric from the baby quilt I made for her last year - she's getting a kick out of matching each beanbag to one of the squares on her quilt. Thank you!!

Kylee said...

Thanks so much for this gorgeous tutorial Holly! I made a set for a friends 2yr old

http://socompletelyblessed.blogspot.com/2010/01/bit-of-this-and-that.html

I had to make some changes cause of what I had on hand. I love your blog! Thanks for your generosity in sharing so much :)

Digi Free said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Craft Items search engine today (look for timestamp: [16 Jan 02:50am GMT]).

Laura said...

I made these (or at least, pretty close -- I made them with letters!), and I adore them. Thank you sooo much for sharing your pattern, they came out great and the kids just love them.

http://chickencounting.blogspot.com/2010/01/adorable-alphabet-beanbags.html

Jeremy said...

Hi, thank you for the tutorial for the bean bags and the alphabet magnets. I combined them into one, that I am hoping will work out good!

vanessa said...

I have alphabet bean bags, but never thought to make number ones...what a great idea! Thanks for sharing. Yours turned out beautifully.

Little Red Bus said...

Ooo what a great tutorial! I made beanbags back when I used to teach, but they were nowhere as adorable as yours.

Thinking of making another set with your ideas. Shared your article on my blog, hope you don't mind. http://community.little-red-bus.com/2010/01/counting-bean-bags.html

Heather said...

Love them! I will be heading to the fabric store today to find myself some cute fabric to make some beanbags for my little man!

Jessica said...

Those are adorable! I think those are perfect baby gifts for a baby shower that I am invited to attend. Anyway, thanks for sharing those great ideas! :)

Pam Burrus said...

I remember my Granny made us bean bags when we were little and we LOVED them!!!! I came across this tutorial and think HANDS DOWN this is the coolest gift to give someone. I have a 1st Bday party to go to next month and these will be PERFECT. THANK YOU for posting this!!! Love, Love, Love!!!! And of course making a set for my little "bean" too (yup, that's what we call her)

Lorie Squalls said...

Made these in one evening. My toddler loves them. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Jillian said...

What a great idea! And, very cute to boot. Thanks for the great tutorial! I've posted it on my blog, because I *need* to make these!

missDDT said...

Very innovative! I know a few toddlers that may need these soon. Thanks!

Helen said...

Thanks for sharing these, I'd love to make some with my fabrics for my son, I made some lavender squares, but these are much more fun. will come back when they are done! Love your blog.

Jen S. said...

I used your tutorial to make bean bags to donate to a Craft Hope project. Thanks for sharing it! http://www.thesellers.net/2010/04/spreading-hope-in-liberia/

Kickcan and Conkers said...

These are great!

Förskoleburken said...

I did it! Thank you for lovely inspiration and pattern!

Here's the the post where I link back here:

http://forskoleburken.blogspot.com/2010/06/artpasar-att-rakna-med.html

Regards
Maria

Helen said...

Hi Holly, I finally, finally got round to making these for my little boy. Thanks for the inspiration, I had lots of fun and so did Stanley!

http://helenrawlinson.blogspot.com/2010/07/numbers-up.html

cookyousomenoodles said...

Thank you so much for your great tutorial Holly. I had been eyeing it out for a few days now and made my set today.

Here's my blog featuring your tute: http://cookyousomenoodles.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/1-2-3-counting-bean-bags/

- Mariane

Marie-Christine Vallet said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I made a set for my son and will probably make more. Picture of my set http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0biUS-wArvJXLaC1Z1PZAg?feat=directlink

Staci said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I'm going to post a link for this tute on my blog. I'm a homes-school mom who loves fabric and crafts! This is such a fun idea and this will be a helpful tool for children who need tactile stimulation!

Staci, Mama of A Quiverful of Blessings

Siân@Toru said...

hi, just wondering if there is a good reason to not use red lentils instead of beans?

Holly said...

There is absolutely no reason you could not use red lentils--or rice for that matter. Improvise away.

Chrystal's Corner said...

Thank you for the inspiration! I made a set of bean bags for my youngest son's upcoming first birthday:
http://chrystal-lewis.blogspot.com/2011/04/making-bean-bags.html

I went nice and simple but am planning to add numbers next time (I did link to you because I LOVE your idea!)

Lardy said...

I am going to make a set of these for my toddler for Christmas. Excellent crafty idea. Thanks!

e.giraffe said...

fantastic idea and beautiful too. Must try!

e.giraffe said...

brilliant idea - must make!

Elaine said...

Great idea. Thank you so much. Making them for my grand daughter's birthday.

Elaine said...

Great idea. Thanks. Making them for my grand daughter's birthday.

SuE said...

Awesome idea! I have indeed make one set for my little one, and I have blog it and add a link to you. It was really a fun and easy tutorial.

Thanks.

http://mapetitp.blogspot.com/

Tori - 2 plus 1 said...

Great tutorial and idea! I loved it so much I made some too and linked bak to your blog too - thanks for sharing! : http://2plus1dotme2.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/number-bean-bags/

plumbing said...

It lasts longer than the polystyrene does. Because it has high density, it shapes your bean bag chairs into a firmer form and a bit stiff.

Kellie said...

these are so bright and cheery! love them!

Annie said...

Thanks for the tutorial! Here are mine: http://gluegunannie.com/?p=1059

My 18-month old loves them! :-)

Gaga said...

wow, awesome. great idea to add an educational pattern on the bean bag. Kids will love it.

Anonymous said...

Just made these and they turned out so well!!!! I can't to give them to my son - thank you!!!!

Dawn B. said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial! I'm a very novice sewer and your instructions were easy to follow and I now have a beautiful bean bag set! Thank you again!

Sherri Sylvester said...

Thank you for this - they look super cute and I love that you can do math with them! I've added it to my recent fat quarter project roundup and also pinned it. http://bit.ly/1aSrCu2 sherri@threadridinghood.com

Sherri Sylvester said...

Thank you for this - they look super cute and I love that you can do math with them! I've added it to my recent fat quarter project roundup and also pinned it. http://bit.ly/1aSrCu2 sherri@threadridinghood.com

Athena said...

thanks for the tutorial, love it! and will try to make a set for my son. :)