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How To Make A Bean Bag Chair

Updated July 26, 2019

Buying your own bean bag can cost you an arm and a leg, especially if it’s one of the huge loungers like the Jax Cocoon. They can run you upwards of a couple hundred dollars or more.

Did you ever think to make your own chair stuffed with foam? Even the most novice sewing machine users can make one of these chairs out of just a few materials and a couple hours of their time. Not to mention, it’s a fun project to do on a lazy day when you’re just lounging around the house looking for something to do. Check out this tutorial on how to make a bean bag chair at home without sweating while doing it!

What You Will Need

Here is everything that you are going to need in order to make a 50” bean bag chair:

  • 6 yards of 60” wide fabric at the price you are budgeted
  • Another 60” of heavier and more comfortable fabric
  • 1 long zipper for the enclosure, generally a 48” for a 60” of fabric
  • Foam filler of your choice. For a 36x36x36” bag, 30 lbs of foam filler is recommended
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

Remember, you can change the size of the fabric based on how big or how small you want your bean chair to be. For a 40” chair, you would use 50” of fabric and so on. You can also choose any color you want and any type of filler and fabric depending on your budget.

Step by Step Instructions

Are you ready to get started making your own personalized chair filled and fluffed with beans and foam? Let’s do this!

Step 1: Cut Out The Patterns

For this step, you are going to want to cut two circles that are both 170” in circumference for the insert and the cover.  You are also going to want to cut out two rectangular pieces at 87”L X 30” W.  You can measure the circumference by cutting a string at 40” long and tying the end to a pen being the pivot point. The string should be 27” from tied end to tied end. Find the center of the chosen fabric and make the circle. Next, measure and cut the rectangles. This can be done with a simple tape measure.

Step 2: Sew The Rectangles

For this step, you are going to want to put the right sides together, pin them together across the 32” side. You will now have one long rectangle. You can then do this for each fabric. Once this step is done, it’s time to sew the bean bag together. You can do this part without a sewing machine if it makes it easier for you.

Step 3: Assemble

For this step, put the right sides together and pin one of the circles to the longer side of the rectangle. You will then sew it in place with a ¼-½” seam on your sewing machine. Material that is heavier should have a larger allowance. You can then sew the short ends of the rectangles after you attached it to the first circle and everything lines up well. If you don’t have a sewing machine, it can be done by hand if you have the time and patience. Just make sure that your seams are nice and tight to ensure they won’t break or leak.

Step 4: Sew Zipper & Bottom

Next, put the right sides of the pattern together and pin the circle to the bottom of the rectangle. There should be space enough for the length of the zipper. If you don’t want a zipper in there, you can leave a space open and put the filling inside then sew it up later. I highly recommend using a zipper that is heavy duty or child-proof. They make special zippers that allow you to rip the tag off of it so that the child cannot access it. If you are making it for yourself, and you do not have children, then you can completely ignore the child safety zipper.

Step 5: Fill With Foam

You’re closer to being done! The next step is to fill the insert with the foam of your choosing. I suggest a shredded polypropylene. This holds up well against use and abuse. I don’t suggest beads since this is a homemade bean bag, and they may end up splitting open after a lot of use. You can also use a Urethane foam or memory foam fill, however, these ones may be a little more expensive than regular beans. You can also use those small foam balls as well if you would like. However, they will make a mess if the sack happens to split open. They will literally cling to everything, including the dog!  Once done, stuff the insert into the cover and zip it up!

Conclusion

I really hope that you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make a bean bag. It was very fun for me to explain to you how to do it. This will save you so much money whether you want to make a large or small one. Unfortunately, you really can’t do this without sewing unless you buy pre-made liners. The best part about this tutorial is that you can alter it to fit your size bean chair. You can make it bigger or smaller while using the same instructions since they are very generic.

Just make sure you have the proper fill to fabric ratio to ensure your bag isn’t over or under filled. You should also ensure that the filling is safe for kids if you have them or pets if you are making a bag for a dog or cat. If that’s the case, make sure the fabric is durable as well. You don’t want the claws to dig into the fabric and leak the filling everywhere. Also for kids, I suggest a foam that is Greenguard Gold certified. This is to ensure that the foam is safe for indoor and human use. Let us know what you think about the project in the comments below. We always love to hear from our fans!