Monday, November 14, 2011

Handmade Christmas 2011: Alphabet Bean Bags

Do you remember my Handmade Christmas 2010 projects from last year? Oh it was so much fun! I love making people gifts & being able to really customize things for them. I am not going to be making as many handmade gifts this year as I did last year, but I thought it would still be fun to post them for you all to see. Maybe inspire you to make some handmade holiday gifts of your own? So here's hoping that I have the time & energy to get all of the projects made that I have planned!

Anyway, here is the very first handmade Christmas gift for 2011-alphabet bean bags.

I made these as a gift for my 2-year-old this year. One of her favorite things to do during her gymnastics class was to play with the bean bags. And since she follows right along with her big sister & is already starting to learn a few letters, I thought I would make them alphabet bean bags. Well, really she just knows A for her name, but soon enough she'll be ready to learn the others too.

Do you want to make some for yourself? Here's what I did:
They were a little time consuming to make, but very easy. I used my 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" square acrylic ruler to cut 52 squares from the fabric. I so love this fabric, by the way. It's from the Michael Miller Ta Dot collection. So bright & fun! I had first lined the fabric with some fusible interfacing just so that they'd be a little stronger since I know they will get tossed around a lot. Then I used my Silhouette machine to cut out the letters from white heat transfer vinyl. I liked this large chunky font too. I ironed the letters onto half of the squares of fabric. Then I sewed two squares of the same color together, one letter square & one plain square, with the right sides together, leaving a 2 inch opening. Then I clipped the corners & turned each square inside out. I ironed them nice & flat. Then I filled each one with pinto beans. Tons of beans! For this size bean bag I measured out 3/4 cup of beans for each one. (I needed 8 16 oz bags of pinto beans, which I got for $0.38 each at Target.) Then I top stitched around the entire bag, just shifting the beans around inside as I sewed around the entire square, closing up the opening as I did this. And that's it!

They turned out super cute! Much better than I had hoped for & they feel pretty sturdy too. I know they will provide a lot of fun for my girls & will be educational too!

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