Monday, April 5, 2010

Craft Hope Bean Bags

Craft Hope Bean Bags
Well, I finished my bean bags for Craft Hope's Liberian Orphan Education Project.

My pledge to not buy any craft supplies in April almost came to a quick end on April 1. I signed up to make the beanbags and thought I would use actual beans, but on further inspection, the directions call for plastic pellets or other non-food filler due to customs regulations. Makes perfect sense. And, since this is for a good cause I was going to bend the no buying stuff rule just a bit. Then I priced plastic filler online. It's not cheap, but I am.

Hmmmm... what to do? Ah ha! That squishy pillow I bought on a whim about six years ago when those squishy pillows were all the rage...adios amigo! I never did like that pillow much, but I have held on to it anyway, pack rat that I am.
Bean Bag Filler
I very eagerly cut into the pillow to stuff my bean bags. The squishy pillow is made of about a bajillion trillion teeny tiny Styrofoam bits. It was seriously like the attack of the styrofoam nonpareils! All over my hands, face, sewing machine, everywhere! I put it in a large paper bag and worked from there.

I used a funnel to fill the bean bags and just said a small prayer of gratitude for my excellent vacuum cleaner.
Craft Hope Bean Bag Backs
Although it was messy, these styrofoam nonpareils were awesome to work with. My sewing machine could sew over/around them and closing the bags was pretty easy. They did cling to everything, but they also vacuumed up easily. I had more than enough for 20 number bean bags, a set of shape bean bags and one large pillow for future crafting.
Craft Hope: Shapes Bean Bags
To make the shapes, I first printed out shapes from a basic Word document using "autoshapes."
 Tracing shapes
Then I traced this onto freezer paper and cut them out. I ironed the freezer paper to the fabric and sewed right around the edge. Then I trimmed everything with my pinking shears.
Sewing Around Freezer Paper
It worked like a charm and my shape bean bags are all recognizable!

I used freezer paper stencils and craft paint with a fabric medium added to make the numbers and the dots.  I just labeled the shapes with a Sharpie marker. I am not sure if  English was the best way to go, but the samples from the teacher store all had them labeled.

It felt great to have used up some fabric, re-purposed a pillow and done a little good too. I am so thankful for the ladies at Craft Hope who give us fun and easy ways to help others!

I am linking this to the DIY Day at ASPTL.



Nutsy Coco said...

That's a great solution for the filler! Congrats on sticking to no buying!

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

this is fantastic what a fun way to work on shapes :)

beth said...

Cannot thank you enough for this wonderful support of the Craft Hope project for bean bags for Liberian kids! Your contribution is really appreciated!
Beth at LOEP

Kelley said...

these are sooooo great. i am making some too. can anyone think of any other filler that isn't super pricey or heavy? (so they won't be super expensive to send.)

Jen S. said...

I'm impressed with your pledge and your creativity in filling your bean bags. I'm participating in Project 7 too!