A special thanks to Becky Stern and Tiffany Threadgould for their YouTube Instructional Video at http://blog.makezine.com/craft/pillow_chair_from_t-shirts_and/.
Like many Americans who have received a t-shirt for every time they’ve sneezed, my husband and I have a plethora of old shirts. I’ve debated what to do with them. They encompass so many good memories that to let go of them is heartbreaking. When I stumbled across this instructional video to make a T-shirt Bean Bag Chair, I thought, “Brilliant!” Tim has wished for a bean bag chair, so what better thing to make for my Valentine’s Day birthday boy?
The video link above gives excellent instructions, but here’s my version.
Create the pattern
- With a 20×30 in. piece of paper, draw a vertical line down the center.
- Start with a 60 degree angle at the top of the center line and draw a soft curve to one of the bottom outside corners.
- Cut out this first side and trace it on the opposite side to create a mirror image curve.
- Once the second curve is cut, cut the whole pattern into two pieces.
Cutting out the shirts
This 2 piece pattern is half of one panel. You will make 6 panels total.
- Iron shirt (Yes, I realize the picture below is not the best example of a wrinkle free pattern and shirt)
- Pin the pattern to the shirt (reinforce pattern with tape)
- Cut with scissors or rotary cutter
I used a double layer of t-shirt to ensure the durability of the bag. I want to make sure it holds up to lots of lounging and kids jumping! This meant 24 of each piece. Each shirt gave me 2-3 pieces.
- Pin & Sew the 2-layer individual pieces
- Assemble the 2-layer pieces into their panels
- Sew a zipper into one of the seams. I took a zipper from an old diaper bag.
- Turn the bag right side out using the zipper opening.
- Sew two end cap circles where the panels come together.
- Fill it on up!
I used bean bag filler to fill. The video mentioned above used cut up upholstery foam from an old piece of furniture. I didn’t have access to foam so I found 3 big bags of beans at Bed Bath & Beyond (say that 10 times fast!). An extra set of hands and patience were helpful during the filling process.
When it’s all finished, you have a colorful, sentimental, comfy chair to sit on!