Five stones: Japanese bean bags (a sewing tutorial)

16 October 2008 at 2:11 pm (Crafted!, How to make) (, , )

Big bean bean, not-so-big bean bag

Big bean bean, not-so-big bean bag

We used to play with bean bags pretty competitively back in primary school. The bean bags had to be *just so* and had to feel great in the hands in order to maximise one’s chances of winning the game. Making your own bean bags was all the rage back then. The shape de rigueur was rectangular (like a pillow) rather than a dumpling-esque (like the ones in this post) but I figured it’d be fantastic to walk down memory lane and make some bean bags.

So I made an attempt at making a small bean bag. Somehow, I still ended up with a larger-than-expected bean bag. It’s smaller than Mr Giant Bean Bag (on the left), who has a whole postcode to himself, but still. Can kids play with 5 bean bags of that size? Giant kids, maybe. Grr!

It does look cute, though. Kind of reminds me of Shanghainese dumplings (the tiny ones that have soup and minced meat inside, yum!).

Anyway, I would like to share the pattern for this style of bean bag. Once you get a hang of it, it’ll take you 10 to 15 minutes tops to rustle up one of these baggies!

(Note: I’ve made the measurements smaller, so I hope you end up with small bean bags.)

Cut four pieces

Fig 1: Cut four pieces of cloth sized 6cm x 4cm.

Right sides together

Fig 2: With right sides together, place the fabrics in the shape of an "L", as shown in the photo. Sew along the red line, leaving a seam allowance on both sides. Do the same thing to the other 2 pieces of rectangles.

Fig 3

Fig 3: Open up the pieces and arrange them together to look like the photo.

Place left set on top of right set

Fig 4: Take the left set, place above and on to the right set. The Right Sides will be together, facing each other. Line up the middle seam neatly (one on top of the other) as in the photo.

This is what your pieces should look like flat

Fig 5: This is what your pieces should look like flat.

Rotate the pieces 90 degrees clockwise

Fig 6: Rotate the entire thing 90 degrees clockwise.

Sew along the red line

Fig 7: Sew along the red line. Remember to leave a 1/2" seam allowance on top and at the bottom.

Open up, lay flat, Right Side up

Fig 8: Open up the piece (Right Side up), and you will have one piece, with four "legs" sticking out. Fold up the bottom "leg", as shown. You will see where my fingers are pointing, I have sewn a line, leaving a seam allowance.

Fold down top "leg", sew

Fig 9: Do the same with the top leg. Fold down top leg and sew.

Top and bottom legs, done.

Fig 10: This shows you what it should look like with the top and bottom legs done. Do the same thing to the left and right legs. Flip the piece 90 degrees -- it will help you visualise it better.

Sew together the adjoining sides, leaving the last one open

Fig 11: You should now have something that looks like this, a bit like a little bowl.

Sew all adjoining sides, leaving the last one open

Fig 12: Sew all adjoining sides, leaving the last one open. You have something that looks like a dumpling with a hole. Turn the bag inside out through this opening.

Fill your beans through the opening

Fig 13: Fill your beans through the opening

Sew the opening close

Fig 14: Hand-stitch the opening with tiny stitches (as small as you can manage them). That's all!

If you make this, tell me about it! If there’s anything unclear or if you need any help, let me know. I’ll try my best to explain it better. Good luck!

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9 Comments

  1. myheart4him said,

    These are called Otedama. I’ve make a few myself. Mine, too, turned out larger than I expected. I ultimately stuffed mine with polyfill and used them as pin cushions. But, my youngest is back on his juggling jag and wants more juggling balls.

  2. thelongthread.com · Top 100 Tutorials of 2008 said,

    […] Toadstool Cottage & Mushroom House, The Little House by the Sea Growth Chart, Unraveled Five Stones: Japanese Bean Bags, Honey & Daisy Felted Sweater Animals, Martha Stewart Calico Kitty, Cherryskin Paper […]

  3. thelongthread.com · Top 100 Tutorials of 2008 said,

    […] Toadstool Cottage & Mushroom House*,  The Little House by the Sea Growth Chart, Unraveled Five Stones: Japanese Bean Bags, Honey & Daisy Felted Sweater Animals, Martha Stewart Calico Kitty*, Cherryskin Paper […]

  4. Melynda said,

    Your tutorial is very reminiscent of my Otedama tutorial: http://melyndahuskey.wordpress.com/2007/07/01/basic-otedama-a-tutorial/

    Great minds must think alike!

    • honeyanddaisy said,

      Oh wow! Indeed! 🙂

  5. Top 100 Tutorials of 2008 « shadow and moe said,

    […] Toadstool Cottage & Mushroom House*,  The Little House by the Sea Growth Chart, Unraveled Five Stones: Japanese Bean Bags, Honey & Daisy Felted Sweater Animals, Martha Stewart Calico Kitty*, Cherryskin Paper […]

  6. amandabuzard» Blog Archive » Top 100 Tutorials of 2008 said,

    […] Toadstool Cottage & Mushroom House*,  The Little House by the Sea Growth Chart, Unraveled Five Stones: Japanese Bean Bags, Honey & Daisy Felted Sweater Animals, Martha Stewart Calico Kitty*, Cherryskin Paper […]

  7. Replrica Handbags said,

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    • Juliana Choo said,

      Cool, thanks for visiting!

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