Friday, May 7, 2010

Birthday for a Boy

The kids were invited to a Star Wars themed birthday party tonight.  I knew the 5 year old we would be celebrating loved all things Star Wars (hence said party theme), but I also knew his mom appreciated handmade goods (she's ordered things from me in the past).  I thought maybe we could compromise by purchasing the birthday boy something Star Wars related, and make him something to go along with it.  The only problem was I couldn't think of anything to make that was in any way space themed that I could get done in less than 24 hrs, which is about how long I give myself to think about gifts for kids birthday parties... whoops!  So instead I made something I'd been wanting to for a while - bean bags!

I have seen multiple sets of beanbags around the internet (easy tutorial here), and thought they looked like such a fun and easy project.  Now it just so happens I got a serger for an early Mother's Day gift (woo hoo!) and have been trying to think of reasons to use it.  I figured serging the seams instead of straight stitching and turning would save time and give me a chance to play with my new toy!  We decided to spell out the birthday boy's name since it was a great even number of letters - 6.

I used 2 different fabrics for the bags, cutting out 6 5"x5" squares of each.  I cut the letters out of an almost solid blue and used Steam-A-Seam2 (sheets of fusible webbing) to secure it on the right side of each of 6 squares of fabric, alternating between the stripes and dots.  I straight stitched around the letters to be certain they would stay firmly attached to the bags.  Then I simply placed the squares wrong sides together, serged 3 of the 4 sides, filled it with beans (black-eyed peas, to be exact) and serged up the final edge.   My son picked out a cute basket at JoAnn that was just the right size to hold the bags and will make a fun place to throw them in!

Now if you've even gotten a gift from me, you will probably know that I rarely use wrapping paper.  I had seen on a blog somewhere the idea to use fabric to wrap gifts, and I thought that was such a cute idea!  The basket looked great on its own, but was no where big enough to hold the Lego Star Wars set my son had picked out for a gift.  I had a large section of the dot material left over, so I doubled it over, right sides together serged up the two sides, turned it right-side out and serged around the open end (yes, I know, probably more serging than was necessary, but c'mon, its a new toy!).

Then I used my trusty Brother sewing machine to sew some button holes and put on some buttons and, voila!  a reusable gift bag that matched the rest of the gift :)

We tied the whole thing together with ribbon, tucked in a card, and headed out to a great evening with friends.


  1. You make gifts from us mere mortals pale in comparison. Stop it.


  2. Wow, those beans bags are awesome! I wish I had had something like that as a kid. Looks like you've mastered the serger already!

  3. I just LOVE the idea of a bag to wrap the present!!! And the buttons to close it - perfect! If only I had a dedicated sewing room (you make me want one!), I'd be doing this every time!

  4. I'm so happy to have found this post, because I recently bought a second-hand serger and have been looking for easy projects to start with. I've made similar beanbags with number appliques for my son but sewing and turning them right-side-out, but this is much quicker!


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