Introduction: Eco Beanbag Chair

Picture of Eco Beanbag Chair

Beanbag chair filled with leaves

Step 1: Fill Bag With Leaves

The photo is a plastic garbage bag filled with leaves, which looks really cool.

The leaves need to be jam packed to avoid the bag deflating when they crumble.

Another option that's totally eco would be a coffee bean sack or fleece. Throw it in the garden when you're done and it will surely be gone (or at least grow stuff through the bag) in the next few decades.

Simply get a big piece, join it into a sack shape and tie it with twine.

Instant cushy chair!


Kalik (author)2007-01-19

I don't think this would look too pretty sitting in your living room as it decomposes and there are bugs everywhere.... *shudder*

jtobako (author)Kalik2007-02-26

decomp requires water, so do bugs.

Spartan 117 (author)jtobako2007-03-18

and you dont think there'll be moister in the bag at all ???

jtobako (author)Spartan 1172007-03-18

dry leaves? should be minimal. i don't know of any bugs that eat dry leaves-only ones that eat fresh or decaying leaves.

You'd be surprised.

Yes, I would. Are you offering names? I'm particularly interested in how they deal with the lack of water, the concentrated tannins and extreme amount of fiber.

Well, unless you carefully pressed or dried every leave, they would still retain some water. And when you put the leaves in the bag, a few critters are bound to go in too. Once in the bag, the water will condense on the plastic, and the critters could go to the outside and drink up whenever they needed to. As for names, I'm not an entomologist, but I'm guessing there is at least one "camel" or the insect world. The rest (ants, beetles, aphids...) would just get there water off of the plastic as I said above. I'll come up with a rebuttal for the tannins soon (after I've figured out what the heck they are). But for now, we'll deal with fiber, and my answer is this: aphids, ants, and beetles (and others) eat leaves when they're out side of the bag, so why shouldn't they when they're in it? I don't know how they do it, but I know they do.

Hand dried or left out, you end up with about 8-12 percent moisture (figuring the same as wood) give or take depending on local conditions. The only bug I know of that can survive on wood fibers is termites-but you would have to catch a queen and any movement that disturbs the tunnels is going to kill some of them from dehydration (all but the queen have soft bodies). Other bugs only eat the soft part of the leaf-the part that is gone when the leaf drys out. Decomp requires lots of moisture. The leaves will mechanically be broken up when you sit on them, but the small parts will last as long as the books on the bookshelf.

rogue13_13 (author)jtobako2008-05-07

Many bugs can live without sustenance for LONG periods of time, especially several parasitic species, such as the Bed Bug, which can live for a year between meals. I would not suggest bringing a bunch of leaves into the house for that reason alone; bed bugs are a bad infestation to have.

jtobako (author)rogue13_132008-05-09

And how would they get into dry fall leaves? Bedbugs live in the seams of clothing and furniture. Might as well worry about an infestation of 17-year cicadas anytime in the next 10 years (last year was the hatch...).

rogue13_13 (author)jtobako2008-05-09

Where do you think bed bugs lived before furniture and clothing were invented? They evolved to survive in nesting places such as squirrel & bird nests (In and around trees - where leaves come from). These bugs are making a comeback now that their most effective insecticide was banned a couple decades ago... and infestations are not rare by any means and are actually increasing. You are also asking for ticks, which also need only one meal between stages (again, very long time). I wouldn't worry about cicadas. They do not travel or live in piles of leaves.

jtobako (author)rogue13_132008-05-09

You know what? You are paranoid. DO NOT, FOR ANY REASON, LEAVE YOUR ROOM. If bedbugs infest your yard, they will infest your house with or without a bag of leaves. If you live where ticks live (ie almost anywhere), you know how to deal with them. You may now return to your regular PANIC MODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rogue13_13 (author)jtobako2008-05-10

You confuse paranoia with me responding specifically to the question you asked (regarding "specific" bugs that can survive in an enclosed environment). And if you must lower yourself to name calling as a last resort when proven wrong, as you did here, I will have no desire to have any more contact with you. It is futile to have any conversation with such people.

jtobako (author)rogue13_132008-05-10

No, I asked about "any bugs that eat dry leaves" ; ) Look up 'Sarcasm' and see if the cicada reference might fit. If you can get past being called paranoid, look in the center of the post. If you can't, well, you might want to look for your sense of humor : )

makerboy112 (author)jtobako2010-04-17

And also there would most likely be methane gas over time from decompisition. You could drop a ciggarette or a match or whatever on it and burn your house down. It would be way better if you found a way to make a fiber from leaves.

jtobako (author)makerboy1122010-04-18

Hello?  Anybody home?  Where's the moisture coming from?

And anyone looking for 'Eco-friendly' while smoking should look more carefully at the term.

makerboy112 (author)jtobako2010-04-20

@jtobako: You should shut your parimecium sized brain up. You seem to act like you know everything. And they would breakdown because everytime you sat down in the useless chair it would crunch. Then you would have a whole bunch of little leaves that are wet. Then a hole gets in the bag. Well, bye-bye carpet. And if bugs eat leaves, why do you have 30 year old leaves in your cellar? Hmm?

jtobako (author)makerboy1122010-04-29

Read, then comment.

Where, oh where, is the water coming from in the dry leaves?
Which insect eats dry leaves? Or better, when did I say that they did?  Oh, wait, I said that the only insect that ate dry leaves would most likely be killed in the gathering process.

I don't act like I know everything-I just know how to show inconsistencies in arguments.  Why don't you look up 'methane digester' and find out how much water is needed for decent methane production (hint-the instructable would be called 'eco waterbed').

As far as the usefulness of a chair full of tiny fragments of dry leaves, try pricing a rice hull pillow (used in meditation)-very similar effect.

If I've somehow pissed you off by, well, knowing more than you-get used to it. 

susie (author)jtobako2008-05-09

Awesome! A 1 in 17 year chance to make a Kinetic Eco Beanbag Chair!

Spartan 117 (author)jtobako2007-03-20

yeah i still reckon theyd break down is all im saying

jtobako (author)Spartan 1172007-03-20

i've got 30+ year old leaves in the cellar, the smithsonian has 150+ year old botanical specimins, and papyrus has lasted 3000+ years.

Spartan 117 (author)jtobako2007-03-20

yeah paryus has been treated and i doubt leaves can last 10 years in a cellar let alone 150. you have to take into consideration that if you make this you'll be moving it around siting on it etc. so you bound to crumble them up i doubt it'll work

jtobako (author)Spartan 1172007-03-20

crumbling is not caused by moisture : ) just the opposite, moisture prevents crumbling. as far as i remember, papyrus was simply split open and laid out in alternating layers, then beaten flat. my area may be much dryer than yours-the sand here allows for very dry cellars.

Spartan 117 (author)jtobako2007-03-20

thats fair enough but as you crumble you increse the surface area and makes for an easier reaction to occur but really i dont care i just think it will after a certain amount of time breakdown so much that youll have to throw it out

lucidliving (author)Spartan 1172008-03-21

yall are a bunch of bickering jackasses its a fun idea obviously not intended to be permanate

Spartan 117 (author)lucidliving2008-03-22

learn to spell lol

Abstract (author)Spartan 1172008-05-30

The Meaning Still Holds True. :)

4daHALIBUT (author)Abstract2008-06-12

yo... its just a bag with leaves in it... i dont think "susie" wanted it to sit there for eternity!

As Spartan says, papyrus is either specially treated or baked in the hot Egyptian sun for days, and I'm sure the leaves in the Smithsonian where dried properly -- with a press (you can achieve this effect by sandwiching the leaves between to pieces of paper towel and putting the sandwich in the middle of a big book and leaving them there for a while. (It helps if you stack something heavy on the book. Also, this works with flowers too.) As for the leaves in your basement, it's possible that they've only rotted in the middle -- it's true that the bag will slow down the decomposition process, but they will break down eventually. That said, I might have to try this, using rags instead of leaves. (They'd be more comfortable, too.

DaNerd11 (author)2008-04-12

Nice idea! just 1 thing. this isn't really much of an instructable. Maybe some pics of u making it and sittin in it when ur done.

AzraelUK (author)DaNerd112008-12-04

1) Fill a bag with leaves. 2) You now have a bag full of leaves. How is that not an instructable? :P

stncilr (author)2008-07-29

worthless much?

fitzy4144 (author)2008-06-22

Great idea! I also agree that this would be a great way to recycal those plastic shoping bags.

codester (author)2008-05-30

And when the bag breaks...................? Also this is more of an idea, not an instructable.

tadhg2 (author)2008-03-31

cool idea man if you wanted a more permanent version you could get the large clear bag and fill it with all those old grocery bags that have holes in them instead of throwing them out .. i think it'd look pretty cool to ! nice instructable susie ! ~TADHG2~

reeding (author)tadhg22008-04-25

it'd be really loud

hornysasquatch (author)2008-03-28


Caya (author)2008-02-12

Can you say, "Lyme Disease"?!?!?!

Shifrin (author)2008-01-02

There is too many Instructions, this is confusing! LOL! Jk! I Might give this a try

Mjmccul (author)Shifrin2008-01-31

... No wonder you have Ralph Wiggum as an icon. "I'm Ralph Wiggum and I've been a good boy!"

Shifrin (author)Mjmccul2008-01-31

Yeah, Lol!

jakecav04 (author)2008-01-12

AWESOME idea! i'll definitely remember to pick one up when trash day comes around. alas! i'll finally get some more furniture for my cardboard estate (the place is lookin kinda empty with just a rat-bone chandelier). why, i might even add a little roadkill for firmness ( i hear a mixture of calico entrails and chicken fat is top of the line). who says the homeless can't lounge in comfort? kudos madam, your ingenuity goes on unrivaled.

pakman227 (author)2007-09-19


theRIAA (author)2006-12-01

what about water?

It would pop, wouldn't it -- if not merely from being sat on or moved around, the cat would definitely kill it. I 'spose you could try it, though. On second thought, try it with air first -- it's just as likely to pop (well maybe a little more), and there's no mess if it does. Where's that vacuum when you need it?

xegghead15 (author)2007-04-01

um it would rot...

susie (author)2007-03-19

True, then it would need to be posted as a different project on Instructables. This could be a good idea for kids to use during Fall outside then toss.

CameronSS (author)2007-03-19

Looks like an interesting idea, but not entirely practical. You would definitely have to use multiple layers of bags. Also, this is a huge fire hazard. After the leaves are crushed into a powder, it becomes flammable to the point of explosive. Not fun.

susie (author)2006-12-14

It would be interesting to have bags made with all these ideas in 1 room. Can you imagine the sound effects of crunching leaves, plastic bags, shredded paper? Could be kinda cool!

Spartan 117 (author)susie2007-03-18

yeah i think shreded paper would be a better idea that'd look pretty kool

About This Instructable




Bio: My LED (I mean flashlight) Gummies profile photo is inspired by the LED Throwies.
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