T-Shirt Mini Beanbags - Learn How to Sew and Make Your Own Flexible Reading Bookstand




About: Working as a teacher and freelance webdesigner. Hope to mix up the spirit of Instructables with some of my projects..

* Reading can be so much fun, if you just have the right reading bookstand! This is perfect as a classroom project that can be continued as a reading project. My fourth Instructable (this starts getting familiar..)

In this Instructable you can learn:
- how to use a paper-template
- how to make hidden seams on fabric
- how to personalize your very own product by placing a design and
  attaching labels and applications

What you need:
- scissors, pencil and paper; coloured threads and sewing needles
- one old t-shirt with a great design (any worn out favourites?)
- mini polystyrene balls for the filling (check on google: "beanbag polystyrene ball filling")

And that's how you do it:

1.) After making your paper template in any desired shape (here is one for the beginning), you can use it to experiment with the position of your shirt-design. Think about the three-dimensional form of the finished bags - sometimes even cropped designs can give you the special look.

2.) Use a coloured pencil to transfer your template to the shirt. Cut the fabric about 1 cm outside your line.

3.) Use the backstitch for the sewing (check picture #3 for the folding-details, check this for the backstitch). Make sure your design is folded to the inside when you start (this is the trick to hide the seams later on). And don't forget to sew in some applications to make it a little bit more special. Try to get some inspiration and materials from your old shirt and maybe you can trade with your classmates. Stop sewing before your ball is closed 100%.

4.) Now it's time to turn the inside out: So all your sewings will disappear inside and your design turns out. Great! Fill in the mini polystyrene balls and stitch up the last centimeters. Thats it!

Whats next:Your finished mini beanbags can be pushed to any shape, so that they can hold any book in almost any direction! Lets start reading! Any suggestions?


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    7 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    can you please provide a template like the one in the third picture? its okay if you don't, i think it'd be easier though :) thank you for the instructable by the way!!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That's no problem. Just download the linked file and print it three times. Then you can stick the whole thing together.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Those look good. Is there a classroom application beyond throwing them at one's classmates? (Which is a time-honored classroom tradition, but not one I'd necessarily pull out for academic purposes.)

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I added my sample template as a printable PDF file. This may help you starting the project.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    You can also use dried beans or rice as a filling, and not have to buy anything special!