I was looking for something to cozy up C&R’s reading nook. There’s a lovely plush, shag carpet, but we moved the couch that separated this area from the “active zone” (slide, basketball hoop, general mayhem) and I felt like it needed some type of barrier.
Poufs are all the rage lately. Round ones, rectangular ones, hexagonal ones. Ones for kids, ones for adults. They stack easily, which seems useful when you need to have more open space. Very importantly, they seemed pretty easy to make, especially now that I am less intimidated by my sewing machine and buoyed by my glider makeover makeover success.
I ruled out beanbag chair fairly quickly because even though I love the classic, big beanbag chair for lounging, it seemed like too much for my purpose. Also, because it’s round, you have to sew multiple non-rectangular panels together and I was kind of over that post-glider makeover makeover.
I thought about just making really big pillows like this one from Fatboy. They seem kind of like beanbag chairs, but easier to make. I decided they looked too sloppy and had the potential to become weapons (humongous pillow + out of control pillow fight = sad momma).
Poufs It Is
So, it’s pretty obvious that I decided to make poufs. Most of the ones I saw online were pretty small, like just for sitting on, but I decided to make bigger ones so they could be for sitting, laying, and climbing between the tranquil reading nook and the mayhem filled “active zone”. (Ha ha ha. I crack myself up sometimes pretending like C&R actually distinguish between these zones!)
I decided to make 2 poufs that are 26″ x 26″ x 10″.
I originally was going to make the tops/bottoms a solid color because I didn’t like how the patterns would be mismatched if I didn’t, but it would have required extra fabric, so I decided to get over the mismatching and embrace a little chaos 😛
I used Premier Prints fabric. The zig zag pouf is called Zoom Zoom and is in the color Summerland/Natural. The geometric pattern is Magna in Lemon/Natural. I purposely picked two fabrics that would go well with each other. I like Premier Prints 7 oz cotton duck. It’s thick enough for something like a pouf, but not hard to sew.
Materials (per pouf)
- 1 1/2 yards fabric (54″ wide), washed/dried to avoid shrinking later
- 22″ zipper
- Thread (I like Coats Outdoor, but you could probably use other thread as long as it could sew threw thicker cotton.)
- Stuffing (I used extra pillows and blankets we had. You could also cut up old tshirts, sheets, etc into strips or buy foam. It took a LOT to fill these large poufs, so if you’re buying stuffing, you might not want to make them this big.)
Step 1: Cut fabric pieces
For each pouf, cut (measurements including a 1/2″ seam allowance)
- 2 – 53″x11″ – rectangular sides (52″x10″ without seam allowance)
- 2 – 27″x27″ – top and bottom (26″x26″ without seam allowance)
If you are going to pattern match, when you are cutting, you need to pay attention to the pieces that will be lined up. An alternative is to cut larger pieces and then trim later once you’ve matched. Another alternative is to try to embrace random chaos in your patterns – I know, easier said than done.
A, B = top/bottom
C, D = sides
Step 2: Sew sides of sides (C, D)
Iron your seams so that your side is 26″ plus the seams. Where you iron your seam should depend on how your pattern looks. When you sew C and D together, they should look continuous. Pin and sew the two sides of your sides together.
I like to always iron and pin my seams. Well, more accurately, when I iron and pin my seams, things turn out much better. Sometimes I pretend I don’t need to do this and it doesn’t always turn out well. I also like to use a sewing marker (ink disappears) to mark where the seam will end so I don’t oversew it and know when to turn my fabric.
As you sew, remove the pins when you get close to them.
Step 3: Sew sides (C, D) to top (A)
Next, you’re going to sew the sides to the top. This is slightly confusing to explain because each of your side pieces (C, D) is actually two sides, so I will refer to them as half sides and C and D as sides. Start with the half of your long side that you want to pattern match and continue to do all 4 sides. When you get to the end of each side, just leave your needle in, turn your fabric and keep sewing. There’s no need to do each side separately.
Step 4: Sew sides (C, D) to bottom (B) and sew zipper in
Repeat step 3 except leave the last half side open for the zipper. Pin the zipper in place. I keep it closed so I make sure that each side is lined up. Then I unzip it to sew each side of the zipper to the fabric.
Since each side is 26″ and the zipper is 22″, you’ll need to sew 2″ on each end. So sew 2″, then sew one side of the zipper.
Then, sew the other 2″ and sew the other side of the zipper.
Flip that pouf right side out and admire your work!
Step 5: Stuff
Stuff your pouf! If I wasn’t using easily removable stuffing (like bean bag pellets or anything very small), I would have sewn an inner pouf with cheap material so the cover would be easy to take off and wash.
Since I was using blankets and pillows to stuff my poufs, they aren’t perfectly rectangular, but I’m okay with that. If you’re not, you just need to be less haphazard about how you stuff whatever you’re stuffing.
All done! Now grab a book, lay on your pouf, and relax. Oh, I mean, show your kids what you made for them 😛
- $10-$12 – Material
- $1.50 – Zipper
- $2 – Thread
Total: About $15/pouf.