Home of the Bellingwood Series – Nammynools

Bean Bag Frogs

I’m a Pinterest-a-holic, but it took a few queries before I realized that others might be interested in creating this crazy little frog. For me, it was a memory I could recreate. My mother made these when we were young and we played with them a lot. Folks have been mentioning their own mothers and grandmothers made the same pattern.

It took some time for me to find it and then … it wasn’t available. So, I searched some more, found a template, tried it … hated it, adjusted it and tried again … didn’t like most of it, so I adjusted it one more time and created a winner.

To make one frog, you will need:

Felt (for tongue)
Safety eyes (12 mm)
Navy beans (for filling)
PDF Frog pattern (click through again to get to the downloadable PDF)

You’ll need a few things close by:
Needle & thread
Straight pins
Turning tool
Fabric marker (any marker will do, you cover it with the eyes)

The PDF Frog pattern is 8.5 x 11, so you can print it on a regular sheet of paper. It is the perfect size for this frog.

I haven’t put my hands to a sewing machine for anything other than a quick repair in more than ten years, so there were a few things I (re) learned along the way. I’ll tell you about them, but you’re probably already a better seamstress than me and you can just smile inside, knowing how silly I was.

Frog patternMy frogs are a little wild. I love color and so, my belly and back are cut from two different fabrics. But you certainly can make these any way you like. The pattern is only half of the frog, so set the straight edge on the fabric fold and cut the rest.

20150330_1513471.  Pin the pieces right sides together. Sew from the inside of one leg, all the way around to the inside of the other leg, leaving space for turning and filling. I told friends, that I felt as if I violated the poor frog by jamming that funnel in there and then made it worse when I sewed him up, but they keep smiling.

Don’t forget to pin your tongue to the inside. I’ve pinned it to the outside, upside down and everything else … oh, and I’ve forgotten it, too, making a poor, mute frog.

20150330_1526342. Once you’ve sewn all the way around, snip around the curves, making sure not to cut the seam. Another (re) learning experience. I tried to ignore this, but seriously, seamstresses from way back know better than me.

3. After you’ve turned it inside out, iron your froggy flat, making sure all of your curves are pushed out. The curves are the best part, am I right?

20150330_1538294. Use whatever method you need to mark where you’ll place the eyes. I failed at eyes for a while. I put them in before sewing – nope, that didn’t work. I put them in before ironing. That didn’t work. I finally learned. Now is when you insert the eyes. I use Suncatcher Craft Eyes – I love the available colors and that they’re safety eyes, makes all the difference.

20150330_154039Snip just a little bit of fabric in order to insert the eye. I fold the fabric and using the tip of my scissors, snip down less than 1/8″.

Eyes washerHere’s something else I had to learn. Maybe it’s obvious to everyone else, but I had no idea how to put the backs on these things and I’m thrifty (cheap) enough not to want to try it several times and get it wrong, having to throw away sets of eyes. The side of the washer where the metal pokes up is the outside, the other presses against the fabric. The pokey metal keeps the washer from sliding away. These are way cool.

20150330_1543025. Once the eyes are in, it’s time to fill your bean bag with beans! I use navy beans because my mom did, but also because they’re a really good size and fairly stable texture. I looked at all of the different options available and settled back on Mom’s mainstay. Do whatever you like, though. Polyester pellets are another way to go, too. I bought a wonderful funnel at a convenience store and started filling from the bottom. Make sure you squeeze beans down into the extremities (hold the opening closed while you’re squeezing into the legs). Fill him as full as you want. Fat little froggies are as adorable as can be.

20150330_1552226. Hand sew up his little bottom and you’re finished!

This little bundle of fun is really easy to make and will make anyone smile. Admit it – you’re smiling just looking at that face!

I’m planning to have even more fun with these, attaching mustaches, glasses, hats (berets, oh my) and any number of things to them. They’re going to make great gifts, because who doesn’t need a fun frog in their life!


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