Juggling is a great skill for kids & adults of all ages to learn, and making your own juggling-bags makes it even more satisfying when you amaze your family & friends with your new juggling skills. They are very simple to make whether you sew them by hand or with a sewing machine, either way you'll be learning to juggle in an afternoon.
I have made them in the past using dried beans from my local supermarket but with today's health & safety society I bought 1kg of acrylic beads (sometimes listed as plastic granules) from eBay (this was enough to make 13 juggling bean-bags). As you don't need much fabric for each bean-bag this project is also a great way to use up scraps of fabric.
If you already know how to juggle and have children or run an after schools club or are a teacher etc, making a set of juggle-bags each and then learning to juggle is a great way to keep children occupied while also learning a new skill and using hand/eye co-ordination.
1. Download the template and cut it out or draw a square in your chosen size.
2. Pin the template to the back of your chosen fabric and cut out a square (or you can draw around the template first before cutting if you find it easier).
3. You will need two squares of fabric for each bag so either cut two from the same fabric or two from contrasting/complimentary fabrics.
**TOP TIP - For speed you can place both pieces of fabric right sides facing and then lay the paper template on top and pin through the layers, you can then cut the two squares out at the same time, remove the paper template and re-pin the fabric squares - TOP TIP**
4. Pin two squares together with right sides facing.
5. Sew along three sides, leaving two long strands of thread to sew the opening closed by hand.
6. Remove pins and then carefully snip some of the fabric from the corners opposite the open side (helps with turning).
7. Turn the bag the right-way out and carefully poke out the corners (I use 'that purple thing' from Cotton Patch, but a good alternative is a knitting needle), also ensure the two pieces of thread are not trapped on the inside of the bag.
8. Fill the bag until it is ¾ full of beads/beans.
**TOP TIP - Do not overfill the bags, the beads/beans need a little room to move, if the bags are over-filled they may split when thrown - TOP TIP**
9. Turn the seam allowance in to the inside and pin the opening together with the two fabric seams meeting in the middle (the two pieces of thread should also be at the centre point).
**TOP TIP - The bean-bag should be a triangular shape like a giant humbug sweet - TOP TIP**
10. Using the two pieces of thread sew the opening closed using a slip stitch (start at the centre point with one of the threads and sew to the out-side edge, fasten off and then snip the thread. Go back to the centre and using the last thread sew the other side closed in the same way.)
11. One bean-bag is now complete; to juggle you will need to make at least three bean-bags.