DIYdiy projectsDorm

Dorm DIY: Beanbag Chair Makeover

by Maxwell Tielman

As a college student, there are a lot of good reasons to buy a beanbag chair. They’re lightweight, they’re portable, they’re inexpensive, they’re somewhat comfortable, and they’re kind of fun. Let’s be real though— they are not cute. You might search high and low, but rest assured, it’s practically impossible to find an attractive beanbag chair. Oftentimes covered in a heinous vinyl fabric in an equally atrocious color, bean bag chairs —despite being fixtures in dorm rooms for decades— can be quite the eyesores. Luckily, this problem is remarkably easy to fix! With a few basic materials and supplies, you can convert any run-of-the-mill beanbag chair into a surprisingly stylish addition to your space. Continue after the jump to see how! —Max


  • A beanbag chair
  • A canvas drop cloth large enough to cover your bean bag chair (available at most painting/hardware stores)
  • A sewing machine
  • A measuring tape
  • Pushpins
  • Sewing pins
  • Twine or string
  • A marker
  • Scissors
  • An X-Acto knife
  • A potato
  • Fabric paint
  • A paint brush
  • Newspapers or an extra drop cloth


1) Find out how much fabric you will need by measuring the diameter of your beanbag chair. You can do this by grabbing two points in the middle of either side of the chair and pulling outwards until it’s stretched to its full extent. Then, with a measuring tape, measure the distance between these two points. This is roughly the width your fabric cuts will need to be.

2) Using a canvas drop cloth that accommodates two circles with the diameter of your above measurement, fold your cloth in half and lay it flat on the floor.

3) Cut a length of string that is slightly longer than half of your beanbag’s width. Tie one end to the pin of a pushpin and the other to a marker. Push the pushpin into the floor in the center of your folded drop cloth.

4) With the market attached to the string, draw a circle on your drop cloth.

5) Once your circle is drawn, place sewing pins around the circle’s interior to hold the two layers of fabric in place.

6) Cut out the circle along your marker line.

6) With your sewing machine, sew along the circumference of your circle, leaving a hole large enough to insert the beanbag chair when you’re completed (for me, this was about 2 feet). Once finished, place your fabric onto another drop cloth or a few sheets of newspaper.

7) Take your potato and cut it in half lengthwise. With an X-Acto knife or a similar blade, cut out long vertical stripes. You can do this easily by making your cuts on either side of the stripe at 45-degree angles so that the pieces will come out as triangles.

8) Using a wall painting brush, paint black fabric paint onto the surface of your potato stamps. Then, stamp down onto your fabric in a cross-hatch pattern. You should be able to stamp 1-3 times before needing to reapply paint. Allow one side to dry before turning over and repeating on the other side of your fabric.

9) Once your fabric is dried, insert your beanbag chair carefully to avoid ripping your seams.

10) Sew the remaining hole closed with your sewing machine or, if it’s too difficult to do so at this point, by hand.

11) That’s it! Now marvel at your suddenly beautiful beanbag chair!

Suggested For You


  • This is great — with the popularity of poufs these days, I’ve been looking for more people DIYing it.

    By the way, I love canvas drop cloths. They are so useful and attractive, I use them ALL the time.

  • so cool! I love stamping with plants and I would have never thought to recover a bean bag chair now it looks a little more grown up :)

  • Yaeh cool! It reminds me school times when we were making potato stamps… And here it looks like very stylish pattern out of designer’s desk…

  • What a fabulous, college-student-affordable project! The original WAS quite an eyesore (fyi: you’ll have to excuse my know-it-all-ness, but you have a number mistake in the post – it should be “the eyesore” or simply “eyesore”. Just looking out for you, here!) Plus, I’ve been on the lookout for a simplistic potato print; I may have just found it! Thanks d*s!

  • I love this project. The potato printed cross hatch oval is a very pretty pattern that inspires me to try it on other surfaces, too–and the finished ‘pouf’ looks great.

  • These Dorm DIYs make we wish I was back in college. Keep it up. These are great.

  • I didn’t realize that you were Daniel’s Max until today. I remember seeing this post last week and thinking those floors and that door look just like the Small Cool winner. Such a small (design) world! p.s. love the beanbag cover

  • Christchurch, New Zealand; Punta Arenas, Chile; or Cape Town, South Africa are other ports
    from which you can sail. Relax and rejuvenates in natures opulence amid the serene icebergs, breathtaking
    landscapes and scenery. Secondly, we were interested in seeing if the ‘Seven Pervasive Characteristics of a Successful Marriage’
    that we discovered in our worldwide search for great marriages
    around the world, apply to people who work in or travel to Antarctica.

  • Sounds super easy.
    Would it work with any fabric or has to be canvas I wonder?
    Daughters bean bag was chewed by bad bunnies and it has cylinder shape, 2 circles with 13” high sides. Seems like it would need bigger circle than just slightly bigger than widest extent.
    I may try to put Velcro around opening for easier removal for cleaning.