Heather Nuffer

Chicken Beanbag Maker Extraordinaire

I invite you to become a beanbag maker, too, with this easy, adorable project! Just grab some fabric, felt scraps, fiberfill and rice. See the steps below.

chicken bean bag example

Let's Make a Chicken:

Gathering Materials

materials Chicken parts: fabric and cut-out felt pieces

Find fabrics to match the chickens of your dreams! I especially like stripes, geometric designs, and polkadots.

For each chicken, you will need a rectangle of about 5 1/4 inches (14 cm) by 10 inches (25 cm). Print the pattern from gluesticksblog.com. Note: remember to unselect "fit-to-page" before you print it.

Next, trace and cut out the small pieces from the pattern -- the comb, beak, and wattles. (I've recently learned that a chicken has 2 wattles, not just one, so my sample chickens need one more each. Oh well.)

pattern thumbnail Pattern for body, comb, beak and wattles

You will also need to gather:

  • Thread to match your fabric
  • Fiberfill stuffing (such as this kind available from Amazon.)
  • Rice -- or instead of rice, you can use small beans. Or plastic non-toxic pellets. (Here is one type available from Amazon.)

One last design decision:

To make eyes like my sample chickens, you will need embroidery floss and a needle to sew French knots. Alternative ways to create eyes include buttons or beads, which can be sewn on or glued on, or even a permanent marker would work to draw eyes on your chickens.

layout Note the positions of the comb, beak and wattles


  1. Place the fabric right-side up (that is, the print is on top, facing you). Position the fabric rectangle so that its base is smaller than its height.
  2. Next, place the comb on right side of the top, upside down, with a little bit of the comb poking over the fabric's edge.
  3. The beak should be placed a little ways down from the top, on the right side of the fabric. Again, a little bit of it should hang over the edge of the fabric.
  4. The wattles should be placed underneath the beak, at a slight angle.
  5. Go ahead and pin the chicken parts to the fabric.

Chicken Sandwich

Take the bottom of the rectangle and fold it up to reach the top of the rectangle. Pin the two layers of the rectangle together to help keep them together.

Sewing Time

Using an eighth-inch seam allowance, sew the right-hand side and top. (Leave the left open.) Then turn your project right-side out.


This point of the project is a good time to add eyes. My favorite are French knots. But you may use any type of eye you'd like. Go ahead and glue, sew, or draw.

To Make a French Knot:

  1. Thread your needle with embroidery thread, knot the end, and stick your hand holding the needle inside the chicken.
  2. Push the needle out where you want an eye to be. Pull the thread all the way through,leaving the knot inside the chicken.
  3. Here's the trickiest part: hold your needle pointed back near the fabric, close to the eye hole, and wrap the thread around the needle about 3 times. Use the part of the thread that is closest to the fabric to do the wrapping. Hold on to the rest of the thread with the hand that doesn't have the needle and keep it pretty taut. Now push the needle through the fabric, close to (but not exactly at) your original eye hole.
  4. Finally, pull the thread the rest of the way through the fabric. Your non-needle hand can let go of the thread near the end of the pull.
  5. Make another eye on the other side of the chicken. When both eyes are done, tie a knot in your thread and cut off the excess thread.

Here is a French knot video by Professor Pincushion, for a helpful visual tutorial.

              chicken Flat, blind chicken flat chicken with eyes "I was blind, but now I see."

Chicken Stuffing

Time to make our chicken three-dimensional!

stuffing the chicken with fiberfill

Start with a little of the fiberfill.

adding rice

Then add some rice, beans or plastic pellets. Leave room for a bit more fiberfill and for folding in the raw edges of the fabric opening.

folding in the opening

After you've added the last bit of fiberfill, fold in the raw edges and pin.

closed-up chicken All closed up

Closing Time

The very last step is sewing the opening closed. I like to use my sewing machine for this, but you could sew it by hand if you prefer. Make it secure, so that no rice or fiberfill will leak out. (This isn't a "poop duck", after all!)

finished chickens
Once you make one, you might want to make a bunch!

You did it!

These little chickens are great to throw, to snuggle with, to give away as gifts, to tell jokes to, and even to play speed 'chick'-tac-toe with.
I hope that you have enjoyed this little project.

To Play Speed 'Chick'-Tac-Toe:

  1. Divide the chickens into 2 teams – grouped by similar colors. Each team should have 3 chickens. Divide the human players into those teams too.
  2. Make a 3x3 tic-tac-toe grid on the ground, the floor, or a table, by using something like:
    • painter's tape
    • plastic or paper plates or bowls
    • a grid of large books
  3. Have the human players line up at a starting line away from the grid.
  4. When it's time to begin, each team will have one player run up to the grid & place a chicken from their team on the their desired spot on the grid. When the player returns to the starting line, it's time for the next player on their team to go.
  5. Once all 3 chickens have been placed, the player at the grid can move one chicken to another unoccupied spot.
  6. First team to get 3 chickens in a row wins!
🖨️ Download How To Play Chick-Tac-Toe Printable