Crazy Frugal Madness: DIY Bean Bag Beans

Every now and then, an idea comes along that’s so frugal, it’s insane. I’m not talking your standard “take your lunch to work and buy a coffee thermos” frugal. I’m not even talking “wash out your ziploc bags and reuse them to save $12 a year” frugal. I’m talking “I keep getting heaps of plastic bags from the fruit shop and I have no idea what to do with them. I think I’ll make bean bag beans” frugal.

A little back-story is possibly required. About a month ago, I made myself a bean bag armchair. I stuffed it with the innards of an old futon mattress, and oh, my! It was soooooooo comfy. Sadly, after a mere fortnight of solid I-can’t-believe-how-comfy-my-behind-is-in-this-chair use, it was depressingly obvious that more stuffing was required.

It just so happens that we buy a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables from the Asian grocer in town every week. And since most of it’s loose, it comes home in disposable plastic fruit bags. Now, these bags can be quite handy around the house, but not in the quantity we’ve been accumulating. So I found myself wondering, “what the hell can I do to use these things before they take over the house and strangle us in our sleep?”

As luck would have it, I remembered my mother stuffing the bean bags of my childhood with plastic shopping bags when the beans got flat. It worked pretty well, but was crinkly and weird to sit on after a while. So I’ve added a step to the process which makes for a more solid and less noisy sitting experience.

The first thing you need is a clean, dry plastic bag.

one plastic fruit bag, ready for bean-ing.
Here’s one I prepared earlier.

Scrunch your bag up into a long tube…

Maybe “bunch” is a better word.

…And tie a knot in one end. Then tie another knot right next to the first one.

It doesn’t hugely matter if they’re not right next to each other.

Keep going until you’ve tied up as much of the bag as you can.

One tied up bag, ready to go.

Now take a pair of scissors to it.


Et voila! Beans!


Store your newly-created beans in a container until you have enough to bother opening the bean bag up to tip them in.

I need a bigger storage container…

This method also works well with fabric scraps.


Fabric beans! Great for using up those awkward remnants from sewing projects.


So there you have it – one ridiculously frugal way to keep your bean bags full and plumpy. Do let me know if you’re crazy enough to try it!