Stitch up leather beanbags to put a chic spin on book collections. Sally Armstrong shares the how-to instructions.
Handsome hardcover books are some of my go-to props for styling a hallway tabletop, and they look especially chic braced with these handmade leather beanbags. The bookends are inspired by the work of Los Angeles-based designer Sophie Bergé, who I discovered in Domino magazine a few years ago. I love the slouchy yet glamorous allure of her hand-sewn leather goods and found an inexpensive way to re-create the look at home.
Materials and Tools
- 2 sq.ft. leather remnants
- small bag of lentils
- sewing machine
- needle and thread
Step 1: Source leather
I opted for leather with a soft rose-gold metallic finish that adds a hit of opulence to the vignette. I asked for remnants at a local leather shop, but you might also consider recycling leather from an old purse or jacket. You'll need approximately one square foot of leather to make a single beanbag bookend, but the size of each is flexible: 10" x 7" is large enough to support heavier books, while smaller beanbags can double as paperweights.
Step 2: Sew satchels
This is Sewing 101 — simply cut two equal-sized pieces of leather and stitch them together with a coordinating thread, allowing for a decorative 1⁄2" flange. Don't close up the beanbag entirely; leave a 2" gap so you can fill it with lentils.
Step 3: Fill beanbag
Using a small funnel, carefully pour lentils into the satchel until it's about three-quarters full (don't pack it too tightly, or it'll lose its stylish slouchiness). Close up the bag with a needle and thread and prop away!
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