Dollar day do over…upcycled coat.


Been some slim pickings lately with my dollar day shopping trips. Either that, or I have some sort of brain block when it comes to being creative in the up-cyling department. They can’t all be gems of course, everyone has their off days now and then. I try to make my dollar day remakes sort of like a game. Mostly dollar day items are clothes but occasional I run across something for the home.


On this occasion it was an old coat/blazer that I found for a dollar. I thought I could use it for some of my little critters I like to make. With Valentines Day just around the corner, all things pink and red are in season for the month of love.


Once home and in my favorite little creative space (my craft closet), I got out my pencil and paper and started drawing out some easy and quick shapes to sew together.


Looking over my dollar day project, I decided to make this one a bean bag. I am using plastic pellets but beans or rice work too.I couldn’t wait to start sewing something up.

Bean bags have a lot of history in our home and they were always made available to my children when they were little. I would make all shapes, sizes and colors. I displayed them in baskets, on soft rugs, or piled them in giant bean bag chairs.


I used sand, beans, rice and even gun pellets for extra weight. Bean bags are great for Proprioceptive sensory input games. I remember the first time I heard that word and gave the therapist who said it, one of my “What the heck are you talking about” looks, and I got a very long and complicated explanation.

It means sensations of body movements and awareness of posture,enabling the body to orient itself in space without visual clues. That there is the actual definition.Some kids that are clumsy (and I am using this word lovingly, clumsy is cute in my book, so please take no offense…I’m clumsy people.) or have some poor gross and fine motor skills, just need a little help in this area. Bean bags are a great tool to help with that.

Therapy toys can put you into huge dept if you are not careful. Or you can do what our great grandparents did and let the kids help guide you to what they want by choosing the items they want to play with.

Kids need to play in order to learn. I worry about some of the curriculum that our schools keep pushing in order to make their test scores somewhat impressive. It might ruffle some feathers me writing this, but as a parent who had two children in a public school system for some of their childhood, I can write that our schools are a mess. They don’t seem to be getting better. Kids are starving for some good old fashioned imaginary and creative play. It’s great exercise for our brain. Does no one listen to Einstein anymore?.

Alright, back on task…sometimes I rant a little. My old coat/blazer was going to become lady bug bean bags. I could also design a soft felt leaf pillow to toss the bugs onto for added fun but for now I was going to concentrate on sewing up bugs.


After drawing out the pattern, I traced and cut out my shapes.


Then I decorated them before sewing them up. I love this part so much that I just jumped right into it.


Pulling out all my little embellishments, I couldn’t wait to get started. You can save this part for after you sew your pieces together. Sometimes I get so impatient when it comes to decorating. It works out okay either way.


After I decorated them I sewed them inside out, then turned then right side out to stuff. Remember these are bean bags, so they will be stuffed with plastic pellets. I used a tight back stitch to sew them up with. I prefer to sew by hand, this way I can take my sewing anywhere, even out in the middle of the woods when we are up north at Our Little Red House. You can use cotton stuffing if you rather have little soft stuffed bugs.


I added felt dots, buttons, beads and some safety eyes that locked in place but I glued mine in place. I wasn’t giving these bugs to kids under 3 years old.


I painted tiny leaves and flowers using puffy paints. Because I was pressed for time, I ended up gluing a lot of my embellishments in place. I used tacky glue to save some time but I really prefer to sew.


I tend to go a little over board in some of my creations. It is so much fun, just doing what you want and seeing what comes out in the end. In this case, I have some really busy looking Lady Bugs. Maybe I added a tad too much, but hey, it was fun and that’s all that matters in the end.


If you want to keep things a little more muted down, then just add little black dots and beads for eyes and that’s it. These are not toys for the tiny tots. Buttons and small items are a chocking hazard…but you guys already know that.


For extra weight you can add BB pellets. My bugs were only about six inches long but if you have enough fabric you can also make a weighted pillow to snuggle with.


Bean bags help with:

Hand and eye coordination

Visual motor skills

Gross motor skills

Fine motor skills

Attention and focus

Motor planning

All these skills are helpful in teaching your children reading and writing, less fidgeting at a desk, listening skills, posture, problem solving and all kinds of other benefits as well. This is why it’s so important for kids to get out and play or to be creative. It all has a purpose in the end. Happy playing and creating everyone. Remember to try to include everyone when creating something, all ages and all levels.


More tips on this craft:

For the younger ones who may want to be included with a task that might be too advanced for them, you can use butcher paper to stuff. Just have them draw out two basic bug shapes, color or paint designs on it, then stable all around it leaving a space to stuff tissues in, then staple to close. Large stuffed butterflies, bugs, fish, whatever their imagination creates would look so pretty hanging from ceilings in their rooms.


Instead of hunting for eggs like we do here in America, hunt for bugs in your gardens. After making your little bugs, hide them in flower pots, or trees outside to get your kids outside to play and create.Happy up-cycling everyone.




48 Comments Add yours

  1. Tanya Kohl says:

    I love your craft closet. 🐞 And I love the ladybugs! Reminds me that I want to make my cats some toys shaped like a fish with catmint inside. When I was in elementary school I kept bugging my teacher about this project she mentioned doing at some point. Finally the day came to do it and it was the best day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Lady bugs are so cute to me, always like to come across them out in nature. I need to make some toys for my cats too. I have the catnip but I keep forgetting to make them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kathyscrafts1 says:


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…so happy you like them, thank you. Before I forget, I am mentioning you in one of my posts coming up next week on my favorite bloggers this month, love your craft site. I am still working on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kathyscrafts1 says:

        Thanks for the heads up! Might you do a tutorial for your ladybugs? I’d re-blog it for sure! I have one child care blogger who looks at my site that would probably like to see a how-to for doing your ladybugs. Have a SUPER NICE DAY!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, that would be so nice. The more people to share it with the better.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Noddfacrafts says:

    Love the colours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, red is my son’s favorite color. I might try to make a teddy bear later for one of my cousins for Valentine’s day. The color is really striking.


  4. Love the Lady bugs I’ve always had thing for them! These are sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kathyscrafts1 says:

    Reblogged this on Kathy's Crafts and things and commented:
    This is a SUPER GREAT IDEA!!!! These little critters are SUPER CUTE!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kathyscrafts1 says:

    I re-blogged your cute ladybug article! I think most crafters would be able to do these…maybe you could start a ladybug challenge. It would be neat to see how different people would decorate them and maybe branch off different bugs. Kids would like them for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such a cool idea. I bet there would be some really cool designs out there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kathyscrafts1 says:

        Are you okay with a kind of ladybug making challenge exhibition sort of thing? I was thinking of maybe using the Sunshine Blogger post sort of as a template. Where people who want to participate would post a type of banner when they are ready to show what they made. And put a link on there to your ladybug post so people could see how you made yours to help give them ideas for making their ones. I have to see if the blog writing platform will let me create a nice looking banner with a picture of your ladybugs on it. Or I would have to draw a banner and take a picture of it. But only if your okay with it. People will be looking at your blog to see your ladybugs and how you did them. I’m rolling ideas around. No pressure, if your not comfortable with this it’s way okay!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Of course, go ahead. That sounds like a fun challenge. I would love to see what everyone comes up with. This is a great idea. I bet there are a lot of beautiful Lady Bugs just waiting to make an appearance. I remember a Teddy Bear I designed once. I water colored using fabric paints, a beautiful wild flower design on the paw prints and belly. It was so adorable. I sold them on eBay years ago when that all started and didn’t really know how that all worked so they sold for $20 each. I only had two listed at the time. The woman who bought then emailed me back wanting more because they sold out right away in her shop. These were hand stitched, hand painted bears, anywhere else they would have gone for over $100. I thanked the shop owner and told her I made a mistake with the price and was going to hold off on online sales for awhile. That was years ago, so funny. It has been awhile since I hand painted my little critters. Anyway, yes, you have my permission to share with others and to make this a fun challenge. I bet there will be some really pretty designs out there.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. kathyscrafts1 says:

        Thank you! I’ve made a banner of sorts and I’m thinking of making the challenge/exhibition somewhat like the Sunshine Blogger award. People will post a picture of the banner and show pictures of their creation/s and maybe tell how they made it/them. Then have them tag maybe like two or so other people and create links that people can follow to see the different ladybug art. I’m going to make it as wide open as I can to appeal to the most people. So hopefully there will be all kinds of ladybug creations made. And I’ll have them post a link to your blog for ladybug inspiration. And I won’t put time limits on the challenge, ladybug making should be relaxing, not stressful. I hope you have a SUPER NICE DAY!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sounds like a whole lot of fun is coming up and you are right, crafting and creating should never have any time limits. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with. Thanks for doing this. Again, what a great idea. Have a great day as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. kathyscrafts1 says:

        I’m really looking forward to seeing what people will make! Thanks for being okay with your ladybugs being the inspiration for this challenge! Be aware, your blog may get a lot of people checking it out. I’ve had a lot of people checking my blog out since I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thanks, always nice to get more visitors. The awards are a fun way to connect with one another.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Love your ladybugs! And your closet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. The closet was so fun to put together Lady bugs have always been so cute to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. These are so cute!!! LOVE them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Your barbie furniture is adorable. My cousin has a little girl that would love that, I will have to try making some.


  9. Dandelion B says:

    so I thought I had commented on this post and looks like I did not! I seen it come through in my email and I read it. I remember thinking wow she up cycled a coat! I miss the salvation army we had in town they had amazing sales like anything red $1 coats in the summer $1 etc. I seen you mentioned in the lady bug challenge and thought how cool her adorable craft started a trend!. it’s to cold atm but as soon as its warm I am going to make lady bugs and fish out of wood to place in local parks, we have a rock painting club I joined last year where we paint rocks hide them and let everyone know which park. kids and families search for the rocks and then re hide them in the same park or another. I was thinking all these scraps off wood I have not big enough for much may make a child smile made into a fish or ladybug. ( not sure what else I may make, will have to see how well received they are at first)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so sweet of you. They do the rock hide and seek up North around the area where Our Little Red House is, it’s a small town and they also have a rock painting club. They will hide the rocks around town and some are painted by really talented local artist in the area, so they are like little oil painting with beautiful scenes on them. Some of the restaurants even put out special rocks for free food, like one large pizza at the pizza parlor. The town is an old mining town with a lot of history. Here is a link to a post I did on the town Can’t wait to see your ladybugs, I know they will be super cute, you are really good at your wooden craft projects. Always liked your pumpkins and snowmen.


  10. 3C Style says:

    Huge crush on the ladybugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Finding your cute little bugs in the garden would be fun even for me 😊 Yiu made the cutest lady bugs . I love your closet space. It looks like you have everything you need all close by , to do some serious creating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and I do have so much fun in that little craft corner of mine. I can make a huge mess and close the door so no one sees my craft clutter. Also I have a little cat that things everything I make is a toy for her, sometimes I don’t even get to finish before she starts playing with my projects.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Camie says:

    These are the coolest bean bags I’ve ever seen! I adore them! And you are spot on about children’s needs to play and the condition of our schools today. I’ve homeschooled my baby, now 16, since he was 6. We had so much fun learning through play and exploration when he was young. We learned so much naturally. Anyway, I’m joining the ladybug challenge with my craft club of girls ages 3-16. That will happen next month but I’ve already got the girls thinking about their ladybug creations. I’ve challenged them to use any material that would go in their recycle bin at home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH, my gosh…I love that. This makes me so happy. I wish more people had the time to sit down with children to create things with. Kids learn so much through playing and being creative. Good for you, homeschooling can be challenging at times but so worth it in the end. My kids were also home-schooled for awhile and when they reached their teen years they went back to public until they graduated. There were some family members that were really angry with us for pulling our kids out of public school at the age of 6 but my husband and I saw how horrible their school environment was and had no other choice. When they went back into the system in their teens the high school counselor knew they would do well once he heard they were home-schoolers. They did great, top 2%, tested right away into AP classes. and got several awards for helping others in the school, like student of the month etc….now those same family members that told us we were making a mistake with pulling them out tell us what great kids we have. All it takes is spending time with them when they are little, even if you have to send your kids to public schools. Kids need good mentors, so they grow up into great adults. Have fun with those Lady bugs, I can’t wait to see what you all come up with and thank you for the kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. acraftymix says:

    They’re just so cute and I love the fact that you went all out with the embellishments. It makes them look so much more interesting, kinda like beautiful boho lady bugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…thanks so much. I had a lot of fun with this one.


  14. craftyjaynes says:

    Wow what a great article, I love your ladybirds that’s a really good idea buying for up-cycling and I totally agree, children need more creative times in their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I love all the different textures and colors they used back in the 50’s-80’s. Kids need that, to just be messy and creative.

      Liked by 1 person

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