How to Make Cornhole Bags
Cornhole is a staple game of summer, at least here in the Midwest. As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to pull out the boards and bags and let the games begin! Over a season, cornhole bags see a lot of wear and tear. If your bags look past their prime or you’re building a new cornhole set, sewing new bags is an easy do-it-yourself project and a great project for beginner sewers!
If you’re not familiar with the game, cornhole (sometimes known as corn toss, bags or bean toss) is a lawn game where players throw small bags at a board with a hole in it. Players earn points by sinking bags in the hole or landing bags on the board. A bag through the hole earns three points while one on the board earns one point. The first team to reach or exceed 21 points by means of cancellation scoring wins the game, though there are many variations of gameplay and scoring.
A set of cornhole bags consists of a total of eight bags, four bags each of two different colors to represent the two teams or individuals playing. Many people enjoy sewing bags in the colors of their favorite sports team. The bags are approximately 6 inches square, so with only one yard of fabric you can make 20 bags.
To make a set of strong and sturdy cornhole bags, we used Nimbus™ Cotton Duck fabric. It is a single fill, cotton fabric that is easy to sew and strong enough to stand up to the abuse of being tossed around. The bags are sewn with a double stitch around the inner sides, according to the American Cornhole League's regulations. For the stuffing inside, we used the recommended plastic corn pellets. Traditionally, corn feed was used (hence the name of the game), but corn feed will rot and mold over time, especially if the bags get wet. To have your bags regulation compliant, each bag should weigh between 15.5-16.5 ounces.
- Nimbus Cotton Duck (we used Navy #122852 and Light Grey #122846)
- Tex 70 Polyester Thread
- Size #18 Round/Sharp Point Needles #4910
- Plastic corn pellets
- Sewing machine
- Fabric scissors
- Marking tool or pen
- Deluxe Magnetic Sewing Guide #103597 (recommended)
DIY Cornhole Bags Instructions:
1. Fold your fabric over 7 inches so it's doubled. Measure and mark four 7-inch squares.
2. Cut out the doubled squares so you have a total of eight 7-inch squares. Eight fabric squares will result in four cornhole bags. Repeat for your second fabric color.
3. Place two layers of same-color fabric squares on top of each other. You can use pins to keep the layers together if desired.
4. Place the Magnetic Sewing Guide at the 1/4-inch seam allowance marking on the needle plate. Starting approximately 2 inches from the corner of one side, sew to the corner. Reverse-sew at the beginning of your seam to lock your stitches in place. At the corner, bury your needle, lift the presser foot, rotate the square 90 degrees, and continue sewing down the next side.
5. Repeat around the square, stopping after approximately 2 inches on the final side (where you started) and reverse-sew to lock your stitches. You need to leave an opening on one side to turn the bag right side out and add the pellets.
6. Move the Magnetic Sewing Guide to the 1/2-inch seam allowance and repeat steps 4 and 5.
7. Turn the bag right side out, pushing out the corners. Pour approximately 16 ounces of plastic pellets into the bag opening.
8. Fold in the raw edges of the opening and sew across to close the bag. Reverse sew at the beginning and end of the seam several times to strengthen the seam and lock your stitches.
9. Repeat for all eight cornhole bags.
Game on! Do you and your family and friends play cornhole or other yard games? What’s your favorite summertime game? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments!