DIY Make Your Own Bean Bags or Cornhole Bags at Home

Updated on June 6, 2017
Essential component to the game of cornhole
Essential component to the game of cornhole
Feed-grade corn portioned into individual bags. Each bag is .9-.92 lbs.
Feed-grade corn portioned into individual bags. Each bag is .9-.92 lbs.

Step 1: Get the supplies

Before you begin, take a trip and get all the needed supplies for your project. Here is your supply list:

  1. 2 different colors of duck cloth (15" x 30"). Usually at a fabric store the cloth will come on a roll that is close to 15" wide, so this is usually an easy step. Choose the two colors you want your bags to be. In the end, you will be cutting 8 squares of each color that are 7" x 7". Duck cloth is a very durable cloth and will ensure that your bags last a long, long time.
  2. Feed-grade corn. Each bag should weigh 1 lb. when it is completely finished. An easy way to get the right amount of corn is to go to a pet store or feed store and simply measure out 16 portions of feed corn. They usually have a small scale and plastic bags, so you can do it yourself in just a few minutes. I measured out about .9-.92 lbs per bag (accounting that the cloth of the bags will add some weight to the total). As long as you are consistent from bag to bag, you will be fine.
  3. Thread, needle, and liquid stitch. If you have a sewing machine, the whole process will be faster. If you don't have a sewing machine, it might be worth borrowing one. You can definitely hand stitch though, it will just take a few more minutes to complete. Make sure you get heavy, duty thread so it is durable. I used a generic liquid fabric glue from the fabric store, and it worked just fine.

Cut out 8 squares of each color of duck cloth.
Cut out 8 squares of each color of duck cloth.

Step 2: 7" x 7" squares of duck cloth

The next step is fairly easy. You need to take your pieces of duck cloth and cut them into squares. In the end, you will need 8 squares of each color. So make sure you measure out your pieces before you start cutting, to make sure you have enough cloth for all 8.

Tip: Drawing on cloth is not the easiest task. Make yourself a sturdy stencil (cardboard, construction paper, etc) that you can trace. Then make sure you are working on a flat, hard surface. Simply put the stencil on the cloth, trace it (I would trace out all 8 squares to make sure you have enough space). Cut out all the squares, then repeat with your second color of cloth.

Stitch two pieces together

Two pieces stitched together. Excess material on corners can be cut off.
Two pieces stitched together. Excess material on corners can be cut off.

Step 3: Stitch and glue 3 sides

Take a piece of your cloth and measure in 3/8'' from every side. Mark a line all around that piece of cloth. This will be your guide of where to stitch. Place this "marked" cloth over another piece of cloth. I used pins to help hold the cloth in place. Next, you will stitch along the lines that you marked. You should, at minimum, use a double stitch, and if you are ambitious, a triple stitch. This will ensure that your bags will never break open. You can use a sewing machine or stitch by hand. Either way is fine.

IMPORTANT: You are only going to stitch three sides at this stage. You must leave the other side open to put the corn in.

Once you have three sides stitched, use the fabric glue to strengthen up your work. A small line of glue all the way around will do great (once again, only on the three sides that you stitched). Let the glue dry. You can cut off the excess material on the corners, this will make the next step easier when you flip the bags inside out.

Step 4: Flip bags inside out and fill with corn

Once the glue has dried, you need to flip the bags inside out. This will place the three seems you just sewed to the inside. Take the portioned bags of corn and pour one bag of corn into each cloth bag. As you have noticed, once your bags are inside out, they are no longer as wide as they once were. That is a good thing, because in the end, you want your bags to be close to 6'' wide (the official bag size for cornhole).

Step 5: Stitch the final side

This is definitely the most difficult part of the whole process. To make life easier, I would use pins to "pin back" the corn that is in your bag and give you a little more room to work while stitching your last seam.

To make this last side a little easier, I recommend folding the ends in (as close to 3/8" as possible) and gluing them first. This will make your bag into the square that it should be. Why this stage is a bit trickier is that you don't have a line to follow while stitching AND this side of the bag will be four pieces of cloth thick as opposed to two (which the other sides were). Many cheaper sewing machines will not be able to sew through this thicker side, so you might be required to stitch by hand (as I had to). After the glue dries, finish stitching this last and final side. This will be more difficult because the cloth is much thicker AND you are stitching through the glue. Make sure again to double or triple stitch. Repeat with all your bags until you have your four bags of each color. They should be close to 6" each. If they aren't exactly, don't worry (unless you are hoping to be a professional cornholer someday). Then go out and test them out!

Other option

If all of this is too much work or you aren't patient enough to make your own, there is always the option of buying bags. I just want to warn you that most bags you purchase will not be as durable or "full" like the official cornhole bags should be. But the main goal is that you are having fun playing cornhole, so as long as you are happy with the bags, it doesn't matter.

Cornhole sets

I made my own cornhole set, but if that is something you don't want to take the time or energy to do, you can also buy them. This is definitely something you want to make sure is quality. I've seen too many friends buy cheap sets and they are broken and dysfunctional within a few weeks.

You can save money usually if you buy an "unfinished" set. And this is fun, too, cause you can paint and design it however you want.

Questions & Answers

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        Sewer 

        4 years ago

        I've seen some weatherproof bags for sale. It looks like the other difference is the filler. It appears they used some sort of recycled plastic. Have you ever tried using plastic filler?

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