One of America’s family’s favorite outdoor games goes by quite a few names; cornhole, tailgate, bean bag toss, doghouse, Baggo, or, just plain bags. What would the game be without festive, colorful bags? Today, learn how to sew your own cornhole bags (or bean bags) and let the games begin!

How to Sew Bean Bag/Cornhole Bags by Nancy Zieman

How to Sew Bean Bags for Cornhole or Bean Bag Toss

Using the following instructions, you’ll be able to create regulation-size bags as set by the American Cornhole Organization. If you’re going to play the game, you better be official!

Supplies, Notions, and Fabric

     If you opt to use novelty print cotton fabrics for your bean bags, perhaps to align with your favorite sports teams, be sure to underline the cotton squares with duck canvas for durability.


  • For each bag, rotary cut two squares of fabric 7″ x 7″.

  • Use the 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge to measure a 1/2″ hem on one edge of each square.
  • Press hem toward inside of square, prior to stitching edges.
  • Match right sides and use a 1/2″ seam allowance to stitch one edge of the square.
  • Stitch seams twice, or choose a double-stitch decorative stitch for durability (we used Baby Lock 1-05).

  • “Wrap” the corners: Fold the fabric along the stitch line at the bottom corner; pin.
  • Stitch the bottom seam starting at the fold, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  • Fold the bottom seam along the stitch line and sew the remaining edge, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

    In the following pressing steps, it’s helpful to press the bean bag envelope around a 2 x 4 Mighty Mini Board.

  • Press seam allowances open at the top edge.
  • Remove a small rectangle within the seam allowance to reduce bulk.

  • Refold the 1/2″ pressed seam allowance.
  • Press again.

  • Fill with 15 oz. of corn.

  • Pin the pressed folded edges, placing pins parallel to the fold.
  • Optional: Use a hand sewing needle to sew a long basting stitch along the top edge, to hold the corn in place when you move to the sewing machine.

  • Attach a Zipper Foot to your sewing machine.
  • Carefully sew the opening; removing pins as you stitch.

  • Optional: Use Wonder Clips at this step for ease of pinning.

  • Use an anchor cloth (starter piece of fabric) to stitch the final seam. Reverse stitch on the fabric to secure the seam. Then, clip away the anchor cloth.
What a great project combining sewing and backyard fun!

Learn How to Build Your Own Cornhole Boards

Check out this blog and video on how to make the corntoss board, compliments of This Old House.
How to Build a Cornhole Game Set

To learn more about the game, visit the American Cornhole Organization website.

Wrapped Corner Tips

The wrapped corner technique detailed above is also featured in Nancy Zieman’s book, The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew or watch the demonstration online on Sewing With Nancy.


Watch The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew on Sewing With Nancy online.

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.



Nancy Zieman's Blog Giveaway Winner

The randomly selected winner of a Fat Quarter Bundle of  Farmhouse Florals AND Shiplap Ahoy Quilt Pattern! from Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC on the June 26 post is Moe West.
Farmhouse Florals Quilt Pattern: Shiplap Ahoy Quilts by Nancy Zieman - Sewing With Nancy

Moe’s comment is: I like the blue and white quilt. The other colors really pop against that background.


Happy Sewing,

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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