Sewing and lawn games—I don’t think I’ve put those two thoughts in the same sentence before! Today, learn how to sew your own bean bags or corn bags, then play cornhole, tailgate, bean bag toss, doghouse, Baggo, or, whew, just plain bags. This is a perfect afternoon sewing project to create with kids. Then, go have some backyard fun.

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

Note from Nancy: If you opt to use novelty print cotton fabrics for your bean bags, perhaps to align with your favorite sports teams, you’ll want to underline the cotton squares with duck canvas for durability. 


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

  • Use the 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge to measure a 1/2″ hem on one side of each square.
  • Press. Fold open prior to stitching. 
  • Match right sides and use a 1/2″ seam allowance to stitch one side of the square.
  • Stitch seams twice, or choose a double-stitch decorative stitch for durability. (I 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. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  • Fold the bottom seam along the stitch line and sew the remaining side. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Note from Nancy: In the following pressing steps, it will help to press the bean bag envelope around a free-arm sleeve board or tailor’s pressing seam roll.

  • 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.

  • Turn the bag right side out.
  • Use the turning tool to push out the corners.
  • Fill with 15 oz. of corn.

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

  • Attach the zipper foot to your sewing machine.
  • Carefully sew the opening closed; 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 Corntoss Board

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 my book,   The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew or watch the demonstration online on Sewing With Nancy.


Absolute Easiest Way to Sew on Sewing With Nancy | Nancy Zieman

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

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway Winner

The random winner of a package of  Fuse ‘n Gather from Clover is LuLu. She said: I have always used the 2 rows of regular stitching—pulling the threads to make my gathers look good! I would like to try Fuse ‘n Gather!

The random winner  of The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew book is Kimberly Hubbard. She said: I am a nurse, and these mitered patch pockets will go perfect on my scrub tops!


Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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