How to Make Bean Bags to Play Cornhole (Bean Bag Toss)

This fun, easy sewing project is perfect for beginners.

Cornhole yard game
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

Have you ever heard of Cornhole? If not, perhaps you've heard of it under one of its many names: dummy boards, bean bag toss, or soft horseshoes.  Cornhole is a fun outdoor game (that can also be brought indoors if the weather turns ugly). 

All About Cornhole

Cornhole is played by tossing toward a hole cut in a 2' x 4' board, laid at an incline. Typically, the game is played with two teams of between one and four people.

 Two cornhole platforms are placed on the ground about ten feet apart. Each team has four beanbags, and team members take turns tossing their beanbags.  The goal is simple: get the beanbags into the hole! Whoever gets the most beanbags into the hole wins.

The origins of cornhole are somewhat obscure; it may have been invented in Germany, Ohio, or Kentucky. Whatever its origin, however, it seems this fun bean bag toss game has been getting increasingly popular. In fact, there is now an official American Cornhole Association that runs official tournaments with serious prize money! 

Making Cornhole Beanbags

While you can shell out quite a bit of money to buy this game, you can easily make your own Cornhole game. You can build your own Cornhole game boards and then sew up some bean or corn bags. You will need two game boards and two sets of 4 bean bags. You can find all of the rules for playing Cornhole on this site.

If you are already comfortable with sewing, you can follow the instructions below.  You'll find more detailed instructions with photos on the related bean or corn bags page. 

You Need:

  • Ruler
  • 16 squares of decorative fabric (larger squares are easier to throw, but be sure they fit easily into the holes in your cornhole set)
  • 6 squares of muslin slightly smaller than the decorative squares
  • scissors
  • thread
  • sewing machine or needle
  • several cups of dry beans

To Do:

  1. Choose the colors you'll use for your bean bags. You may choose to make two sets of four in contrasting colors (blue and red, for example).
  2. Cut two squares of muslin for each bean bag. 
  3. Sew the squares on three sides to make open-topped bags.
  4. Add enough beans to fill the bags about halfway.
  5. Sew the top of each bag closed.
  6. Cut two squares of decorative fabric for each bag. The decorative fabric should be about 2 inches wider on each side than the muslin square.
  7. Sew the squares on three sides to make open-topped bags.
  8. Insert one muslin bean bag into each decorative bag.
  9. Sew the top of each decorative fabric bag securely.

Once you've made your bean bags, it's time to play.  Invite friends, or just enjoy the game with your own family or at an outdoor picnic or barbecue. Corn hole can also be fun at the beach!

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