How To Make The Best Cornhole Bags

Sewing Cornhole Bags—Easy DIY Project

Making your own corn hole bags for the great game of cornhole is easy, fun and can save you a ton of cash replacing busted bags. Cornhole bags are not made to last forever, but we have a few trade secrets to share with you, ensuring that you get the most life and perfect play out of your bags.

Our cornhole bag design has been thoroughly tested against other designs and has been proven to resist breakage. It all has to do with physics. The stitching combination, the fabric and the amount of fill is crucial to making a quality, long-lasting bag. The finished bags in this tutorial will be ACA (American Cornhole Association) regulation:

  • Size: 6" x 6"
  • Final Weight: 1 lb.
  • Finish: Rounded Corners

What you'll need:

Materials and tools used to make our cornhole bag

  • Sewing Machine: Any sewing machine capable of Straight and Zig-Zag Stitch for best results.
  • Needle Size: #16 machine needle - Suggested needle size for 10 oz canvas
  • Thread: Polyester coated Polyester Thread. We use Coats & Clark (Dual Duty)
  • Duck Cloth: 10 oz. canvas duck cloth is the most commonly used fabric in sewing cornhole bags for its durability, color availability and it's properties, by allowing the corn dust to come through the bag and aiding the slide of the bag to the hole. Some people claim to use 12 oz. cotton duck fabric but it is not possible to find it dyed in many colors. Usually only natural or black. 10 oz. dyed duck cloth comes in 60" width. 1 yard will make 16 complete bags in this tutorial. A set of bags for cornhole consists of 8 bags, 4 bags of the same color for each player. You can buy our Big Duck Canvas brand wholesale canvas fabric at up to 60% off retail prices here: Big Duck Canvas - Duck Cloth Wholesale By The Yard
  • Cornhole Bag Fill: Traditionally, cleaned whole corn is used. You can buy this in 40-50 lb bags at your local feed or tractor supply store. We are making weather resistant bags in this tutorial using recycled plastic resin pellets. Resin filled bags will last much, much longer. They resist water, mold, bugs and animals from destroying the integrity of the bags. It is very difficult to find the appropriate size and density of plastic pellets for best use in cornhole bags. Fortunately we have found a great source and you can purchase it in 50 lb boxes here: Big Duck Canvas - Recycled Resin Pellets (Product Fill)
  • Piece of cardboard: You will be cutting out a usable tracing template from the printable (PDF) template.
  • Printer: for printing the template
  • Cornhole Bag Template: Download our very own time-tested and proven DIY Cornhole Bag Template (PDF)
  • Marker: Any fabric marker or permanent marker will do.
  • Rotary Cutter: Great for straight cuts and multiple layers of fabric.
  • Self-Healing Cutting Mat & Cutting Guide
  • Scissors
  • Masking Tape
  • Digital Scale: It’s important to accurately weigh your fill
  • Funnel: Used to make it easier to load the bags with fill

Got your materials? Let’s get started!

cuttingcanvas.jpg First, cut your fabric in 7.5" squares on your self-healing cutting mat using your rotary cutter and cutting guide. You can cut multiple layers with a good cutter to save time.

cuttemp.jpg Next, print and tape the cornhole bag template to a piece of corrugated cardboard using your masking tape. DO NOT change the print size settings from your printer options!

temptrace.jpg Now, begin cutting out the bag template using your razor knife. You don't have to go all the way through the cardboard at this point. Once you have cut out the tracing template and scored the cardboard it will be much easier to cut all the way through while keeping the lines straight.

Once you have the template cut out, line up two of your 7.5" duck cloth squares together. Place the cardboard template in the center. You should have about 1/2" of fabric left each side of the template. This allows for ample fabric on the inside of your seams to help reduce breakage. At this point you should also mark where your opening will be. You will want to make it big enough to make turning the bags inside out easy as well as allowing for quick filling. For this tutorial we marked our opening at 1.75" from each side.

Sewing the cornhole bags...

stitch01.jpg We will be double stitching these with two different stitch settings for maximum strength. First, set your machine with a straight stitch at a medium length. Begin sewing on your template mark. Start at one end of the hole openings. Be sure to do a back-stitch at the beginning and end of your stitch.

zigzag.jpg Next we are going to use a Zig-Zag stitch on the outside of our straight stitch. Try to keep from overlapping the other stitch to maintain the proper shape of the bag. This stitch is what gives the bag its resilience to impact and reduces breakage because it actually flexes with the fabric. You may have to play with your tension settings some to get it just right.

forming.jpg Turn your bag inside out from the opening you left and use a wooden stick or similar tool to poke out the corners. trim.jpg Now trim your corners for easier turning and corner forming.

weigh-fill.jpg Now it's time to weigh your fill. We are using plastic resin fill for weatherproof bags. It's weight and density is very similar to corn. Whatever fill you choose, you will need 15.5 oz. for these bags, approximately two (2) cups. DO NOT overfill your bags! There is a higher likelihood of failure on impact when overfilled. The final bag weight should be right at 1 lb.

resin-filling-cornhole-bag.jpg Use a funnel to load your bags with fill.

cornhole-bag.jpg Now zip up the opening with a zig-zag stitch. Here, we've back-stitched over the entire stitch for added strength. You can stitch over the entire length if you wish or just overlapping the initial inside seam. Either way, you now have a super tough cornhole bag that will outlast all others.

Enjoy!

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