Introduction: Bean Bags!

Need Bags for bag toss because your roommate lost yours? Or do you feel stuck because you don't have sewing machine, and you have never hand sewed? This will teach you how to make bean bags for corn hole by hand. Now the tailgate will be more exciting then just grilling and drinking beer! The time to make one bag takes about 45 minutes hand stitched, and it costs between $20 and $25 dollars to make eight. I would recommend inviting the people who would also use these to come over to help make them.

Step 1: Materials

  1. Cloth - Half a yard for each color. Find a fabric that feels strong. thin cloth will break down. I try to stick with a thick polyester and cotton.
  2. Thread - buy a small spool of thread. Get a thicker thread made for upholstery. I find that it holds the best.
  3. Needle - get a pack of needles. the more you have, the more people can help you.
  4. Guts –

- Beans which are the typical guts to put inside the bag work well because they don’t weigh down the bags as much. The problem with beans is that they might mold and break down when wet.


- Corn almost just as typical as beans are also good. Corn however tend to be a little more harder and have a more rough feel while the bags are being held in the hand. Corn like the bean might start to mold and break down if they get wet.


- Plastic pellets I think are the best option out there. They aren’t too heavy because they are plastic. They leave a nice feel in your hand when you’re holding them and they don’t break down when they get wet. The big downside about plastic pellets is the cost. They can cost close to five dollars to almost fill 2 bags so you would be spending between $20 to $25 just on the guts.


- And lastly Popcorn seeds. In this tutorial I will be using these. Popcorn seeds are nice because they don’t break down like the corn and beans do. Plus they leave a good feel in the hand for throwing. Plus they’re cheap; you’ll spend less then $5 to fill all the bags easily. The downside of popcorn seeds is only the weight. They tend to make the bags a little more heavy then the rest of the options.


* The guts depend how you like the feeling or how much you want to spend. I have made bags in the past with beans and to stop the molding and breaking down we put them in plastic bags. The downfall here is that sometimes you can feel the plastic bags from the outside.

5. Ruler – Just need a basic ruler or even a tape measure would do

6. Scissors

7.  Measuring cup – I would recommend at least a 2 cup measuring cup

Step 2: Square Size

1. Measure out eight 6.5" X 13" squares. You can do sixteen 6.5" squares, but this way it's one less side to sew. Use a pencil and ruler to draw a line on the cloth the get a nice straight line to follow while cutting. The straighter the cut, the easier to it will be to sew.


Step 3: Thread Needle

1. Cut about a 4 foot string from the thread spoil.

2. Pull the string through the eye of the needle and pull the string so the string is even lengths.

3. Grab the String as if it was on piece of string and tie a double knot about 3 inches from the end. Now the needle and thread should be ready for sewing

Step 4: Start Sewing

1. Fold the 6.5" X 13" rectangle in half so it becomes an even square.

2. There are a couple ways to sew by hand. First start at the end where the fold is at. Poke the needle through the cloth about 1/4” to 3/8” in from the side and pull until the knot stops the string. After this is where you can do 2 different sewing methods. (The Start is the first Picture)

This first method, which I will use throughout the whole tutorial, will be how you should close the bag up at the end to make it look nice anyway. After the initial poke through and string pulled all the way through, bring the needle back around to the same side you initially poked through and do it again about 1/4” further up from the previous hole along the same line. And you continue to poke the needle through on the same side like this until you get 3/4” from the top. (2nd picture)

The second way to sew after the initial poke through would be to NOT to bring the needle back around, but to go 1/4” up from where the thread comes through the cloth and then poke the needle through there. This way you always alternate the side you poke the needle threw. Start at the top, then poke from the bottom, then poke back from the top and keep alternating until you get 3/4” from the top again. (3rd picture)

Step 5: Tie Off the Sew

1. Take the needle and push it underneath the last stitch you just made to create a loop. This shouldn’t matter which stitch you decided to use.

2. Then put the needle through the loop and pull until it’s a tight knot (2nd Pic)

3. Repeat this step at least 3 times. I sometimes do it 5 times just to make sure it's tied off well.

4. Now Repeat Steps 4 and 5 (this step) to the other side of the bag. Leave the side across from fold for last.

Step 6: The Final Stitch

1. To start the final stitch you have to turn the bag inside out to hide your stitching you just did.

2. Fold the top 1/4" inside the bag leaving a nice straight folded edge

3. Use the first stitch I described in step 4 until you get half way across the top

4. Measure 2 cups of guts, more for firm bags and less for sloppy bags, and pour into opening of bag

5. Continue sewing the rest of the bag and use step 5 to tie it off. After this step your bag should be done and ready to go. Enjoy the bags because this will increase the tailgate fun ten fold. Now you have something to do while drinking beer.

Works Cited

T, Jenny. Stitching. Photograph. Jenny T's simple sewing projects. Web. 11 Oct. 2009.

Threading Needle. Photograph. Gdg2024. Web. 11 Oct. 2009.