Colorful Bean Bag Toss Project

BeanBags NancyZieman Last 3

Colorful Bean Bag Toss Project

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BeanBags NancyZieman Last 3

Does your family have family reunions? Are you planning any summer birthday parties? One of the favorite outdoor games of Nancy Zieman’s family goes by quite a few names, but in short can be called bean bag toss. What would the game be with out festive, colorful bags? 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 Team Nancy5If 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. 

BeanBags NancyZieman aCreate

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

BeanBags NancyZieman b

  • 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. 
BeanBags NancyZieman d
  • 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.)

BeanBags NancyZieman i

BeanBags NancyZieman c
  • “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.
BeanBags NancyZieman e
Note From Team Nancy6

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.

BeanBags NancyZieman f

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

BeanBags NancyZieman g

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

BeanBags NancyZieman l

  • 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.

BeanBags NancyZieman h

  • Attach the zipper foot to your sewing machine.
  • Carefully sew the opening closed; removing pins as you stitch.

BeanBags NancyZieman m

BeanBags NancyZieman n

  • 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.
BeanBags NancyZieman oWhat a great project combining sewing and backyard fun!
BeanBags NancyZieman First

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 Nancy Zieman’s  book and DVD,  The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew.


Watch The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew (Part One, Part Two, and Part 3) on The Best of Sewing With Nancy online.

The Best of Sewing With Nancy TV Show hosted by Nancy Zieman

Screen Shot 2019 06 21 at 4.29.02 PM

Happy Sewing!
Team Nancy Zieman
Nancy Zieman Productions. LLC.
Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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  • Mary Ellen
    May 3, 2016

    Buttonholes! No matter how I try to do them, they just end up looking messy.

    • Vic
      May 4, 2016

      Buttonholes! They terrify me because mine always turn out kinda scary looking!

  • Starla
    May 3, 2016

    I still fear zippers, even though I’ve learned technique from your videos and do pretty well. But I hesitate and wait until the last possible moment to put them in. I need a confidence booster!

  • Ida Mae Rypkema
    May 4, 2016

    I have the most problems squaring up a block.

  • Ida Mae Rypkema
    May 4, 2016

    I have the most problems squaring up a block. I can make beautiful blocks and then when I come to square up I ruin some of them.

  • Bev M
    May 4, 2016

    I still dread zippers, and always use quilter’s tape as a guide. Even worse is helping 4-H’ers put in their first zipper. Seems like if the sewing doesn’t go well the first time, it takes three tries.

  • diane c
    May 4, 2016


  • Beverly
    May 4, 2016

    Absolute Easiest Way to Sew:
    This would be a great tool to use teaching my granddaughter to sew.

  • Janet Swanson
    May 4, 2016

    Invisible zippers; trying to match up the two sides and making the seam below the zipper smooth.

  • Brenda Ackerman
    May 4, 2016

    My biggest problem in sewing is learning all of the varieties of collars and how to put them in correctly. Never fails at least twice if not three times or four. Yet, once they are in it is so satisfying to have done it and “hopefully” done it correctly.

  • Shannon
    May 4, 2016


    May 4, 2016

    Definitely zippers

    • Joyce
      May 4, 2016

      Lapped zippers. Mine never look good enough.

  • Karen
    May 4, 2016

    getting the both sides of a zipper to look the same at the very top by the collar or waistband

  • Tina
    May 4, 2016

    Zippers! I even try to practice them and every time I come to one in a project I still panic!

  • Tina Jeo
    May 4, 2016

    Zippers! I absolutely dread zippers.

  • Tammy Kazmierczak
    May 4, 2016

    Inserting multiple pocket linings into a purse/bag.
    My mother-in-law requested I copy her neice’s cross-body bag for a light weight purse option for herself. She is 84 years old and has broken her colar bone in the past. She cannot tolerate heavy purses.
    I copied the bag and she uses it all the time, but I was not happy with the bulk I had around the outside and bottom seams. She requested a smaller version for a cruise she is taking this fall. I know I can do a better job, but am still searching for instructions to help me on my way.

  • Diane Stump
    May 4, 2016

    I find skirt linings to be intimidating. I get so confused when trying to attach the lining to the zipper. I dread it.

  • Diane S.
    May 4, 2016

    I find skirt linings to be intimidating. I find it confusing when attaching the lining to the skirt zipper and dread doing it. Pattern instructions do not print clear pictures!

  • Pat
    May 4, 2016

    Zippers, zippers, zippers. Still struggle with them every time. Thanks for any help you can give.

  • Sue V
    May 4, 2016

    Making set-in sleeves always gets me. Especially on tiny doll clothes. I seem to always get a tuck where it’s not supposed to be. I try to just let it be and not always have to be perfect.

  • Bonnye
    May 4, 2016

    Y seams give me a problem.

  • Peggy
    May 4, 2016

    I fear the zippers also but have learned many new techniques on your videos. Thanks again for all your help and I hope your health continues to blossom all spring.

  • Peggy
    May 4, 2016

    I also fear that zipper. I have learned many valuable techniques from your videos and thank you so much. I hope your health continues to blossom all spring.

  • Donna
    May 4, 2016

    button holes

  • Marty
    May 4, 2016

    I avoid patterns with zippers.

  • Cindy Schultz
    May 5, 2016

    I still struggle making buttonholes even though my machine does them fairly well. I have a hard time lining them up correctly.

  • Karen Payton
    May 5, 2016

    Perfect corners are always a challenge. Perfecting the wrapped corner would be great!

  • Cecilia
    May 6, 2016

    The 2 most intimidating sewing processes are fitting patters and sewing in a zipper, yet I have sewn for a while. Would love to win this book, could be very helpful to me, always love your shows and books. Thanks for making this information available for us.

  • Karen
    May 8, 2016

    Fly front zippers, like in a pair of jeans is the most difficult for me.

  • Jodi Bowlden
    May 10, 2016

    Plackets in blouse sleeves. Mirroring them gets me turned around! I still love to sew, even with the challenges that come with it.

  • Judy Mackey
    May 12, 2016

    Sleeves, not a smooth fit, puckers, never lays correctly. I watched your zipper video, was a great help for that difficult project.

  • Vicky
    June 3, 2017

    Zippers and buttonholes give me anxiety!

  • Rosemary
    June 3, 2017

    Thanks for the instructions for the Corn Hole bags, sewing two rolls of stitching makes sense. Maybe the bags will stay together better this time.

  • Rebecca Price
    June 3, 2017

    Easing sleeves in armholes is always tricky for me. Love your shows, love your techniques and tips for more professional sewing. Thanks for creating a great sewing culture for all of us sewists (used to be seamstresses).

  • Lori
    July 15, 2018

    Zippers. Appreciate your instructions and inspiration.

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