Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Make a bean bag toss game

by: Chica

Make a bean bag toss game
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I’ve got my new Fourth of July felt pennants to decorate with next weekend, so the next thing to focus on is entertainment. I wanted a new game for the kids at my party to play, and since their parents are all fans of the popular game cornhole, I wanted to make something similar with bean bags for the kids. Jo and I brainstormed last week and came up with easiest way to make bean bags ever… using the pockets of old jeans! Then I made some scored targets to toss them at, and now I have a game I can’t wait to show all my young friends (and maybe the older ones too!)

To make the bean bags, you’ll need the pockets from some old jeans. If you’ve used your old jeans for another denim projects, like our quilt, then you should have plenty of pockets left over, and this is the perfect way to use them up. You’re also going to need some ordinary supplies like scissors, acrylic paint, a paint brush, straight pins, and a sewing machine and thread.

bean bag toss game_01

For the bean bag filling, go to the dry beans section of your grocery store and pick out whatever you can find that’s as small and cheap as possible. For me, the smallest and cheapest available was split green peas, which ended up working perfectly.

Finally, you’ll need from three to five terra cotta saucers in nested sizes. I used four saucers measuring 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″ for my game.

Now get ready to make the easiest bean bags ever. Grab your old jeans and trim around the back pockets with a pair of scissors, right along the pocket’s edges. For the top of the pocket, just cut straight across the top.

bean bag toss game

You’ll end up with pouch that’s already sewn shut for you on three sides.

bean bag toss game

If you want to decorate your pockets, take a few minutes now to paint them using the acrylic paint. Since I was making this game for the Fourth of July, I painted a star on each pocket.

bean bag toss game

Now fill the pockets about 2/3 full of the dry beans. Don’t make them too full, or else you won’t be able to sew them shut.

bean bag toss game

Use two straight pins to hold the top closed, then sew it shut with one or two rows of stitches on the sewing machine.

bean bag toss game

That’s it. Your bean bags are done! If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could sew the pockets shut by hand. (Or you might even get away with using hot glue, but I don’t think they would last very long!)

bean bag toss game

You can paint the saucers in any color or design you like, to match the occasion. I painted mine in a simple red, white, and blue design. I painted scores on each saucer, with the lowest score for the largest (easiest to hit) saucer, and the highest score for the smallest (hardest to hit) saucer.

bean bag toss game

To play the game, just line up the saucers with the largest one closest to you, and the smallest one farthest away. The distance between the saucers can vary depending on the age and skill level of those playing. Then have the kids take turns tossing the bags onto the targets of their choice, and score them for any successful hits. Easy and fun!

bean bag toss game

bean bag toss game

Make a bean bag toss game
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29 comments so far:

  • 1
    dot 06/25/2009 at 10:22 pm

    this is such a cool idea! thanks for sharing :)

  • 2
    Kriscake 06/26/2009 at 12:37 pm

    We do alot of camping in our popup and to the traditional wooden cornhole frames are just to heavy and bulky to haul around. I am planning on using your idea but with twist: cheap dollar store pie tins. They won’t be different sizes but they will stack well and not break in our camper. Big plus is how light weight the whole thing will be.
    Thanks for the great idea.

  • 3
    Chica 06/26/2009 at 12:45 pm

    dot, thanks!

    Kriscake, great idea!

  • 4
    luvinthemommyhood 06/27/2009 at 11:38 am

    Love this idea! I couldn’t resist adding this to our link luv roundup. Come take a peek:

  • 5
    Becca 07/01/2009 at 2:54 pm

    Oh My I LOVE this idea! THanks so very much!!!

  • 6
    Chica 07/01/2009 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks, Becca and luvinthemommyhood!

  • 7
    Rachel 07/29/2009 at 3:53 pm

    love it! few questions. how to play, keep score and who wins?

  • 8
    Chica 07/29/2009 at 7:59 pm

    Hi Rachel. You can make up whatever rules you like, depending on the age of the kids playing. A good starting point is to just have each child toss each bean bag once and then add up his or her score. Whomever has the most points after everyone has taken a turn wins!

  • 9
    Jennie 08/12/2009 at 10:11 pm

    Hello all! I am a music therapist and I use music paired with colored bean bags all the time to teach colors, and I was thinking that you could paint a target and a bean bag to match. You could also paint numbers on a bag and on the targets. This way its a game AND learning all at the same time!

  • 10
    Jo 08/12/2009 at 11:20 pm

    Jennie, I really like the idea of making it an educational game!

  • 11
    Maggie 06/03/2010 at 12:28 pm

    This is so cute! We are going to do this for our 4th of July picnic! I lnked to it at my blog, Thanks again for a great craft!

  • 12
    Chica 06/03/2010 at 1:13 pm

    That’s great, Maggie! We’d love to see how it comes out :)

  • 13
    Sophia 06/19/2011 at 2:49 am

    Love this!! Thanks for sharing.

  • 14
    Stephanie 06/27/2011 at 10:45 pm

    I just finished painting the bean bag pockets for our game. Can’t wait to share it with the children next week! Thanks for the great ideas!

  • 15
    Jenae 07/28/2011 at 7:05 pm

    Cornhole is too big to take camping! I modified this by using plastic saucers (could even use cheap plastic plates) but I drilled a hole in the middle to accomodate a tent stake so that when they throw the bean bag it doesn’t move the saucer.

  • 16
    Chica 07/29/2011 at 7:03 am

    Great idea, Jenae!

  • 17
    Lois 06/02/2012 at 6:08 pm

    We love this game, but we did it with a twist. Instead of counting just points we made the numbers smaller amounts and eveytime the grandkids hit a target they got that many jelly bellies. Like an instant win. Of course we did this after lunch or dinner.

  • 18
    Chica 06/03/2012 at 9:46 am

    Great idea, Lois! Thanks for sharing.

  • 19
    Ginny 06/21/2012 at 5:15 pm

    What a super fun idea and I love the way you incorporated sewing with the bean bags. I’ve included this tutorial in a little collection I put together…

  • 20
    Chica 06/21/2012 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks for including us in your collection, Ginny!

  • 21
    I Play Outside The Box 07/21/2012 at 8:32 am

    Such a cute idea….thanks for sharing!

  • 22
    Darlene V Bell 05/03/2013 at 8:03 am

    This idea is even good for older adults for a group activity. Maybe give a 1,2,3rd, prize..for total points…

  • 23
    Gordon Ashlee 06/22/2014 at 8:26 am

    Wow, my mind just really took off with this one. Sew one pant leg and add a handle to make a carry bag for the bean bag pockets. Using additional jean material in various sizes like the targets, appliqué numbers or other ideas on them, then roll them up and store/carry in the other pant leg bag. Not much wasted denim there, totally portable, no breakage, and easy!

  • 24
    Chica 06/22/2014 at 8:45 am

    Great ideas Gordon. Thanks for sharing!

  • 25
    Shahzadi 12/27/2014 at 11:43 am

    good idea to play inside or out door and plus point is easy to make and easy to play.

  • 26
    Marcie 07/02/2015 at 3:42 pm

    Love the idea! I found 4 different size pie plates at the goodwill store, they stack together and won’t break!
    The kids. Love it!

  • 27
    Chica 07/03/2015 at 12:03 pm

    Great idea, Marcie!

  • 28
    Libby Grant 04/07/2016 at 12:13 pm

    Bloody Brilliant!!!

  • 29
    Cardinal 03/19/2017 at 9:00 am

    being such a novice sewer where my first bean bag project took 2 days (used felt fabric…uggh!) I find this to be a wonderful idea to even use up outgrown pants as well. tks.

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