4 Things You Need To Know Before Filling Your Cornhole Bags

There is an ongoing debate between Cornhole game enthusiasts about the perfect fill for Cornhole Bags. I don’t know if I can settle here, but I’ll offer up the advantages of each and let you be the judge. Some believe it’s best to fill for your Cornhole bags with plastic pellets and others are die hard corn filled bag fanatics. They each have their advantages. Hopefully, this will help you decide which bag fill is best for your perfect set of Cornhole bags.

Weather Resistant
This one goes to the plastic pellets. One of the biggest advantages to plastic pellets is their resistant to moisture. Over time, corn is more susceptible to developing mildew as the weather takes its toll. It’s almost inevitable that Cornhole bags will be left outside sometime. If this happens, the rain or the morning dew starts working away on your favorite bags. Your corn filled bags will probably start to mildew if they aren’t dried out quickly enough. Worse than that, if they really get waterlogged, corn can even swell up. Once this happens to your Cornhole bags, you might as well pitch them and dig out the sewing machine. They’ll never be the same.

Corn Breaks Down
Once a new set of Cornhole bags gets broken in it’s easy to get used to your “favorite bags”. The fabric that Cornhole bags are made out of is usually stiff “Duck Cloth” canvas. After the canvas breaks down, the bags get softer and easier to play with. That’s the good side of breaking in you bags. On the other hand corn changes the weight and play of the bags when it breaks down too much. You may have tossed a set of bags yourself that seemed half filled or floppy. This is the effect of the corn breaking down. I will say, this takes some serious playing time before you’ll notice the effects of this. Nevertheless, this is one of the disadvantages of corn as a fill.

It’s all in the Name
This one is pretty self explanatory. The game is called Cornhole, not pellet or bean hole. This is one reason some insist on corn filled bags. Playing with corn is how the game originated.

The Dust is a Must
No matter what you think about some of the disadvantages of corn filled bags listed above, it’s tough to argue with this one if you’ve played with both Cornhole bag types. This is the main reason everyone loves playing with corn filled bags. I’m not talking about which is more practical. I’m talking about what feels the best to play with. The dust that corn filled bags produce help the bags slide and play better. But that’s not the only reason players like the dust. There is just something about the dust of a Cornhole bag that coats your hands and clouds around the boards when the bags hit. It’s just part of the game for most. As the saying goes, “The Dust is a Must”.

201 Responses to 4 Things You Need To Know Before Filling Your Cornhole Bags

  1. jeff1947 May 15, 2007 at 2:47 pm #

    Seems also if you leave your bags out overnight, a corn-loving animal may make off with them. I now have to make a new set of bags because some critter took one and ran into the woods with it!

  2. Ryan June 8, 2007 at 3:08 pm #

    When filling the bags with corn, what type of corn is actually used, popcorn or real corn?

  3. admin June 10, 2007 at 9:05 pm #

    Whole (not cracked) animal feed corn is the most popular corn used as bag fill. Have fun!

  4. Duane June 16, 2007 at 10:10 am #

    Seem’s like the new bags I have have too much dust. We have trouble because the bags are so slick. We can’t keep them on the boards at all. I was wondering if there was a way to accelerate the reduction of the dust to get the bags to stick a little bit better.

  5. Eric June 16, 2007 at 1:26 pm #

    Hi Duane,

    I would suggest is maybe beating your bags against you sidewalk. This should roughen the outside of your bags and start to break down the corn. Slick bags really hard to adjust to.

  6. Kristy June 18, 2007 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi all! Couple of questions….When filling your bags, what should the moisture content of the corn be? We were thinking less than 12%, but wanted to check for official numbers. Also, what are the dimensions of the bags and are there specific weight requirements when filling? Thanks!

  7. Heather June 19, 2007 at 10:51 pm #

    I was wondering what size the demensions of the cornhole bags should be. I know they are to be made of the “duck cloth ” . Also, they are supposed to weigh a pound too, right?

  8. Eric June 20, 2007 at 10:48 pm #

    Hello all,

    Cornhole bags should be one pound in weight. Duck cloth is the most preferred material choice. Bag dimensions should be 6″x6″. As for the moisture content, I wouldn’t worry much about the moisture %. Feed corn sold retail is the most recommended choice. You can pick it up at Tractor Supply or even Wal-Mart.

    Have fun building!!

  9. RW June 23, 2007 at 5:46 pm #

    I’m having the same problem that Duane mentioned. The new bags I just purchased are giving off more dust than any other set I’ve played with in over 5 years.

    It’s more like air hockey than cornhole. I went from 90% on the boards to around 10%. There has to be something wrong with the corn. Any ideas as to what could be wrong?

  10. Eric June 24, 2007 at 9:32 am #

    Could it be that the bags were filled with cracked corn rather than whole kernel corn?

  11. vanessa June 26, 2007 at 12:07 am #

    1. it says double stitched for the bags, does that mean 2 seams on the inside before you turn them right side outwards or topstitched on the outside after you turn them right side outwards
    2. do you have to have two squares sewed together or can you cut one rectangle, fold in half, and just have to sew up three sides

  12. Eric June 26, 2007 at 8:42 pm #

    Hi Vanessa,

    1. Two seams on the inside before you turn y0ur fabric rite side outwards.
    2. Folding the rectangle will work just fine.

    Enjoy your game!!

  13. Suzi June 27, 2007 at 2:39 pm #

    From reading on the official cornhole site it says the basg should weigh between 14 and 16 ounces.

    Question on stitching….one site I checked out said to stitch the bags again on the outside. I have never seen bags like this before. Do you know if this is common at all?

    Thanks,
    Suzi

  14. Eric June 27, 2007 at 9:24 pm #

    Hi Suzi,

    You got it on the weight. One pound is the standard bag weight.

    I have never seen or played with bags that were stiched on the outside. Seems odd, but I guess you similar outcome. However, most bags are stiched on the inside and the last edge or corner is sewn on the outside.

    Hope this helps!

  15. Shawn July 1, 2007 at 12:40 pm #

    What kind of dust do u use and how much?

  16. Shawn July 1, 2007 at 12:42 pm #

    What type of dust do u put in the bags and how much?

  17. Eric July 1, 2007 at 8:26 pm #

    Hello Shawn,

    Sorry for the confusion. The dust isn’t something you add to the bags. It is just eventually created over time after playing with you bags. When the corn breaks down it creates a dust.

  18. Gary M July 3, 2007 at 8:24 pm #

    i read 12oz

  19. Diane July 4, 2007 at 9:40 am #

    We built our own boards and painted them with exterior latex paint. We applied a spray clear gloss finish, but the boards are not slippery. The bags will not slide. Any suggestions to get them moving? We’ve put a lot of time and money into the paint and want to use the boards. thanks for any feedback.

  20. Eric July 4, 2007 at 9:49 am #

    Hi Diane,
    Was the surface of your boards smooth to start with? A low grade plywood might have too rough a surface. Your paint choices seem fine. It could be your bags. Will they slide on other boards? You might read some notes above about bag suggestions. Keep in mind that some slide is good, but you might regret if you really get your boards moving. It really is a lot more difficult to play on really slick boards.

  21. Rob July 9, 2007 at 8:51 am #

    Diane,
    Just take some normal paste wax (minwax or Jonstons paste wax found at home depot) to the board – that will slick it up.

    You can even try automotive wax.

  22. mark July 10, 2007 at 1:03 pm #

    adding clear gloss should be done in several thin layers and fine sanded between each coating.3 or4 coats seems idea for me.we like a slick board because it adds to the fun and competition of the game.furniture polish will make your board slick.if your bags are make to small and you put one pound of corn in them,there fat and they will roll in stead of slide.

  23. james July 16, 2007 at 11:13 pm #

    any idea what the rough % of players using whole kernal corn vs. plastic corn pellets is?

    I think I prefer a heavier bag and the kernal corn is 16 oz vs. the plastic corn at 14 oz

    I’ve never seen anyone get a lot of slide with their bags so the dust doesn’t really seem to do much but … create dust and cloud up your board … plus, I want my bags to stick where they land with minimal slide – just like a good golf shot

    I just can’t decide which way to go …

  24. Eric July 17, 2007 at 9:09 pm #

    James,

    In Cincinnati, there is definitely a preference for corn filled bags. I would say at least 90% of the bags in this region are filled with corn.

    In the end it still just comes down to preference.

    Hope that helps!

  25. Bill July 25, 2007 at 8:31 pm #

    Were can you buy the plastic pellet a

    Bill

  26. Eric July 27, 2007 at 9:29 pm #

    Hi Bill,

    Try Micheals, the arts and crafts store.

  27. Carane August 6, 2007 at 9:04 pm #

    Are the corn bags 6″ X 6″ before they are stuffed or after they are stuffed with the corn?

  28. Eric August 6, 2007 at 11:03 pm #

    Hello Carane,

    Bags should be 6″x6″ after they are stuffed, 7″x7″ before.

  29. Linda August 31, 2007 at 11:10 pm #

    If I am making the bags out of duck cloth would it be good to wash the material first to soften it a little or would that ot work.

  30. Eric September 8, 2007 at 11:02 pm #

    Great idea Linda! I don’t see any trouble with that at all. I haven’t washed the material in the past, but I think that might help soften it just as you suspect.

  31. Matt September 15, 2007 at 5:50 pm #

    So I’ve seen instructions to stitch the bags with 1/4 inch seams and 1/2 inch seams. I’ve got 7 inch squares cut out. I’m guessing you would probably just want 1/4 inch seams so that you take up about 1/2 inch of the width resulting in a bag that is approximately 6 & 1/2 inches before filling. Is this correct?

  32. Eric September 15, 2007 at 9:27 pm #

    You got it Matt!! Then, after you fill the bag you’ll end up with 6″x6″ bag.

  33. Connie September 28, 2007 at 1:23 am #

    DON’T WASH the duck cloth. I tried to wash and dye some material for a certain color and it totally unraveled.

  34. Eric September 29, 2007 at 8:28 am #

    I think the key to washing the material would be to first run a hem around the outside to keep it from falling apart. Either way, it’s not really necessary to wash the material first. It really doesn’t take that much game play to break them in.

  35. Jamie September 30, 2007 at 4:20 pm #

    What exactly is duck cloth and where can you find it?

  36. Eric September 30, 2007 at 9:38 pm #

    Hello Jamie,

    Duck cloth is just a type of canvas. It should be able to be found at any fabric store.

  37. Gary October 9, 2007 at 9:18 am #

    What about sand for bag fill?…. or is this grounds for eternal cornhole banishment?

  38. Eric October 10, 2007 at 9:23 pm #

    Hey Gary,

    LOL. I say banishment! Just kidding. I think you might just loose a lot of the fill over time through the fabric. Not really sure though. I have never tried it.

  39. John October 18, 2007 at 11:16 pm #

    Do you know where I can find large decals or stickers for the boards.Do you think it would effect the slid of the boards?

  40. Eric October 21, 2007 at 8:40 am #

    Hi John,

    You could try a local print shop for decals. Most of them can print/cut just about anything from vinyl. A local sports shop should also have decals of your favorite team if that’s what your after.

    Vinyl is pretty slick and will still allow your bags to slide. You could also apply a clear lacquer if you want to protect the decals and be sure to keep some good slide. Check this post out for comments on lacquer.

    http://www.cornholecornhole.com/how-to-choose-the-perfect-material-for-your-cornhole-boards

    Has anybody else seen a great place online to find decals?

  41. sarah October 24, 2007 at 3:57 pm #

    so in making the bags, do you have to sew the final side by hand (stitching inside the bag so you don’t see the seam from the outside) after you have turned the bag inside right and filled it with corn? and if so, how do you create the double seam on that final side?

  42. Eric October 24, 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    Sarah,

    Sounds like you have the idea. Double stitch 3 sides and about half of the fourth while inside out. Turn them right side out. Fill them. Then hand stitch the last few inches of the last edge to finish them off.

  43. Charlene December 20, 2007 at 1:05 pm #

    I put pea gravel in my bags. That way thay don’t mildew, if they get wet . Also if left in garage the mice will not eat them.

  44. becky January 13, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    Our Wal-Mart here has the duck cloth for $4.97 a yard.60″ wide. (Some Wal-marts have eliminated their fabric department.) Their color choices are pretty limited. They had navy, white, red, black, natural, and two others, I can’t remember.We needed gray and they didn’t have it. I don’t recomend washing the fabric as it washes out the finish on the fabric and isn’t as professional looking a job. It’s not like you are going to need it pre-shrunk. We got our whole kernal feed corn at the feed store for $5.15 for 25 pounds.

    Jo-Ann has it for 6.99 a yard- 60′ wide, but we are on their mailing list, so we had a coupon, and they had the colors I needed. I used 1/4 yd. of two different colors, for a total of 1/2 yard fabric. We made ours scarlet and gray for somewhat obvious reasons. We live in Columbus OH

  45. chris April 2, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    I want to experiment with plastic pellets in my bags. anyone have ideas on where i can get pellets that will fit in the 6″ bags and also weight 1lb?

  46. Eric April 5, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    Chris,
    You should be able to find plastic pellets at your local arts and crafts store. Michael’s or Hobby Lobby will have them. 3/8 or 1/4 inch will work well.

  47. Peggy May 7, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    I made the beanbags using directions on the internet, but the seams broke. I was told to use 1/4″ seam allowance on all 4 sides. This is too shallow as the edges unravelled. I think 1/2″ seam allowance is better. What size needle should be used? I used a jean weight and I think it make too big a hole for the thread. Any suggestions? I have to make a new set. Also, my daughter only wants me to fill the bags to 14oz. Will this be enough? Should the bags be flimsy or stuffed?

  48. SuzieQ May 7, 2008 at 6:39 pm #

    This game rocks

  49. Eric May 7, 2008 at 10:27 pm #

    Hi Peggy,
    You really don’t need a big needle if you use duck cloth. It’s pretty easy to work with. I haven’t used denim before but I imagine it isn’t much harder to work with. I would stick with the 16oz. Most will prefer it as it’s really the standard weight. It really depends on who’s playing. I am surprised you had that problem with the 1/4″. Make sure you are double stitching.

  50. Highlife4me May 8, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    Anyone know how long this game has been around. I built my 1st set over 15 yrs ago.

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