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. Jim May 26, 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    I know there are many places to obtain a set of Corn Hole boards but is there any where to purchase a really beautiful set. Other than making my own.

    Thanks!

  2. Linda June 3, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    I came across a good buy on 4 lb. pinto beans , so I thought I would give them a try. I know it isn’t bean-hole, but the bags are filled and I want to give them to my step-son for his upcoming birthday. (He made his own board, but doesn’t have any bags.) This is the first I have heard about the dust. Wonder if the beans will make dust? Also I double-bagged these. How many rules did I break?

  3. Eric June 3, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    LOL Linda….The number rule is have fun playing Cornhole!

  4. Tim June 7, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    Hey, I just made a board and made the hole 7″ wide. Should I make the bags 8″ X 8″ prestitch and 7″ X 7″ afterwards to match the size of the hole?

  5. Eric June 8, 2008 at 4:11 pm #

    Hey there Tim,
    The standard final bag size is 6×6″. You’d start with 7×7″ of material and use a 1/4″ seam. When the bag is filled it results in a 6×6″ bag.

  6. stephanie June 13, 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    i have no idea where you can get corn feed. i live in royal oak, MI. does anyone know where you can find it??

  7. Eric June 14, 2008 at 10:51 pm #

    Stephanie,
    Tractor Supply has feed corn if you have one nearby. You can also probably find it in the bird/squirrel feed section of your local superstore. It probably wouldn’t be as cheap but they should have it.

  8. Peg June 29, 2008 at 3:03 pm #

    I purchased a cornhole set but my son thought the bags were too light. I purchased a food scale and it works great to check the weight. I got to your sight to find out the offical weight. I need to add weight to the purchased set and I plan on using the plastic pellets to avoid bugs and mice.
    I sew, and I think there is a discrepancy about the seam size that people have talked about. Cut the pieces to 7″x7″. Sew 1/2″ seams. Start 1 inch before the first corner, sew the other three sided and go another inch on the fourth side. Re-sew the exact way but at 1/4″ (this reinforces the seams so that they don’t burst). Turn the bags inside out, fill, and then you can machine sew or hand stitch the opening. With 1/2″ seams on each side you end up with a 6×6 bag (1/2″ on each side makes the bag 1″ smaller :). If you only use the 1/4″ seam the material will pull apart under stress (and your bags will end up at 6-1/2 x 6-1/2). Hope this helps. And thanks for the info on the weight – I’m off to Michaels now!

  9. travis July 2, 2008 at 2:48 pm #

    A lot of plastic pellets are hydroscopic,which means they absorbe moisture the bags with plastic pellets would vary in weight,in different climates.

  10. Les July 5, 2008 at 11:40 am #

    I found the feed corn at Tractor Supply. They had 50lb sacks for less than $20. I didn’t need that much so I bought 11lb bags that I found in the bird feed section for about $6. I would use 50lbs eventually, but my concern was storing it and attracting mice, bug, etc.

  11. Nathan July 7, 2008 at 7:44 pm #

    So, I live in Orlando and I have been searching far and wide at all the local arts and crafts stores, but I cannot find any plastic pellets anywhere. People keep pointing me in the direction of bean bag filling which is far to small. I was hoping that someone might have some insight on the Orlando area, so that I may be pointed in the right direction. Or if anyone has any ideas as to an alternative to filling with plastic pellets that is not corn feed or beans, that would suffice also.

    Thanks!

    Nate

  12. Adam July 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm #

    I made my boards and Painted them with an exterior semi gloss paint. The paint seems a little “sticky” and the bags dont slide as well. I asked around and was told that exterior paints are made to be more elastic to hold up to the elements and that is what causes the “sticky” feel. It is better to use interior paint or spray paint that dries hard.
    My bags have held up well and to break them in faster I threw them in the dryer on no heat and bounced them around in there for 20 mins!
    It gets the dust going and loosens up the cloth.

  13. Eric July 15, 2008 at 6:47 am #

    Hi Nathan,
    You might just search around on the net. Here is one place I found. http://www.dollstuffing.com/

  14. Eric July 15, 2008 at 7:07 am #

    Hey Adam,
    Sometimes really cheap or old paint could have some trouble, but in general exterior latex paints will eventually dry hard. After you play with your bags and boards for a short time, and break everything in, you’ll notice they get slicker. Great idea to throw your bags in the dryer!

  15. Bonnie August 6, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    We are a custom uphlostry store and have many fabric remants. Do you think that type of fabric would hold up to corn hole tossing?

  16. Eric August 10, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    Hi Bonnie,
    Hard telling really without seeing it, but my guess is it’s pretty tough stuff. Most upholstery is made to hold up to a lot of abuse. It’s probably worth a try if you’re just using left overs.

  17. Denise Meyer August 23, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    Thanks for everyone’s ideas and suggestions. My daughter is an Occupational Therapy Grad student and she is making a Cornhole game for the Rehabiliation Center of the hospital she is doing her clinicals at. They will use the game as therapy for their patients. I love the suggestion about the plastic pellets as some of the patients may have allergies!

  18. John Freeborn August 24, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    Apparently I am using the wrong stitching on the cornhole bags or not doing something correctly since the bags are unraffling at the seams when being used. Can you tell me what I need to do to correct this problem. Thank you

  19. Pat August 25, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    How do you keep the material from pulling apart? The bags I made are not coming apart at the stitches, but the material has pulled apart at the stitches. I have tried double stitching and the duck canvas is still ripping at the stitch line.Thanks for any help!

  20. Linda August 25, 2008 at 8:09 pm #

    Duck material is very prone to unraveling very easily. What is happening is the corn is rubbing against the edges of the material and unraveling it making it look like it is pulling apart at the stitches. I usually zigzag the edges of the material or serge it to stop it from raveling.

  21. David August 28, 2008 at 2:03 pm #

    ok, I have only seen/played on baggo purchaseds boards. It seems these are smaller, (2′ x 3′) is this true. what is the difference? I plan to make a set and I am curious what I should be building because around this area most people are playing with these purchased sets…. does this make any sense to you?

  22. Craig August 29, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    A possible hint: put the corn in plastic sandwich bags and then place in cloth bag before closure. Prevents moisture from getting to the corn. Personally, it seems the plastic bag would break down easily from the friction and pounding.

  23. Nikoli August 29, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    I’ve been making bags for a few years. Started out single stitching, which ended up ripping after one or two games. Tried double stitching, a little better but still blew out a few bags right away. Now I always triple stitch, seems to have solved the ripping issue. Also DO NOT overfill them, the bags will just bounce off the boards…and even get stuck in the hole! Filling by feel seems to work best, you know when you have a good fill, it just feels right.

  24. Chris September 3, 2008 at 9:23 pm #

    I stored my 8 cornhole bags in a bag in a closet in our house. I guess the humid summer was bad and all the cornhole bags grew mold. Any suggestions for storing them and keeping them dry?

  25. david September 18, 2008 at 6:40 pm #

    hint. make sure to use a strong thread when sewing your bags,and it is very important that you use large stitches.im refering of the numbers of stitches per inch. to of little of stitches,will weaken the seam. thanks. david J.

  26. patricia September 22, 2008 at 8:08 am #

    i cut my fabric at 14×7 that way you only have3 seams. I also used my seal-a-meal to seal the corn in prevents moisture getting to the corn, Cut the plastic bags at 6×6 fill with corn seal. DO (NOT USE VACUM SETTING). THESE WORK GREAT WITHOUT THE DUST COMMING OUT.

  27. Eric October 10, 2008 at 10:46 pm #

    Chris – A big Tupperware container should do the trick.

  28. Eric October 10, 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    Great idea Patricia!

  29. Eric October 10, 2008 at 10:55 pm #

    Hey David – Baggo boards are smaller than than standard 2×4 ft boards. It probably depends on where you live and who’s playing on what. The standard sized boards are preferred all around Cincinnati without a doubt. I would think this is true of most other places as well. If you are looking to play the true game of Cornhole, you’ll want to make 2×4 ft boards.

  30. Gary January 1, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    I make my own boards and bags for gifts.
    I use 1/2 inch plywood and 1 x 4 sides. Paint a one inch color around the edge and then clear gloss polyurethane over the entire board. Four to five coats makes for a slick, fun filled game. The bags are duck cloth with whole feed corn. Have never had problems with coming apart. Use double stiching. Just finished my 6th set as gifts. Have fun!!

  31. Brandon March 21, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    What kind of thread do I need to use?

    Thanks!!

  32. Eric March 24, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    Hey Brandon,
    Not too sure about the different thread material types but just look for thread labeled “heavy duty”. This sort of thread is used for upholstery jobs and that sort of thing. It will hold up best to the abuse the bags take.

  33. Pat April 17, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    Making corn hole bags. Someone suggested putting the corn on a baking pan and putting it in the oven at 250 for an hour so you do not get bugs. Does anyone know anything about this?

  34. Margaret April 26, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    We left our bags in a tupperware/rubbermaid type conatiner in our garage and they got extremely moldy. I guess you should leave them inside where the moisture won’t get to them

  35. ronnie May 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    can anybody help me ,i was wondering if team decals are a better way to make youre board ,or buy stickers ,and spray with a gloss sealer? thanks

  36. sarah May 13, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    where can you purchase corn filled bags? I live in Greenville, SC.

    A tip for storing your corn filled bags put them in the freezer. (or frig.)

  37. BRUCE May 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    HELP! GOT BUGS IN MY HOME MADE BAGS.
    (48 OF THEM) WHAT TO DO. MADE OF FEED CORN. LITTLE BLACK BUGS THAT LOOK LIKE PEPPER. FREEZER OR OVEN TO KILL THEM? MABY INJECT THEM WITH ?.

  38. gail May 22, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    The first time I put together my bags I used the corn. They didn’t last the season because they got left out over night several times and got moldy. This time I used pea gravel. I’ve got the same “feel” as the corn plus the dust that you want too. Works for us!

  39. peter May 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    for storing bags:
    to avoid moisture, store them in a container and put rice in the container with them (as do people with pepper shakers). The rice should absorb any moisture.

    I am also wondering how to get a “team decal” on my boards. Should I get stickers, and just paint a clear coat over them? I am using a polyurethane finish. (normal gloss level)

  40. Capt. Rick June 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Still wondering if anyone knows where game originated and what you do for that bug problem

  41. Grace H. June 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    I don’t know what pellets you were originally intending, but maybe consider the pellets for air-soft type toy guns…
    Personally, I’m off to try out aquarium gravel – it should still ‘dust’ without the mold and critter issues.

  42. Travis June 15, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    The game is cornhole.not pelletthole,not gravelhole.Put corn in bags and take care of them.

  43. Lizzy June 15, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    Hey Capt Rick? Placing things in the freezer WILl kill the bugs, just as putting Animal Food such as Dog Food in the Freezer to kill any ants that have ants in it. ….ALSO: for anyone that knows how to sew, doing a FRENCH SEAM is the Perfect way to re-enforce the seams with Heavy Duty Thread. (you can always double stitch it, but do a French Seam, this finishes it to where there is absolutely NO threads inside or out !!!!!! also DO not wash the DUCK CLOTH, you can always spray a repellent on the finished product, to protect the fabric.

  44. Myron July 5, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    I stored my bags in a cooler over the winter – thought they were completely dry (they were new), and ended up with moldy bags this summer. Anybody have a solution for cleaning them – or do I need to get/make new bags?

  45. Jana July 7, 2009 at 12:24 am #

    Using popcorn to fill the bags has worked best ’round this neck of the woods. It does not soften / mildew easily AT ALL. It doesn’t make dust either, but you really don’t need the dust if you keep the boards sanded. Ya’ll have fun now ya corn hole-ers!!!

  46. ronnie July 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    how do you keep the bags from busting from hitting the corners of the board

  47. Lizzy July 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Hey Ronnie? um, they won’t break, also, you can make a bag inside a bag with Musilin, fill that bag with the corn, then your outter layer with Duct Cloth, and if you do the seams right they won’t bust open. see my comment above about french seams, Now go have fun playing,,,,

  48. Justine July 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    I’ve used Sunbrella (solution dyed acrylic) for many outdoor projects…..it’s now “standard” for umbrellas, cushion covers, etc. It’s been used in the marine environment for years since it does NOT mildew (only natural fiber fabric mildews) – also water repellent.
    Joann Fabrics carries it – expensive but you need only a small quantity. It’s like cotton “duck” but is softer and wears like iron. Maybe that type of fabric would solve the problems mentioned above?

  49. LIZZY July 8, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    OOPS on me , I wrote DUCT above LOL, Hey Justine I will try this fabric for my next set, thanks for a suggestion…also they have a seam glue, (for those worried about the frayed ends), better yet, french seam them or surge them, if you are a seamstress…..We have a HUGE tournament next week, so I am slicking up my boards again with Wax….

  50. Kelly July 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    Hey ya’ll. I was just readin’ these posts and noticing a lot of folks having problems during storage…there’s a handy little gadget wal-mart sells called a Reynolds Handy Vac. It’s bout $10.00 and works like a dream…Gotta use their bags and vaccuum seal your corn bags inside. You make sure your bags are dry first and keep out all air and you cannot possibly grow mold, mildew or bugs. Those pests all need warm moist air to grow. If there is any doubt, you could put them in the freezer while being stored. Best thing bout vaccuum sealing is the bags are reusable over and over…hope this helps.

Leave a Reply