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. Thatโ€™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 youโ€™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. Kelly July 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    Also the Handy Vac is portable hand-held and runs on double A batteries so you can take it with you to tourneys and travel so even away from home you don’t have a dry storage problem.

  2. Kelly July 8, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    Oh, and a bit of history – Cornhole was created in the Ohio Valley area using corn on a modified bean-bag toss board. It was made using corn bags “originally” because it was the cheapest most readily available “stuffing” (being born in the corn-belt region). I say originally because now cornhole has spread and does not have to stick to it’s regional boundaries and because cornhole is a modified bean-bag game in which there were beans in the bags. For Travis especially; the filling only matters during serious tournaments. The rest of us just need to get the right feel using the right material to create the right level of fill. Someone may actually come up with the wonderful ability to make plastic “corn” shaped pellets with exact weight per kernel using recycled milk jugs…wouldn’t that be resourceful?

  3. travis July 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm #

    I had a man at the ag store tell me if he knew what i was using the corn for he wouldnt sell it to me, Is their a shortage of corn. Kelly your right you can use what you want for bags. Reground milk bottles would work,If you repelitized it corn size. You would have to make a lot of bags to make it profitable

  4. debbie July 13, 2009 at 12:57 am #

    can i just use the popping corn to make my bags with?

  5. travis July 13, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    My first bags were pop corn. They didnt have the right feel, no dust from popcorn, But they worked, and if you get mad at the game you can always pop the corn.

  6. Michael July 19, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    Hello
    I am confused about the size the corn hole bags need to be before filling. Several sites all say 6 x 6 before filling? they all say start with 7 x 7 material and put a 1/2 seam so this will leave a 6 x 6 before filling? Before you answered and said 7 x 7 before filling?
    thank you

  7. jennifer July 30, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    hello! i am new to cornholing and i need some help!! i borrowed a friends set for a cookout at my house. everyone had tons of fun with it, but afterward, they accidentally got left outside and it rained overnight. i tried to just let them dry out naturally, but they seemed to get mold and mildew on them. i don’t know what to do!! are they ruined?! ANY help would be appreciated!!! thanks!!

  8. LIZZY July 30, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    Michael, to answer your question of measurements of the bag….Yes the bags need to be cut to 7×7 before you sew, 1/2 seam on ALL 4 sides, that means it will be a finished product of 6X6

  9. CORNHOLE QUEEN July 30, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    I am confused why so many folks are having problems with mold and mildew, We always put an area rug under the hole, make sure they are dry and clean before we store them into a small travel bag and take into the house, Just take care of the bags like you would anything else!!!! If you need too, put the filled bags into the sun or very low heated oven….A QUiCK TIP…SPRAY the Bags before you fill them with your filler of a water-proof spray, inside and out (like you would for your tents and sleeping bags) let that dry 24-30 Hours then fill the bags :0) Just read the instructions on the can before spraying…..this will prevent mildew and water asorbing into the bags, also helps them stay clean. HOPE THIS HELPS

  10. jennifer July 30, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    cornhole queen….
    i know this is a stupid question and i definitely know i should have brought them inside right away (drinking + cornhole = bad decisions!) but can i put them in the oven even after they’ve molded? thanks for your help!

  11. CORNHOLE QUEEN July 31, 2009 at 12:44 am #

    Oh der, um Use a straight solution of 5% acidity distilled white vinegar. This cleans the mold and prevents it from coming back, because it also kills the roots . Don’t use Bleach it does not get rid of the spores. Sad thing is, if they have corn, beans or any item like that, ya just might want to buy new ones or make some new ones….sorry, but I think the bags are history. ๐Ÿ™

  12. Lucyred August 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Bruce (and anyone else with bugs in their bags)

    Zapping the bags in the microwave will work much better than putting them in the freezer!

  13. reksat August 29, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    I’ve used duckcloth for bags,but they busted easily after being double stitched,now I use a heavy camo fabric called advantage max and it holds up a lot better and takes a good beating.

  14. Andrew October 14, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Where can I get the corn feed to fill the bags in a reasonable size? I went by the place where I though I could get smaller quantities, but they only sell 50 lb bags.

  15. Luvs Cornhole October 14, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    Try any IFA, or any store that carries such things as farming products. They carry everything. Dry beans work just as well Andrew, and break down for the dust. That you can buy in 5lb bags. (The dust is what makes it very fun and challenging)…..also, for anyone concerned about moisture. You know those bags that come packed in products that keep the moisture out? KEEP THEM, and place in your canvas or heavy fabric bag to carry your corn bags in. Always store your bags in something that can breath, nothing plastic or metal.

  16. Gina October 25, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    Hi. We are making a cornhole game for our daughter. My husband wants to put corn in the bags. A friend of mine works at a rental place and says they put pea gravel in all their beanbag games. No mildew, smell, bugs, etc. What do you think?

  17. Eric October 25, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    Hi Gina,
    I’ve never used it pea gravel myself but I’ve heard it works pretty well. You won’t have the dust and it might wear out bags faster. There are many benefits as you mentioned above though.

  18. Grace H. October 25, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    Hey Gina,
    I did end up using aquarium gravel for the very mold/pest issues you mentioned…
    I picked aquarium gravel over pea gravel because some of the rocks in pea gravel mixes can be quite large (consider what size corn kernels are…), just thought that I would throw that out there for consideration… if you do use pea gravel, I might consider sifting out the larger bits.
    Also, the volume of the aquarium gravel’s 14-16oz is slightly less than that of corn, leading to a different looser feel to the bag… I imagine that pea gravel might be more dense than aquarium gravel, making this more of an issue?

  19. Grace H. October 25, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    PS — for Andrew and others looking for corn, also try a pet store — one store around me has the ‘bulk bins’ with a scooper (for bird seed, etc.) and one of the things they have is corn (whole & cracked, but you’ll want whole) for feeding squirrels (not that *I* would feed squirrels, but I digress…)

  20. New Player CB December 16, 2009 at 12:54 am #

    just bought bags from http://www.beaverbags.com and they are the bomb. The Codura material is unbelievable (I do like the idea of Sunbrella same time of material). I tried making them but just didnt come out right. If anyone else has bought them on another site they would recommend please let me know.

  21. Bryan December 24, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    I’ve got a problem! I’m sewing my bags and I don’t have a scale to weigh the corn. I’ve got less than 24 hours to complete the set to give to my brother for Christmas. Does 16 oz. of corn by volume equal one pound by weight?

  22. Lizzy December 24, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    According to the ACA Regulation rules. It is 2 cups which equals out to be 14 and 16 ounces…

  23. Liddo March 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    My cornhole bags are filthy! Is there a safe way to wash them with out causing mildew or corn breakdown?

  24. Sandy March 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    I have a friend who used a moldy corn bag, had an allergic recation to the mold and broke out with hives all over her body. This mold is not safe to breath, as all farmers know. The week before prom time was ugly!! Be safe.

  25. Lizzy March 27, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Curious !!!!!! What happened to Common Sense? Why in the world would anyone use a moldy bag? Storing them in a dry enviroment is the key, If they are moldy, buy new ones or make new ones. Plain and simple. Not being rude, but come on folks ๐Ÿ™‚ Look up Mold, if you do not address it within 24-48 hours. You have serious problems. If there is any indication that the bags are wet, then get them dried out ASAP….Mold can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors or outdoors , mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture….Just again, if you do not address the bags within 24 hours, you have problems. Plain and Simple…..

  26. james p March 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    hello im making a set of cornhole boards for my eagle project as a boy scout and i was wondering if the boards can stay outside during winter and fall and not get ruined from snow and rain. Im trying to make it less work for the beneficiaries so they don’t have to store the boards.

  27. Lizzy March 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    @ james P—-a lot of time, effort and Money is invested in homemade boards and bags. Personally I keep ours in the garage (the boards that is) …and the bags inside. and I still protect the boards in the garage with heavy blankets and a moisture barrier. I wouln’t keep them outside at all where snow and rain can get to them but that is my personal opinion, and because we work with wood everyday of the year. I also live where there is a lot of snow . How about on the wall in a garage? under a bed, attic? neighbors? maybe in your church storage room. anyplace but outside ๐Ÿ™ You will regret it I am thinking ….Good Luck :).

  28. james p March 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    ok thank you for the advice maby i can get them to move it into a nearby shed.

  29. Seth h April 27, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    Yeah so I also usually bring my bags in every night. However cornhole Is often played while drinking and they were left out(nobody is perfect) well it rained the past three days so no cornhole playing. I was convinced they were ruined but put them in the oven for about 5 hrs at 225 and my favorite bags are back to normal

  30. Rhonda Reynolds June 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    How many yards of fabric does it take to make 8 cornhole bags? And where is the best place online to buy it?

  31. Rhonda June 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    How many yards of fabric does it take to make 8 cornhole bags? And where is the best place online to buy it? I hope to be making alot of them so can I would like to buy it in bulk.

  32. Jim June 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    My new bags are too slick. as soon as they hit the board they fly off. How do i make them a little less slick or how do i slow down the board?

  33. dave July 11, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    im working on a new game ,yes with corn bags and the the board is a pool table.the 2 wholes on top of each side is 3 points,the 2 wholes on the sides in the middle are 2 points and there is a line across the middle just above the 2 wholes in the middle ,say on the board above the line is 1 point,the 2wholes on the bottom is -1 point just in case you go over 21 points you can go to them on each side and lower your points to get to 21 .any bag under the line in the middle is 0 points and bags hitting the ground first then to the board dont count..new game,corn pool,,yes you have the same size board as corn whole,but looks like a pool table..whole on the sides and corners..i made it up and everyone should have both games going..there a blast

  34. dave July 11, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    the bags should be the same as corn whole game,you can make the bags with what you want in them but the same stuff for all bags,yes 8 bags only..same size ,same wieght ,same stuff..think about it .my wife kept hitting the sides of corn whole and getting mad at the game..now she can hit the sides and wins alot now..same size board also..no wholes in the middle..did you ever see a pool table with a whole in the middle?..the two top corner wholes are 3 points and the two sides are 2 points and the line in the middle just above the two side wholes strate across are 1 point and the two wholes on the bottom are -1 point and the line down is 0 points in the middle..try it its not that easy..the holes are 7″ big and the bags are 6″,just like pool the ball is just big enuff to fit..you can make them 8″ or 7 in a half” big..thats up to you..now working on a bowling game..

  35. Lizzy July 11, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    That is great Dave….THANK YOU so much for sharing your wonderful plans and ideas. You are appreciated. I will do this. It sounds like a complete BLAST!!!!!! Thanks again.

  36. Brownman July 24, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    For the boards I have used b/c plywood. I have also used professional birch plywood. If you do your paint right it should not matter as long as the plywood is 1/2 inch thick. I use a primer (2-3 coats) spread on light each time. I do not sand because if you take your time painting I do not feel you need to but that is just my opinion.

    I do my own decals but I can reply later to a post about decals.

    Once I know the main color of the boards I again take my time and put on 2-3 coats (again no sanding).

    The reason I do not sand in between coasts is I take my time painting like I said before and I apply a minwax. I usually put on more coats than I do with paint but I make sure I do light coats.

    Bags I cut 8×8 duck canvas/cloth. Then I measure a 7×7 square on the inside. This allows me room to double stitch on the outside of this square or shorten the bags if needed. I make my bags 6 1/2 by 6 1/2. Corn and bag weigh 15 oz together (I use a postal scale).

    Making the bags 7×7 with one more ounce seems like it would work and I might try it on new bags for my first board set I made for my father-n-law. These bags have lasted three years and been soaked three times. They have dried out fine but over time the bags have lost weight.

    I have made 5 sets I take my time and they each cost me around if not under $75 to make.

    Any other questions about
    screws,
    wood putty,
    legs,
    decals,
    or anything else I am not thinking of I will try and respond promptly.

    My way is not for everyone but I have made enough sets to learn some tricks of the trade.

  37. Brownman July 26, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    Found a great way to get consistent bag measurements.

    I measured out a 8×8 square and cut it out of a vanilla file folder. I did the same for a 7X7 square as well.

    Took the 8×8 put it on my duck canvas and traced around it and then cut out my square. Next I took my 7×7 square placed it in the middle of the 8×8.

    Lined it up to get a1/2 inch border of cloth sticking out.
    Traced 7×7 square onto 8×8.

    Used the line as my sewing line. Went once around and then went back again around the outside of the 7×7 square so I would get the double stitch.

    Used postal scale and got all 8 bags to weigh exactly one 1 lb. total.

    All bags turned out really close to 6×6. if not exactly that size.

  38. DaveN August 1, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    Thanks for the tip Brownman. I used that template method, but made mine 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 and 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 respectively.

  39. Brownman August 2, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    Hey Daven

    Glad and idea of mine helped a fellow builder.

    So when you said your dimensions you were talking about the templates or the finished product?

  40. DaveN August 2, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    I created templates a half inch smaller than yours. The finished/filled bags are 6 x 6.

  41. Brownman August 2, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Daven

    How many sets have you made or is this your first outing?

  42. Teresa August 5, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    I am having trouble finding whole corn! I have made several sets of bags….all of them have developed mold and corn weavels! I have several mad people….they have stored them well and not been wet….big problem!

  43. DaveN August 6, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    @Brownman: This is my first time making them, but I’m making two sets at once so the templates were very helpful.

    @Teresa: I bought a 40lb bag of whole corn Deer Feed at Tractor Supply in the deer hunting section. They had an 11lb bag of whole corn in the bird feeding section, but it was slightly more expensive than the 40lb bag. I needed 16 lbs to make two sets, so I went with the 40lb bag.

    I stored the bad of corn in our extra freezer for a few days while I was gathering the rest of the materials in hopes of killing off any bugs.

  44. Linda Mechel August 6, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    When I get my corn I lay it in a large cookie sheet or cake pan -not too deep- and put it in an oven set VERY LOW about 140-150 degrees. I let it sit in there until it gets to 150 degrees or so. I let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. It kills most bugs and eggs and does not harm the corn.

    I also tried 1 pound crushed corn to every 20 pounds whole corn mixing it well. It is not a lot and the bags form the dust a little quicker.

  45. Brownman August 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    TERESA

    There really is no way to stop the corn from molding. You just have understand every year inspecting your board and your bags is a must. I do tiny repairs on my boards every couple of years and look at my bags and decide if I want to make new ones that year. It is a pain but unless you go with plastic pellets it is just nature.

    Plastic tub sealed tight with rice is a good way to store bags.

    Again just my opinion but I have read of a lot of ideas on earlier posts.

    DAVEN
    I would like to see your boards if you have pictures I can post one of my email addresses.

  46. Tim August 9, 2010 at 1:36 am #

    I used a semi-gloss paint on my boards, and the bags slide pefectly. I added decals to the boards and then applied a Minwax polycrylic coating, and now the boards seem more tacky and the bags don’t slide like they used to. Just wondering what you guys use as a clear coat. Thanks.

  47. Jim August 15, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    For anyone who wants to know how many bags you can get from a yard of fabric….I just purchased two yards of Duck Cloth. At 5 x 3 ft you can get exactly 20 bags from one yard if you cut them correctly at 7″ x 14″. ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Lynn August 15, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    Where can you get plastic pellets at the best price?

  49. sawnscissors August 19, 2010 at 2:05 am #

    My husband and I have been making cornhole sets for the past 5 years and haven’t had an issue yet. We just shipped a set to England…that was exciting. We make both pellet bags and corn bags. In our opinion people are getting more into pellets each year. Please feel free to email us with any questions or interest in a set. We will respond quickly and include pictures.

  50. Patti Boring August 19, 2010 at 7:32 am #

    I seen where someone said to put corn in oven to kill bugs,,I put my bags in the micowave for about 2 to 3 minutes, this kills anything that is in the corn,,brings out moisture,I let dry on a rack and they are good to go. I also store them in a 1 gallon plastic container with lid,,mice can not get in, if you can find glass container is best.

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