Sewing

Beginner Sewing: How to Make DIY Bean Bags with Fave Fabric

September 20, 2019

Show your team spirit.

It’s that time of year. Football is in full swing and that means tailgating and yard games. Get in on the action with easy-to-make bean bags that feature your alma mater or favorite team. Actually you can make these simple bean bags with any favorite fabric. The cool thing about them is that you’ll use Omnigrid® fussy cut templates to make sure the dominant motif of your fabric – whatever it may be – is centered on the bags.

DIY bean bag sewing project with Georgia Bulldogs & Clemson Tigers collegiate fabric


Gather your supplies.

Omnigrid supplies:

Dritz® supplies:

Other supplies:

If you are making bean bags specifically for the popular game of cornhole, you will need to make a total of 8 bean bags (4 each of 2 different designs/colors). The quantities below are for 8 bags.

  • 1/2 to 1 yard of each fabric design (quantity will depend on motif); we used quilt weight fabric
  • ¼ yard each of 2 different solid duck canvas colors (for the backs of the bags; to match your quilt weight fabric)
  • 1/2 yard medium weight interfacing
  • Sewing machine with matching thread
  • Iron and pressing surface
  • Feed corn or weighted plastic pellets
  • Kitchen scale

Note:

  • ½” seam allowance

Prep your fabric.

Printed fabric:

  • 4 pcs: 7” x 7”, with fussy cut motif centered on square of fabric
  • 4 pcs: 7” x 7”, with fussy cut motif centered on square of fabric

1st canvas color:

  • 4 pcs: 7” x 7”

2nd canvas color:

  • 4 pcs: 7” x 7”

Interfacing:

  • 8 pcs: 7” x 7”

How to Use an Omnigrid Fussy Cut Template to Center Designs on Squares of Fabric

Check out the fussy cut templates.

This blog post and YouTube video will show you how easy it is to use Omnigrid fussy cut templates to perfectly center fabric motifs within a frame.

Frame and mark your motif.

Position the template over the desired motif and a mark 7” square using the holes in the template. (For our bags, we wanted the team logo centered on each bag, so notice the crosshatch in the center of the Clemson paw above.)

How to Use an Omnigrid Fussy Cut Template to Center Designs on Squares of Fabric

Connect the dots and trim.

Draw lines to connect corner marks; cut out each square. The Omnigrid 360 rotating cutting mat makes the trimming easy – spin the mat and trim each side without moving your body.

Ironing the back of a piece of fabric with a Rowenta iron (sewing project)

Apply interfacing.

Fuse interfacing to the back of fussy cut squares. The interfacing is necessary to help build up the weight of the fabric to closer match the weight of the canvas. If you are using canvas for both sides, there is no need to interface.

Cutting a piece of fabric with Omnigrid scissors (sewing project)

Pair solid fabric backs with printed fronts.

Match fussy cut squares to coordinating canvas squares; pin with right sides together. Stitch around sides with ½” seam leaving a 3” to 4” opening in the middle of one side. Be sure to backstitch at both sides of opening. Trim corners.

Using a Dritz Ezy Hem hem gauge sewing tool to measure a hem (sewing project)

Use an Ezy-Hem Gauge to press seam allowances.

Here’s a tip for you. Before turning, press under seam allowances at opening. Using the Ezy-Hem gauge makes this tip super easy to do. This will keep you from guessing how much to fold your seam allowances in later and makes them nice and neat. Check out our Ezy-Hem gauge blog for lots of great tips and uses.

Using a Dritz point turner/seam creaser sewing tool (sewing project)

Push out corners with a point turner.

Turn bean bags right side out and push out corners with point turner. (Point turner is shown how it would be used inside of the bean bag. See more about this handy sewing tool.) Press if needed.

DIY bean bag sewing project - weighing and filling bag with dried corn

Add bean bag filling.

Fill bean bags with corn or pellets. Each bean bag should weigh between 14 and 16 oz. A kitchen scale will help you get the weight just right.

DIY bean bag sewing project with Clemson tigers collegiate fabric

You’re done.

Pin opening sides together and stitch closed using a zipper foot. That’s it!

DIY bean bag sewing project with Clemson tigers collegiate fabric

Check out both sides.

Because the Clemson design we wanted to use is a quilt weight fabric, we used the solid orange duck canvas on the backs of the bags and interfaced the quilting fabric to make it an equal weight.

You’ve got options! If you use a duck canvas for the fronts and backs the interfacing step can be eliminated.

DIY bean bag sewing project with Georgia Bulldogs collegiate fabric

Make another set.

For our game of cornhole, we made 4 Clemson bags and 4 Georgia bags. Notice how that bulldog logo is nice and centered on the bag thanks to the fussy cut template.

DIY bean bag sewing project with Georgia Bulldogs & Clemson Tigers collegiate fabric

Game on.

Talk about a good match! You’ll have fun making the bean bags and even more fun playing cornhole with your custom bean bags.

Take a look at all of our beginner sewing projects and get inspired to make something today!