Using Repurposed Denim To make Backyard Game Bags

by Texas Homesteader ~
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As y’all already know, RancherMan & I wanted a personalized Ranch-Themed Cornhole game for our annual family reunion (ie: RanchFest) that we host each year.

We bought the materials and RancherMan got busy building the customized ranch-themed cornhole game.

I wanted to make the cornhole bags myself using my stash of denim scraps from RancherMan’s ripped jeans.

Come see how easy it is to whip up these cornhole bags yourself.

We needed 8 bags to go with our custom Cornhole Game. Look how easy it is to make your own Cornhole Game Bags - they turned out GREAT! #TexasHomesteader

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Although we could have simply *purchased the bags to go with the game, I wanted to make the bags myself. Repurposing, bebe!!

Luckily it was super easy even for a novice seamstress like myself. (hummm… I don’t think I can call myself a seamstress, even a NOVICE one!)

But if I can do it, ANYONE can!

Finding Sturdy Material

Of course the denim material in RancherMan’s jeans is a nice sturdy material for my cornhole bags. And I love everything denim.

I’d already scavenged the back pockets of these ripped jeans to make a fresh supply of no-sew denim coasters. But the jean leg sections would be perfect for making my cornhole bags! 

You’d better believe where denim is involved I can be a repurposing queen. I love denim!

I wanted a 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ finished size so I smoothed out the fabric of RancherMan’s old jeans and measured eight 6 ” squares out of the legs and marked them with pencil. Then I used straight pins to hold the squares together as I cut them out.

I decided to use two different colors of denim to make it easier to see the different team’s bags. So I cut out 4 squares of dark denim and 4 squares of faded denim. (*See note below about faded denim material’s strength)  

When I was cutting the fabric squares I left the one seam of the jean leg intact so I’d only need to sew 3 seams to complete the bag. Oh yeah, I’m lazy errr I mean EFFICIENT like that!

We needed 8 bags to go with our custom Cornhole Game. Look how easy it is to make your own Cornhole Game Bags - they turned out GREAT! #TexasHomesteader

Sewing The Denim Bags

When all my squares had been cut out I turned the denim wrong-side out and sewed an approximately 1/4″ seam around 3 1/2 sides, leaving a small 2-3″ section unsewed. 

I turned the bags right-side out again through that unsewed portion, using a butter knife to reach the farthest edges. Now that small unsewn section will be used to fill the bags with corn.

Custom Decorating Your Cornhole Bags

Now my repurposed denim cornhole game bags are ready to fill, but first I wanted to decorate them.

So I laid each bag out flat and used a permanent sharpie marker to boldly draw two different designs on our denim bags. Oh yeah, I like it!

Filling The Cornhole Game Bags

Now all that’s left to do is fill the bags with corn & finish sewing ’em shut! I suppose you could use dried beans or maybe rice. But traditionally these bags are filled with deer corn. 

We had already purchased a bag of deer corn, so using a digital scale we measured out 16 ounces (about a pound) of corn for each bag.

Then using a funnel we poured the measured corn into each bag and used a strong clip to hold each one closed until I could sew tightly closed the final section of each bag.

We needed 8 bags to go with our custom Cornhole Game. Look how easy it is to make your own Cornhole Game Bags - they turned out GREAT! #TexasHomesteader

Even though we purchased a 50-lb bag of corn, we only used 8 lbs for our cornhole bags. I’m guessing that all that leftover corn will go into RancherMan’s game feeder this fall. 

Hummm…  d’ya think he purposely planned that??  LOL

Finishing Up The Cornhole Game Bags

Now that the bags have all been filled, all that’s left to do to finish them up is to sew shut the hole I’d left for filling them. I’ll hand-stitch the last 3″ section of each bag shut but I wanted to double-stitch it to make sure it would hold strong.

So I folded the seam in to match the rest of the bag that had already been sewn and hand-stitched a simple but tight running stitch first along the length of the opening to sew the two sides together.

Then I went back over it with tight looping stitches to make sure the bags were tightly sewn and could withstand the rigors of tossing.  

Oh yeah baby, you’d better believe my family can get cut-throat when we’re competing with each other!

We needed 8 bags to go with our custom Cornhole Game. Look how easy it is to make your own Cornhole Game Bags - they turned out GREAT! #TexasHomesteader

So there you have it! Making our own custom cornhole bags was an easy project that cost us nothing more than a little corn! 

Although we used these bags for our customized cornhole game, you could use them for any game that requires tossing a beanbag. I’d think they would be great to have on hand for kids parties for them to use with their own games!

What I’d Have Done Differently

Faded Denim Failure

I found the faded denim material was not near as sturdy as RancherMan’s regular Wrangler jean denim. We had some cornhole game bag failures with those faded bags. 

I’ll replace them with RancherMan’s jean material, but turn the fabric inside out to achieve the different color… 

I also took a reader’s advice and although I still double-stitched the edges of each bag, the first stitch was straight and the second was zigzag right over the straight stitch. Hopefully that further strengthens the seam!

Deer Corn Critters

I used actual deer corn to fill my cornhole game bags. But in storage I found some sort of weevil attacked the corn inside of some of the bags and ate the corn! I had some cornhole bags that felt like they were filled with sawdust. Really!

If you use deer corn to fill your cornhole bags, you might want to toss ’em in the freezer periodically to make sure any critters that try to take hold are killed. Or do what I now do and store them in airtight Repurposed Coffee Cans.

Synthetic Corn Option

Or how about this option? RancherMan found *Synthetic Cornhole Bag Filler online. Who knew??!!

It’s made to look, feel and even weigh the same as deer corn. And critters won’t ever be a problem using this synthetic corn option!

~TxH~

Links Included In This Post:

Other Repurposed Denim Crafts

Easy Beginner’s Crafts & Projects We Love

…And Much More

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14 thoughts on “Using Repurposed Denim To make Backyard Game Bags

  1. Grandmas House DIY

    I’ve been planning on making our own corn hole game for the yard so I’m definitely saving this! – Pinned! Thank you for sharing with at the To Grandma’s House we go Wednesday link party! Hope to see you there again tomorrow!

    Reply
  2. Renee

    Great idea! My mother made us all quilts from our old jeans. Such a nice thick material for so many uses. Plus denim looks perfect for a game of corn corn hole!

    Reply
  3. Marie

    I love that you made these out of denim! I bet that makes them super sturdy! Thanks for sharing your DIY with us at Merry Monday this week!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      The dark denim was bullet-proof, but the faded denim was much weaker. I’ve been remaking the faded denim bags with the dark denim of RancherMan’s Wrangler jeans, but I’m turning them inside out to achieve the lighter color I’m after. So far it’s worked perfectly!

      Reply
  4. Mary-the boondocks blog

    I am huge on repurposing and this is definitely a great one. I love taking old clothes and repurposing them for something else. This is the perfect use for old jeans. They are sturdy and will be able to stand up to the game. Taylor thank you for linking up with us and giving us lots of Sweet Inspiration. Pinning and tweeting.

    Reply
  5. ColleenB.~Texas

    Besides doing the straight stitch, I would suggest doing a small zig-zag stitch right along the straight stitch for that little extra stability. All and all you done a great job in your sewing and great use of using old jeans. A person can always pick up old pair of jeans at GoodWill Stores, etc.; just watch for the 50 % off days on clothing. If you didn’t want to use jean material than my second choice would be to use Duck Cloth.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      The zigzag stitch is a great tip Colleen. I find myself having to remake the faded denim bags, the material just wasn’t heavy enough to withstand the rigors of the game. I’ll be cutting/sewing the replacement bags today and I’ll make the lighter-colored underside of the denim the part that shows so there’ll still be two different colored bags. I’ll be sure to use your zigzag tip to reinforce them. Stay cool today, girl – it’s gonna be a hot one again! ~TxH~

      Reply

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