Sew your own simple beanbags for a super fun game you can set up and play anytime, anywhere!

Close up photo of a child playing a bean bag toss.

DIY Beanbag Toss Game Photo © Margaret Lampert

This fun DIY project comes together quickly and makes for hours of summer fun. Make your beanbags as big or small as you like—or even vary the sizes for added interest (and game-play challenge!).

Embellish your beanbag with embroidery, if you want. Just make sure to decorate your pieces of fabric before you sew them together and fill them up! Photo © Margaret Lampert

Supplies:

  • Enough craft felt, polar fleece, or felted wool to cut a front and back piece
  • Straight pins
  • A small bowl (or a square cut from cardboard) for tracing (any size 3 to 5 inches is good)
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery floss or sturdy thread
  • Sharp needle
  • Rice or other grains, lentils or other small dried beans, or popcorn, for filling
  • Kitchen funnel (optional), or a piece of paper or small spoon

Directions:

  1. Stack or fold the fabric so there are two layers and stick a pin through the middle to hold the layers together while you’re cutting. Trace the bowl or cardboard square onto the top layer with chalk. Keeping both pieces of fabric pinned together, carefully cut the shapes out. Taking your time here will make sewing easier, and you won’t have to fix rough edges later.

    Photo © Margaret Lampert

  2. Measure an arm’s length of embroidery floss, thread your needle, and knot the end. Starting in between the two layers, push your needle up through the top piece of fabric and pull the thread through until the knot is snugly against the underside.

    Photo © Margaret Lampert

  3. Stitch around the edge of both layers using a nice, even backstitch. It is important to make your stitches very close together so the filling won’t pop out, especially if you’re using rice.

    Photo © Margaret Lampert

  4. When you have about 1 inch left open, stop sewing but don’t tie off your thread yet; just lay the needle and thread out of the way or push the needle into the fabric to keep it safe. Use the unstitched hole to fill the bag with rice, beans, or the filling of your choice. A kitchen funnel makes this easy, but you can roll up a piece of paper to make a funnel if you like, or just use a small spoon and some patience.

    Photo © Margaret Lampert

  5. When the bag is full, finish stitching until you meet up with where you started, then tie off your thread and snip it close to the fabric. If it’s important to you to conceal the knot, you can push the needle between the two layers before knotting.

    Photo © Margaret Lampert


DIY Beanbag Toss Game Rules

To play this fun game, you’ll need three beanbags and three empty containers of varying sizes: a bucket, a flowerpot, and a soup can, for example. You can play by yourself, but it’s more fun with other people.

Set up:

Use a stick (or tape) to mark a line on the ground (or floor). Then arrange the containers in a row starting about 10 feet away, smallest to biggest (about 6 inches apart), with the smallest closest to you, and the biggest farthest away.

Play:

Take turns tossing all three of the beanbags and keeping score. Award 1 point for the largest container, 2 points for the medium, and 3 points for the smallest. The first person to get to 20 points wins!

Excerpted and adapted from Stitch Camp © by Nicole Blum and Catherine Newman.

Nicole Blum

Nicole Blum is a coauthor of Ciderhouse Cookbook, Stitch Camp, and Improv Sewing. She runs Carr’s Ciderhouse in Hadley, Massachusetts, with her husband, Jonathan Carr. Blum is… See Bio

Catherine Newman

Catherine Newman is the author of What Can I Say? and the award-winning bestseller How to Be a Person, as well as two parenting memoirs: Waiting for Birdy and Catastrophic Happiness, and… See Bio

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