DIY Bean Bag Games
June 14, 2006 9:59 PM   Subscribe

Bean bag toss games in Chicago - can I buy or make my own before Saturday?

I've seen bean bag toss games (is there an exact definition of these? Super toss, corn hole?) in bars here in Chicago. Personally I consider it a poor man's horseshoes (which I love) but I'm hosting a BBQ on Saturday and trying to think of something fun to keep my guests entertained. Horseshoes are for the park... could I cobble together some bean bags and targets before Saturday? Do I use some cheap beans and an old sock or is there a better way? Is there anywhere around town I can score real bean bags and a target for cheap?
posted by wfrgms to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total)
Well, you can find out lots of information from the American Cornhole Association at

Here's a page with some basic instructions:

And here's a site that seems to have lotsa info on building your own sets:
posted by claytonius maximus at 10:50 PM on June 14, 2006

I don't know anything about how to make bean bag toss, but you could totally have a hula-hooping contest.
posted by radioamy at 11:02 PM on June 14, 2006

I like to use old socks and zip ties.
posted by mecran01 at 11:16 PM on June 14, 2006

My friends had a variation of this game called "Washers" or something equally uninspiring but fun none the less.

Basically, it was two boxes built w/ 2x4's approx 1.5'x1.5' w/ particle board as a bottom. A PVC pipe (prolly 4" or 5" diameter) was cut 2" long and attached at the center. The boxes were then filled w/ sand I believe. Then each team would have 5-2" diameter washers to try to toss into the center ring. Scoring I believe was similar to horseshoes. All the measurements are approx but I don't think it's really an exact science.

The nice thing about this was the portability. The boxes could just be stacked on top of one another and set up in pretty much any location w/ out taking up that much space when not in use.
posted by lannanh at 4:34 AM on June 15, 2006

Oh, I guess it's a real thing like corn holing. Here's some further info if your interesteed:

Here's a variation I know nothing about:
posted by lannanh at 4:40 AM on June 15, 2006

Sorry to keep posting separately to this thread but I'm having terrible insomnia and keep thinking about this topic for some reason.

Anyway, other backyard options could be:
Bocce Ball
I know that sets for these can easily be picked up at any sporting goods store.

My parents still have a set of Jarts (lawn darts). Man are those suckers scary, weighted, metal arrows. Nothing like impaling friends and family in the name of leisure. I hope they leave them to me when they die! Wheee!
posted by lannanh at 5:24 AM on June 15, 2006

Balloons + rice = bean bag!
posted by Robot Johnny at 6:12 AM on June 15, 2006

To learn to use a sewing machine, a friend had me make 3" squares. These would be perfect to fill with rice and make a beanbag. Super easy. It just took someone to set me up and get the machine threaded. But a) if you know someone with a sewing machine who will teach you how, or b) if you can prevail upon them to sew you squares, you're golden. Alternatively, needle and thread. It'd probably take you 2 hours max.

Just cut up some old shirts, draw same-size squares on what will be the inside, put the two squares back-to-back with the drawn-on parts facing out on both sides, line up the squares and stick a couple pins in to hold them in place, sew on the lines, except for a 1" gap in one corner, turn it inside out through that corner, fill with dried beans or rice or sand, then sew the corner shut. Not very hard!

Oh, and hula hoops, yeah! They could be your targets!
posted by salvia at 7:23 AM on June 15, 2006

Forgot to say, you want your fabric bigger than the actual square you plan to draw, since you need to sew a quarter- to half-inch inside the actual edge of the fabric. Too much edge and you end up with this fabric bunched-up inside, too little, and it slips through the stitches. If you find something square-shaped or cut a square out of cardboard to trace around, you can quickly draw as many squares as you want.

If I lived there I'd come over and help you since I don't think this description makes the project sound as easy as it actually is. Cut fabric, draw squares, sew on lines, flip inside-out, fill, sew shut. You could do it while watching a movie.
posted by salvia at 7:27 AM on June 15, 2006

Totally second lannanh's 2nd washers game. Very easy to make with a quick trip to Home Depot for a 1"x"12"x6' (2 3" decks) and a couple of 2"x4"s to make the rails underneath (or you can get a plywood sheet & make the deck a little wider). Pick up 8 3" washers & a spray paint can to paint one set (to differentiate between teams). All you need is a drill and a 4" hole saw to drill the 3 holes equally spaced per board and you're there. Should cost you about $10 (if you have or can borrow the hole saw, otherwise maybe $25)

Rules: Set up like horseshoes about 10 ft apart. Closest hole to you = 1 pt, middle 2 pt, farthest is 3 pt. Play is to 21 points - you must reach it exactly by targeting the necessary hole as you near 21. If you go over 21 pts you role back to zero and climb up again. Opposing teams take turns, so they can block/knock each other out. Many fun hours with beer in hand.
posted by Pressed Rat at 9:31 AM on June 15, 2006

Make that 2 3-foot decks
posted by Pressed Rat at 9:32 AM on June 15, 2006

I'm from Chicago, and one thing that might help you with your search is to know that the game you're talking about is called "baggo" in Chicago. It's a local dialect thing; I never heard the word 'cornholing' before reading this post, though a quick check on google seems to indicate that 'cornholing' is the preferred term in pretty much all the rest of the world.

Also, on google the price for a new set was usually around 90 bucks, which seems a bit exorbitant to me. But it seems to me like a little hunting around the city (secondhand sports stores, maybe?) could net you one at a much cheaper price.
posted by notswedish at 9:36 AM on June 15, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the responses - especially the clarification on what the the bean bag game is called in Chicago. I've decided to try out Lannanh's washers game as it takes up less space than Baggo. My major concern with Baggo was that the targets are really big and heavy... washers sounds cheap, small, and fun... plus I don't think many people are playing it yet. Thanks again!
posted by wfrgms at 10:37 PM on June 16, 2006

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