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DIY Gingham Chicken Bean Bags + Cornhole Board Tutorial

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Whether you use these adorable DIY Gingham Chicken bean bags for a cornhole or bean bag toss game, a child's toy or just as cute decor for your home, they are sure to bring a smile to your face.

Only the most basic of sewing skills are needed to make these adorable DIY Gingham Chicken bean bags. 

Don't have a sewing machine?  No worries.  They can be sewn entirely by hand. You could probably even use a hot glue gun if you wanted to!

Either way, this is a fun afternoon project.  Using scraps from your fabric pile (or an old shirt from a second hand store!), you'll have a whole "flock" sewn up in no time.

And whether you use these bean bags for a cornhole or bean bag toss game, as a child's toy or just as cute decor for your home, they are sure to bring a smile to your face.

A Gingham Chicken bean bag would make a wonderful "coop warming" gift for a chicken loving friend or neighbor.  And it's the perfect DIY project to do with kids this summer on a rainy day. Chicken bean bags for the win! 

About Cornhole

Cornhole is an easy game to learn to play—and perfect for adults and kids of all ages. It’s simple to make your own board (the one I designed has legs that fold for easy storage) and then fun to up the ante by stitching together some adorable bean bags shaped like chickens.

Cornhole, or parlor quoits as it was originally called back in the late 1800's, became popular again in the mid 1970's and 80's and is now enjoying another resurgence in popularity along with the move to more simple, country living.

The basic rules of cornhole consist of two people (or teams) tossing bean bags and trying to get them into a hole on a wooden board. 

Three points for getting the bag into the hole, one point for getting the bag onto the board—the first team to reach twenty-one wins!

How to Make Gingham Chicken Bean Bags 

Gather your supplies together first. For more interesting bean bags, choose several different color fabrics. 

What you Need

Cotton gingham fabric (you can get at least four bean bags from an adult button up shirt)
Felt in several colors including yellow, red or orange 
Measuring tape 
Straight pins 
Coordinating thread to match your fabric 
Embroidery thread in dark color, i.e. black, gray or brown or small beads to use for eyes 
Embroidery needle 
Black Sharpie, optional 

Dried whole corn, beans, rice or peas

What you Do

  1. To make your bean bags, cut the fabric into a 6”x12” rectangle for each bag.
  2. Then cut the felt into shapes to resemble a chicken’s comb, wattles and beak. You will need one set for each piece of fabric. Your pieces should be about quarter-sized, or about an inch, in length/width. 
  3. Next, lay your fabric out flat with the short end at the top and arrange your chicken “parts” in the upper right hand corner as shown below in the upper right-hand corner of the fabric.
  4. Bring the bottom of the fabric up to line up the short ends, leaving you with a fold along the bottom. 
  5. Using the straight pins, pin the beak, comb and wattles in place and then hand or machine stitch along the top and right side, leaving the fourth side open.
  6. Turn your bean bag right side out and using the embroidery thread and needle, create the eyes by making a French knot on either side of the face. (Alternatively, you can use small beads for the eyes or just mark them with a black Sharpie)
  7. Fill the bag with 14 oz. of corn (or beans, peas, etc). 
  8. Finally, turn your bean bag into a pyramid by positioning the head of the chicken at the top, then flattening the open end so the seam on the side where the comb is lies centered on the one remaining open seam (see photo below)
  9. Turn under the raw edges twice and pin.
  10. Then sew the final seam shut. 
  11. Repeat as needed to make as many gingham chicken bean bags as you wish!

Watch as I make my board and beanbags on Welcome to my Farm!


Steps to make DIY Gingham Chicken Bean Bags

Cut out your felt comb, beak and wattles.

Position them along the upper right hand corner of the fabric.

Sew along two sides.

Turn right side out.

Make an eye (French knot, bead or dot with a Sharpie).

Measure out 14 oz. of corn, beans or rice.

Fill the "bag".

Photo credit: Breezy Photography

Fold so the seam is centered along the middle of the open edge.

Pin in place and sew up the last seam.

Steps to Make a Cornhole Board

What you Need:

Piece of plywood cut to 24" x 48" (61 x 122 cm)
1 × 3 (19 × 76 mm) board cut to these lengths: one at 19" (48 cm), two at 12" (30.5 cm), and two at 4" (10.2 cm)
Two sets of 11⁄2" (38 mm) hinges and screws
Two scrap 1 × 10 (19 × 254 mm) boards at least 2' (61 cm) long
White outdoor paint
Spray paint in contrasting color
Wood glue

Tools you Need:

Circular or miter saw
Cordless drill with #2 Phillips head bit
Specialty Tool:  6" (15.2 cm) hole saw with pilot drill bit

What you Do:

1. Using the hole saw, cut a hole in the plywood centered horizontally—with the top of the hole positioned 9" (22.8 cm) from the top of the board. 

2. Paint the legs of your board, the cut 1 x 3 (19 x 76 mm), and the plywood with the white paint and let them dry completely.

3. Now it’s time to make some stripes on your board. Position the two scrap 1 × 10 (19 × 254 mm) boards along your plywood board where you want your white stripes to be. 

4.Then, using the spray paint, spray the exposed board in your contrasting color. Let dry, then, move the scrap boards down your plywood and repeat the spray painting to create stripes top to bottom.

5. Once completely dry, attach the 4" (10.2 cm) boards to the front of your plywood, then attach
the 12" (30.5 cm) boards to the back, using the hinges. 

6. Position the longer 1 × 3 (19 × 76 mm) board between the back legs as a support and glue into place using the wood glue. Let dry completely.

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