DIY Sacks for 3 Legged Races and Sack Races

Sorry, not a very exciting picture ;-).

I made a set of eight burlap sacks for my nephew's outdoor b-day party. They'll be usedfor 3 - legged races and regular sack races. Pretty easy project! Very forgiving. Each bag takes about 20-25 minutes on the highest sewing speed.


  • Sewing machine and Thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Yard Stick
  • Iron
  • Burlap - approx. 10 yards for 8 bags

Burlap is $3.99/yard at my local store. Use a coupon to get it at $2.00/yard. Burlap comes in rolls of 48" wide (folded in half). This is the perfect waist width for most kids and small adults. That means we only need to sew down one side, bottom, and around the top edge.

Cut the fabric. The easiest way to cut burlap semi-evenly is to to measure the 41" length, pull a thread out, and cut in the empty space. My local Joann's store isn't known for cutting very evenly so you'll want to do this at the beginning of the yardage, too. Technically, you'd only need 9 1/2 yards for this project but I'd err on the side of caution and get 10 yards.

Pin the selvedges (the sides with the white thread running down the edge) together evenly. Sometimes the fold in the fabric is slightly off center so pinning is in your best interest.

Sew down the side of the bag right next to, not on, the frayed edge. Use a tight zigzag stitch. I used a stitch length of 1.2, width of 3.5 and tension of 2. This is a fun project to use up all those leftover bobbins! Some of my bags have different thread colors on the tops and bottoms of the seams. It's gives the bags a bit of homey, folksy charm.

Sew the bottom about 1/3 of an inch away from the cut edge.

Turn inside out and iron the seams down. You may want to use a yardstick to push out the seams.

Sew the side and bottom again. This will create a french seam, making the bag stronger since it's probably going to take quite a lot of abuse. Turn inside out again. Iron flat.

** Note: When you turn it inside out, you may see the original selvedge fray sticking out. You can cut it off. I left mine on there because I liked the way it looked!

Fold down the top about 1/2 inch, then fold down 1/2 inch again. This will encase the top and keep it from fraying. I did this by eye while sewing. I didn't bother ironing and pinning. Start sewing next to the side seam. Stop sewing once you reach the other side of the seam. I did not sew over the side seam because the seam was too big for my machine to handle comfortably. I don't know if you can tell in the pictures, but I used purple thread on the outside and put light blue thread in the bobbin!

Decorate as desired. I'm letting my niece decorate the bags. She great at painting and making things look fantastic:-).

Have a fun-filled week!

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