Anyone who grew up playing yard games with family or friends could probably tell you how much fun cornhole is. Cornhole, bags, bean bag toss… the game has taken on many names, but the concept is still the same. It is a lawn game in which players take turns throwing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. The logistics are quite simple, and the game is incredibly fun. Homemade corn hole boards are a great alternative to the typical store-bought pair because they can be personalized to your liking, and are much more sentimental.
Making your own corn hole game is easier than it may seem and relatively inexpensive, just follow these steps and soon you will have your own homemade and personalized pair. Tip: smooth plywood is the best choice and will save quite a bit of time.
There are two ways to make homemade cornhole boards – you can either purchase predrilled cornhole boards or build them from scratch.
To make a cornhole board from scratch you will need –
- Two sheets of 2-foot x 4-foot x ½-inch plywood (or two pre-cut cornhole board tops)
- Four 2-inch x 4-inch x 8-foot framing studs
- Four 3/8-inch x 4-inch carriage bolts
- Sixteen 3/8-inch washers
- Sixteen 3/8-inch nuts
- Sixteen 3-inch wood screws
- Twenty-eight 1 ½-inch wood screws
- Use a carpenter square to mark a 25-degree angle at the end of a 2 x 4. Cut along the angled line.
- Measure 12 ¼ inches from the long side of the angle and mark a straight line. Cut the board on this line. This creates one leg. Repeat the process until you have four legs.
- If you don’t have a carpenter square, cut four legs to 12 ¼ inches long. Place a mark at 10 5/8 inches on one narrow side and use a straightedge to draw a diagonal line from this mark to the end of the leg. This line will be approximately 25 degrees.
- Cut the other 2 x 4 as follows:
- For the front and back, mark and cut four 21-inch lengths.
- For the sides, mark and cut four 48-inch lengths.
Assemble the Base
- Position two 21-inch boards between two 48-inch boards in the shape of a rectangle. (For best results, get the edges of the first corner flush and clamp them to your work surface before driving in the screws.)
- Follow this procedure for the rest of the corners.
- Use self-drilling screws. Or pre-drill pilot holes to use regular wood screws.
Attach the Top
- Attach a pre-cut cornhole plywood to each frame using 1 ½-inch wood screws.
Finish the Legs
- On the square end of each leg, mark a point 1 ¾ inches from the end and 1 ¾ inches from the side.
- On the square end of each leg, make a mark one inch from each side, then mark one inch down each side from the end.
- Connect the marks with a line to make a 45-degree cut line. Clamp each leg to the edge of your workspace and cut along these lines.
- Use sandpaper to round off the corners.
Attach the Legs
- Flip the cornhole board facedown.
- Place a leg in each of the corners on the end with the cornhole. Place a leg in each of the corners on the end with the cornhole. The rounded end with the hole for the carriage bolt should be toward the corner.
- Place a piece of cardboard below the leg. Leave ½-inch gap between the end of the leg and the end of the board base. Clamp the leg to the side of the frame.
- Use the 3/8-inch hole on the leg as a guide to drill through the frame. Make sure there is enough clearance for the leg to rotate.
- Attach each leg to the frame using 3/8-inch carriage bolts, adding two washers on each side of the leg bolts and nuts.
- Thread a nut onto the bolt and tighten it, then thread on another nut and tighten it, using it at as a “jam nut.”
- Test leg to make sure it will rotate freely.
- Flip the board upright and measure to ensure the top corner stands 12 inches tall.
- Repeat on the other cornhole board.
Paint (This is the fun part)
- Sand and paint your cornhole board with exterior paint or use exterior stain. This will make sure your cornhole board is protected from the elements when outdoors.
- Official cornhole boards will have a semi-gloss finish. This can be obtained with semi-gloss paint or will semi-gloss polyurethane.
- Allow the boards to dry, according to directions.
Although making homemade cornhole boards will take a lot of time and patience, having your own set that has been made by you and nobody else is worth it.
Happy building, friends!