How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish

IMG 5298 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to FinishA couple years ago my family attended a cookout at my friend’s house. We had a great time chatting, eating, and just messing around. While my son was bouncing off the walls with the other kids my husband found a new love – cornhole.

If you are not familiar with cornhole it is a bean bag toss game where you throw bean bags at a raised platform trying to get the bean bag in a hole.

The cornhole board set my friends had was a miniature plastic version and not a “real” set. Not too long after that cookout my husband decided he wanted to make a real regulation sized cornhole board set and paint it with his favorite team’s logo (Go UK!).

Materials

  1. 4 – 2×4 (Cut to the following length)
    1. 4 – 4’ long
    2. 4 – 21” long
    3. 4 – 16” long
  2. 40 – 2 ½ “ Wood Screws (Drywall Screws)
  3. 2 – Plywood 2’x4’
  4. Sandpaper (3 different grains)
    1. 100
    2. 150
    3. 220
  5. Wood Filler
  6. Drywall Spackle
  7. 4 – 3/8 Carriage Bolts
  8. 4 – 3/8 Wing Nuts
  9. 4 – 3/8 Washers

Directions

First start by cutting the 2×4 into the proper lengths. You will need to have four pieces that are 4 feet long for the sides of the frame, four pieces that are 21 inches in length for the tops and bottom of the frame, and four pieces that are 16 inches in length for the legs.

IMG 3234 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish

Screw two of the 21 inch boards between two of the 4 foot boards making a rectangle. All the boards should be laying on their sides while doing this.

IMG 3240 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish

Now that you have the frame built it is time to put the playing surface on. To do this put a piece of plywood on top of the frame and place screws at each corner and at every foot interval around the entire frame. In the end you should have used a total of 12 screws attaching the playing surface to the frame.

IMG 3248 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to FinishIMG 3254 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish

The next step is the hardest step in the process. You need to sand all of the wood for a nice smooth finish. Start sanding all surfaces with the roughest grain (100 for me). You are free to do this anyway that you wish. Personally, I use a ¼ sheet electric sander. This really cuts down on the time that it takes to sand two large boards. My first colehole board set I made the mistake of sanding by hand which took over 3 hours for just one round of sanding and made my shoulders extremely sore. I swore to never to that again so I found a cheap electric sander on Craigslist for 10 bucks.

After cleaning off all of the saw dust off of the boards (I just used a broom to sweep the dust off of the boards) use wood filler to fill in all gaps and cracks. This is used primarily for the screw hole and gaps between the plywood. Once the wood filler has dried sand all of the surfaces again with the roughest grain sandpaper that you have (100). This will start to smooth out the wood filler.

Now you can switch to your medium grain sandpaper (150) and do a pass over the entire surface of all the boards. Then place the drywall Spackle all over the playing surface. This will insure that your playing surface is super smooth.

IMG 3469 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish

Once the drywall Spackle has dried use your medium grain sandpaper to sand down the playing surface again. Are you tired of sanding yet? Finally, you can use your finest grain sandpaper (220) to make one final pass over the entire surface of all of the boards.

Mark a spot on the top of the board that is 9 inches from the top and 12 inches from a side.  This will be the center point of your hole.

Now you must draw a circle on your board that is 6 inches in diameter with the new mark that you had made at the center. Below are a couple of different options that you have for cutting this hole.

  1. Go to your local hardware store and buy a 6” diameter Drill Bit. This will ensure a nice even round circle.
  2. You can also drill as large a hole as you can with a drill bit. After you have drilled the hole you can use a hand saw to cut around the mark that you have drawn.

IMG 4286 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish
After cutting the hole it is time to start working on the legs. Start by taking each of the four 16” 2×4’s and find the center of the widest part of the board. The center is about  1 ¾“ of the 16″ 2×4. Once you have found the center make a long line down the middle of the board.

Turn the board over so that the playing surface is face down. On the end of the board that has the hole take a scrap 2×4 and place it in a corner with the wide part flat against the top side of the board. Take the leg and place it in the same corner with the wide part of the leg against the side.

Using the line on the leg as a guide mark the side of the playing board so that it lines up with the line on the leg. Make a mark that is half way on the side of the playing board. This is the mark to drill the hole for the bolts.

Now line up the lines on the side of the board and the leg and place the scrap piece of wood directly behind the leg and place lots of pressure. Use a small drill bit to make a guide hole in the marked spot.

IMG 4288 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish

After drilling the guide hole switch to a 3/8 drill bit to make the hole larger and then place a carriage bolt through the side and through the leg.

Place the washer on so that it is next to leg and screw the wing bolt on to lock the leg into place. (You will be taking the legs off later to do some more cutting)

Now repeats these steps for each of the remaining 3 legs.

Once all of the legs are attached you can remove them one at a time. On the legs, round off the end around the hole making sure that you do not cut to close to the hole. This rounding will allow the legs to fold in and out.

Once you have cut a round shape on each end of each of the legs place them back in the proper spot and tighten them down.

Next you must find a table surface that is large enough to place the whole board on. On the top end of the board place something under the end and measure from the table to the top of the board. Place enough under the board to raise it 12” off the table. Make sure that one leg is folded completely out (the other should still be folded up), hanging over the side of the table, and is flat against the edge of the table.
IMG 4532 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish

Place a pencil at the edge of the table and draw a straight line along the table on the leg. This will allow you to cut the bottom part of the leg at an angle that will allow it to sit on the ground flat and level. Do this to the other leg as well.

Now when you measure from the floor to the top of the back of the board it should be sitting at 12” when the legs are folded out.
IMG 5268 How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish

You now have two complete cornhole boards. Wait! There is something missing!? I am sure you have a favorite team you would like to support. I just wrote a post about how to paint a cornhole board set (with pictures) that is sure to help you with your cornhole painting endeavors. Have you ever played cornhole before? Do you like it?

Disclosure

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19 responses to How to Make a Cornhole Board Set: Building a Cornhole Board from Start to Finish


  1. Ok I have to ask and I know I may sound a bit thick but still have to ask the question what the hell is a Cornhole Board??????????lol
    Jo-Anne recently posted..What is your most commonly used word or phrase when you are frustrated?My Profile

    • Hehe. It is a a bean bag toss game. You have two “cornhole” boards (a raised platform with a hole in it). You throw bean bags from behind the opposite platform and try to get them into the hole on the other platform. It you get the bean bag in the hole you score 3 points. If you land on the platform you get 2 points. Whoever reaches 21 first wins. It’s a fun game. You should give it a try if you ever happen to be around one :)
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

  2. Susan Cooper

    I LOVE this. It makes me want to go out and get the supplies to make this. Thank you for providing the details and the how to. :)))
    Twitter: SusanPCooper

    • Thanks! It is far cheaper to make one than buy one. Nice one’s sell for over $125. Once you have all of the generall supplies for this it is way cheaper to make them considering how cheap wood is.
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

  3. My grandpa had one of these that he had made. I played a few times but I don’t really remember much about this game. I will come back to see your finished project.
    Shelly recently posted..31 Days to Clean…The Reboot Day 3My Profile
    Twitter: frugalfamhome

    • You get 3 point for making the bean bag in the hole and 1 for landing on the platform. Who ever reaches 21 first wins. He is about done with the current set he is doing. I think he is just putting a gloss on it now.
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

  4. My family love cornhole! What a great project, love the idea :)
    Frugal in WV recently posted..Quaker Soft Baked BarsMy Profile

  5. Bree

    Would you believe I had no idea this game was called “Cornhole” until last summer? I know…. I’m special. :)

  6. Great project :)
    I came across your blog from SITS!
    Twitter: UniquelyEN

  7. Jamie

    Yours looks amazing!! I was just thinking how I’d love to make one of these for use this summer. =)

  8. Pingback: Cornhole Giveaway - Home Jobs by MOM

  9. Pingback: How to Paint a Cornhole Board Set - Home Jobs by MOM

  10. cornhole360

    You’ve made such unique designs of cornhole. What’s more fun with this game is that it will not just entertain you on how the game is played but it will also entertain your eyes to the different designs you can make on it. Good job and keep posting!

  11. Shaena

    This is AWESOME! Do you mind if I ask how much it cost to make – I am debating whether to make or purchase… they tend to be almost $100 to buy premade so I am hesitate to fork up the dough.

    Thank you! -Shaena

    • My husband said it cost around $60. I think they turn out so much better than ones I see in the stores. Those just look so cheap to me personally and some are pretty small. It’s a fun project you should give it a shot if you can.
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

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