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DIY Project - How To Make Cornhole Boards at Home

Sep 21st 2021

How To Make Cornhole Boards

Cornhole is a timeless, classic outdoor yard game. It’s popular at family gatherings, college tailgates, and even bars and is a great way to round up some friendly competitiveness in a simple, easy way.

The downside to the game is that purchasing the boards from a store can be pretty expensive. However, you can save a bundle by making your own cornhole boards. Some even consider this a better option because you have more flexibility in terms of design and customization.

If you’re wondering how to make cornhole boards, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading for some simple step by step instructions.

Materials List

If you’re going to make your own DIY cornhole boards, you’re going to need the right materials. Below is a quick list of everything you’ll need along the way.

Materials:

  • (2) 2x4’ Half-inch plywood boards
  • (28) 1 ½” Wood screws
  • (16) 3” Deck screws
  • (4) 2x4x8” Framing Studs
  • (16) ⅜” Hex nuts
  • (4) ⅜ x 4” Carriage bolts
  • (16) ⅜” Flat washers

Tools:

Measurements and Regulations

Many people make their own cornhole boards without any regard to specific cornhole board measurements. As long as their boards match one another, they’re happy with the end results.

But serious cornhole competitors understand that there are specific measurements and regulations at play, as dictated by the American Cornhole Association. You can check these rules out for yourself, but we’ll give you a quick overview.

  • The official cornhole board dimensions are 47.5 to 48 inches by 23.5 to 24 inches. This cornhole board size leaves a half-inch of leeway, which can make designing your own a tad easier.
  • The smooth plywood surface should be at least a half-inch thick. Other thicknesses and materials can alter bean bag bounces.
  • The hole on both cornholes boards must be 6 inches in diameter.
  • The hole should sit 9 inches from the top of the board and 12 inches from either side.
  • The back end of the cornhole board should sit 12 inches from the ground, while the front of the board should measure 3 to 4 inches from top to bottom.
  • Cornhole bags should be 6.25 by 6.25 inches to form square fabric bean bags filled with 2 cups of corn or plastic pellets.

In addition to these cornhole dimensions, the ACA states that the boards must sit on a level, rectangular playing field that’s 8 to 10 feet wide and 40 to 45 feet long.

How To Build Cornhole Boards

Now that we know what we’re building, we can jump into how to make cornhole boards for yourself. Once you’ve gathered all of the materials above, you can get started with this guide below.

1 - Cut (or Gather) Your Wood

You can approach this first step in two different ways, depending on how hands-on you want this project to be.

If you’re not so handy with a circular saw or just don’t have one available, you might consider getting all of your wood cut at Home Depot or Lowes. They both offer lumber cutting services if you buy your lumber from them. The store also sells pre-cut cornhole board tops, so you can get your framing studs and your plywood pre-measured at the store and ready to go.

But if you want to do the cutting yourself, you certainly can with these steps:

  1. Lay your plywood on your workspace and measure the dimensions of your cornhole board. In this case, we’ll say 2x4. Mark straight lines with your pencil.
  2. Some people like to lay insulation boards under their plywood to use as a cutting pad. This can make cutting easier and safer.
  3. Using the circular saw, cut along the lines to make two cornhole board tops.

After the plywood, you need to cut the 2x4’s.

  1. Use your carpenter square to mark off a 25-degree angle at the end of one of the 2x4’s. Use the circular saw to cut this line.
  2. Measure from the end to 12 ¼ inches, marking a straight line at this point, and cut the wood to create your first leg. Repeat these steps to make a total of four legs.
  3. Use the other 2x4’s to make the front, back, and sides of the cornhole board’s base structure.
  4. Cut four 12-inch boards for the two fronts and two backs of the board.
  5. Cut four 48-inch boards for all four sides.

Now, we’re ready to assemble.

2 - Assemble the Board Base

To create the base, place one 21-inch board against one 48-inch board to form a right angle. Be sure to place the 21-inch board on the inside of the longer board, not on top of it.

Ensuring that the edges are flush, drill two pilot holes from the outside of the long board into the shorter board. This process is easiest when you clamp the boards together.

Drill wood screws into the pilot holes to secure the corner together.

Repeat this process for the other three corners, placing a second 48-inch board on the opposite end of the 21-inch board, and another 21-inch board at the bottom of the frame.

3 - Drill the Top On

Lay the cornhole plywood on top of the frame, making sure each side is flush with the frame. If you used pre-cut cornhole tops, your board will already have the hole drilled. If not, you’ll have to follow the next step to create it.

Clamp the board into place and drill it into the frame using the 1 ½” wood screws.

4 - Create the 6" Hole

Measure 9 inches from the top of the board and mark it with a pencil. Measure 12 inches from either side and mark those points as well.

Line the 6 inch hole saw up with these points to drill out the opening for the game. You can also use a jigsaw to cut the hole, but hole saws are super easy to use and will quickly cut matching circles without any jagged cutting edges to the exact size in the specs.

5 - Attach the Legs

On the flat side of each leg, mark a point at 1 ¾” from both the end and the side. Drill a ⅜” hole here.

To create a round shape at the squared end, measure one inch in from either side. Draw a straight line connecting the mark and either end to make a 45-degree angle. Cut these corners off and round them off with sandpaper.

Flip the board upside down and lay one leg against the frame, leaving ½” of space from the top. Clamp it into place and drill the leg in using the carriage bolts, washers, and nuts on either side. Do this for each leg.

6 - Sand and Paint

Using strong sandpaper, sand both boards down to smooth the surface and corners and eliminate any sharp edges or splinters. If you want to save some time and have an orbital sander around, hook and loop sandpaper discs can cut down on most of this labor intensive step.

Paint your board to suit your style using exterior paint or exterior stain. If you want, you can use a semi-gloss finish on top of your design.

Allow the boards to fully dry, then you’re ready to have some fun in your yard!