D.I.Y. Cornhole – Make your own bean bag toss game for the backyard

 

Cornhole is a fun game and easy enough to set up at most social events. It is a lawn game that groups of all ages can play at family reunions, graduation parties, tailgating, or impromptu gatherings in the backyard. Follow the steps to make your own and be ready to play before the weekend is over.

The two boards are each 24” wide and 48” long, with the front end 4 inches from the ground and the back side of the board 12” off of the ground. You will need eight bean bags that you can make according to the plans or you can purchase them.  There are many different types of bag designs and colors that you can purchase.

Project Material Shopping List:

2 – 24” x 48” pieces of ½” plywood

4 – 2 x 4 x 48”    can use 4 – 2 x 2 x 48″

4 – 2 x 4 x 21”     can use 4 -4 2 x 2 x 21″

4 – 2 x 4 x 13” for the legs , can use 4 – 2 x 2 x 13″ for the legs

1 box of 1-⅝ “ deck screws

4 – 4” carriage bolts, 4 washers, 4 wing nuts

220 grit sandpaper

Tool List Recommended:

Drill

Miter Saw or Circular Saw

Jig Saw

Compass

sander

Tape Measure

Wood Putty

Paint or stain (optional)

Step 1: Making the cornhole board frame:

Cut the plywood into 24” x 48” pieces. Cut the 2 x 4’s into the lengths listed above in the product shopping list. With two of the 48” length 2 x 4’s and two of the 21” length 2 x 4’s, make a box by placing the 21” inside the 48” pieces. Place the plywood on top of the frame you just assembled and attach it to the frame with 1-⅝” screws. Do this a second time to create the second cornhole board.

making the frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Cut the hole in the top of the cornhole board:

Here are the measurements from the top and from each side.

At this step you can either drill a marked hole with a 6” hole saw or you can use a jigsaw to cut the 6” marked hole. The location of the hole will be 9” down from the top of the board and the middle of the 6” hole should be 12” to the right side and the left. A compass can be used to make the 6” hole marking. Once the hole is cut, sand the edges well.

 

drill a hole to start the cutting process

If you use a jigsaw, you will need to drill a hole into the hole so you can get the jigsaw in that hole to start cutting.

 

Using a jigsaw to cut out the hole

If transporting would be easier for you, or just for the sake of moving them to from storage to play in the yard, you can make them lighter by using 2 x 2 instead of 2 x 4’s.  It really will make the weight of the set much lighter.

 

We have made these both ways.  Here are pictures of the 2 x 2 materials.

Cornhole materials

Step 3: Prepare the legs:

With the two pieces of 2 x 4 x 13 you will need to cut a 30 degree angle off one end, this will be the end that touches the ground. This can be done by measuring in 2” and cutting from that mark up to the corner at an angle. Then at the other end, take a roll of masking tape and trace the outside of the circle to get a rounded edge marked. Cut along this line with a jigsaw. Sand the edges thoroughly. Measure 1 ¾ “ from the top of the rounded end and make a mark, drill a hole through the wood at this mark.

rounding the leg ends with a jigsaw.

 

sanding the rounded part of the legs.

Step 4: Sanding:

Sand the entire top of the boards as well as the frame and all edges.

Step 5: Attaching the legs:

On the two 2 x 4 x 48 parts of the frame, at the end of the board with the 6” hole cut in the top, measure 4” from the end and find the midpoint to drill a hole for the leg to be attached to the board. Using the 4” x ⅜” carriage bolt attach the legs to the board with the washer and wing nut from the underside of the board.  This will allow the legs to be tucked up into the frame of the boards, which makes it easier for storage.

If building your boards with 2 x 2 wood, you will put the leg inside the frame, measure down 2 1/4″ on the outside of the frame, measure the midpoint of the frame, to know where to drill the hole through both the frame and the let.  Insert the carriage bolt from the outside and put the washer and wing nut on from the leg side.

attaching the legs

Step 6: Finishing: Paint, stain or decorate:

Before you paint your board, you may have some screws that need to be covered with wood putty.  Do this, sand the area smooth and let dry.

If you are going to paint or stain your cornhole boards, now is the time.  You can also purchase decals that you can put on the board.  Pinterest has a good number of ideas of how to paint or stain your cornhole boards.

 

Step 7: Making your bean bags:

You will need 8 bean bags, 4 each of two different colors. The bags are 6” x 6” and should be made out of cotton duck material. The fill is usually about 16 ounces and can be filled with feed corn, beans or small plastic pellets.

  • From each of the two different color materials, cut eight 7” x 7” squares
  • Sew ½” in from the edges around three sides of two squares. You can go around and stitch the edges one more time about ¼” in from the last seam. This will reinforce for strength. Do the same ⅓ of the way on the open edge.
  • Sew the corners to make them pointy as shown in this video.
  • Turn the bags right side out
  • Fill the bags with feed corn, beans or small plastic pellets.
  • Sew the open side closed.

Set your game up as explained in the directions found on the home page of ilovelawngames.com and have a blast playing cornhole.

Variations:

You can use 3/4″ plywood which will make the top of the boards sturdier, but it will also make them heavier.

You could also use 2 x 2 instead of 2 x 4 for light weight boards.

 

 

 

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