Build Your Own Cornhole Boards

Young boy playing Cornhole
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  • 01 of 10

    Gather the Supplies

    Finished Cornhole Game Board
    Finished Cornhole Game Board. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.


    Building a set of two standard-size cornhole boards is a fun DIY project, and you'll be proud to show them off at your backyard barbecue or when tailgating before the next home game. Once the boards are done, make some custom bean bags with a sewing machine and some fabric that looks great with your new boards! 

    Supplies Needed:

    • Three 8-foot-long 1x3 boards (actual dimensions: 3/4 by 2 1/2 inches)
    • 2-by-4-foot piece of 3/4-inch sanded (AC) plywood
    • 2 5/16-inch bolts with washers and nuts
    • 1 5/8-inch...MORE wood screws
    • Wood filler
    • Sandpaper
    • High-gloss paint and painting supplies
    • Polyurethane or other wood finish (optional)
    • Two 1/2-inch-tall-by-3/4-inch-diameter round rubber bumpers
    • Tape measure
    • Pencil
    • Pencil compass
    • Circular saw
    • Jigsaw
    • Drill-driver with piloting-countersink bit and screwdriver bit
    • 3/8-inch drill bit
    • Drill bit for leg bolts
    • Miter saw or miter box
    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Build the Board Frames

    Building the Frame
    Building the Frame. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com
    1. Cut two pieces of 1x3 lumber to 47 inches long, using a circular saw or jigsaw. Cut two more pieces to 21 1/2 inches long.
    2. Fit the two longer pieces over the ends of the shorter pieces to form a rectangular frame.
    3. Drill pilot holes, using a drill-driver and a piloting-countersink bit, and fasten the pieces together with two 1 5/8-inch wood screws at each corner of the frame. 
    4. Repeat the same process to build a second frame. 

    Tip: Drill the pilot holes and drive the screws so that the screws are...MORE countersunk about 1/8 inch below the wood surface. This allows you to hide the screw heads with wood filler for a finished look. 

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Attach the Cross-Braces

    Attach the Cross-Brace
    Attach the Cross-Brace. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
    1. Cut two pieces of 1x3 at 21 1/2 inches long for the cross-braces.
    2. Fit one of the cross-braces across the middle of each frame so it is centered end to end on the frame.
    3. Drill pilot holes and fasten the cross-brace at each end with two 1 5/8-inch wood screws.
    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Add the Playing Surfaces

    Attach the Plywood
    Attach the Plywood. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
    1. Cut two pieces of 3/4-inch plywood to 47 1/2 inches long by 23 1/2 wide.
    2. Center each plywood piece over one of the frames so the plywood edges overhang the frame by 1/4 inch at all sides.
    3. Drill pilot holes and fasten the plywood with 1 5/8-inch wood screws along each edge.
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Fill the Screw Holes

    Fill the Screw Holes
    Fill the Screw Holes. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Fill the screw holes with wood filler or putty, then smooth the filler with a putty knife. Let the filer dry as directed. 

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Cut the Cornholes

    Cutting the Cornhole With a Router and Circle-Cutting Jig.
    Cutting the Cornhole. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
    1. Mark a center-point 8 7/8 inches down from the top of each playing surface, and centered side to side.
    2. Use a pencil compass to draw a 6-inch-diameter circle around each center-point.
    3. Drill a 3/8-inch starter hole just inside the circle. Insert the blade of the jigsaw into the starter hole and cut along the inside of the circle to complete the cornhole cutout. 

    Note: Alternatively, if you own a router, you can cut the holes with a straight bit and a circle-cutting jig. Make the cut in four or five...MORE passes so as to not overwork the router or cause the bit to burn.

    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Create the Legs

    Sanding the Pieces
    Sanding the Pieces. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
    1. Cut one piece of 1x3 to at least 13 inches long. Mark a center-point about 1 1/2 inches from one end of the board, and centered side to side. Using the compass, draw a semicircle at the end of the board, pivoting on the center-point. Cut the semicircle with a jigsaw. 
    2. Drill a hole for a 2 5/16-inch bolt (to attach the leg assembly to the frame) at the center-point, using a bit that is slightly larger than the threaded shank of the bolt. 
    3. Measure from the semicircular end and draw a line across the...MORE leg at 11 3/4 inches. Using a miter saw or miter box, cut the end of the leg at a 25-degree angle; the angle should start at one end of the marked line and angle upward toward the semicircular end of the leg. 
    4. Use the completed leg as a template to trace three more leg shapes, including the bolt hole, then cut and drill the remaining three legs. 
    5. Sand all of the legs and the cornhole boards so all edges and surfaces are smooth and free of splinters. 
    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Drill the Leg Bolt Holes in the Frames

    Drill Holes for the Leg Bolts
    Drilling Holes for the Leg Bolts. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Make a mark on each long side of each frame, 1 1/8 inch down from the underside of the plywood and 2 inches from the top end of the frame (nearest the cornhole). Drill a hole at each mark, using the same bit you used for the bolt holes on the legs. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Build the Leg Assemblies

    Build the Leg Assembly
    Building the Leg Assembly. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
    1. Cut two pieces of 1x3 to 20 inches long for the leg braces.
    2. Place two of the legs on a flat work surface, with the long side edge on the surface.
    3. Position one of the leg braces between the legs about 2 inches up from the pointed ends.
    4. Drill pilot holes, and fasten the brace with two 1 5/8-inch screws at each end.
    5. Repeat the same process to complete the other leg assembly. If desired, fill the screw holes, let the filler dry, then sand the filler smooth. 
    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Complete the Project

    Attach the Leg Assembly
    Attach the Leg Assembly. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
    1. Place each cornhole board upside down on your work surface. Fit a leg assembly inside the board frame so the angled ends of the legs are pointing up and the long points of the angles are closest to the top end of the board (the end with the cornhole).
    2. Add a washer to each leg bolt and insert it through the outside of the frame and through the leg. Add another flat washer and a lock nut to each bolt. Tighten the lock nut so that the leg assembly is secure but the legs can still fold up easily into...MORE the board frame. 
    3. Turn the assembly over on your work surface and open the legs so that your new board appears ready for play. (Note that the bottom of the legs won't be quite parallel with the ground because you still need to attach the 1/2-inch rubber bumpers to the legs after applying the finish.)
    4. Finish the boards as desired. At the very least, paint the playing surfaces with high-gloss paint, which will allow the bean bags to slide somewhat on the surface. If desired, finish the remaining wood parts with paint or with a stain and/or a protective topcoat, such as polyurethane. Let the finishes dry as directed. 

      Tip: Remove the leg assemblies to facilitate finishing the other parts of the boards. 
       
    5. Add the rubber bumpers to the bottom of the legs to complete the project.