How to Build a Cornhole Game

By Tom Maliszewski ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • 1 4' x 4' sheet of 1/2 plywood
  • 1 4' x 4' sheet of 3/4 plywood
  • Table Saw
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • 4' level
  • 3 " and 6" hole saws
  • Drill
  • Wood Glue
  • Nail Gun
  • Nails (1.5"-1.75")
  • Wood Putty
  • 60-80 grid and 180-220 grid sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint brushes or rollers
  • Hobby knife
  • Clear gloss
  • Projector (optional)
Building your own cornhole boards are a fun way to rep your team colors.

Cornhole, also known as bean bags or baggo, is a time-honored game often played at picnics, barbecues and tailgate parties. Players take turns trying to throw bean bags into their opponent's ramp. By making your own cornhole game, you can customize your boards to show your team spirit while providing hours of fun for everyone. These boards even include a drink holder for added convenience.

Cut the Boards

Exercise caution when using power tools.

Using a table saw, cut the 1/2" plywood in half so you have two pieces that measure 2' x 4'.

Measure and cut the 3/4" plywood into 8 pieces with the following measurements: 2 front ends - 22.5" x 4" 2 back ends - 22.5" x 11" 2 drink holder pieces- 22.5" x 4.5"
2 side pieces - 4' x 14.5"

Mark 3.25" from the left edge on the short side on the side piece. Make another mark 11.25" from the left edge on the opposite side. Use a 4' level to draw a diagonal line across the board connecting the two dots. Carefully cut along the diagonal line. Sand the cut edge to smooth it out.

Make holes for the sandbags. On the 2' x 4' boards, mark 9 inches from the top and 12 in. from either side. Use the 6" hole saw to drill through the mark. Drill through the top (face piece) for a more presentable cut.

These are the materials needed for cornhole boards set.

Make holes for the drink holder. On the drink holder boards, make two marks that are 5.5" from either edge and 2.25" from the top. Drill the marks from the top with a 3.5" hole saw.

Assemble the Boards

Use a high-quality wood glue to keep the boards in place.

Place the 2' x 4' boards face down and glue along the long edges.

Be sure that the taller ends of the side pieces are on the same side as the sandbag hole.

Attach the side pieces to the top board. Affix the straight edge of each side piece on top of the glue along the 4' sides. The taller end of the side piece should be on the same side as the sandbag hole. Nail each end and make 8-12 more nails along the piece until the sides are secure and flush against the top board.

The back piece should fit snugly between the side pieces and the face.

Secure the back piece. Mark 4.5" inches from the back edge. Place the back piece in front of the lines drawn and mark on the back piece where it should be cut to fit tightly between each of the side pieces. Use the table saw to cut the back piece, making sure to angle the saw at about 15 degrees. When cutting, it's always best to cut the smallest area possible and cut more as needed. Once cut to size, place three nails into each side of the back piece and four through the face.

Nail through the side boards and face for a secure fit.

Repeat the same steps when adding the front piece.

The 4.5

Take two 4.5" x 7.5" wood pieces and place them onto the corners of the back area. Lay the drink holder piece on top of both wood pieces and flush against the back piece. Then nail both sides with two nails.

Then stand the board up so that that back area is resting on the ground, and secure the drink holders to the back piece.

Hold each piece securely to nail them correctly.

Nail the face to the back piece. Make sure you measure in 4.5 inches from the back edge and account for the 3/4 inch piece you are nailing into. Once finished, fill in each hole with wood putty.

Sanding your board removes splinters and gives it a polished look.

Sand off all excess putty and round of each and every edge so that no splinters can be exposed, once the wood putty has dried. Use 60-80 grid sandpaper at first and 180-220 grid for finishing.

Paint the Boards

Either a paint brush or paint roller will work for this project.

Measure halfway across the board, mark your spot and then run a level to each of the bottom corners. Once marked, draw a triangle using the 4' level as a straight edge to connect the dots. Tape the area around the triangle and paint the triangle with two coats of quality paint.

Customizing your cornhole boards is part of the fun of making them yourself. But you can easily replicate this geometric design using your own color scheme.

This rich navy and bright orange scheme is perfect for any Chicago Bears fan.

Tape the edge of the triangle and paint the background, once the paint has dried completely.

A projector can be helpful with more complicated artwork.

Tape off the desired area, if you want to paint a more intricate design. Print out your design and project it onto the board. Trace with a pencil and cut out your design with an Xacto knife. You can also freehand your design over the tape if you don't have a projector.

Take your time peeling away the tape around fine lines.

Remove the tape carefully. Paint the design and let dry.

These boards will provide hours of fun at your next outdoor gathering.

Finish the whole design with a clear gloss to seal in the paint and add shine.

Tip

Do not operate a table saw without protective glasses. Use a push stick. Take your time to avoid incorrect cuts or safety incidents.

About the Author

Tom Maliszewski owner/operator of Chi-Town Custom Cornhole. Graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a former M1A1 Tank Operator of the United States ARMY. In 2007, after a 5 year career as a Project Manager for a small residential Construction Company, he wanted to combine his love of building, art, recreation and sports. A few years later, his dream has become a full time, award winning reality.