With summertime in full swing, there’s nothing like playing a game of corn hole with friends in the back yard. Buying a complete regulation corn hole set will run you about $175-$225. But, if you have a little time, you can make your own set and create your own unique design between $65.00-$80.00.
Materials you will need:
(4) – 2’ x 4’ x 8’ Wood boards (exterior treated is preferred)
(2) – ¾” x 2’ x 4’ Plywood (exterior treated is preferred)
(8) – 2 ½” Wood Screws
(24) – 1 5/8” Wood Screws
(4) – 3/8” x 4” Carriage Bolts
(4) – 3/8” Washers
(4) – 3/8” Wingnuts
(2)- Hardware Handles (optional but recommended for easy carrying)
Stain or Paint for design
Precision-Fiber® Cloths (12 count or more)
Sandpaper – 220 grit preferred
You can make your own bean bags, or you can purchase a set of 8 for $10-$15
Electric Drill, Miter Saw, Jig Saw, ½” Bit, 3/8” Bit, Hammer, Tape Measure
Step 1. Cutting the 2’ x 4’ x 8’ boards
Cut each board with the following cuts:
- The last cut will need a little more measuring expertise. Measure out 13” on the top of the board, and 11” on the bottom of the board. Draw a line from the 13” mark to the 11” mark. This will make a 30 degree cut across the board.
You will end up with (4) 48” boards, (4) 21” boards, (8) 13” boards. The remaining wood is not needed (gray).
Step 2: Mark and start to drill the holes for legs
On each of the 48” and 13” boards, measure 4” in from the cut edge. Then measure in 1 ¾” from the uncut side to find the drill point. Use your 3/8” drill bit to drill a hole at the cross point of the two measurements on the 48″ boards (you can drill the 13″ boards now or wait until step 3).
Step 3: Round off the legs
The easiest way to do this is to find something circular (like a roll of tape or your paint can) and center it on the 13” board around the drill hole you just made in step 2. Trace a semi-circle. Use this tracing to round off the legs with a jigsaw so that the legs can fold up once your corn hole board is complete. Use sand paper to smooth off the edges.
If you haven’t already, when complete, use your 3/8” drill bit to drill a hole where you measured off the cross point in step 2 above.
Step 4: Put together your frame work
You will need (2) 48” boards and (2) 21” boards to make your frame. Lay out your frame so that the matching sized boards are opposite each other forming a box. Make sure your leg holes drilled in Step 2 are lined up on the same side. Pre-drill 2 holes on each corner and then screw together the box using (2) 2 ½” wood screws per corner.
Step 5: Cut the top
Measure 12” in and 9” from the short end of the 2’ x 4’ plywood. This is your center point for the hole you will need to drill. Draw a 6” circle around the hole. To cut the hole, it is easiest to drill a hole inside of the circle you drew and then cut out the hole using a jigsaw.
Step 6: Attach the top
Using (12) 1 5/8” wood screws, attach the top to the base frame. It will be easiest if you pre-drill the holes.
Step 7: Attach the legs and handles
Using the carriage bolts, washers and wingnuts, attach the legs to the inside of the boards. You may need to use a hammer to bang in the carriage bolts into place. Attach the carrying handles to the side of each board.
Step 8: Paint or stain your boards
Sand your boards a little to clear debris and rough edges.
It is now time to choose a unique design. You can paint or stain your boards to customize them. We started with staining our board to give a unique and rustic look. We used exterior deck stain and applied it on with a Precision-Fiber® Cloth. Precision-Fiber®Cloths make it easy to apply stain because they are absorbent, smooth and will not lint. They make it particularly easy to apply the stain to the wood, and stain inside of the grooves between the boards.
After the deck stain dries (give it a full 48 hours), you can add additional designs (paint, decals, etc). We created a patriotic design to make our boards stand out.
Optional: We recommend to coat your board with a Polycrylic protective finish. It will give your boards a clear topcoat that will protect them from damage due to scuffing, abrasion, chipping, water, and some household chemicals.
Step 9: Set up and Play!
Here are the official rules of cornhole:
- Set up the boards 27’ apart facing each other.
- Line Up! In a 4 player game, line up directly across from your partner. In a 2 person game, after throwing, you will walk directly across to the other board.
- You will take turns throwing with your opponent. Your feet may not go past the front of the board when you throw (if it does, your throw is considered a foul and does not count). If a bag bounces on the ground and to the board, it should be removed.
- Once all 8 bags are thrown, add up your points per scoring below. The team with the most points throws first the next round.
- Scoring: If a bag lands on the board, it is worth 1 point. If the bag goes in the hole (corn hole), it is worth 3 points. Your points and your opponent’s points will cancel out each round of 8 throws (Example: If you scored 6 points and your opponent scored 4 points, you will only be awarded 2 points).
- A game is won when a team reaches 21 points, with a lead of 2 points or more.