How to Make a Cornhole Game

Cornhole is a recreational game played using two wooden boards with corn rows on the bottom and a target at either end. The object of the game is to throw bags or small hard plastic spheres, called cornballs, as close as possible to the center of one board without knocking over said board. This blog explores how this simple idea can be used in survival games that require players to protect themselves from wild animals, kidnappers looking for ransom money, etc., so you don’t have anything else up your sleeve but your hunkering skills and good aim?

Cornhole is a game that can be played with two people. It is also known as bags, beanbags, and hole-in-the-ground. The object of the game is to throw bags of corn into a hole in the ground without them touching the ground.

Cornhole, a game in which participants try to hurl bean bags through a hole on a raised platform, has been around since the 19th century and is still a popular summertime lawn game today. It’s soothing and enjoyable for both children and adults, and it’s so low-key that you can play it while drinking a Coke or beer.

With Independence Day approaching next week in the United States, I thought a cornhole tournament would be a fun addition to my family’s celebrations. Instead of spending $150+ on a pair of pre-made cornhole platforms (which are often weak and non-regulation size – yes, there are official cornhole requirements), I went to my local Home Depot, purchased $85 in supplies, and built my own solid custom set. 

It’s a quick and easy project that takes approximately a day to complete. My kids enjoyed assisting me in the creation of the cornhole platforms, and they are currently enjoying playing with them. 

Here’s how I created mine if you’re seeking to add some cornhole to your summertime activities.

Tools & Materials

Materials and tools for making Cornhole boards.

With these supplies, you’ll be able to make two cornhole boards/platforms. Cornhole matches are played using two sets of bean bags (which are really loaded with corn kernels in official play) on two platforms that are 27 feet apart and immediately facing each other. All of the game’s rules may be found here. 

We’ll be creating regulation-sized platforms, which are 2 feet by 4 feet and have a 6-inch hole positioned 9 inches from the top. The board rests on legs at an angle, with the top edge 12 inches above the ground and the bottom edge 3–4 inches. 

Materials

  • Surface: (2) 2′ × 4′ pieces of 1/2′′ plywood (Home Depot sells pieces already cut to this size)
  • For the frames, you’ll need four 24 x 4′ boards (Home Depot sells pieces already cut to this size)
  • (8) 24 x 2′ for the frames (4 will be trimmed to 21′′, and 2 will be cut into 11-1/2′′ pieces; you only need 6 of these 2x4s, but you may as well purchase a few extra in case you make a mistake)
  • 1 pound of 1-5/8′′ deck screws
  • a total of 24 3′′ deck screws
  • (4) carriage bolts, 1/2′′ x 4′′, with (4) washers and (4) wing nuts
  • Your choice of primer and paint (or wood finish)
  • Also, don’t forget about bean bags (which have a standard size and weight, but any would do for casual backyard fun).

Tools

  • saw with a circular blade
  • Jigsaw
  • Drilling power
  • a 1/2 inch drill bit
  • Clamps
  • Measurement tape
  • Compass
  • sander with an orbit

Cut the wood to size in the first step.

Man cutting wood.

I used the circular saw to cut four of the 2′ 2x4s I purchased down to 21′′. These will be utilized to construct the cornhole box’s frame.

For the legs, I used two more 2′ 2x4s and cut four 11-1/2′′ long pieces.

Step 2: Build the Boxes

Rectangle wooden frame.

Collect two 4′ 2x4s and two 21′′ 2x4s. With the 21′′ pieces within the 4′ pieces, fasten them together to form a rectangle.

Deck screws used for joining the woods.

To secure the pieces, I used three 3′′ deck screws at each junction. 

 

Continue with the second cornhole box.

Wooden board.

Plywood should be placed on top of your 24 box. Several 1-5/8′′ deck screws are used to secure it. Rep with the second cornhole box.

Step 3: Finish the Legs

Marking a circle pattern on wood with glass.

Take two of the 11-1/2′′ 2x4s you cut previously and put them together. They need to have their tops rounded off so they can swivel within the box. With a pencil, I traced an arc around the top of a coffee cup.

Man using jigsaw.

To cut along the line, use a jigsaw. It should be sanded. 

Rep with the last two leg parts.

Step 4: Attach the Legs to the Box

Drilling holes with drill machine in a wood.

It’s time to secure the cornhole box’s legs. Take one of the boxes and flip it over on its side. Place one of the legs parallel to one of the top corners, with the radius side in the corner. Fix in place using a clamp.

Make a mark 3-1/2′′ from the top of the board and right in the centre of the 24 on the outside of the box. 

Using your 1/2′′ drill bit, drill a 1/2′′ hole through the frame and the leg. Replace the cornhole box on the opposite side and repeat the process. Then repeat the same for the other box. 

Carriage bolt and washer and a wing nut used for joining the leg of wood.

The carriage bolt, washer, and wing nut are used to secure the legs to the box. Check to verify whether the leg can be swiveled up and down. To accommodate the swivel, you may need to alter the radius top slightly. To achieve this, use your sander and jigsaw.

Step 5: Trim Legs to the Correct Length

Cornhole rules stipulate that the board’s top must be 12 inches above the ground. We’ll need to trim the bottoms of the legs to get that height. 

Box up on a workbench.

Place the box on a workbench and stretch the legs out. Place the cornhole box on something such that the platform’s top is 12 inches above the tabletop. (To get the task done, I utilized several damaged Art of Manliness volumes.)

Adjust the furniture so that the leg closest to the table edge drapes barely over the edge.

Marking a legs with pencils.

Draw a straight line across the bottom of the 24 using the tabletop as a reference. Rep the process on the other side.

Remove the legs and use a circular saw to cut along the line. Carry on with the other box in the same manner. 

Step 6: Make a hole in the platform.

Make a mark in the middle of the hole. It measures 9 inches down from the top and 12 inches in from each side.

Making circle with compass on wood.

Draw a 6′′ diameter circle with a pencil using a compass.

Making holes with drill machine on the marked circle.

Drill a hole around the inner edge of the circular using your 1/2′′ drill bit. This will allow you to insert the jigsaw blade.

Cutting a circle with jigsaw.

Using your jigsaw, cut along the line. 

7th Step: Sand

Sanding the wooden surface.

With your orbital sander, sand the box’s surface. If you have a drill drum sander, use it to get inside the hole you just cut. I wish I had one of these. It would have aided in creating a cleaner hole surface. 

Step 8: Add finishing touches

Kids painting the Cornhole.

Final result of the Cornhole.

It came out a bit spottier than anticipated since the kids “helped” with the finish, but that’s part of the fun!

 

This is where you can give your cornhole game some individuality. The boxes may be painted. For mine, I chose a wood finish and a John L. Sullivan vinyl decal.

Step 9: Have fun!

Girl standing in front of Cornhole.

 

 

Cornhole is a game that is played on a board with two rows of three “hats” (also known as bags) and players throw small bags of corn over the board. It has been around for more than 100 years and is now one of the most popular backyard games in America. Reference: best cornhole boards.

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