How to Build Cornhole Boards

by Admin


Cornhole is quickly becoming a weekend warrior sport for many people. It has been called numerous names, Corn Toss, Bags, Bean Bag, Bean Toss, Indiana Horseshoes, Soft Horseshoes, but to most of us born and raised in the Midwest its simply know as Cornhole.  It’s a great game for 2 or 4 people that can be played anywhere.  I personally like to play out by my pool with a few buddies while enjoying a pitcher of beergaritas. ;)

In this class I will teach you how to build ACA approved Cornhole boards, bags and how to officially play Cornhole.

How to Build Cornhole BoardsTypes of Boards

Cornhole boards come in all different sizes and materials.  We are going to build traditional wooden boards that meet ACA standards.  I have played on virtually every type of board out there and these are simply the best in terms of game play and durability.

How to Build Cornhole Boards

Supply List:

Note: A lot of lumber stores will precut the materials if you ask nicely. ;)  So check out the dimensions below, print them up and bring them with you when you go to the lumber store.  I highly suggest you do this unless you have all the tools and some woodworking experience.  I had mine precut because it saves some time.

  • 1 – 4′ X 8′ Piece of Plywood (Pre-sanded, I prefer 1/4″ as your boards will be easier to carry)
  • 4 – 1″ X 2″ X 8′ Studs
  • 1 – Pack of 1-1/4″ stainless deck screws
  • 4 – 3″ X 1/2″ Bolts & Lock Nuts (stainless steel with 8 washers)
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits (1/4″ and 1/2″)
  • Pencil
  • String
  • Measuring Tape
  • Fine Sand Paper (80-120 grit)
  • 1 Bottle of Extra Strength Wood Glue
  • 1 Can of Clear Varnish
  • Paint Brush

Cornhole Board Dimensions

Cornhole Board Dimensions
*Once again, I highly suggest you have the lumber store precut the plywood to 2 – 24″ X 48″ pieces and ask them to drill the 6″ holes.

Step 1 – Cutting Cornhole Boards

-Cut your plywood into 2 – 24″X48″ pieces (Top of Boards)

-Cut 4 – 48″ 1″ X 2″  (Frame)

-Cut 6 – 22.5″ 1″ X 2″  (Frame)

-Cut  4 – 11.5″ 1″ X 2″ (Legs)

Step 2 – Sanding

Take your fine sand paper and sand all the edges of the surfaces.  This will help keep the boards from splintering and leaves a clean finished look.

Step 3 – Assemble The Frame

-Layout the precut 1″ X 2″ frames.  You will notice that we cut one extra 22.5″ 1″ X 2″ and this will be used for support in the middle of the frame.  It helps with wobble in the boards when a bean bag hits.  Yes I am a perfectionist, but this truly helps improve the game play.

-The 3 22.5″ pieces will go inside of your 48″ studs, one on each end and the final in the middle.  This will leave you with a final width of 24″.

-Screw together your frame with the deck screws.  I suggest you place a little wood glue in the joints before screwing the frames together for added durability.  Make sure to pre-drill the holes so that you prevent splitting.

Step 4 – Cutting the Holes

-Draw an X 9″ from the top of your board and 12″ from each side.  This will be the center of your 6″ hole.  You can use a compass to draw your circle or the top of a large coffee can lid is usually 6″.

-Use a jig saw to cut out your holes.  When finished sand around the edges of the holes.

Step 5 – Attach Top of Your Boards

-Simply place wood glue all over the top of your frame and lay down your piece of plywood.  Some people will use screws but I prefer to just use wood glue which results in a perfectly smooth playing surface.  Make sure to clamp the frame and board together for a secure fit or you can place some heavy objects on top of the boards.  Allow them two dry overnight before painting or finishing.

Step 6 – Finishing the Legs

cornhole legsThe picture above is pretty self explanatory.  The purpose of the miter cut is so that your boards will lay at the appropriate angle for game play.

Step 7 – Styling Your Boards

This is where its up to you to get creative.  A lot of people like to paint their boards a school color or purchase logos to put on the boards.  You can use any type of flat paint or logo you would like.  I used some painters masking tape to paint some cool arrows pointing towards the hole on my boards.

Step 8 – Varnish

Varnishing your boards will give you the slippery surface you need for the bags to slide and protect your boards from the elements.  I suggest two light coats of clear varnish with a light sanding after each coat.  You can varnish right over your paint or decals.

Step 9 – Final Assembly

After your varnish has dried, attach the legs with the 3″ bolts and lock nuts.  Use a washer on both sides of the frame.  Tighten the lock nut till you have just a little gap so the legs can still swivel.

Cornhole Court Dimensions

Cornhole Court Dimensions
These dimensions are right from the ACA which is the authority in the cornhole world.  the main thing is that the front of your boards are 27 feet apart when you play.

How To Make Cornhole Bean Bags

The exact rules from the ACA state that the corn bags should be made from two fabric squares with a quarter inch double stitch seam on all four sides.  They are made from 12 oz/ sq yd duck canvas of which you can use any color.  You can find this at any fabric store.  Each bag should be filled with 2 cups of corn feed and finished dimensions should be 6″ X 6″ and weigh around 14 to 16 ounces.  I know, I’m getting very technical, but its a competitive game and you don’t want your friends blaming their poor play on the size or weight of your bags ;)

I highly suggest you play with bean bags filled with corn and not a synthetic product.  Corn bags will produce a little dust when they hit the boards which helps keep the surface slippery for game play.

I went to a fabric store and they were kind enough to help me make the bags right there as I don’t know how to sew.  However, I now purchase them online as it’s much easier and the final cost is a difference of about five bucks  You can usually get 8 bags for around twenty bucks.

How To Play Cornhole

Singles or Doubles

Cornhole can be played with two or four people.  In doubles play two contestants are partners against another team; in singles play you compete against one other player.  In doubles play teammates will pitch from opposite platforms so you should be standing next to whoever you’re competing against.  In singles play you both stand at the same board.

Players will alternate tosses until each play has thrown all four bags.  The last team to score a point will throw first at the start of an inning.

Scoring

You receive one point for a bag on the board and three points for a bag that goes into the hole whether its thrown by you or the other team knocks it in.  You add up the score at the end of each inning when each player has thrown all four bags.  The scores offset each other, so if Team A has 4 bags on the board and Team B has one in the hole and missed the board on their other three tosses, the score would be: Team A: 1 & Team B: 0.

The Winner

The game is played until a team has reached 21 at the end of an inning.

I hope you enjoyed my class on how to play and build Cornhole boards.  If you become addicted, which I’m sure you will, check out some local leagues.  A lot of places hold Cornhole tournaments that are a lot of fun to compete in.  Leave some pictures in the comments of your different designs. Enjoy!

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  • Jim Estridge

    I built some boards using your directions and they turned out great! We have been addicted the last few weeks spending every night in the backyard playing. I ended up painting the boards white and bought logos for my college and lacquered over them. They look awesome!

  • John

    This is a great plan man, thanks for putting your time into it

  • Kerry Greer

    I am having trouble understanding how the depth of the frame is shown as 4″ but the instructions show no pieces wider than 2″. Which is recommended?

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