Cornhole, also called bean bag toss, has really taken off over the past few years. It is a common site at campgrounds, tailgating events, parties, and driving through neighborhoods on a summer evening. My wife and I were hooked on cornhole after playing a few times with our neighbors. We decided to build our own set of boards.
Easy to Follow Steps to Build Your own set of Boards
The official length of the boards is two feet wide by four feet long, however, if plan to take your boards with you, two feet wide by three feet is considered tailgate size. The instructions below are for boards that are two by three feet. If you prefer to make boards that are four feet long, just modify the cutting instructions by the difference.
Free Cornhole Board Plans
Buy your bags here
Shopping List for Building Cornhole Boards
The shopping list is for building two boards so that you will have a set. Since this is an outdoor bean bag board, I suggest using pressure treated 2 x 4s. Remember that 2 x 4s are actually 1.5” x 3.5”. Here is the list of items that you will need to purchase:
- (1) - 4’ x 8’ x ½” sheet of plywood (not MBF or chipboard)
- (4) - 2” x 4” x 8’
- (4) – 4” x ¼” bolts
- (8) – ¼” washers
- (1) – Box of 3 ½” screws
- (1) – Box of 1 ¼” screws
- Wood putty
- Paint (Colors of your choosing)
Bean Bag Board Cut List
Cut the Face Boards
- Using a table saw or circular saw, cut the 4' x 8' sheet of plywood in to two sections that are 24” x 36” each.
- On each of the cut outs, select the best side of the board and mark the underneath side as the bottom.
- On the front side, measure down 9 inches from the top and make a mark. Then measure 12 inches from one of the sides and make another mark. At the point the marks cross, take the compass and draw a circle with a 3 inch radius.
- Drill several holes using a ½ inch spade drill bit around the inside of the circle.
- Using the jigsaw, insert the blade in one of the holes and carefully cut out the circle on each board. Then sand the inside of the circle to try to make it is round and smooth as possible. It does not have to be perfect.
Cut the Boards for the Frames
- Using a miter saw, take the first 2 x 4 and cut it into the following lengths: 36”, 36”, and 20 ¾. Place those pieces with one of the face boards.
- Take a second 2 x 4 and cut it into the following lengths: 36”, 36”, and 20 ¾. Place those pieces with the other face board.
- Take another 2 x 4 and cut it into the following lengths: 20 ¾, 11 ½, 11 ½, 17 ½, 20 ¾, and 11 ½. Place the 20 ¾, 11 ½, 11 ½, and the 17 ½ cuts with the first face board. Place the remaining two cuts with the other face board.
- Take the last 2 x 4 and cut it into the following lengths: 11 ½ and 17 ½. Place these two cuts with the second face board.
- Take the four 11 ½ pieces, which will make up the legs, and round one side of each of them using the jig saw.
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Cornhole Board Assembly Instructions
Now that we have made all of our cuts, we can start assembling the boards. Here are the easy to follow instructions (Repeat for the second bean bag board):
- Grab two 36” boards and two 20 ¾” boards and lay down the 36” boards parallel to each other. Insert one 20 ¾” between the two 36” boards at the top and the other one at the bottom, forming a rectangle. Square it up and screw the frame together by using the 3 ½” screws. Drive in at least two screws into each end.
- From the top of the frame, measure down 3 ½” on each of the 36” sides of the frame and make a mark in the middle of the 2x4. Drill a ¼” hole in each side of the frame where the mark is. Grab two of the 11 ½” leg boards and measure down 3 ¼” and make a mark in the center of each one. Drill a ¼” hole in each of the legs. Grab a 4” bolt and slide it through the outside of the frame on each side. Place one ¼” washer on the bolt on each side of the frame. Slide the legs on to the bolt and place another ¼” washer on the bolt. Grab a nut and screw it on the end of the bolt until tight. Do the same thing on the other side. Use a wrench or socket to tighten the leg up, but be careful to make sure that the legs still move. Take the 17 ½” board and insert it near the bottom of the legs, about an inch up from the bottom. Using the 3 ½” screws, secure the brace between the legs. The legs should be able to easily open and close to make your board easily portable.
- Place the frame on the ground and place the face board over it face side up. Drive several 1 ¼” screws around the face board and secure it to the frame. Be sure to countersink the screw heads. Then take wood putty and fill in the gap over the top of the screw holes on the face board. When the putty dries, sand the top really well and make sure it is nice and smooth.
- Paint the boards however you want.
How Cornhole is Played
Cornhole is played with two boards that are 30 feet apart. The game can be played with either two players or two teams of two players each (four players). The game is usually played with four bean bags for each team all at one end. Each team takes turns tossing their bags trying to get their bags in the hole, on the board, or trying to knock the other team's bags off the board. Scoring is 3 points for any bags that go in the hole and 1 point for each bag on the board. The points are netted after all of the bags are thrown and the team with the most points is awarded the points. Games are played until a team reaches 21 points.
Jason Matthews from North Carolina on September 09, 2012:
My family has always called this game "bags." It has been a big hit ever since my uncle first introduced the game to all of us. I have been wanting to build my own set for a while, but didn't really know where to start. This is an excellent reference! Thanks for sharing!