How To Make A Cornhole Board: Regulation Size


Cornhole is a game many people enjoy playing outdoors because of its simplicity. However, the cost of buying a regulation-sized cornhole board can set you back several hundred dollars. For that reason, many consider making their own cornhole board for a fraction of the price.

Besides price, however, there are plenty of other benefits of going the DIY route, such as making it a family project and customizing your board to your liking. In the remainder of this article, we’ll go over how you can make a regulation size cornhole board with tools and materials you can find either around the house, online, or at your local hardware store.

Gather Your Tools and Materials

If you have dabbled with woodworking in the past, then you may already have the necessary tools and materials for building a cornhole board lying around. If not, you can easily purchase what you need from a local hardware store or online.

Tools

When it comes to construction, there isn’t just one way or one tool you can use. If you don’t have a paint roller, you can get crafty and use spray paint or a brush. A jigsaw might be the ideal tool for cutting out the hole, but you can find a workaround if you can’t get your hands on one.

Our full suggested list of tools includes:

  • Jigsaw
  • Circular Saw
  • Measuring Tape
  • Compass/Protractor
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • ½” Drill Bit
  • Phillips Head Screw Bit
  • Clamps
  • Sander
  • Paint Roller

I was able to do this without a jigsaw or circular saw by having the wood cut at the store and using this Cornhole Hole SawOpens in a new tab. (link to Amazon) instead.

Materials

Just like with the tools, the materials you use for your cornhole board can be substituted depending on what you already have or what you can acquire.

When it comes to the lumber used, Douglas Fir is a good option; it is relatively inexpensive and a strong wood. If you like the look of natural wood and don’t want to paint your cornhole boards, then you can use cedar or spruce. Both woods are beautiful and are resistant to decay.

Once you’ve chosen the type of wood you want to use, you’ll need to make sure they’re the correct size for your project. Below is a table of our recommended measurements for wood, and how many pieces of each size you’ll need to build a set of cornhole boards:

Lumber MeasurementsPieces Required
24” x 48” pieces of ½” Plywood2
2” x 4” x 48” Lumber4
2” x 4” x 21” Lumber4
2” x 4” x 11-½” Lumber4

A helpful hint: Alternatively, you can purchase one or two long pieces of 2×4 and cut them to the length you need instead of buying many smaller pieces. Or have them cut for you at the home improvement store.

Other materials recommended for building your cornhole boards are:

  • 1 Box – 1-5/8” Deck Screws
  • 1 Box – 3” Deck Screws
  • (4) – ½” x 4” Carriage Bolts
  • (4) – Washers
  • (4) – Wing Nuts
  • Wood Putty
  • Primer
  • Exterior Grade Paint

You could always swap out the primer and paint for stain

Once all your tools and materials are assembled, try to keep them organized. It’s much easier to grab what you need when you know where it is.

Here’s a free print out of the cornhole boards materials list to make your trip to the store easier.

Saving Money on Supplies

There is going to be some amount of money spent to build yourself a set of cornhole boards, but not nearly as much as you would buying a premade game.

The exact cost you spend to make a set depends on the supplies you already own and what you have to get. If you want to minimize the price paid on building materials for your cornhole boards, you just need to be thrifty. Check out these resources for getting your supplies for cheap or even free:

  • Ask Friends and Family: Someone you know will have at least some of the things you need. If you borrow a saw, you can return the favor by letting them have a go at the first game.
  • Online Groups: Become a member of your local group and ask if anyone has tools you can borrow or materials you can have. You are sure to find a neighbor that is more than happy to let you clean out their garage.
  • Craigslist: Peruse the free section to see what people are getting rid of or set up an ad asking for scrap wood.
  • Sharing Apps: The chances are high that someone will have leftover paint or screws they don’t want to dump in a landfill.

With a little dedication, there is the potential of building your boards for nothing more than the cost of electricity used to charge and run the power tools.

Here’s a step by step video showing how I made my cornhole boards, with the steps listed in detail below:

Plan Out Your Cornhole Board Design

Sketching out the dimensions and cuts you need to make on a piece of paper before slicing into a 2×4 will save you a lot of frustration. A simple composition of rectangles is all that is needed; you don’t have to be an artist.

When finished, a regulation size cornhole board should be:

  • 24 inches wide
  • 48 inches long
  • Raised 12 inches off the ground at the top of the board, at a 10-degree angle
  • Has a 6-inch diameter hole centered 9 inches from the top of the board

The pieces of wood needed to assemble each section of the cornhole board (double the amounts for two cornhole boards) are:

  • Top: one piece of ½” plywood cut to 24” x 48”
  • Frame: two pieces of 2×4 lumber 48” long AND two pieces of 2×4 lumber 21” long
  • Legs: two pieces of 2×4 lumber 11-1/2” long

Use the diagram with measurements for reference. Having your plans on paper makes it a lot easier to keep track of what you need to do next and how the pieces fit together.

Build the Frame

The frame is what gives your cornhole boards their strength. Taking the time to build the structure well will increase the life of the complete cornhole board.

For each board frame, you will need:

  • Two pieces of 2×4 lumber 48” long
  • Two pieces of 2×4 lumber 21” long
  • 3” screws

Once all the pieces have been cut, assemble them by:

  1. Placing the 2x4s in a rectangle with the 21” pieces inside of the 48” pieces.
  2. Use 3” screws to secure the 2x4s together. Use enough screws, so the structure feels sturdy and doesn’t twist. Two screws should be enough for each connection.

Repeat the above steps to build the second cornhole board frame.

cornhole board frame

Attach the Top of the Cornhole Board to the Frame

The top of your cornhole board is what people will see. Having clean cuts and proper alignment will make your boards look professionally built.

For each board, you will need:

  • One piece of ½” plywood cut to 24” x 48”
  • 1-5/8” screws

To attach the top to the frame:

  1. Lay the plywood piece on top of the frame. Be sure to square the corners of the plywood with the edges of the frame.
  2. Secure the plywood to the frame with 1-5/8” screws. Place a screw every three inches or so along the edge of the plywood to make sure it is solidly attached to the frame.

Repeat this for the second board.

attaching top of cornhole board to frame

Build the Legs

Constructing the legs takes the most skill. They are what holds the entire structure at the correct height. Having a little extra wood on hand is a good idea, in case one leg doesn’t come out as intended.

For each board, you will need two pieces of 2×4 lumber 11-1/2” long.

The legs will be rounded on one end so they can be folded into the frame for storage. To round and attach the legs to the structure:

  1. Measure 1-3/4” down the length of one leg and draw a line to mark it.
  2. Set your compass to a 3-1/2” radius.
  3. Place your compass point in the middle of the line you have drawn, 1” from either side.
  4. Draw a circle. Half of the circle should be above the line and half below. Your circle should measure 7” in diameter.
  5. Helpful Hint: If you are not familiar with how to use a compass, check out the video below.
  6. Use a jigsaw to cut along the circle above the middle line. This will chop off the top corners and create a rounded end.

I just use a cup or roll of duct tape to draw the rounded ends on the legs

Repeat this for the legs of both boards, four legs total.

How to use a compass video:

To fasten the legs to the frame:

  1. Flip the frame over, so the plywood is face down.
  2. Set one of the legs inside the frame with the rounded end of the leg touching the 21” 2×4, and the widest side of the leg flush against the 48” 2×4.
  3. Clamp the leg to the frame.
  4. In the center of the circle you drew, where the compass point was, drill a ½” hole through both the leg and the side of the frame.
  5. From the outside of the frame, insert a carriage bolt through the hole of the frame and leg.
  6. Fasten the bolt with a washer and wing nut.

Attach two legs to both of your corn hole board frames. Both legs should be touching the same 21” 2×4.

The rounded end of the legs should allow the legs to fold up inside the frame completely. If a leg rubs or gets stuck, you can sand it down.

Next, you need to angle the square end of the legs, so the structure stands at the right height and angle. To do this:

  1. With the legs folded in, set the structure, plywood side up, on a workbench or table.
  2. Lift the end of the structure, where the legs attach, 12” off the workbench/table.
  3. Place a bucket, block, or anything else under the frame to keep it at this height.
  4. Slide the structure, width-wise, to the edge of the workbench. Slide it far enough that you can unfold a leg without it touching the workbench. The inside of the 4” face of the leg should be resting against the edge of the workbench.
  5. Use the surface of the workbench as a guide to draw a line on the leg.
  6. Using a circular saw, cut the leg at the line.

Repeat this for the remaining legs. Once cut, the legs should rest flat on the ground when fully extended, and the cornhole board should be raised 12” off the ground.

Helpful Tip: When measuring and cutting wood, you must consider the width of the saw blade. If a piece of wood needs to be 12” long and you draw the line at 12”, do not cut on the line or your piece of wood will be a hair too short. Cut so that the side of the saw blade lines up on the outside edge of the line.

Cut Out the Cornhole Section

A cornhole board isn’t a cornhole board without the hole. To create the hole:

  1. Fold the legs into the frame and lay the structure plywood side up.
  2. Make a mark 9” down from the top of the plywood (the end with the legs) and 12” in from the sides.
  3. Set your compass to a 3” radius and place the point on your mark and draw a circle. The circle should have a 6” diameter.
  4. Drill a hole inside the line of the circle big enough to slide the blade of the jigsaw into.
  5. Starting with the blade in the hole, use the jigsaw to cut out the circle.
  6. Sand the edges of the hole smooth.

You could also use a 6 inch hole saw to make the hole, which is my preferred method. I used this Cornhole Hole SawOpens in a new tab. (link to Amazon) which was a cheap option that worked well.

Repeat the process on the second board. You should now have two cornhole boards of regulation size. The next steps involve polishing them up.

Sand Down the Boards

Right now, you have two rough cornhole boards. If you are happy with your product, then there is nothing stopping you from calling it quits, but if you want your cornhole boards to be coveted by all your friends, then some final touches are needed.

To bring your boards from subpar to shining stars:

  1. Fill the screw holes on the face of the plywood with wood putty.
  2. Sand the whole structure until it is splinter-free.

If you have an electric sander, it makes the process go much faster. If not, you can always sand it by hand; as a bonus, you get an excellent arm workout.

Here’s a helpful video showing other methods to build your cornhole boards so you can see another approach and maybe get some ideas.

Design the Cornhole Boards

What comes next is up to you and the muses. You can stain your cornhole boards for a natural wood look, or you can get creative with paint. If you are choosing to paint your boards, then be sure to prime it and then sand it again first before applying paint.

Most cornhole games are played outside. If this holds true for you, then it is recommended that you use exterior paint. Exterior paint is meant to be used outside and will usually last longer. If you have extra craft or art paint lying around, you can use it, but it will need to be touched up now and again.

If you’re stuck on the type of designs you should add to your homemade cornhole boards, then check out these 39 extraordinary designsOpens in a new tab. on Morning Chores for inspiration.

Create the Cornhole Bags

Although your cornhole boards are complete, you can’t start playing until you have the bags. If you still have some DIY left in you, then you can make your own bags. Just remember that regulation-sized cornhole bags are 6” x 6” squares and weigh 14-16 ounces.

Alternatively, you can put your feet up and relax while you browse the endless designs of premade bags online. You can find bags to show off your love of the tropicsOpens in a new tab., get sneaky with camoOpens in a new tab., be patrioticOpens in a new tab., or have fun in the darkOpens in a new tab.. (links to Amazon)

Unfortunately, not all cornhole bags are built to last. Whether you are making or buying your bags, a couple of things to think about are:

  • The Material: These bags are going to be tossed about and need to be durable; you don’t want the game to end because the bags burst.
  • The Filler: Traditionally, cornhole bags are filled with dried corn. The problem with corn, however, is it breaks down and is susceptible to mold. A more popular alternative is synthetic pellets. These pellets can even be shaped like corn kernels to give a cornhole bag a traditional feel and weight.

Once you have your bags, it is time to play some cornhole!

Conclusion

Building your own cornhole board might not be the best first-time construction project, but it doesn’t require a high level of expertise either. If you can operate a saw and drill, then you can handle building your cornhole boards.

Depending on your skill level, the construction of your regulation size cornhole boards will take a few hours or a whole day. If you get started in the afternoon, you may have to let the paint on your boards dry overnight.

But, regardless of how long it takes to make, with your custom-designed, handcrafted cornhole boards and regulation bags, you will be ready for any outdoor get-together.

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Robert Sampson

I'm Robert Sampson and I live in Colorado where I spend a lot of time in the backyard with my family either grilling, playing games and sports, or working on a project to make our backyard a better place to be.

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