I don't have access to wood cutting tools, so I needed a material for the playing board that I could cut with an X-Acto knife. I settled on Foamboard for the board instead of wood because it is really easy to cut, inexpensive, and is way more than strong enough for the bean bag board.
This project is simple to do and took approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.
I used hot glue to make the bean bags because it is very quick and easy if you use felt. If you don't use felt you may want to use a needle and thread to make the edges look finished.
- 2 pieces of felt, one of each color. You will only need 1/2 of a sheet of 8.5" x 11" felt for four 2" by 2" bean bags.
- Hot Glue Gun with about 3 sticks of hot glue
- 1/4 cup of rice
- Teaspoon measure
- Permanent Marker
- Thread, Pins, and Needle if you are sewing the bean bags
- 1 Foam Board- 16" x 20" x 3/16"
- X-Acto knife (and you may need an extra blade on hand)
- X-Acto cutting mat (optional)
- Rulers (You may want a metal-edged ruler as well to use with the X-Acto knife because X-Acto knives sometimes cut into plastic rulers.)
- A Yard Stick
- Hot Glue with about 10 glue sticks
- Glue stick or crafters glue
- Masking Tape
- Scotch tape (optional)
- Permanent marker (a thin marker for marking lines and a thick marker for design if you want them)
- 6-8 large flat back glass marbles
Step 2: Cutting Out the Top Piece
Use a corner of the board to make your measuring easier for the first piece.
Then use your X-Acto knife and a metal edged ruler (if you have one) on top of a cutting mat to cut straight lines down the marked lines on the Foamboard.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Back Piece
Step 4: Placing and Cutting the Hole in the Top Piece
Then you need to cut the circle out of the foamboard. One trick to cut foam board circles is to score the inside of the circle and remove pieces as you go around the circle. This helps you keep the lines crisp around the circle because you have closer beginning and end points to follow.
Also, if you are having trouble removing the pieces, flip the Foamboard over and use your X-Acto knife to follow the lines on the paper backing that you can see to release the pie shaped pieces.
After you have completely cut out all of the pieces of the circle and made sure the edges are crisp and clean, you can move on to the next step.
Step 5: Warm Up Hot Glue Gun and Cut Out Triangular Side Pieces
For this step, you will need two right-angle triangular Side pieces. I wanted the triangular Side pieces glued on the outside of the Back piece (essentially making the board 3/16" x 2 wider) so that the seams from the Side pieces and Top piece are visible on the top. This is because I am going to keep the side pieces bare (except for a masking tape trim) and the Top piece is going to be covered with decorative paper anyways. You can see in the first picture that the triangles needs to be 4 and 3/16 of an inch tall to accomodate the width of the Top piece once it is positioned in.
The approximate measurements for the triangles are 4 3/16" H x 9.08" W with a 10"diagonal. It is okay to be slightly off because you can trim any excess with an X-Acto knife.
If you have changed the length of the top piece to your choosing, another way to determine your length for the Side pieces is by using the formula a2+b2=c2. For a right triangle with a height of 4.1875" and a diagonal of 10 the math would look like this:
17.535+ b2= 100
And now after you cut out the two triangular Side pieces, you will have all of your pieces ready to assemble.Your hot glue gun should be ready to use now, so on to the next step :)
Step 6: Attaching the Side Pieces to the Back Piece.
Place a thin line of hot glue on the edge of the Back piece, then attach it perpendicularly to the Side piece, keeping edge of the Side piece flush with the rear face of the Back piece (see pictures.) Try to keep the angle between the two pieces as close to 90° as possible. Also, make sure you hold the pieces still for a few seconds until the glue has cooled. Repeat this step for the other Side piece, at the opposite edge of the Back piece; the result should look like the second picture.
Step 7: Placing the Top Piece
If you want to do one edge at a time, make sure the glue on the first edge is dry before doing the opposite edge. You will need to flip the board over and push the Top piece out slightly, so that you can work on the unglued edge.
Your board will have some points at the edges, but they will be trimmed down in the next step. Just try to get the edges attached to each other as flush as possible.
Step 8: Trimming Excess Corners/ Edges
There may also be extra points at the top and bottom of the Top piece that you can do the same X-Acto knife treatment to if you want your edges rounded like I did (see second and third pictures.)
Step 9: Taking a Quick Detour to the Bean Bags
I figured that 2" x 2" squares were a good size for the 2.75" diameter hole. So take your two pieces of felt and make a couple 2 inch wide strips with both colors.
Then mark every 2 inches on each side of the strips and connect them until you have 8 squares of each color (16 squares in total.) Connects
Cut these squares out and place them in a pile for each color. Try to note which side of each square has the markings on it, so that you can keep those sides on the inside of the assembled bean bag.
Step 10: Assembling the Bean Bags
Then take your pocket in one of your hands and pinch it slightly to open up the unglued side. Take your rice and teaspoon measure and place 1.5 teaspoons of rice into the pocket. Then take your hot glue gun and carefully put a thin line of glue on the upper inside and press the final edge closed. If it seems like the rice isn't fitting in some, push the rice down slightly and it should all fit. You want to make the bean bags as close to the same weight as you can to make the game fair.
To make sure all the edge are sealed, look around them carefully and poke at them to make sure rice doesn't come out. If there is a hole, take the hot glue gun and put a tiny amount of glue on the inside of the hole and press it closed.
After you have glued all of the bean bags and they have cooled, inspect the edges for hot glue overflow and trim them as necessary.
Now your bean bags are done!
Step 11: Manilla Folder Layer
After you glue the top piece on you can flip the board over and cut the hole out. If you want to measure out where the hole is first you can do that. To do that, place the piece onto the manilla folder and trace the circle positioning onto the folder.
Step 12: Gluing Flat Back Marbles on the Underside
I tried putting two on the inside of the back, but they were visible to players, so I removed those and placed them elsewhere.
People won't really see the bottom part; even if you do need to pick the board up to retrieve bean bags that score, the weights should be pretty well-hidden.
Step 13: Finishing the Edges
To make the masking tape look good you will want sharp scissors to cut the edge of it instead of just ripping it with your hands. To do this, rip a piece that is slightly too big and start placing it on one edge. Then snip the tape where it meets the other end of the edge, and smooth the tape down. Also, make sure to center the masking tape around the edge well to make it even on both sides.
I went around every edge of the board with masking tape to make sure all of the edges were sealed and sturdy. If you don't like masking tape or your edges are perfectly smooth, you can skip this step.
Step 14: Decorating Time.
Since the paper is more fragile than the manilla folder, you will definitely want to position and cut the circle out before gluing it to the front. Use the same method as before. Place the board upside down and trace the circle in its correct position.
After you cut out the pattern, use a glue stick to glue the paper to the manilla folder. Any other type of glue will cause the paper to warp because of moisture. If you don't have glue stick, double-sided tape may also work.
Step 15: Customizing
I wanted to outline the inside of the center hole in black to make it more visible, but if you choose a black top, you would obviously not need this step. I also outlined the outside of the circle in black to match the inside.
I also did outlining stripes with a Sharpie permanent marker on the top and sides to make it easier to focus on the target at far distances.
When you are done decorating and customizing you are ready to play!