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How to build your very own Cornhole Game Set. (Also called Throwing Bags or The Beanbag Game)

Picture of How to build your very own Cornhole Game Set.  (Also called Throwing Bags or The Beanbag Game)
This is a simple instruction manual on how to create your own Cornhole Game. Be kind, this is my first instructable and my picture taking skills aren't what you would call "good."
 
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Step 1: Getting Started

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You'll need to build two gameboards, each one is 2'x4'. I used 1/2" plywood because it's still light enough to throw in your trunk, but sturdy enough it can take an accidential stomping or two. You'll also need 3 or 4 2x4's depending on how you measure and cut, and also on the final design you use.

You'll also need 1 1/2" deck screws and either 2 inch deck screws or nails. You may want to get some small hinges, but we'll get into that later.

Step 2: Start cutting and gluing

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First: Take your 1/2 inch plywood and cut two 2'x4' boards. Many lumber yards sell precut boards of this size, and this is what I did. So far this is pretty simple.

Second: You'll need to cut 4 4 foot long pieces of your 2'x4'. I then took each one and glued it to the long side of the plywood. Make sure it's flush with the edge of the board. Clamps make this much easier. (you can skip the glue and go directly to the screwing of the board, but I had a bottle of glue around)

Third: Predrill the holes and make sure to countersink the heads of the screw. Then use your 1 1/2" deck screws to hold them in place.

Step 3: Now for the Short Sides

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Measure the distance between the longer 2x4's and cut more pieces to go in between. It's going to be about 21" but remember MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE

Then attach them the same way as you did the first pieces. The construction part is now over half done, stand back and bask in your creating abilities.

Step 4: Cutting your Circle

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Now it's getting tricky. You'll need to measure 9" down from the top and the centerline of the plywood. Make an "X" Now you'll need a compass to draw a 6" hole. If you're like me, you lost your compass so you have to use a much cruder method.....

Take one of your screws and drill it a little ways into the board at the "X" Then take a piece of string, measure out 3" and tie your pencil at that point. Run it around the screw with the string tight to draw your 6" circle.

Now drill a hole at the inside edge of the circle, take a jigsaw or sawzall and cut out the circle. I know, it won't be perfectly straight, you'll have to either live with it or make it perfect with sand paper. The other option is to buy an expensive holesaw bit that goes out to 6inches, but this priced the project right out the window for me.

Step 5: Making your Legs

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Now it gets tricky, and since I only have 2 arms I wasn't able to get a usable picture.

You'll need to hold the top of your table up exactly 12" off the workbench tabletop, and hold a piece of the 2x4 you have left up to the underside of the plywood. Use the tabletop to mark the angle the board needs to sit on the ground flat. You'll only have to do this once because once you cut the angle, the inverse of the cut will be the proper angle for the other leg. I know, I know, it's hard to follow. I'm going to try to get a friend to help me take a couple of pics and add them later.

Now you need to decide how to attach your legs. If you want, nail or screw them onto the board and you're done! Also, you can drill a hole into the side of of your 2x and use a bolt/wingnut combo to hold them on. Then you can unscrew them for easier storage. For the ultimate in cool, get 4 hinges, build a brace between the legs, and do what I did so the legs will fold away.

Put an additional 2x4 and add it on top of the legs, remember to hack 1 1/2" off of the top of the leg so you can still have the proper 12" height. Cut a couple of 90 degree angles for extra strength and screw them on. Finally just attach the hinges to the brace and the bottom of the board and you have your ultra-cool legs that your friends will all be jealous of.

Step 6: Almost Done

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You could actually call the board done now and go play. However, the board will be much better if you sand the top smooth and either finish it or paint it. You need to use a high gloss finish so the bags will slide across the board. I highly recommend putting this finish on the game because it makes it look better, play better, and you can add a personal touch. (well, you can if you have better art skills than myself)

Take some wood putty and hide your screws, also this is the time to fill in any gouges in the game top. The more time you spend here the happier you'll be.

Start sanding. Then sand some more..... keep sanding........ OK, it's smooth.

Now, if you're going to use a clear finish like me and you want to paint a logo, sports team, alma mater, etc. on the board, now's the time. The finish will help protect it. Since I have no art skills, I went straight to the finish. I used left over gym floor finish left over from an earlier project, but you can use anything as long as it finishes to a smooth high gloss finish.

If you're using a high gloss paint, start slapping it on. When it's try, add your personalization and then it's GAME ON!!!!!
lyvwyr701 year ago

do you have another post about making the bags or does any one else here know how

Twotim2213 years ago
I have found that a paint stick works well for drawing a circle- simply drill a hole for the screw and another hole at the measurement you need. Put your pencel tip in the hole and draw your line.
beckcycle4 years ago
Clever bit with the string!
konsho5 years ago
There is a guy using one of your images for his cornhole ad in a craigslist posting claming it's his. http://lexington.craigslist.org/for/1718903029.html just thought you'd like to know, I know I would if someone was ripping off my pics.
captianoats (author) 5 years ago
Glad you guys like it. I tried to make it somewhat entertaining while still making it usable.
Eye Poker5 years ago
Just made a set for a co-worker and a set for myself. Good fun.
dylantidd6 years ago
With just a few minor changes my son and I followed your pattern and now we each have a set that are the hit at family functions. Thanks P.S. The beer helped!
enigmoe6 years ago
For more general information on the corn hole game, check out http://www.cornholeplayer.net ; also, you can find more instructions on how to build a corn hole game there also. Awesome guide!
They have a great eBook at BuildACornholeSet.com FREE!
glorified j7 years ago
For more on cornhole, check out www.CornholePlayers.net
tanya_jo_877 years ago
Haha, Thank you for posting this! I have been planning to make my Husband a set for his birthday, but every set of instructions I found made me seem stupid. Your's I actually understand..except for the leg part...I'm still a little confused, but I am sure when I build it I will understand it better. Now before I go to Menards..or Lowes...or wherever I end up..I have to think of how I am going to paint it....maybe some clouds and a BIG RAINBOW (thanks to my kids watching 'Reading Rainbow' right now..lol) or maybe I will let my kids paint it. Oh and don't worry! I won't forget the beer while I am building it!
Nice Instructable. I have never heard of the game, but it kind of sounds fun. :P