Cornhole is a classic backyard game popular at tailgates and summer parties. Build a custom set of cornhole boards for your family with our how-to instructions.

By Hannah Bruneman
May 29, 2019

A game of cornhole is almost mandatory for a summertime backyard barbeque. Also known as bags or baggo, cornhole is the beanbag-tossing game every age and skill level can enjoy. If you really want to impress your neighbors or fellow tailgaters, build regulation-size cornhole boards. The surface provides a blank canvas to paint with your favorite team’s colors or logo or with your family’s name. Follow along as we show you how to make one of America’s favorite backyard games.

How to Make Cornhole Boards

Start building your regulation cornhole boards in the morning, and they’ll be done by the time your backyard barbeque kicks off that night.

Supplies Needed

  • Table saw
  • Sheet of 1/2 x 48 x 96-inch AB plywood
  • (5) 2 x 4 x 96–inch plywood boards
  • Tape measure
  • Compass
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Wood clamps
  • Miter saw
  • Sandpaper and/or router
  • Tack cloth
  • Power drill with bits (Philips, pilot, and 3/8-inch)
  • 3-inch deck screws
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Wood glue
  • Nail gun with nails
  • Primer
  • Paintbrush or foam roller
  • Paint
  • (4) 1/8-inch wood shim
  • (4) 3/8-inch carriage bolts
  • (8) 3/8-inch fender washers
  • (8) 3/8-inch lock nuts

Cut List

  • Board Long Sides: (4) 1-1/2 x 3 x 47-7/8-inch plywood
  • Board Short Sides: (4) 1-1/2 x 3 x 20-7/8-inch plywood
  • Leg Connector: (2) 1-1/2 x 3 x 17-5/8-inch plywood
  • Legs: (4) 1-1/2 x 3 x 12-5/8-inch plywood
  • Board Top: (2) 1/2 x 23-7/8 x 47-7/8-inch plywood
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Step-by-Step Directions

After building a custom set of cornhole boards, all you'll need are sets of bean bags (you'll need four bags per team) and perfect weather.

Step 1: Cut Hole

First, make all cuts according to the cut list, above, using a table saw. Then mark a circle on one plywood board top by measuring down 9 inches from the top of the board at the middle point. Draw a 6-inch circle around this point with a compass. Cut the hole in the plywood board using a jigsaw. Clamp that board onto the other plywood board top and trace the circle for matching holes.

Step 2: Make Legs and Sand

Cut one end of each leg at a 27-degree angle using a miter saw. At the opposite end of each the leg, measure in 1-5/8-inch from the sides and top. Place compass point at that spot, then use the compass to mark a rounded end. Cut your traced edge. Smooth all cut edges with a router or sandpaper. Wipe away sawdust with a tack cloth.

Step 3: Connect Legs

Place a 17-5/8-inch leg connect board between two legs. It should form an H, with both rounded edges facing the same direction. Attach until with screws; fill holes with spackle.

Step 4: Make Frame

Next, assemble the frame that will support the top with the hole. Butt two 20-7/8-inch short sides between two 47-7/8-inch long sides to form a rectangle. Clamp to keep frame square, then screw the frame together. (You may want to drill pilot holes first.) Once secure, place a bead of glue along the top edges of the frame and set the plywood surface on top. Nail top to frame using a nail gun. Repeat with remaining sides and top to create the second cornhole board.

Editor's Tip: If you can, clamp your boards onto a completely flat surface while glue is drying. This will help prevent any warping.

Step 5: Sand Smooth

Route around the outside edges smooth and ensure the frame and top are flush. Wipe away any sawdust with a tack cloth when finished.

Step 6: Paint Board

Prime and paint legs and board surface separately. Let dry.

Step 7: Drill Holes for Legs

Bore a 3/8-inch hole through the legs at the center point of the rounded ends.

Flip the board upside down and place 1/8-inch shims at the corners in an L-shape, along the inside base and inside top edge of the cornhole board. Set the leg configuration within the shims, place drill bit through the predrilled leg holes, and drill a 3/8-inch hole into the cornhole frame. Repeat on the opposite side and with the second cornhole board.

Step 8: Attach Legs to Frame

Remove spacers. Thread the carriage bolt through the frame from the outside in. Thread the remaining materials onto the bolt in the following order: one fender washer, the leg, a second fender washer, a lock washer, and two 3/8-inch nuts. Secure tightly and repeat on the second side and for the second cornhole board.

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Comments (1)

hzjsakc775
May 29, 2019
Been making boards for some time now. A 6" [filtered] saw makes a better circle in my opinion...even better...if you are lucky enough as I am, I dont even do that anymore. A guy uptown has a CNC machine and I pay him a few bucks a cut to use his machine. Worth every penny for a perfect [filtered] and less stress. Great plans !