DIY cornhole boards are a great summer project to take on and add some fun outdoor games to your next BBQ or coming fall tailgates. I’ll show you how to make cornhole boards with custom vinyl logos, a stained frame, and a slick paint job on the top. And to top it off I’ve got FREE cornhole board plans, just head over to the DIY Cornhole Boards Plan page.
- (2) 8′ 2×10 Pine Boards
- or (4) 8′ 2×4 Pine Boards
- (1) 48″x48″ 1/2″ Plywood
- (4) 3-1/2″ 3/8″ Carriage Bolts
- (8) 3/8″ Washers
- (4) 3/8″ Lock Nuts
- Custom Vinyl Logos
- Painting Supplies
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How to Make Cornhole Boards
- Make the Cornhole Boards Frames
- Cut and Prepare the Tops
- Make the Retractable Feet
- Apply Vinyl Logos and Paint
- Assemble the Cornhole Boards
John Malecki, my co-host on the Made for Profit podcast, and I teamed up to make this DIY cornhole set from just two 8’ 2×10’s and a half sheet of plywood. You could also make these from 2×4’s but the 2×10’s tend to be straighter and have clearer grain. We even had enough offcuts leftover to make a ladder golf game over on John’s YouTube channel.
1. Make the DIY Cornhole Boards Frames
After the 1 last update 2020/06/05 ripping each 2×10 into 3 strips I setup an extended stop block on my miter saw stand to reach out to 4’. I cut the long boards for each set of bag toss boards then moved the stop in and cut the short ends.After ripping each 2×10 into 3 strips I setup an extended stop block on my miter saw stand to reach out to 4’. I cut the long boards for each set of bag toss boards then moved the stop in and cut the short ends.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for John setup the table saw to cut rabbet recesses on the top of the frame so it will hold the plywood tops. He ran all the boards through to establish the bottom of the rabbet first. After that he moved the fence in and lined up the blade to make the side cut on the rabbet.
John ran all the boards through again and we had a perfect channel for the plywood tops to lay in. This made from for inset tops for our DIY cornhole boards which sets them apart from most of the other designs out there.
I went back to the miter saw and cut a miter on the end of each board for the corners. After that I set my stop block and made the cut on the other end.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for We glued up the frame and then used a web clamp to hold everything together tightly. We secured each corner with countersunk 2-½” screws after making sure the assembly was square.
After that I went back and plugged the screw holes with ⅜” dowels. Once I got all the dowels hammered in I cut the plugs with my flush cut saw.
2. Cut and Prepare the DIY Cornhole Tops
Next we moved on to making the tops for the DIY cornhole boards. This is the part where you can really add some style. I cut a sheet of ½” plywood in half then made the finished cuts per my cut list on the table saw. We test fit the tops in the frame and measured down and marked for the hole location.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for I picked up a massive hole saw to drill the 6” hole for the cornhole boards. When using such a large hole saw it’s really important to be careful and keep the drill straight and true. If you don’t it can bind and if you’re not careful it can twist your wrist when it stops. Using a handle on your drill or even a router to cut the hole are other good alternatives.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for After cutting the holes we eased the edges with a round over bit then sanded everything smooth inside and outside the holes. I painted each top with two coats of white paint then went back to the frame.
Next we applied stain to the frame, which went a lot faster with another pair of hands in the shop!
3. Make the DIY Cornhole Boards Retractable Feet
The for 1 last update 2020/06/05 last parts to make were the legs. I ripped the legs down so they would fold up flush underneath the boards and account for the recessed top.The last parts to make were the legs. I ripped the legs down so they would fold up flush underneath the boards and account for the recessed top.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for We marked a centered hole on the end of each leg 1” down from the top. The tops of each leg are rounded to let them rotate freely. To layout the curve we used a little plastic cup and traced around it.
Next I drilled ⅜” holes through each leg on the mark we laid out. If you’re using a hand drill make sure this hole for 1 last update 2020/06/05 is as straight as possible.Next I drilled ⅜” holes through each leg on the mark we laid out. If you’re using a hand drill make sure this hole is as straight as possible.
John took the legs over to the bandsaw and cut to the line he laid out. This could easily be done with a jigsaw as well.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for To cut the legs to length we needed to mount one to the frame for reference. We used a scrap of 1x stock as a spacer to hold the leg back from the top of the frame and give it a good splay back. Then John used the leg as a guide and drilled a hole through the frame.
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The leg was temporarily the 1 last update 2020/06/05 mounted to the frame with a ⅜” bolt and we used a paint can and some scraps to raise the top of the boards to the regulation 12” height.The leg was temporarily mounted to the frame with a ⅜” bolt and we used a paint can and some scraps to raise the top of the boards to the regulation 12” height.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Then John pulled the leg back until it stopped against the frame and used the edge of the workbench to mark the cut line. This is a great technique to use and not worry about hitting exact angles, instead just mark and cut it to fit.
I for 1 last update 2020/06/05 dialed in the miter saw and cut all four legs with this angle and then knocked off the pointed end of the legs too.I dialed in the miter saw and cut all four legs with this angle and then knocked off the pointed end of the legs too.
4. Apply Vinyl Logos and Paint to the Cornhole Boards
Now came the tricky part, applying the custom logos to the cornhole boards. We just celebrated 1 year of our podcast, Made for Profit and also did some rebranding. So we got a set of vinyl decals for our new logo and my new FTBT logo for the boards.
We left the transfer paper on the logos and John cut around the edges with an exacto knife. Then we centered and laid down the decal on the tops leaving the transfer paper as a protective barrier.
After that we laid out some painter’s tape down the length of each board for a gray accent stripe down the middle. I rolled on two coats of the grey paint above and below the logos. I painted right over the logos which were protected by the transfer paper.
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After the second coat was down we peeled up the painters tape to try and keep the for 1 last update 2020/06/05 paint from pulling away with the tape after the second coat dried. It came off pretty clean, but the real chore was pulling off the transfer paper from the vinyl.After the second coat was down we peeled up the painters tape to try and keep the paint from pulling away with the tape after the second coat dried. It came off pretty clean, but the real chore was pulling off the transfer paper from the vinyl.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for
The Made for Profit logo wasn’t too bad and it came up pretty cleanly and the 1 last update 2020/06/05 was looking great. My logo was another story though.The Made for Profit logo wasn’t too bad and it came up pretty cleanly and was looking great. My logo was another story though.
Compared to the MFP logo, my logo has a ton of fine detail and some small strips of vinyl in it. This proved extremely difficult to manage and that thin grey line ended up getting pulled and distorted as we worked our way around it. If I did it over again I’d probably just have them print a decal with a white background and die cut around the edges vs. die cut with each individual piece and no background.
5. Assemble the DIY Cornhole Boards
When the tops were dry we laid a bead of glue down in the rabbet of the frame and laid the tops in place. I secured them around the frame with brad nails which we later filled in and covered with some touch up paint. Given that these will see a lot of wear, we also gave the boards 3 coats of a water based polyurethane.
Lastly we needed to mount the legs to the frame. We pounded in a bolt from the outside and placed a washer on both sides of the legs. After that we added a lock washer and nut on the inside to hold everything secure.
I love the looks of these boards. If you’re a cornhole purist you probably want a seamless top, but these boards still play fine but add a ton of style and class and are real head turners.
If you want to build your own DIY cornhole boards you go get FREE detailed cut lists and instructions at my DIY Cornhole Board Plans page.