You’ve just finished moving into a new suburban neighborhood in Cincinnati with Diy cornhole set. It’s summertime. You know what this means — barbeque season, lake swimming, breweries and camping.

The kids jump for joy as they see how big the new backyard is. They charge into the yard at full speed, while you and your partner silently think about how to make use of all this space. It’s bigger than your last backyard in Kentucky.

Then the idea hits you. Cornhole.

Why not?

You grew up playing Cornhole and loving the game since then. Why not pass on that joy of the backyard barbeque and Cornhole gaming that you enjoyed during childhood?

If you live in a suburban neighborhood and enjoy your fair share of barbeques and outdoor activities, then building a DIY shade for your Cornhole set is a project for you.


The Origins of Cornhole in America


Matthias Kuepermann gold standard cornhole as an inspiration to your diy cornhole set

Image: Matthias Kuepermann website

The origin story of how Cornhole made its way into the hearts of the American people remains a mystery. The most plausible explanation comes from a legend that goes back to 14th century Germany.

Mr. Matthias Kuepermann, a school teacher in Germany, observed children tossing rocks into a nearby groundhog’s hole. Kuepermann put his carpentry skills to use and designed a safer game for children to play.

Because of his Germanic background and the large German population present in Cincinnati, most Cincinnati natives believe that German immigrants to the U.S. brought the game with them when settling in Cincinnati.

Despite the lack of consensus on its origin story, many agree that the game experienced a resurgence in popularity about 15 years ago in Cincinnati. It’s sure that the game has yet to have its finest hour.

If you decide to build your own DIY Cornhole set, invest the majority of a day to completing this project. Or if you simply don't have the time, you can always buy cornhole sets from Amazon

​Whether trying to pass on your favorite childhood game to your children or just for the fun of the game, consider the following steps before building your DIY Cornhole set.

​1. Location: Ensuring Enough Space in Backyard

Before deciding to build out the set to your favorite childhood game, make sure you have enough space in your backyard to do so. Unfortunately, if you live in an apartment, you’d be better off purchasing some good quality board games fun for your whole family.

However, if your backyard is at least 50 ft. long and about 15 ft. wide, your backyard meets and is a little larger than the required amount of space for the Cornhole court.

​2. Cut from the Same Cloth as the Association

website of the American Cornhole Association to learn more about the guidelines in setting up your diy cornhole set

Image: American Cornhole Association website

​When making your DIY Cornhole set, the American Cornhole Association has neatly outlined the measurements required for the Cornhole board, hole, and bean bag. Follow these guidelines to recreate the same Cornhole set as the association has standardized.

​3. Buying the Right Materials for Your DIY Cornhole Set

Following DIY Pete’s example, there aren’t too many materials you’ll need for your DIY Cornhole set. You’ll need these lumber materials: two 24 x 48 inches pieces of ½ inch plywood for the surface, four 2 x 4 x 48 inches for the frame, four 2 x 4 x 21 inches for the frame, four 2 x 4 x 12 inches for the legs.

You’ll need these supplies to put the wood together: 2.5-inch screws, 1.5-inch screws, carriage bolts, wing nuts and washers, paint supplies and stencils, minwax semi-gloss poly, 120 grit sandpaper and masking tape.

​As for tools, you’ll need these tools to complete your work: miter saw, drill, orbital sander and jigsaw or 6-inch hole bit.

​4. Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Constructing the Platform Box

Now that you have the materials necessary to build your Cornhole set, start with the construction of the box itself.

Cut two 48-inch-long pieces of two 2 x 4s for the platform box’s frame. Cut two 2 x 4 pieces that are 21 inches long.

Before connecting the 2 x 4s together, it’s good practice to see how the pieces will fit in a dry-fit. The last thing you want to do is reassemble your board because it is uneven. You should use a sheet of plywood to hold your frame of two 2 x 4s at 21 inches long and two 2 x 4s at 48 inches long.

Connecting the 2 x 4s with each other at the corners. Drill holes into both length and width of the 2 x 4s. Drill 2.5 inches screws inside. Use a square leveler to make sure your angles at 90-degree angles.

Flip this piece over and attach the ½ inch plywood to complete this frame. About every 8-10 inches drill pilot holes and then insert 1.5-inch wood screws. Now, repeat the same process to make the second Cornhole board.

​5. Building the Platform’s Legs

To build the board’s legs, cut two 2 x 4s at 12 inches long for the legs.

Draw a line 1 ¾ inches down from the top and make a straight line across the board. Find the middle and use a 3/8-inch drill bit to put a hole through the wood.

Use a compass to draw a semicircle and then, using your jigsaw, create that rounded edge. Use an orbital sander to round out the edges of these wooden pieces.

​Repeat this process for the three other legs — two legs are required for each of the Cornhole boards.

​6. Assembling the Legs and Platform Box

Now that you have built your platform boxes and legs, it’s time to assemble them by attaching the legs to your boards.

First, use a clamp to hold your leg to your board and, using your 3/8-inch drill bit, make a pilot hole into the leg and board.

Next, take your 3/8-inch carriage bolt, which is 4 ½ inches long and put it through the two 2 x 4s. Put a 3/8-inch washer on the end of the bolt and a wing nut to secure the leg and board to each other.

​Test the leg out, by turning it clockwise and counterclockwise. If it’s too close to the corner, you’ll need to take an orbital sander and sand down the edges further.

Follow the exact same process for the other three legs. Be sure to test the two legs out once you have them on the board. Place it on a large surface and test the legs by putting a box underneath the top end.

Use a measuring stick to ensure the table to the top of the board is 12 inches on each corner. Open up a leg and use your work surface as a reference to figure out how much of the leg you’ll need to cut with a miter saw. The legs should stand at about 6°- 10°.

​7. Making the Hole for the Bean Baggies

Once you’ve assembled your board and legs, make a hole in your board for the bean baggies.

First, measure the center of the width, which should be 12 inches. Then measure 9 inches down from the center of the width. Next, use a compass to draw a six-inch diameter hole. Use your jigsaw to drill a hole and cut around the circle to cut out the hole.

​Another, easier method, would be to buy a six-inch whole saw and cut the hole out. After cutting out the hole, use wood putty to patch over the screws so that they are not sticking out of your board.

​8. Decorating the Cornhole Set

Now for the fun part of decorating your DIY Cornhole set. Pick up your choice of paints to decorate your board.

If you’re looking to follow the association, use masking tape to create a border around your finished boards and line up the masking tape to the inside corner and hole to make a triangle.

For those looking to get creative, you could make this a family bonding activity. Go ahead and stick your hands in paint and decorate your boards with your handprints.

Throw some glitter paints onto your boards — the possibilities are endless for how you decorate them. You can give your board a clean finish by adding a polyurethane. You can even decorate them with a sunflower inspired theme if that's what you fancy!

​9. Making Your Own DIY Cornhole Bean Baggies

If you’re interested in making your own DIY bean baggies, then you can follow the steps below. If not, purchase a pack of bean bags on Amazon or your local warehouse.

For the homemade bean baggies, you’ll need some duck cloth and cut this cloth in 7 inches by 7 inches squares.

Use a sewing machine to seal three sides of the bags, leaving one side open to fill it with between 14oz – 16oz of plastic pellets. Close up the bag, by sewing up the last edge.

Enjoy a Round of Cornhole With Friends and Family

Building a Cornhole can be a fun activity. Not only does it hone your crafting skills, but but it’s also a perfect bonding time which you can do with the rest of your family. Once you’ve finished making your Cornhole set, enjoy a round of the game among friends and family.

Featured Image: CC 3.0, Gfuerer via Wikimedia Commons

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