Project Guide

How to Make a Cornhole Board

1
DIY Cornhole Boards
A plywood board being measured for a cornhole top.

Learning how to make cornhole boards is easy. The whole project comes together with plywood and 2x4s, so it will be relatively inexpensive. The official cornhole board dimensions are 2-feet x 4-feet with a hole 6-inches wide, centered 9-inches from the top of the board. Predrilled cornhole boards are available online at Home Depot. They will help make putting this game board together a cinch.


If you prefer to build your own plywood tops, purchase 1/2-inch thick plywood in 2-ft x4-ft project panels or a 4-ft x 8-ft sheet of plywood online from The Home Depot. The hole can be cut with a 6-inch hole saw and an electric drill but be very careful, a hole saw of this size is prone to grab in the wood and twist the drill out of your hands. Alternatively, you can draw the 6-inch circle with a compass and cut it out with a jigsaw.


Smooth plywood is the best choice and will save quite a bit of time when it comes to finishing your game boards.


You’ll need two types of wood and various fasteners to complete the project:


  • Two sheets of 2-feet x 4-feet x 1/2-inch plywood (or two pre-cut cornhole board tops) 
  • Four 2-inch x 4-inch x 8-foot framing studs 
  • Four 3/8-inch x 4-inch carriage bolts 
  • Sixteen 3/8-inch washers 
  • Sixteen 3/8-inch nuts 
  • Sixteen 3-inch wood screws 
  • Twenty-eight 1 1/2-inch wood screws 


Tip: Lay a piece of 1/2-inch foam insulation board on top of your workspace for a cutting pad. Carefully set the depth of cut so that the blade will only cut partially into the foam as it extends below the lower surface of your workpiece. A piece of 1/2-inch foam board will last for many cuts and makes the operation of a saw easier and safer. 


2
Cut List
A set of boards cut for a cornhole game.
  • Use a carpenter square to mark a 25-degree angle at the end of a 2x4. Cut along the angled line. 
  • Measure 12 1/4-inches from the long side of the angle and mark a straight line. Cut the board on this line. 
  • This creates one leg. Repeat the process until you have four legs. 
  • If you don’t have a carpenter square, cut four legs to 12 1/4-inches long. Place a mark at 10 5/8-inches on one narrow side and use a straightedge to draw a diagonal line from this mark to the end of the leg. This line will be approximately 25 degrees.  


Cut the other 2x4s as follows: 

  • For the front and back, mark and cut four 21-inch lengths.
  • For the sides, mark and cut four 48-inch lengths.


3
Assemble the Base
A person screwing together a corner of a cornhole game base.
  • To assemble the bases, position two 21-inch boards between two 48-inch boards in the shape of a rectangle. 
  • For best results, get the edges of the first corner flush and clamp them to your work surface before driving in the screws. 
  • Follow this procedure for the rest of the corners. 
  • Use self-drilling screws or pre-drill pilot holes to use regular wood screws.
4
Attach the Top
A person attaching the top of a cornhole board to its base.

Attach a pre-cut cornhole plywood top to each frame using 1 1/2-inch wood screws.

5
Finish the Legs
A finished leg of a cornhole board.
  • On the square end of each leg, mark a point 1 3/4-inches from the end and 1 3/4-inches from the side. Drill a 3/8-inch hole at this point.
  • On the square end of each leg, make a mark one inch in from each side, then mark one inch down each side form the end. Connect the marks with a line to make a 45-degree cut line. Clamp each leg to the edge of your workspace and cut along these lines.
  • Use sandpaper to round off the corners.
6
Attach the Legs
A person attaching a leg of a cornhole board.
  • Flip the cornhole board facedown.
  • Place a leg in each of the corners on the end with the cornhole, rounded edge the end with the hole should be toward the corner.
  • Place a piece of cardboard below the leg. Leave a 1/2-inch gap between the end of the leg and the end board of the base. Clamp the leg to the side of the frame.
  • Use the 3/8-inch hole on the leg as a guide to drill through the frame. Make sure there is enough clearance for the leg to rotate.
  • Attach each leg to the frame using 3/8-inch carriage bolts, adding two washers on each side of the leg bolt and nuts. Thread a nut onto the bolt and tighten it, then thread on another nut and tighten it, using it as a “jam nut.”
  • Test leg to make sure it will rotate freely.
  • Flip the board upright and measure to ensure that the top corner stands 12” tall.
  • Repeat on the other cornhole board.
7
Paint
Taped off cornhole boards resting on cardboard waiting to be painted
  • Sand and paint your cornhole board with exterior paint or use exterior stain. This will make sure your cornhole board is protected from the elements when outdoors. 
  • Official cornhole boards will have a semi-gloss finish. This can be obtained with semi-gloss paint or with semi-gloss polyurethane.
  • Allows the boards to dry, according to the directions.


8
How to Play Cornhole
A pair of finished cornhole boards with bean bags.

Playing a game with our DIY cornhole boards is fun and easy! The game can be played with two or four people. 


  • Place the two boards 27 ft apart from front edge to front edge.
  • Players start the game at board 1.
  • Alternate pitching cornhole bags until each player/team has pitched all 4 bags.
  • Players then walk to board 2 and tally the score.
  • Play resumes from board 2 in the same manner, pitching back toward board 1.
  • The player/team that scored in the frame before pitches first in the next frame. If neither side has scored, the first pitch is retained by the player/team who pitched first in the preceding frame.


Additional rules:

  • Bags must be pitched underhand.
  • Feet must be behind the line of the front of the board when the bag is released.
  • The team/player must stay in their lane (left or right) of the board for the whole game, Changing sides is not permitted.




9
Scoring
Two people playing cornhole on a lawn.

Understanding scoring is how to make a cornhole game competitive and more fun:


  • Any pitch that lands and remains on the wood surface of the cornhole board is worth 1 point.
  • Any pitch that passes through the hole in the board is worth 3 points.
  • A bag that comes to rest touching the board and the ground does not count.
  • The first team to 21 points wins the game.


Learning how to make a cornhole game is a fun project the family can take on together. It's also a great learning project for kids to help with as they explore math, angles and even money calculations with real-world applications. You can also make painting and decorating the boards into an art project. Once you have finished up with your cornhole board plans, the set will be a yard game the whole family can enjoy together.


The Home Depot has everything you need to create a custom cornhole board. However, if you prefer to purchase a premade bean bag toss, you can shop The Home Depot for that and more backyard games to enjoy with family and friends. Shop our wide selection and get everything you need for your projects. The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.