We’re going to branch away from our typical travel and lifestyle posts and give you a glimpse of some of the DIY projects we get up to in our spare time.
Seeing as we have a fair bit of spare time, and are enjoying spending our days in the garden, we thought we’d try making a garden game to keep us entertained.
Mar has always been very practical, and loves making things from scratch, so it was no surprise when he suggested making a handmade cornhole game. I know some of you may be thinking ‘what the hell is that?’, and admittedly I was the same!
Cornhole is an American/European lawn game that involves players throwing bean bags at a hole on a raised board from a distance. Although this game sounds simple, and rather underwhelming, it’s definitely addictive, and can be VERY competitive…
We’re going to talk you through how we made ours…
To make a cornhole game you are going to need:
- Saw (electric and handsaw)
- Ruler/tape measure
- nuts and bolts
- Bean bags (if you want to make these instead of buying, we’ll explain it later in the post)
First, the board…
Follow these 5 simple steps to make a standard size cornhole board.
1. Cut your wood
Source some wood – we used mdf as it’s cheapest but you can use premium wood if you wish.
You are able to get wood cut to specific sizes at most hardware stores i.e Homebase and B&Q if you aren’t able to cut your own.
You will need:
- 1 x wooden board (4ftx2ft)
- 2 x 2ft lengths of 2″x2″ (for the surround)
- 2 x 21″ lengths of 2″x2″ (for the surroud)
- 2 x 11″ lengths of 2″x2″ (for the legs)
2. Make the hole
Every cornhole board needs a 6″ diameter hole for the bean bags to fall through for players to score points!
To make this, mark a centre point 9″ from the top of the board. From this point, use the compass to draw a 6″ hole.
To cut out the circle, we drilled a large hole within the 6″ circle from which we could use an electric saw to roughly cut the circle shape. We then used a sandpaper wheel to tidy up the circle and make all the edges smooth.
This can also be done without electric tools but it’s a little more manual work!
3. Attach wooden frame to the rear of board
Use your 2″ x 2″ pre cut lengths to create a surround that provides more stability to your board.
We secured these lengths together with screws, creating pilot holes, and counter sinking to prevent damaging the wood. This created a hollow rectangle shape that we then secured to the back of our board.
Be sure to measure your screw lengths! This will avoid having screws that are too long for the board, which may pierce through the front of the board when attaching the frame!
4.Create your foldable legs
Take your two 11″ legs, and drill a hole 1.5cm from one of the top edges. Once drilled, round your drilled end. We used an espresso mug to create an even curve so that the legs fold easily into the back of the board.
Drill a further two holes into the rear of the frame where your legs can pivot from. Bolt these together using a washer and a nut – tight enough that the legs do not wobble around, but not too stiff that they can’t be folded away!
5. Varnish and paint your board!
We’ve chosen a clear wood varnish to give the board that extra bit of slide, and then we painted the board white and spray painted a red cross over the top to make a St George’s flag design!
Homemade bean bags
For all those textile lovers out there, you can add to your DIY skill set and make your bean bags rather than buying them! We made 8 in total – 4 per person!
For this you will need some fairly heavy duty material – such as waterproof canvas fabric (we used an old outdoor furniture cover), some cotton and a needle (or sewing machine).
The bean bags are 6”x6” usually and should weigh between 14-16 ounces officially. We stuck to the official size but made ours a little lighter!
We cut our fabric into 12×6” rectangles (leaving a little extra material room to sew the edges). To save time sewing all four edges we just folded the material in half and just sewed the other three. You can also cut 2 lots of 6×6 and sew all four edges.
Once you’ve sewed two edges, fill the bag with a grain or similar (we used bulgar wheat). We didn’t use the official weight of a cornhole bean bag as we felt this was a bit too heavy so you can adjust the amount you use to suit!
Finally, sew the last edge, making sure you haven’t missed any – we don’t want bulgar wheat flying across the garden!!
1 point for landing a bean bag on the front of the board, and 3 points for getting a bean bag through the hole!
Good luck with the making process and enjoy the game once you’ve finished!
We’d love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do!!
Adios for now,
Char &Mar x