DIY Cornhole Game Board

What You'll Need
Particle board sheet
(2) 8’ 2x4s
2 ½” Course screws
1 ¼” Course screws
Crosscut saw
Jig saw or keyhole saw
Power drill
Tape Measure
Clamp
Pencil
Optional: Kreg Accu-cut

Cornhole, or bean bag toss, is the perfect game for a relaxing afternoon. Deceptively simple, kids and adults alike will have fun challenging themselves in some friendly competition, especially with their own customizable DIY cornhole board.

While the general setup is straightforward, this is the perfect project to get creative and make the game your own. For this reason, we’re using a pocket hole joint which leaves a smooth surface for decorating while also preventing gaps in the cornhole board’s frame.

To quickly make strong joints, we used a Kreg Jig, the leading tool for creating pocket joints. The Kreg Jig R3 can easily fit in small spaces and can adapt to your material’s thickness. It simply attaches to any bar or C-clamp you already have in your tool kit for a fast way to make professional pocket holes.

Step 1 - Determine Your Cornhole Game’s Measurements

Particle board with pencil measurement marks

Cornhole games, as determined by the American Cornhole Association, should be 48x24” with ½” plywood. The front should be 2 ½ - 4” tall while the back is raised 12” off the ground. Regulation cornhole games contain one 6” circle. The center point should be placed 9” from the top and 12” from the side.

However, cornhole boards can be made any way you like if you’re not concerned about professional competitions. In fact, they’re the perfect project to make with leftover materials from previous projects. We decided to add in a second, larger hole for an easier target as well as kept our overall board size smaller for easier storage. For our board, we used these measurements:

  • (1) 18.5x36” board
  • (2) 36” frame sides
  • (2) 15 3/8” frame top and bottom
  • (2) 12” legs

Step 2 – Cut the Wood

Particle board being cut with a circular saw

After you measure your wood, it’s time to cut everything down to size. Cutting 2x4s for the frame and legs can be done using any type of crosscut saw. However, it can be tricky to cut the large board accurately. We used a Kreg Accu-Cut to keep our line perfectly straight. The anti-slip guide strips on the Accu-Cut kept the track in place for our circular saw without any clamps and didn’t budge as we moved through the wood.

Step 3 – Drill Pocket Holes

Kreg Jig R3 on wood stud

To hide screws and create a seamless design, we recommend joining your cornhole materials together using pocket holes. This will create a strong joint with a smooth surface, perfect for painting or sealing your game board for years of outdoor fun.

On a Kreg Jig, adjust the drill guide to the thickness of your wood. For example, 2x4s should measure 1/5” thick, so simply move the guide up to the correct measurement marked on the side of the jig. This will ensure your pocket hole will exit close to the center of your wood piece. Next, if using the Kreg Jig R3, use the setup gauge on the inside of the jig’s case to adjust the step bit’s collar to the required thickness. This will create the perfect pocket hole depth every time you drill.

Using a clamp, secure the Kreg Jig to your 2x4 pieces. Drill two holes where the frame’s sides will meet. Next, drill two pocket holes on each side facing the board. Make sure you readjust the Kreg Jig’s step bit collar to accommodate the smaller thickness of your board.

Step 4 – Assemble the Frame and Board

Securing pocket hole joint with screw

Securing cornhole board to frame

Assemble the cornhole’s frame first, using a Kreg right angle clamp or a helper with steady hands to hold the wooden sides in place. We recommend Kreg 2 ½” pocket screws as their self-tapping tip drills in easier as it creates its own hole without splitting your wood.

Once your frame is secure, attach it to the board with 1 ¼” screws.

Step 5 – Cut Holes for Bean Bags

Drilling into particle board to create hole

Keyhole saw cutting cornhole circle in particleboard

Two holes cut in cornhole board

This part can be tricky, but is a great time to get creative with your design! You can create a standard circle shape or a diamond, star, etc. If you’re not following regulation cornhole design, just make sure your holes can fit a standard 6” bean bag.

We decided to create two holes: one 6” and one 12” hole. We kept both closer to the top of the board to players could still have the opportunity to slide their tossed bean bags into a hole if it lands too low.

Draw the outline of your hole shape with a pencil. Drill a hole that’s big enough to fit the blade of your jig saw or keyhole saw. We used the Kreg Jig step bit since it was handy and coincidentally was the perfect size we needed.

Insert your saw into the hole and carefully follow your outline. If you’re creating a shape with straight lines, the Kreg Accu-Cut is a great way to ensure perfectly straight cuts for your design. It’s easy to move around as you progress through your design and won’t budge as you cut.

Step 6 – Add Legs to Your Cornhole Board

Permanent Legs on a Cornhole Board

Movable cornhole board leg

Cornhole board movable legs

You can secure your cornhole board’s legs in a permanent upright position or create rotating legs for easier storage. For non-moving legs, simply screw your cut 2x4s on the inside of the upper frame’s sides and you’re done!

For rotating legs, saw off the top corners of each 2x4 piece to create a rounded end. You may need to sand the edges to create a smooth fit against the board’s inner frame. Place the legs in the corner of the frame and test that you can move the leg up and down without getting stuck. Once you have a snug yet functional fit, secure the leg in place with a screw.

Step 7 – Optional: Add the Finishing Touches

Router on Cornhole Board Edge

You’ve now created a fun cornhole game that will be a fun activity for years to come. However, to create a safer board, and to avoid snagging your tossed bean bags, you may want to sand the edges manually or by using a router.

If storing outside, be sure to add a wood sealer or varnish to protect your game from the elements. This is also an opportunity to paint your board to make it uniquely yours. Consider painting the edges of the holes to make them pop, create fun designs along the framework and face of the board, or even add in a point system if you have multiple holes.

Whether you call it cornhole or bean bag toss, this simple game is always a fun outdoor activity for people of all ages. It’s also a great beginner project with lots of room for getting creative. By using pocket hole joints created with a Kreg Jig, your game board will not only have a smooth finish for decorating, but will also last a long time with a strongly enforced framework.