DIY Cornhole Game for Tailgates or Backyard Fun

Jennifer Largesse

Article Posted By: Jennifer Largesse

of Build - Basic

 

This DIY cornhole game is sure to be a hit at tailgates and backyard cookouts. Jennifer Largesse of Build Basic designed this DIY cornhole board– or bag toss game– to have fold-down legs to make storing and transporting it easy.

All you’ll need is some project panel, common hardware and some simple tools. Customize it with your favorite team colors or a cool design.

DIY Cornhole Game

Whether you call it cornhole, baggo, or bag toss, it’s all fun with this game. The key is to create the simple frame with fold-down legs, and then customize it with your favorite colors or team emblem. Once complete, you’ll have entertainment for all ages at a cookout, tailgate, or even a big event!  

 

Tools 

  • Tape Measure 
  • Miter Saw 
  • Jig Saw 
  • Drill 
  • Drill/Driver 
  • ¾-inch spade bit to create the holes for the rope 
  • 3/8-inch drill bit to create holes for the carriage bolts 
  • 3/16-inch drill bit (or similar) to create the pilot holes 
  • Countersink Drill Bit 
  • Hammer 
  • Compass  
  • Sander 

Materials 

Cut List 

  • 2 x 4 Sides – 4 @ 48 inches 
  • 2 x 4 Ends – 4 @ 21 inches 
  • 2 x 4 Legs – 4 @ 14½ inches 
  • ½-inch Plywood – 2 @ 24 x 48 inches 

Steps 

Step 1: Cut the Parts 

Using a miter saw, cut the 2 x 4 frame parts to size to create four 48-inch-long sides and four 21-inch-long ends. Additionally, cut four legs to 14½-inches. 


 Step 2: Create Holes for the Carriage Bolts 

Mark the location of the hole for each carriage bolt that will attach the legs 3½-inches from one end of each long 2 x 4 “side” board. Mark the center of the line across the width of the board. Place the board on a scrap block.

Using a drill fitted with a 3/8-inch drill bit, drill through the board.

Repeat to prep the remaining sides.  


Step 3: Prep the Frame for Assembly 

Using a drill fitted with a 3/16 inch drill bit (or similar), drill pilot holes near each corner of the long “side” boards.  

 


Step 4: Drill the Handle Holes  

Each handle requires two holes for the rope to fit through. Mark the location of these holes on two “side” boards centered on the length of each board, and spaced 5-inches apart.

Place the first board on a scrap piece of wood. Using a drill fitted with a ¾-inch spade bit, drill through the board at each mark.

Repeat to create the holes in the second board.

Note that one “side” board with handles should be used per assembled game board.  


 

Step 5: Angle the Base of Each Leg 

Make a mark on the edge of each leg that is 1-7/8 inches from its base. Draw a line from the mark to the opposite corner to create an angled line on one end of each leg. Set the miter saw to about 37-degrees, and then cut the line on each leg.  


 

Step 6: Round over the Top of Each Leg 

The top of each leg needs to be “rounded” to turn freely once attached to the frame. The can be done by scribing a semicircle on the top of the leg and cutting it with a jigsaw, or simply “clipping” the top corners with a miter saw. To clip the corners, set the miter saw to 45-degrees, and then remove 1 inch from each corner.  

 


Step 7: Drill a Hole in Each Leg 

Mark a line 1 inch from the top edge of each leg. Place the first leg on a scrap block. Using a drill fitted with a 3/8-inch bit, drill a hole through the leg, centered on the line.  

 


Step 8: Mark a Hole on the Plywood 

Make a mark on each plywood project panel that’s 9 inches from the top edge, and centered on the panel.

Set the spread of a compass to a radius of 3 inches. Rotate the compass around the mark to draw a circle.

Repeat on the second panel.  

 


Step 9: Cut the Hole 

Place the first panel on several scrap blocks to raise it off the work surface. Set the jigsaw on the edge of the board to ensure that, in its lowest position, the blade of the jigsaw runs clear of the work surface.

Using a drill fitted with a 3/8-inch drill bit, create a starter hole for the jigsaw inside the marked circle, near its edge.

Place the jigsaw blade into the starter hole, and then cut the perimeter of the circle.

Repeat to create the hole in the remaining panel.  


 

Step 10: Sand the Parts 

Sand the parts smooth removing all splinters and rough edges.  


 

Step 11: Lay Out the Frame 

Place a project panel face-down on the work surface to use as a guide. Place two long sides of the frame onto the panel. Sandwich the two short end boards between the sides flush with their ends.   


 

Step 12: Assemble the Frame 

Apply wood glue to the places where the 2 x 4 frame pieces meet.

Then, using a drill/driver, drive 3½-inch exterior-grade wood screws through the pilot holes in the corners of the “sides” and into the short 2 x 4 end boards.  


 

Step 13: Attach the Deck 

Flip the frame assembly and deck over, then drill pilot holes at each corner of the deck. Space them evenly—about every 6 inches—through the deck and into the frame around the perimeter.

Use a countersink bit to prep each hole.

Apply wood glue to the top edge of the frame, and then sink 1¼-inch wood screws through the deck and into the frame. Repeat to assemble the remaining game board.  


 

Step 14: Add the Legs 

Drive a carriage bolt through the 3/8-inch holes in each frame. Slide a leg onto each bolt with the long point of its angled base facing upward.  

 


Step 15: Set the Bolt 

To set the bolt and keep it from spinning, hit the bolt with a hammer. Knock the bolt into the wood until the head of the bolt sets flush against the wood and the squared section below the head is fully locked into the wood.  


 

Step 16: Secure the Legs 

Thread a washer and wing nut onto each bolt to secure the legs in place.  

 


Step 17: Add the Handles 

Cut the three-foot section of rope in half. Tie a knot at one end of each rope.

Feed a piece of rope from the inside of each frame to the outside, and then back in through the second hole.

Adjust each handle until it bows about 2½ inches away from the frame, and then knot the remaining side inside each frame.  

 


Step 18: Paint or Stain Your Cornhole Game

Paint your DIY cornhole game to customize it.

And that’s it! Enjoy your DIY cornhole game.

Find more DIY projects here on The Home Depot Blog.

If making a DIY ladder golf game just isn’t your thing, we have ladder golf game equipment online in our Lawn and Backyard Games section.