DIY Cornhole Boards #MERICA

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#Merica The pursuit of the perfect boards

I love playing games, it really doesn’t matter the game, I have some great ones. Quelf, Cards Against Humanity, Skipo, and Smart Ass just to name a few of my favorite indoor games. I grew up playing rummy with my grandma, monopoly with my dad when I stayed home sick from school, and skipo with my sister and mom when we were at our summer cabin in New York. There’s something about strategy, competition, and… well winning that I yearn for. 

In addition to playing games and being competitive my dad taught me how to do a lot of handiwork, so I’ve never been scared to grab a power tool or a paint brush and get my hands dirty. I figure he did most of the work around the house by himself so why can’t I. A few years ago my dad and I built our own ladder ball set, which I’m due to build one for Marty and me.

So clearly tackling my own corn hole boards for hours of backyard fun is a no brainer.

In 2012 my husband and I built a set using plans that you can find online. DIY Network has a great how to on this.

They’re relativity easy to build and I love painting them. I’m a big S.Carolina Gamecock fan and my husband play for the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse team so these were our team boards!

However after 4 years and being left outside one too many times in the rain they weren’t looking so hot.

We made a pair of boards for good friends of ours as a wedding gift last year and still had the other half of plywood in the garage, so I got frisky (bored) and decided to repair our boards with the new plywood!

Supplies:

  • 2 sheets of 2’x4′ plywood
  • Primer
  • Lacquer
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Painters Tape
  • Drill
  • Deck Screws
  • Jigsaw
  • Sander
  • Detail brushes
  • mask
  • dust brush/broom
  • gloves
  • box cutter (with safety)
  • beer/wine
  • music

Mistakes I made with the original boards:

  1. I didn’t take time for the paint to dry
  2. I painted them after they were put together
  3. I didn’t sand the boards
  4. I never used lacquer to seal the boards
  5. I didn’t apply a second coat of paint
  6. I made bags last time/ Don’t do this unless you’re and expert seamstress 🙂 The regulation bags you buy from Dick’s Sporting goods are the best!

Start by cutting your new sheets of plywood, adding the holes, and sanding down the circle, sides, and top.

  • Make sure you go with the grain when you’re sanding. Plywood can be pretty rough and it makes the painting process go smoother when you take time to sand.
  • Before you prime take a brush and make sure you get rid of all the debris from sanding.
  • I love this primer. It covers great & blocks stains but is high odor. You should always wear a mask and gloves when using primers.

Next Tape off your design

  • There are plenty of options and ways to paint your boards. I’ve done Chevron, College Decor, and for these I did the US Flag.
  • There are also variations to the concept you choose. I really enjoy #1 from the pic below.

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  • If you choose to do lettering I recommend finding what you want online and printing it off. If you’re like me and NEVER have any ink in your printer I trace it right from my computer screen. All you need is paper and a pencil. There are some great websites for downloading free fonts too if you’re looking to monogram it.
  • For the chevron design, I’m very OCD about lines being straight, so i recommend measuring the middle of the board (12″) and then figuring out your angle (use a protractor) and measure your width of each line. I believe that for the ones above I used 4″ lines. Measure and tape off everything.

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  • To make sure that your tape holds you can try these clean line tips. However I have to say that I NEVER get clean lines when painting, there’s always a little bleeding especially on plywood. I do get some success with painting away from the tape line.

Next paint your boards.

 

 

  • Allow the paint to dry and then paint a second coat.

 

Allow to dry completely before pulling up the tape.

The next thing I did was cut out my star. Remember how I mentioned my talents at tracing off the computer screen? Well hence my low-cost, cardboard, star stencil. I suck at drawing stars that are symmetrical as I’m sure most of us do.  I copied this one off a google image and cut it out of notebook paper, traced it on to spare cardboard and cut it out with a box cutter.

The next step was tracing my stars onto the board. I used a boxcutter (with a safety) to do this.

  • It allowed me to trace without messing up the base color
  • It gives an edge for the shape I’m filling in.
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You can see the stars in the picture. I know there is also a pen- but DO NOT use a pen to trace your shapes it could mess up the base coats of paint.

Then I started painting. For this step I recommend beer/wine and good music. It took me about 4 hours.

  • Use a fine line crafting paint brush for the stars. Take your time, It will look better in the end.

After it dried I went back and taped off the inside section, then painted 2 coats of the red.

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Once it dries and you pull the tape up you may see some bleeding. I took a 1″ flat crafting brush and went back and did my touchups.

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While that dried I grabbed my old boards and deconstructed them.

I want to note that the “rubber band in to loosen a stripped screw” trick did NOT work for me.  I ended up using a crowbar to get the old plywood off.

Then I brushed off the dirt and debris from the frames and sanded,primed, and painted them.

(ignore the donation pile in the background) 

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After they dry attach the new plywood with 4″ deck screws. Then apply the lacquer.

I like this Minwax, Polycrylic Water Base. It’s low odor and washes away clean. I also purchased Matte. It costs about $9-12 at Lowes. Follow the directions on the can. I did not sand after it dried) Do apply 2 coats.

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You’re All Done! Enjoy your boards!

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4 thoughts on “DIY Cornhole Boards #MERICA

  1. Pingback: 21 Creative Corn Hole Boards For Your Next Backyard Game Night

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