DIY Cornhole Boards

I was introduced the game of cornhole while visiting my best friend in Massachusetts. Since then it has quickly become a summer and fall favorite.

Since I moved to Pullman, Washington to finish my degree I have become a hard core, bleeding crimson and gray, Saturday loving, COUG!

Since tailgating is so big here (as in any self-respecting college town), I decided last summer that I was going to make a set of Washington State University themed cornhole boards.

My dad helped me build the boards, and let me tell you… when my dad decides to build something he does it right… these are by far the most sturdy boards at the tailgate.

This link will take you to the instructions for the boards. We tweaked it a little but for the most part these instructions worked really well.


use all proper safety equipment when using any tool!

We used a Hole saw for a power drill to cut the actual hole for the bean bags. It was a much more even circle.

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After you get the boxes all put together, you want to sand everything down. This is really important because you want the bean bags to slide on them. We used a power sander and hand held sand paper. Make sure you get the inside of the hole nice and smooth.

I used a Bear primer in white to prime the top, sides, and bottom of the boards, and the legs. It took about three coats to to get the paint even. You are better off using some kind of a fluffy roller for super smooth finishes. Using a brush will leave to much texture.

You MUST let these dry completely! If you don’t, any design you try and put on here will not work.

Try and draw out your design, before you get going… it makes life a lot easier!

IMG_7047Now, the week that I was working on these was brutally hot! So having a few beers didn’t hurt either!

While I was looking for just the right crimson paint I happened to find one called “Stadium Red” by Ralph Lauren… It was the PERFECT crimson! I had the color mixed in to a Bear paint, and purchased a dark grey as well.

Remember when you are marking your design on the board, you will not be able to erase pencil marks on this paint. so try and print all of your designs out and make sure everything is to scale.

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Don’t bother trying to use that blue painters tape. It will be a waste of your time and money. Invest in some Frog Painters Tape. It seals the edges better and peals off perfectly.


Those who are in the Pac-12 or are familiar with the insanity that is Cougar Nation, know that our logo is a big deal to us.

Seriously… don’t mess with our logo.

It was really important that I get it just right. Because trying to free hand it with bright crimson paint was quite frankly terrifying, I printed the image out in the right size. I then turned it over and used a pencil to trace around the outline. Then I flipped it over on the spot where I wanted to the image, and used a pen to trace around the outline. The pencil that was on the back, then transferred to the board.

IMG_0764I didn’t want the paint to turn out pink, so it took about four coats to get it just right. Keep in mind that if it is hot out… like it was when I was doing this, you may need to do the painting after the sun has gone down.

You also want to wait until all of the paint is 100% dry before pealing the tape off. If it is still tacky the paint is liable to peal off with the tape.

This was the finished paint job!


Your goal is to get the bean bags to slide across the board’s surface and through the hole. So the board needs to be smooth. Because I used an oil based paint it was pretty smooth. But we were perplexed with how to seal the top. Varnish and acrylic spray were just way to risky. We didn’t want the paint colors to bleed together or change color! After researching online, my dad came up with a fairly expensive solution.

It was totally worth it though.

We ended up purchasing two sheets of crystal clear acrylic.

Leave the plastic film attached to one side of the acrylic until you are ready to attach it to the board. You can take off the plastic for the side that will be against the board, and leave the film on the side that will have the bags sliding across it. This will prevent scratching.

Using the same hole saw for a power drill we lined up the acrylic with the board and marked the hole. Then we took the acrylic and placed it on a piece of plywood and cut. Be really careful because you don’t want the acrylic to crack.

After you are done you can mark where you want the screws to be. Carefully drill the holes in the acrylic and the board. Then use a hand screwdriver or a power screwdriver and very slowly attach the acrylic to the boards.

Don’t tighten them to tight or you run the risk of the edges cracking.

After you are done, peel the film of of the acrylic and wipe it down with a paper towel.

You are ready to go!

However, we went one step farther and attached bottle openers to the top ledge!


Now all you need to do is make the bags!

Use a heavy cotton fabric, you will need eight bags.

This lovely gal has the best instructions!


I hope you enjoy your new tailgate toy!