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How to Build a Cornhole Toss Game for the Backyard


We know how expensive it can get spending money on things that you want for your family. By building this durable, high quality cornhole toss game yourself, you can save some money. It should last for years, when properly cared for. It would make a great gift for a birthday or Christmas.

 

We used the specifications set by the American Cornhole Association for the platform. We made this for a lot less than what a comparable well made cornhole toss game could cost in the retail stores.

 

A fun backyard lawn game!

 

 

Wear safety goggles, and be safe. If you don’t have power tools, they can cut the boards to the dimensions you need at the home improvement store when you buy the wood. Bring your cut list with you to the store.

 

Wood (for 2 platforms)

2 – 24” x 48” half-inch plywood with a veneer – this will help provide a smooth play surface

2 x 4 boards:

4 – cut to 24” (2 for each platform) – for the frame
4 – cut to 45” (2 for each platform) – for the frame
4 – legs, see Cornhole Toss Plan below for length, and for cutting the angle of the end that rests on the ground

 

Hardware (for 2 platforms)

8 – 5/16” hex bolts (with smooth shaft and threaded end) – for legs
8 – 5/16” wing nuts – for legs
16 – 5/16” washers – for legs
16 – 1 5/8“ deck screws (8 for each frame)
28 – 1 5/8” stainless steel screws – for top of platform (14 for each platform – see Cornhole Toss Plan below for locations); You can use the outdoor screw of your choice just make sure it is rust resistant (double hot-dipped galvanized, deck screws, stainless steel), or you will eventually see rust appearing through the paint. This is not good, especially when you put a lot of time into a project!

 

We chose the stainless steel screws for their ability to countersink themselves – they are just so easy to use! We covered the countersink openings with wood filler. We did not want any of the screws visible, or to be sticking up slightly where it would interfere with play. And we were going for a more finished look.

 

After all the wood is cut, prime all of it with an exterior grade primer, before assembling the pieces (water find its way into all joints). Any bare wood is at risk for water damage over time.

 

 

Making the Cornhole Toss Platform

Playing Surface:

Plywood is available in ready cut 24” x 48” pieces. This will save you some work. Or, you may have some scrape pieces of half-inch plywood around the house. Just be sure you can actually get two 24” x 48” pieces from it.

 

You will need to cut a 6” diameter circle (hole) in both pieces of plywood. Measure down 9” from the top end of the plywood, and centered from both sides.

 

Cornhole Toss Plan: dimensions for platform

 

 

This intersection is the center of your circle. Use a carpenter’s compass to draw the 6” diameter circle. Use a jigsaw to cut out the hole (you can also use a 6” hole saw for this). To use the jigsaw to cut out the hole, drill a hole (large enough to accommodate your jigsaw blade) with a drill bit, near the inside edge of the 6” diameter circle that you just drew. This will provide an opening to insert the blade. See Photo A.

 

Photo A

 

 

Sand all surfaces and edges (including the edges of the 6” diameter holes – plywood edges can be sharp) before priming. The 24” x 48” platform top should be as smooth (not slippery) as possible so nothing interferes with play.

 

 

Frames:

Build each frame by using two of the 24”, and two of the 45”, 2 x 4 boards. We built the frame using pocket holes (drill pocket holes before priming) with a Kreg pocket hole jig. This way the screws would not be visible. If you don’t mind the screws being visible, you can place the screws on the outside of the frame, or instead of the pocket holes, you could use four 2 1/2″ x 1 1/2” corner brackets – rust resistant fasteners please! Keep checking to make sure everything is square after each step.

 

A completed frame – built using pocket holes

 

We attached the 24” x 48” plywood platforms to the frames with 1 5/8″ stainless steel screws (14 screws on each platform – see Cornhole Toss Plan above for reference). Make sure each corner of the plywood is secured with a screw so it does not warp.

 

Legs:

Cut the legs (2 for each platform) as per the Cornhole Toss Plan. The bottom of the legs will be cut on an angle. The legs should be bolted squarely (90 degrees) to the platform. When attached to the platform they will provide the proper slope for the playing surface.

 

Paint:

Now you can paint it! Be sure to use an exterior paint with a gloss finish. Use an exterior paint even if you plan to put it in a covered area each night. Being outdoors, your cornhole toss platform will be exposed to dampness, humidity, and temperature fluctuations. The top surface of the platform needs to be smooth, and the gloss finish paint will help with that (and provides a durable and long lasting finish). Gloss finish paint is thicker and requires a longer drying period, even more so in high humidity. All tackiness should be gone before applying the second and third coats.

 

Maybe your kids would like to help choose the colors. We wanted a summertime water scheme so we used an aqua, a marine blue, and white.

 

The grown-ups will love this game also, for those friendly family get-togethers!

 

If you are interested in sewing your own cornhole toss bags, click here for the easy and fun DIY project!

 

For information on how to play: Official Game Rules for Cornhole Toss

 

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