8.10.2011

DIY Cornhole: Build Your Own Yard Game

My husband wanted to have a bunch of friends over for a cookout a couple of weeks ago. We wanted to have something to do while they were here, so Scott decided to build his own cornhole game. Cornhole is a yard game where you throw bean bags through a hole to earn points (and it's also known as corn toss, bean bag toss, bean toss).

Eventually, we made this lovely yard game:


How did we get there? Let's start from the beginning...

We had a big sheet of thick MDF laying in our garage, so we decided to use that for this project. After a little research, we learned that there is an American Cornhole Association (who knew?) with an informative website, www.playcornhole.org, that gave us the exact dimensions we needed to make a legitimate cornhole game.

Scott cut the boards to size and used his saw to cut a hole in each board (proper cornhole size, of course.) Then he carefully sanded down the edges.


He framed each board, and then he added fold-out legs. (You have to make sure they raise the board to the correct angle if you're going to follow exact cornhole regulations, which Scott was adamant about.) We had all of this wood lying around, so the cost to build this game was $0. Love that!






Once they were built, it was my job to give them a custom paint job. We didn't have much spray paint in our garage, just a glossy white color and a can of oil-rubbed bronze. I wanted the game to be really masculine since it was Scott's project, so I decided the oil-rubbed bronze spray paint might give it a nice aged, industrial look. 

Once I spray painted each board, I wanted to add something to personalize the game to our family. I decided to create a stencil that would have an industrial vibe to complement the paint. "G" is for Grantham (our last name), and the "106" comes from our two jersey numbers. I was #10 on my college team, and Scott was #6. I made the stencil out of the first thing I found, construction paper.


I taped it in place and used a improvised painting technique to try to make it look old and beaten up. Using white acrylic paint, I crumpled up a paper towel and did my own version of sponge painting. I dabbed the crumpled towel into the craft paint and then smudged it inside the stencil. I think it's important to emphasize that I didn't "dab" like traditional sponge painting... my technique was more like wiping the paint on, so it would look irregular and faded.

I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but it ended up giving it a varied, unique texture that had the exact vibe I imagined.



It still needed a little something, so I decided to add graphic arrows to demonstrate the point of the game.

Once again, I made a stencil out of construction paper and used the same painting technique. 



As a final touch, I used glow-in-the-dark fabric paint to paint the inner rim of the hole. I added a thin coat over the arrows, too. We have played this game at night before, so I figured it would help if the game had a little glow once the sun goes down. 




Our DIY efforts ended with the bean bags– we needed those ASAP so we ran down and bought some at the local sporting goods store. 

This game has already been a huge hit at two summer barbeques, despite crazy 105+ temperatures in our area. We've got competitive friends who are always down to play a game, that's for sure. 


* Happy Cornhole-ing! *




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2 comments:

  1. Hey Jordan. Love this! John and I don't really remeber when we started dating so we do Two-A-Day gifts instead because we know it was sometime in August. He just moved into a house in Kansas that has a great backyard so for his Two-A-Day gift I wanted to get him Cornhole or Washers. My cousin's new husband is getting on making it when they get back from their honeymoon. I'll have to show him your blog so he could maybe use your ideas. Thanks. Hope ya'll have a great football season!

    -Abby Houston

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  2. Hey! Loving this and want to make a set of our own this summer! I visited the Cornhole website and was having a hard time finding the dimensions, etc. Do you know where I should look??

    www.lifelovelarson.blogspot.ocm

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