I recently built a set of American flag cornhole boards for a client, and I was thrilled with the results. Here’s a quick look at how the project came together. I’m always excited to work on a custom piece for a client, especially when it gives me the chance to push myself and try out materials and techniques that are new to me.
The cornhole boards themselves were fairly straightforward – 3/4″ ply for the top. 2′ x 4′ with a 6″ hole centered 9″ from the top edge. I do put a little twist on the standard design, but I’ll get to that in a bit. For now, here’s how the boards looked before I started painting:
The client requested a two-tone flag: everything red and blue on the real flag changed to a translucent dark gray; everything white left as natural wood.
I’m not an artist by any stretch, so the only option for me for creating the flag was a stencil. I wanted to practice on a small scale to get the color right and practice, with a stencil. I grabbed a piece of scrap plywood and cut a 1/4-scale flag out of adhesive vinyl on my Silhouette Cameo. Here are the results:
I created the translucent charcoal grey with a mixture of three ingredients: black and white acrylic craft paint and glazing medium, which is essentially acrylic paint without any pigment. It thins the color of the paint without thinning the consistency of the paint and making it runny like water would. Thinning the paint with water results in it flowing under the stencil, leaving a ragged edge.
After getting approval from the client on the color, I applied flag stencils to the cornhole boards. Rather than cutting the entire thing out on my Cameo, I made the stripes out of painter’s tape and just cut the stars out of adhesive vinyl in the familiar flag pattern. Here’s a look at the boards after I applied the stencils:
I painted the boards, peeled the stars and stripes, brushed on four coats of spar urethane, and bolted on the folding legs. Most cornhole builds stop there, but as I said earlier, I add a slight twist.
Rather than making the sides of the boards out of standard 2x4s, I rip down 2x6s to 2.5″ strips. The thinner profile makes each board easier to carry, and it makes the set manageable enough that they can be latched together for easier transportation and storage.
Here’s a final look at the finished boards separate and latched together:
Interested in a set of custom cornhole boards (or anything else you can dream up)? Contact me, and let me know what I can build for you.