The Mono Loco Corn Hole Set

For nearly a year the guy that sits next to me at work has been bugging me to help him make a corn hole game. So a few months back we got a bunch of people from work to come over and have a building day in the garage. We made three sets of corn hole boards using these instructions and I just recently finished mine. Everybody else painted theirs or bought vinyl stickers to go over them but I went a slightly different route. I wanted my MonoLoco monkey burned in and stained. I think it turned out pretty good in the end.

Here’s building day. After about an hour at the store picking everything out, we pulled out the chalk line and circular saw to cut all of the tops.


The cornhole board is only suppose to be 3″ tall so after cutting all of the 2×4’s to size with the miter saw, we started to rip about an inch off of each one. This was probably the most time consuming part since my table saw is pretty crappy. After we got a few done, the rest of the guys started assembling the boards.


Since I don’t have a 6″ hole saw, we just pulled out the jig saw and cut the hole after measuring and marking it with a compass. The hole on the 3rd set ended up much better than the first so take your time or make some practice cuts first.


Here is the assembled pre-finish board. After the first set was done we went to the backyard for a break to grill up some burgers and play a game of cornhole.
After ordering the carbon paper, burning iron and tips, I made a small test piece on a scrap piece of wood. Just the head probably took me an hour to complete but I got much faster as I went on.

Using our plotter at work, I printed out a giant MonoLoco monkey and got to work. I took a dowel and sanded down the tip to make it kind of like a dull pencil. Using two sheets of 18″ carbon paper, I traced the whole monkey. I had to stop every ten minutes or so due to hand cramps. I think it took about an hour per monkey just to trace the lines.



After both boards had a monkey traced on them, I got to work burning in the monkey. I did one monkey a night and it probably took an hour and a half per monkey. The soft wood burned really fast but the darker grain took a lot of work.
After the monkey was burned in I painted the bottom, sides and around the hole black and then picked out my stains. I used oil based min wax stain and did a drift wood color on the inside of the monkey and a golden oak color on the rest of the board. Then I applied 5 coats of oil biased polyurethane clear coat on the top to protect it from years of abuse.

Here’s my new completed cornhole boards. I think they turned out great and were a good learning experience. I even involved my wife Erika on this project and had her sew up the bags for me. I think they ended up better than my friends bags even though they were purchased.

Lessons Learned

  1. Ripping 2×4’s with a crappy table saw sucks.. Save money and get a good one from the start or you will regret it when you start shopping for a new one again.
  2. Take your time on cutting the holes.
  3. Wood burning is best done on softer boards unless you have lots of time to play with a little harder wood.
  4. Making your own bags might take longer but they just might turn out better.


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