How to Build a Bean Bag Game Board and Make the Bean Bags
Bean Bag Board
Legs for Board
Instructions for Bean Bag Board
To make two bean bag boards you will need:
- 2 - 24x42x1" plywood or plain wood - for the tops of the boards
- 4 - 13x1½" square boards - for the legs (This allows for sawing the legs to an angle.)
- 4 - 4x22x1" plywood or plain wood - for top and bottom of frame
- 4 - 4x42x1" plywood or plain wood - for sides of frame
- Screw and nails
- 8 - 2½- 3" bolts with washers and nuts
Before you assemble the top and frame of the board, you need to saw a 6" circle about nine inches down from one edge of the 24x42" piece. The top edge of the circle should be nine inches from the top edge of the 24x42" piece, which makes the center of the hole twelve inches from the top edge. This hole should be in the center of the board from side to side, which makes the center of the hole twelve inches from each side also.
The two 4x42x1"" frame pieces need to be sawed so that the one edge is 4" wide and the other edge is 3" wide to allow the board to sit at an angle. The two sides of the frame (4x42x1" pieces) need to be attached to the 24x42" top with four screws ( or nails) placed equidistant along the sides. Then attach the two 4x22x1" pieces between the 4x42x1" pieces already screwed to the top. Two screws (or nails) should be placed equidistant from the edges. If you use screws, try to countersink the screws on the top so there are no edges poking out to catch the bean bags.
The end of the leg pieces need to be sawed to an angle so that one side of the leg is 12" and one side of the leg 11½". Drill holes in the corners 1½" in from the bottom of the 4x22" top frame (the end where the circle is cut out) and 2 ¾" from the bottom of the 4x42" side frame. Turn framework upside down and set the legs inside the corner of the frame, with the 12" edge of the leg piece flat along the 4x22" frame and, using a long nail or pick, mark the places on the leg where you need to drill matching holes. Before you attach the legs, mark each one with a number and match the corner of the frame with the same number. That way if you ever take the legs off, you will be able to match the correct leg with the right corner when you put them back on. We learned that the hard way. (Maybe your measuring and drilling are more accurate than mine was.) Attach legs with bolts, washers, and nuts making sure the 12" edge of the leg is placed against the top 4x22" frame. Two boards need to be made for a game.
Thoroughly sand the entire piece smooth. Then if you want to make the game more difficult paint or stain the wood. The paint or stain will make it slicker and the bean bags will slide off making it more difficult to get close to the hole.
Since many people play bean bags when they tailgate at football games, many of them paint their boards in the colors of their favorite team, and make the bags of material matching their team colors
For your bean bags, you need the following:
- 1 yd. of 42" heavyweight material
- 1 yd of 42" contrasting heavyweight material
- 8 lbs. of white popcorn
The material I used in the picture you see was heavy pillow ticking. I have also used camouflage material, which is good and sturdy. Just make sure you have two contrasting pieces of material for each four bags. That way you can determine whose bag went through the hole or is still on the board. Cut eight 14"x7" pieces out of each of the two contrasting pieces of material. Fold in half, right sides together, and stitch a 1/2" seam around two sides, leaving third side open for filling. Trim seams. Turn right side of material out and fill pocket with 1 lb. of white popcorn. Then sew up the open end of the bag. (We use popcorn instead of beans because if the bags are left out and get wet, or even damp, the beans tend to grow and split but the popcorn doesn't.) You can always use beans if you want to.
Rules of the Game
The two game boards are placed approximately 25 feet apart. The distance can be shortened or lengthened to increase or decrease the difficulty of the game. Two players, or four players, can play bean bags. One player from each team stands by one board and the other two stand by the second board. The player throwing the bag stands behind the board and throws his bags at the other board. Each player has four bags and takes turns throwing them. After one player throws his four bags, they remain on the board and the opponent on that end throws his bags. Sometimes, that way, a bag that was on the board can be knocked off by the opponent. Normally, a "ringer" scores 2 points and a bag on the board scores one each. (If a bag is hanging over the side of the board, the board is lifted carefully to see if the bag will fall off, or remain on to be counted.) The team or player who scores 21 first wins the game.
Whoever plays the game can make up their own rules. If playing with younger children, you would want to make it easier. When there is stiff competition between players, the rules can be more difficult. No matter what the rules, just have fun!
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