Sunday, October 05, 2008


People call it all sorts of things: "bags", "baggo", "bean bag toss", "cornhole", "corn toss", etc. Whatever you want to call it, there is a game that can be found just about everywhere in the Chicagoland. It seems to be popular at tailgate parties, picnics, and all sorts of park events. From what I gather, it is a primarily Midwestern phenomena that started in Ohio. This is one of the reasons I decided to make a couple sets. I figure it was about time I made a set for the Tiny Bungalow and thought it would also make a perfect gift for my nephew, who just turned 12 and lives back east.

One of the most appealing things about the game, besides its inherent white-trash overtones, is that it is a popular form of folk art. Most of the boards that you see people using are hand-made and hand-decorated with regional sports themes. I'll eventually post the designs I have for my sets but my computer is having issues right now. One of them will be decorated in orange and blue for Syracuse University. This will be my nephew's. The Tiny Bungalow set will have Sox/Cubs theme.
The carpentry is pretty easy and after the Adirondack chairs, it is a walk in the park. Nice square pieces, lap joints, flat wood - if only all projects could be like this. I've been getting pointers from a few friends on the design of these. My friend Steve insisted that I not make the regulation sized boards of 2' x 4' but make the typical Chicago tailgating size with a 3' length. This is what I'm going with. The "leg" design is pretty critical as well. I am opting for a single flat board leg and I'll post about that ponce I get making it.

The most complicated part of the project is cutting the 6" hole for the bags. My friend Mark was generous to loan me his hole saw. He's actually from Ohio and has made several sets of these and this tool was key.
The sides of the boards are made with clear pine and the tops are plywood. I screwed everything together with counter-sunk stainless steel screws.

I will eventually fill all of the holes, sand the assembly down, and prime and paint. I am guessing I'll finish this in another week or so.


J Tiu said...

Nice work! Are you buying the bags, or making them? We built some boxes too, but just borrowed the hole cutter the other day, so Eastman has yet to finish them.

I have excess canvas duck, so I'll be sewing the bags soon.

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

Yeah, I don't have a sewing machine and I don't think I want to take up ANOTHER hobby so I am just getting the bags online. They are so cheap that I figure it is worth it. Wait 'til you see the paint job I have planned. They probably won't be ready until next summer but they should look pretty cool once they are done.

Judith said...

The first time I heard about 'corn-holing' I was at a Baptist camp. Not growing up in that church, I was plenty confused..... It is a lot of fun. They also introduced us to carpet ball and knock hockey, which can get you killed if played with the right retired baptist pastor I know... (baseball bats should not be used in small spaces by people with limited vision.) : ) Have fun. -Judy

Jennifer said...

Fun! I grew up in the Midwest, and I remember that! Oh, and horseshoes, too. :)