I guess I'm crafty after all (painted and monogramed corn hole boards!)

For years, I was convinced that I wasn't crafty despite the fact that I love painting.  Liking something and thinking you do it well are two different things!  So, while I enjoyed DIY projects around the house, I didn't think I was doing anything all that great.

Until wedding planning started.  I realized that I love wedding projects and I'm pretty happy with how they turn out. Hooray!

Of course, up until now, my projects were fairly small...some moss letters, boutonnieres for my ring bearers, table numbers, and some partially DIYed hangers.  There was one big project in the back of my mind and I decided to tackle it over the holidays.  Corn hole boards.

Image from Style Me Pretty / Photo by Shyla Photography

I first saw corn hole boards when visiting friends in Ohio back in 2004.  They were wild about the lawn game.  They even traveled with their boards, taking them to Cincinnati Bengals games so they could play in the parking lot while tailgating.  Their pictures from football games showed that scores of people did the same.  I had never seen corn hole in Boston, but when I moved to Virginia, I saw it a few more times.

I decided that I was going to DIY a set of boards about a month into our engagement.  There are lots of people selling unfinished boards online, but most seemed a bit flaky.  After a few failed attempts at making plans with Craigslist sellers, I found a local guy with a website called Corn Chucker selling well made corn hole boards.  I emailed him and I had my boards a few hours later.

Sidenote: Just a couple days later, his wife was behind me in line at that J. Crew sale where I bought my bridesmaids dresses for $30.  Small world!!!

I put the boards away for a while and decided that I would start working on them when I had a few days off over the holidays.  After priming the boards and painting a base coat of light blue paint, I cobbled together a design by using parts of a free download I found on the Wedding Chicks website and adding a few flowers that I liked from another wedding related item we have (the source is a secret for now).   Then I used a borrowed LCD projector to help me get the design onto the boards.  I projected the images and then traced them with pencil.

It took forever and I had to paint over mistakes a few times, but I eventually had my design sketched out on the boards.

Then came the back breaking job of painting the flowers.  I used teeny, tiny paint brushes and acrylic paints from the craft store for this.  I probably spent about $10 on supplies.  It took about five days of painting before I was reasonably satisfied with the flowers.  I alternated between sitting on the floor with the boards upright and leaning over them while they were laying on the dining table with blankets under them.  

Moving on to the banner and lettering, I realized that there was far less wiggle room on the design.  If you happen to make a flower petal a bit longer than expected, that's no big deal.  If you make the third letter in a word longer than expected, that looks a bit odd.  At this point, I started working in small bursts.

I was constantly asking Marc if things looked okay.  We've all had the experience of being "too close" to a project and not seeing a mistake until a fresh set of eyes pointed it out.  He took a few pictures so I could see things from a different perspective.

With going back to work a day or two away, I make a final push to get the boards done.  I also knew that I wanted to put a coat of polyurethane on the boards and the freakishly warm weather we were having would make that possible.  If the temperature dropped, I probably couldn't put the poly coat on.

So here's the almost finished project.  Marc pitched the idea of a bridesmaids vs. groomsmen match and I think our wedding party is up for it.

It's kind of neat to see my color scheme on tangible items now instead of just seeing them as swatches.  I might add a little yellow to the boards before I coat them so they tie in a little better with the fabric I'm using for other projects, like our table numbers.

You might have seen a hint at my next project in one of the earlier pictures...I'm hoping to make signs for our chairs that go along with the rest of the decor.

I know some people might think this was a crazy amount of work to do for a corn hole set, but I'm pretty proud of myself for this one!  I also imagine us having these boards for years to come, pulling them out at barbecues and parties after we're married.

Did anyone else buy or make something for an event with the thought that they'd use it long after the big day is over?


  1. Ack!!  I need these!  Wow, they just look beautiful and are suh a cool memento.  Great job!

  2. Hi Jeannine, how much would you charge to do our custom corn hole for our upcoming wedding? ;) email me @ Bennett.brianna@gmail.com

  3. These turned out beautifully!  You did such a great job!

  4. so glad to have stumbled upon your blog!  I am making cornhole boards for our engagement photos for our wedding on June 2, 2012 and I am also and "older" bride - a ripe old 29!  :)  your boards turned out beautifully!

  5. Oh my gosh, Jeannine, it's amazing! I wasn't even going to do cornhole. . . but now I think I need to copy you!

    So you seem really prepared, and it's 5 months away. I guess I need to get cracking.

    (I was trying to beat the temps and get my painting / poly done on the beds I'm refinishing but didn't make it in time. )

  6. Hi Jeannine. You are sooo right there are some sketchy cornhole builders out there. But you did a great job! Maybe I need to hire you to our team? We have very high standards for our designs and build methods/materials as well.

    If anyone else is likes this idea but doesnt have the time to invest in it. My wife and I sell fully customized sets as well as some standardized wedding designs on Etsy. We live just a couple hours north of Charlottesville in Berryville, VA. The first picture in your post is actually one that we had taken by a professional photographer. Perhaps you could share a link to our Etsy store? http://stylemycorntoss.etsy.com


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