In the spring of 2009, I started getting into flea markets to try to show off everything I was making, including the cornholes. One such market was the Painesville Flea Market at the fairgrounds, which was actually my first such venue. I showed up with a pick up truck carefully loaded so nothing touched and a lot of big dreams of taking orders all weekend long. I found that I had choices of booth size and locations, all related to cost of course. Now, keep in mind, this was indoors, which, considering the change of weather in Ohio, turned out to be ideal. So I made my booth selection and they helped me unload and get set up and before long, I was officially in business.
So, there I sat for two whole days, (Saturday and Sunday), eating their donuts and coffee for breakfast and hot dogs and coke for lunch (at a reasonable price) and talked to everyone who would listen, but no customers. But, I did get two lessons out of the experience. One, was that a lot of people said that, even though my "stuff" was nice, it was more craft show material. I had forgotten what a flea market actually was, and that was a place to get rid of things you no longer wanted that was in your closets or garage or basement and recycle it through selling it.
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's really great. I like flea markets and they are fun to walk through, because you just never know what you might end of with. Like that big one in Hartville. (Yes, I showed there also)
Just not much in the way of arts and crafts at most flea markets.
LORDY, I CAN MAKE THAT THING!
The second lesson I found really amusing and I always got a kick out of it each time I heard it.It was usually a man and woman that would stop by the booth, she would pick up something, examine it, such as a "two step" step stool and she would say to him, "honey, you could make that" and he would just grunt and look away. Or he would say "I think I'll make one of those for ya" showing off his skills. Then put it down and walk away.
Best part is, I know they're not going to make one. Same way with the cornholes. At a craft show or flea market they are heavy to pick up so people would just stand and stare at them, make a comment about how easy they are to make, then move on. Truth is, they are easy to make if you do it right. But it is what goes on them that is the real art which makes them really, really good. We are talking five and six coats of paint, because every line has to be just right. Like the one in the picture at the top. Look at some of the other pictures on this blog. These are not decals. They are hand painted, by me, who cannot paint, but I managed to do these.
Now, I am going to get redundant here. Cornholes are not the only thing I do. There is lots more and we can talk about that as time goes on. Like for example, I have got a three tiered shelf on the finishing table now, along with two plant hangers, (really cool, wait to you see them) and two step stools. (I love step stools) Pictures coming soon enough.
TIME TO MAKE A CORNHOLE
Just driving around in the summer observing picnics (not this year though with gas the way it is) I have seen a lot of cornhole games in front yards and in parks and, honestly now, most of them were really bad. What makes a bad cornhole game? The frames are wobbly and the paint job is not good or worse. C'mon! A little pride would be nice. And don't say, you did not know how to size it or put it together. Dimensions are all over the web, but I am going to tell you again. I don't know why I feel compelled to describe the making of a cornhole, but I will do it once and then I can move on to more fun stuff. I have done so many boards that it is really getting boring. The painting is fun though!
STEP ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE AND SIX
- The cornhole boards (and you will need two of them) are 24" wide and 48" deep and 1/2" think plywood. Big box stores will cut you two boards from a large sheet of plywood, but most big box stores have them already cut in a bin in various thicknesses.
- The frame is made from 2x4's. 2x4's are strong, easy to cut, cheap and will give rigidity to the boards. Here's a tip: match the boards dimensions before cutting the 2x4's. Somethings the big box stores that cut the boards from a large sheet of plywood may undercut by 1/4" or more. Not on purpose, but they just might do it. And if you cut and screw the frame together first, it may be wider than the board by as much a 1/2".
- Remember. We want it to look good. I match each cut to the board I am using. Takes more time, but again, it looks good.
- So, cut the frame, glue the ends, and screw it together. While you are at it, cut the legs. They should be about 12" long and here's the only fancy part on the whole job. Cut one end at 12-1/2 degrees on each leg. That will make it stand nice and solid when playing and looks like you know what your doing. The legs get screwed to the inside of the frame against the back 2x4.
- The boards are even easier, but this has to be right. Find the center of the board on the 24" wide. I know your thinking 12", but remember the big box story. It may be less than 24". So find center, then come down from the top by 9" and make a mark. That is the centerline of your 6" diameter hole. Now how you cut it is up to you, just make it round; real round.
- Then put the board on the frame, and screw it in place. Ta-Da! Now finish it by sanding it to remove all the splinters, and paint it with a good outdoor paint. A couple coats would be better. And please don't mix that junk you have in the garage to make your own color. Spend some money and buy good paint. I do and I'm on fixed income, but it is that important.
Now go on-line and buy some bags. Look up cornhole bags. They must be 6" square and weigh 14 to 16 oz. They come in sets of eight (two different colors of course) And pay no more than $25.00 total and that includes freight. I buy two sets at a time and pay $43.00 from a lady outside Pittsburgh.
Local people have them but she helped me out once and I am now a loyal customer. Email me and I will give you her email.
There! Done! I have just added another site to the already 12000 on how to make a cornhole.
But you will have a good strong set ready for spring, summer and fall. Don't leave them outside. Remember, they are made of wood.
AND NOW A RULE OR TWO
Again, rules are all over the web, but if you really are interested, here are a few:
Boards are 27 feet apart, that's front edge to front edge.
Should be two players at each end, one from one team and one from the other team, making two teams. Each player throws four bags, alternating throws.
One point on the board, three points in the hole. Game is 21. Here's where things get, how should I say, imaginative. Get some good players and it can take longer than you may want it to, especially at a gathering. The right way to score is by cancellation. Let's say you get two bags in the hole for six points, and I get one in the hole and one on the board for four points. For that round, you get 2 points. See? 6 minus 4 equals 2. Could go for a while!
A good gathering format is everything counts and first to go past 21 wins. But hey, do what you want. No matter what, it is a fun game. Enjoy!
Next time, a story of the world famous leaning five foot shelf and the candy machine.
Thanks. Now go make something.