5.04.2019

How we made our own homemade Guinness Beer Label Cornhole or Bags Game Boards (and a warning against one on ebay)



A couple months ago we decided to make our own game boards for the bean bag tossing game called Cornhole in the South and Bags up North.  The boards were going to be used for our daughter's wedding reception in May so we decided to make her and her fiance' a personalized board and then make a second set of 'something' that we could either keep or gift to someone else.

These are not ours, but here is an image from some decals available through Amazon that give you an idea of the personalized style boards we were making and giving to the happy couple;





For the second set, my husband and I decided a "Guinness" beer theme would be perfect.

There's a long history of Guinness themed items in our home, so it was fitting.  I knew my husband would never actually get around to building the game boards for me so I started by ordering 2 sets of unfinished Cornhole/Bags games.  I decided on regulation size instead of the slightly smaller backyard recreation size since we already had a backyard size and a smaller fun sized.  NOTE:  Had I known a couple months ago what size image I would end up having to use, I would have opted for the smaller size board (3X2) but at the time I had a different version in my head.  More on that in a second.

When I started to look for a large decal to use on the boards, I quickly found this was not going to be as easy as I thought.  Most of the decals found (everywhere) online were very small stickers or at best, a window cling size for a car or truck.  Another issue I ran into is that I really didn't like any of them.

The vision I had and what I wanted was the old, ivory, "GUINNESS ORIGINAL" label.   We had already stained our boards with wood stain, and I wanted a large, oval label to cover the bottom.

After a lot of research, thought, and decision making I found a seller on ebay that had a Guinness label like this, but he/she was selling the entire board WRAP which is a full sized image that you apply and wrap around your boards.  We didn't need or want the whole wrap, just the image.  But the wrap was printed to look like old weathered, rustic wood boards, with a weathered logo.  I decided I could order it and cut out the logo we wanted, apply it to our boards, sand down the edges where it looked weathered, to blend with our boards and then finish the whole thing.

And I was pretty excited about this plan!  
WARNING AHEAD..... for those looking at the same one on ebay.

I honestly had forgotten that ebay was a 'thing'.   I used to order and have even sold on ebay 'back in the day' but the sellers got shiftier, the shipping got pricier and honestly, over the past 7 years or so, I've just forgotten it even really existed.  BUT unfortunately the ONLY Guinness decal image I could find online that was the right style and size was from a seller on ebay.  This seller had sold thousands of items so I thought it would be quick and easy... but I clicked on their name to look at their ratings and I was now stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Not so great ratings.  In the 80% range and a pretty high number of buyers reporting they never received their item, the seller wouldn't communicate, or the item was really, really horrible quality.  MANY warnings not to buy from this seller...

So I debated about 3 days on this.  I searched for other options and I always ended back on that one seller because that was the label I wanted and it was so hard to find on a decal.

I told my husband if the item arrived and it was really thin and bad quality, it didn't matter, since we were cutting out the logo anyway.  And even though many buyers weren't getting their items, they were for really small 'vape' stickers and wraps so I thought for sure a $50 large wrap would surely not be overlooked and we would get our product.  So I bought it.

And about a week later I logged into ebay to see the shipper had marked it 'shipped' - but there was no shipping company listed and no tracking number.  I had a bad feeling but I waited.  And waited.  And waited.

The ebay estimated shipping dates came and went so I started to contact the seller.  I was very polite and asked if I could have the name of the shipping company they used and a tracking number as it hadn't arrived.  Nothing.  So I asked again.  I got a response but it was weird.  All it said was " was it sent to _____ " with my address.  I responded to the affirmative and asked again when it would arrive.  No response.

The clock was ticking, it had been almost a month.  No product, no responses to my emails.
I finally had to use the contact seller button to start the 'request product or refund' option.
The next morning, without any response from the seller, I had a refund.

But I had WASTED A MONTH WAITING ON THE PRODUCT.  And now I was ALMOST OUT OF TIME.

I again started searching for decals and stickers.

LONG STORY MADE SHORT:  I suddenly thought to myself;  "Why don't you just buy a poster instead?"

Light bulb moment.  WHY it took me 3 days to think of it, I have no idea.  

I quickly jumped online to see what cheap/frugal post options I had that were the old, ivory label I wanted, but had to ship QUICK because if we didn't get these boards made, they wouldn't be ready for the wedding.  In the end, I opted for this Guinness poster from Amazon.  It was smaller than I wanted, but it would work.  It's an 11X14 inch print.  (By the way - pretty good quality.  Heavy paper, not thin, and sturdy.  Arrived safely in rolled tubes, in a protected Amazon box).




Posters (I ordered two of them) arrived.
  • The first step was to unroll them and lay them under something heavy to flatten them out for a day.
  • Then, using sharp scissors, I cut around the edge, leaving about 1/2 inch black border.
  • The original plan was to sand the edges to give the 'weathered' look to the label so I wasn't too careful about my cut line.  In hindsight I would have been a little more precise because we ended up not sanding them.  But they still turned out fine!
  • Then, using Loctite Spray Adhesive I sprayed the back of the ovals and placed them where I wanted them on the boards.  The great thing about the adhesive is that I could remove and reposition them to get them 'just right' as they adhere well, but also come off and on so very easily.
  • After they were in place we decided we liked the look of the black solid border and decided not to sand them to give them a weathered look after all.  So we started to put the 'finish' on the boards.

Most people will use a varnish or top coat of their choice - like a polyurethane.  We didn't have a can on hand and didn't feel like running to the store, but wanted to get started on them right away.  My husband builds guitars so we DO have on hand is Tru-Oil which we love love love love love.  It takes a lot of coats, but the finish is gorgeous, so we opted to finish our boards with about 20 layers of Tru-Oil (link below).  You can use whichever top coat you want of course!


PHOTOS of our steps



I ordered 2 posters on Amazon

Quickly cut around the label we wanted to use

Spray the back with adhesive. This allows you to reposition the label on the board to get it where you want it

For this size poster 11X14 I would opt for the smaller 3X2 ft boards but originally the image we had planned was larger

LOVING the GUINNESS label with the stained wood background

About half way through the Tru Oil layers




Here are links to the products related to this post.  This is the actual poster(s) I bought to use, from Amazon.  There is another site online that sells the same poster but I got free shipping through Amazon, so it was the more frugal option for me.





Beyond The Wall Guinness Label Vintage Beer Alcohol Advertising Art Poster Print (11x14 UNFRAMED Print)


We have Tru-Oil on hand all the time and we love this stuff so we opted to use it to finish our boards.  It takes longer, as you have to rub in about 20 layers to get a really thick, gorgeous finish, but again... we love it.


  Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil Stock Finish 32 Ounce



I did not order my boards from Amazon, but you can get your boards pretty much anywhere.  There is the longer, 4 foot regulation size or the 3 foot, backyard rec size.  For the poster above, the smaller size would look great, but I ordered both sets of the larger boards because our original plan looked best on the longer board.  I still think it turned out GREAT with either size.


  ZENY Portable Solid Wood Cornhole Bean Bag Toss Game Set Regulation Size 4ft x 2ft Cornhole Boards and 8 Bags Playset Backyard Lawn Corn Hole Outdoor Game Set





  Tailgating Pros 4'x2' Cornhole Boards w/Carrying Case & Set of 8 Cornhole Bags (You Pick Color) 25 Bag Colors! (Stars/Stripes, 3'x2' Boards)

































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