Category Archives: wood

Quidditch Cornhole Boards

The Quidditch Cornhole Boards are finally completed! Between retouching, cold weather, and paint that took forever to dry these took way longer than I was anticipating. In fact, the process of building the actual boards took way less time than painting them. Despite all of the setbacks they are finally complete. Now, I just have to either make or purchase bean bags. 

Without further ado, here is how I made these. To begin, I made a trip to my local hardware store to purchase my wood. I was in a hurry and didn’t have them cut it for me, which was probably not the best idea but these things happen. I managed to find three 2x4s in the miscut bin so I got those at 70% off. They each had about 3″ cut off the end but I knew that I had a spare 2×4 at home to make up the difference. In addition to the 2x4s, I also purchased a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood. I dragged my wood home and began the process of cutting everything.

Trimming the legs

The 2x4s were cut as follows:

  • 21″ short sides (4)
  • 48″ long sides (4)
  • 12″ legs (4)

I cut the sheet of plywood to 24″x48″

Prepping to cut the goal

I did use a circular saw to cut all of my wood, which always makes me a little nervous. If you use a circular saw please be very careful and follow all of the safety guidelines. I used 3.5″ screws to assemble my frames.

I added the goals to the plywood in two different ways. For my first board, I screwed my plywood deck to my frame first and for the other, I cut it out before I screwed the deck down. I actually think that adding it after it was screwed down was easier but it is up to you. I used a 6″ circle drill. This is a lot of work for a drill, so use caution and be sure to keep an eye on your drill. Mine got very hot cutting out the holes.  For the second board, once the hole was cut I screwed the deck to the frame with 1 1/2″ screws.

Cornhole – Drill fit with 6″ hole cutter
After cutting

Now, I went about shaping my legs. I used a circle cutting tool in my crafting arsenal to cut out a 3 1/2″ circle from paper to use as my curve template. Using my paper template, I  traced the curves onto one end of each leg. I really should have used a jigsaw to cut these out, but since I didn’t want to borrow my neighbors I thought that I could cut it out with my scroll saw. Now, I will tell you that this was not my best idea since the scroll saw isn’t really made to cut wood this thick. I babied it through and cut out some of the ugliest curves but they worked. and since you really won’t see them under the frame and decking I just left them. I drilled through the frame and legs and added my carriage bolts.

Paper template
Traced circle
Legs rounded
Legs – rounded and drilled

Now, came the fun part, PAINTING! I designed my paint template in my Silhouette Software so I would know what was going where. I used a new brand of paint (for me) on this project. ArtMinds Outdoor paint. I purchased black, teal, yellow, and white. We decided that we needed to paint the snitches gold, not yellow so I also purchased gold outdoor paint by FolkArt. I started by priming my boards and then once dry, I used painters tape to create my design.

First layer of paint
Design Layout in Silhouette Studio

The add the graphics I created stencils using my Silhouette Cameo. These were big and gave me lots of trouble. I probably should have purchased a higher grade of plywood and/or done more sanding but the stencils were a challenge to cut and to paint. This caused me to have to do a lot of retouching where paint seeped under the stencil. Below you will see a few photos from the process.

One other issue I had was that on one of the boards the black paint just wouldn’t dry. While the cold weather kept me from painting on these for almost a week, it took about that long for the deck to dry. I painted the boards at the same time, the same way, so I have no idea why only one was giving me trouble. The black paint was much thicker than all the other colors and I am sure that was what led to the issue.

Stencil cut using Silhouette Cameo

I added the central image and then the lettering. I used white paint and then on the snitch, I painted over this with the yellow paint, but that was overruled necessitating the purchase of the gold paint. This was really much better. As I mentioned, this was not an easy process and I fought with the stencil material as much as I did the paint but in the end, it all worked out.

After the first stencil
Adding the lettering

Once I had my main designs done, I used painting tape to add the yellow stripe and then the stands up to the Quidditch rings. I also cut out the goal circles and added those. I took my legs off the boards and painted those with the black paint.

Completed board

The final step was to add the varnish. The paint says that it doesn’t need a sealer but I wanted my boards to hold up during the party and for years to come so I added four coats of Varathane to the tops and one coat on the legs and sides.

After varnishing
Quidditch Cornhole Boards


Completed Quidditch Cornhole Boards
In this photo, you can see the contrasting legs,
Created by Jennifer Miner
Cornhole – Painted for Harry Potter Party
Hogwarts Quidditch Cornhole Boards


Overall, I think that they turned out pretty decent. If I were to do it again I would get the wood cut at the store, borrow the jigsaw, and do a bit more sanding. The outdoor paint was very thick and I don’t love that you can see brush strokes but I don’t hate it enough to redo it!The other thing was that on one board the varnish did a funny thing on the last coat and got really streaky, this was another one of those things that I am not sure what went wrong but I don’t hate it enough to start all over.





Owl Post Sign

Back with more Harry Potter madness! Today, I will be sharing another of our signs. I kept thinking that I was going to do something with this sign but I decided that he was good. You can see a photo of my inspiration here.

Initially, I thought that I would try and make the whole shape, including the ring around the owl. In the end, I decided that a cute owl would be better.  I had purchased a wooden owl blank that I just thought was cute but I didn’t have any plans for. When I compared it to my inspiration, it was clear that it wasn’t going to work. Have no fear, though, for it wouldn’t go to waste. Here is the little wooden owl.

Little wooden owl

I mean it is cute and the upside is that you can totally tell what it is. I really wanted my owl to look like the sign. So, I started by sketching right on the wood.


Here you can see that I drew my owl. I am not the world’s best drawer but I was pretty happy with how he came out. Now I took my wood to the scroll saw. This was really one of the first projects that I cut with my saw and I was thrilled with how it turned out. (keeping in mind that this was the first go at it)

Owl Post sign fresh from the scroll saw

Here he is! I sanded my edges just to finish it up and smooth out the cut lines. To add the “Owl Post” wording to my sign I used my Silhouette Software to create the oval with the lettering. I printed this out and used graph paper to transfer that to my sign.

Adding the lettering
After adding the wording

At this stage, I was ready to paint but I felt like making things way more complicated so I broke out the wood burner and traced all the sketch lines. Then I painted my sign. To paint the sign, I used craft acrylics and just did the best I could. I tried to use the colors in the “real” sign for my inspiration. I like the texture that the wood burning gave the sign but getting things lined up and straight was way harder then I thought it would be. Also, the entire house smelled like burnt wood!

Owl Post Sign by Jennifer Miner

All in all, this was fun to make and the end results, while a little amateurish, still not too bad. And now for an extreme closeup.

Up close and personal – Owl Post Sign

I am almost finished with the Quidditch Cornhole boards but a cold snap has put the painting on hold. It is for sure too cold to be working in the garage. I am planning on sharing the potion bottles we have done this week.

Thanks for stopping by!



Knockturn Alley Sign – Harry Potter Party

Hiya –

Time for more Harry Potter Party! In my party planning research, I came across some super cute directional sign posts and knew that we needed one for our party! Today, I will be sharing the sign for Knockturn Alley.

Knockturn Alley is a shopping area that contains stores that cater to the Dark Arts. Harry ends up in Knockturn Alley when he is misdelivered by Floo Powder. The sign from the film is dark and well worn but sports the most fantastic carved hand. It was really the opportunity to carve a hand that made this particular sign a must.

I started this project with a 2″x4″ of pine purchased at my local hardware store. To create the hand I used my Silhouette Design software to create the basic shape and printed that out to use as a guide. I used my scroll saw to cut that design out of my wood. Then I attacked that hand with my rotary tool and lots of sandpaper. I just kept working at it until the wood looked like a hand with a cuff.I used my rotary tool to create a void or pocket on the back of the cuff so the hand would sit a little closer to the sign below.

Knockturn Alley Hand

In my process to shape my hand, I lost a little bit of height and this meant that I needed to trim the remaining piece of 2″x4″ to match. I am not the best at cutting straight lines, really in any media but especially wood. So I clamped a scrap of wood to the table of my scroll saw to use as a guide. I worked out perfectly.

Painting Complete

Now, I was ready to paint the lettering. I created the lettering in my Silhouette Design Software and a font called Anglican Text and printed that out. Using graphite paper and my print out I traced the lettering onto my board. Next,  I began painting around the outlines using black paint. I completed the sign by painting the background and sides with black acrylic paint. Then, I painted the letters themselves with an off-white acrylic paint. Painting the letters allows me to fine tune the painting, if I have made any mistakes I can fix them at this stage. If you are interested in watching this part of the process please take a gander at the video.

Knockturn Alley by Jennifer Miner

Next, I painted my hand with white and off-white paint and then glued this to the main sign using wood glue. I made sure to clamp the wood pieces while they dried. At this point, I was really happy with the sign and I was tempted to keep just like that but I knew that it had to be distressed. It just had to, so I attacked my creation with coarse sandpaper and a brown paint wash. Voila – a Knockturn Alley sign was born. This will be added to the directional sign post I have been cooking up.

Completed sign

I am really excited to create the rest of the signs! Hopefully, we’ll have some decent weather so I won’t freeze when cutting them out!