With fall coming, the weather turns cooler and people tend to get together more. A game of corn-hole is the perfect addition to hanging out by the campfire. Whether you’re buying a pre-made set or making them from plywood or pallets, decal and heat transfer vinyl can make them unique. If you’re looking to add a new product line in your inventory, customized corn-hole board games are sure to give your profits a boost.
Learn to customize Corn Hole boards using FDC vinyl and the bags by using Siser HTV. We will be using the TRW Design Wizard and CorelDraw to complete our designing steps. The GCC Expert 2 and a 16’’x20’’ Hotronix Auto-Clam will be used for our cutting and pressing needs.
Corn-Hole Boards (Supplied by Client or Amazon.com)
Bean Bags (Supplied by Client or Amazon.com)
Start by getting the measurements of the Corn-Hole boards to create the dimensions for your design. In this example, the boards were 24’’ wide and I have just under 3 feet to the bottom of the circle. The Design we will create will be 22’’-23’’ wide and we will make the height proportionate to the width. (If the height is too large, you will have to decrease the width until they both fit).
Bring the design into CorelDraw to edit the design and get it ready to cut. If the customer has a vector already created for their logo/design, you will just need to resize the design to the correct dimensions, use the “Magic Separator” in the Design Wizard and send the design to the cutter. However, if you are only sent an image we will need to convert the image to a vector. In CorelDraw we can use the Trace Bitmap feature to quickly convert images into vectors. The bolder and fewer color images will return better results than a pixelated multi-colored image.
Once you open the power trace, hold control and left-click all the shades of the same color then click “Merge”. Repeat this step as many times as necessary. If you are unable to get a clean vector you will need to manually trace the design with the B-Spline Tool.
Once you trace the image we will need to ungroup the design and delete any extra pieces that could have been traced with our design. Because we only want to keep the red in our example we can use the Design Wizard, select all the same color, and move it away from the rest of the trace. Switch to Wireframe in CorelDraw and delete any pieces left behind.
Step 4 (Optional):
Because the trace does not always give the cleanest cut lines, I am going to delete the text portion of this design, find a similar text, and re-write the bottom text.
If needed, use the TRW Design Wizard’s Magic Separator to create a template for your design. Next, open Great Cuts 3 software, highlight your template in CorelDraw then drag and drop into Great Cuts 3.
Load your FDC material into the cutter, we need the maximum width so we will push the rollers as close as possible to each side, while still remaining under the white markings. Once you have the material loaded, roll out about 2 feet to make sure the material is lined up and will not go off track. With larger cuts, if you do not have the vinyl lined up correctly they can move off the rollers and your design will not cut correctly. Once you see that it is lined up, roll the vinyl back and re-set the origin. Next, we will do a test cut to make sure our settings are correct before we cut such a large project. To create a test cut, draw a 1’’ circle, convert the object to curves and send to the cutter. Hit the output option and adjust the settings to what you will be using for the cut and click “Output”. If the settings are correct, re-set the origin, click read material (make sure your width is larger than the design you are sending), then click output. If settings are not correct, continue to test different pressures until you find the right setting.
After the material is cut we will use our Magic Edge Weeding Tool to help us remove the extra vinyl. With any decal material, we want to be careful when weeding and not to let any of the excess material to stick to our actual design, this is a quick way to ruin the cut. Once the design is weeded, using the Sign Vinyl Application Tape (R-Tape), lay the tape sticky side up across the design. Cut two pieces and combine the R-Tape together to create a larger piece to fit the design. Lay the R-Tape sticky side up and place your decal on the sticky side of the tape. Use the squeegee tool to apply pressure to the design.
Apply the decal to the Corn-Hole boards. Begin by lining up the decal with the backing still on. Once you visualize where the design will go, remove the back and apply the design to the board. Hold the decal above the board and start with the bottom and make sure the text is straight. Once straight, slowly lay down on the board, use the squeegee tool to apply pressure. Slowly remove the application tape, if easier take off one piece at a time. Repeat for each board.
Customizing the Bean Bags:
Measure the width and height of the bean bags, create the vector 1 to 2’’ smaller than the width and height. For example, the width of the bean bags we are using are 5.5’’ wide x 5.5’’ tall, we are cutting ours at 3.5’’ by 3.5’’. Once you have the logo created and sized, make 16 copies of the design (8 bags front and back). In our example we are cutting 8 white and 8 red templates.
Load your Siser Stretch HTV and send your first 8 cuts to the plotter (Make sure to mirror the design before cutting). We are using the same settings used to cut our FDC, Pressure: 70, Speed: 60. Repeat this step with your second color.
Weed the Siser Stretch HTV and use TRW Magic Heat Tape to hold the material to the bean bag. Tape one side at a time and press each bag front and bag. Press settings: 305 degrees, 10-15 seconds (Each Side), medium pressure.
This project takes a little more advanced skill due to the size and steps in the software. It’s sure to be a hit in orders leading to Christmas, or the perfect gift idea making you the star of the holiday.