How to Make Your Own Cribbage Board

Updated February 21, 2017

Cribbage is one of the most enduring of all card games, dating as far back as the seventeenth century, evolving from a much earlier English game called Noddy. Sir John Suckling, a wealthy English poet is credited with creating the game in its modern form.

While it is possible to keep score in cribbage with pencil and paper, it is far easier to use a cribbage board. This board can be quite simple or extremely ornate, but all cribbage boards have four rows of 30 holes each, divided into two pairs of rows by a central panel. Four additional game holes are usually found near one end of the board. Although cribbage boards are readily available for purchase, if you have a steady hand with a drill you can make one that is uniquely your own.

Design your Cribbage Board template using graph paper. Insure the length and width of your design does not exceed the dimensions of your Cribbage Board.

Trim the width of the template to 4 inches wide. Tape the template securely to the cardboard. Mark the holes through the template into the cardboard with the awl. Tape the cardboard with the template securely to the hardwood.

Chuck the bit securely into the drill. Mark the bit ½ inch from the tip with tape. Drill each marked hole through the template into the hardwood, stopping at the tape mark.

Remove the cardboard and template from the hardwood. Sand the edges of the hardwood board and around the peg holes lightly. Wipe any dust from the board with the cloth.

Seal the peg holes with the wood-burning tool by using a wide tip and pushing it up and down inside each hole. Burn any desired design into the wood. Spray on the polyurethane to seal the board. Allow the polyurethane to air dry before using the cribbage board.


Free-handing the drill will likely create holes that are not perfectly symmetrical giving your cribbage board a one of a kind, folk art appeal.


The tip of the wood-burning tool will be very hot. Do not touch it or place it near any flammable material.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Hardwood board measuring 15" x 4" x 1"
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard measuring 15" x 4" x 1"
  • Awl
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Bit large enough to accommodate your cribbage pegs
  • Tape
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Wood-burning tool
  • Spray-on polyurethane sealer
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About the Author

Mike Parker is a full-time writer, publisher and independent businessman. His background includes a career as an investments broker with such NYSE member firms as Edward Jones & Company, AG Edwards & Sons and Dean Witter. He helped launch DiscoverCard as one of the company's first merchant sales reps.