Scrap wood Challenge: a plan-less chicken coop or rabbit hutch

I never like to build anything without a plan- it’s so difficult and something always turns out wrong. BUT- is it really a scrap wood challenge if you use a plan? It’s still challenging, but building on the fly is a whole ‘nother level of challenging. It’s aggravating.

I knew from looking at a neighbor’s chicken coop about what design I wanted. So I started by creating the bottom with four four by fours cut at 30 inches long. I cut my 1x4s to 24 inches and built a frame. I then used two 1×12 shelf boards to build the nesting box. I cut the sides and the divider to 12 inches and cut one to 30 inches to form the back of the nesting box. I also added a 1×4 board frame to the bottom of the legs for stability and to add the wire later on.

I then added plywood to the bottom, top, and added a floor to the inside of the nesting box. I also created a small door for the coop.

Then, I added a 1×4 frame “chicken run” to the outside of the coop. I also added a plywood roof to the top.

And my youngest daughter decided she should try out the chicken run. 🙂 We started adding wire to the outside until we completely covered the open areas with wire.

And then we added hardware to the doors and egg hatch.

Three coats of paint and several shingles later, we ended up with the final product…which I will show you next week 🙂

Have a wonderful week!! We will see you Wednesday for school lunch ideas and on Friday for Farmhouse Friday.

Weekend Projects: The cutest little playhouse EVER!

We spent the weekend building this super cute little playhouse from a kit.

Kidkraft Country Vista Playhouse $594

The directions were fantastic and they were easy to follow. We started by putting together the sides and frame.

The roof was by far the hardest to put together.

Once I finally figured out what I was doing wrong, the roof went on easily.

And lastly, I put the doors on. This part was hard, but once I figured out the hinges, they went on perfectly.

And then for funzies, I added a solar gooseneck light and an iron bell “doorbell.”

We are also going to dress it up with a paver sidewalk and some flowers. The girls are loving the little playhouse.

You should totally buy one for your kids!

Installing a portable greenhouse part one

If you know me very well, you know about my penchant for planting a large garden and starting it from seeds. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a polytunnel for a long time but talked myself out of it due to the price.

I did a lot of research and discovered a portable polytunnel with good reviews that was well within my budget. It came in a neatly packaged box and was so easy to put together .

First, decide where you want the polytunnel to sit. Then, unbox everything and spread it out. Once you locate all the pieces, begin assembling the frame. It’s best to assemble it where you want it to be.

Once your frame is up, decide how you want to secure it. They include anchors but these anchors are no match for a Carolina wind storm. Some people use t posts to anchor it. We chose to build a small wood foundation and anchor the frame with metal straps. I’ll post a picture of that later.

Getting the cover lined up correctly can be tricky. Line up your cover and then secure it. It should fit tight but not so tight you can’t zip the doors closed.

This is what it looks like inside. We are far from done. We have just finished the wood foundation and used a stable mat for the floor. Soon, we will be adding shelves.

We hope you have enjoyed part one of our greenhouse tour. We will show you the finished product next week.

DIY: A Swing Set Made for A Princess

How a few hours on a Saturday can lead to hours of fun

We have an aging redwood playset that my kids have had since my nine year old was two and a half. It’s been a lot of fun, but it is badly aged, and both kids are too big for it. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a new swingset, since both kids will likely age out of it in the not-too-distant future. But with Covid still on the rise, and the parks being too risky, we decided to DIY a simple yet sturdy swingset they would enjoy.

First, we bought four treated lumber 4X4x8 posts, a treated lumber 2x6x10 board and one treated lumber 4x6x10 post. We also bought metal swing set hardware from Amazon.

We started by inserting the 4X6 posts into the brackets to create both A-frames.

Repeat on both sides and then insert the 4X6x12 to make the top of the swing set. When all of your boards are inserted into the brackets, stand it up (with help- don’t do this alone) and tighten the bolts with an impact driver.
Then, make sure the ground under your swing set is completely level. If it isn’t, move it around to where you want it.
Cut your 2×6 in half and use wood screws to attach it to the 4×4 posts. This will stabilize it and create your A-frame.
Double check your lag screws and make sure everything is tightened down.
Install your swing hanging brackets. We used six of these and we measured before drilling.
Then, hang your swings and you are done! We reused the swings and trapeze bar from our old playset.

Looks like the tiny Lumbers approve!

Five Beautiful Handmade Ornament Ideas

I don’t know about you, but I love a great handmade ornament. Someday I hope to have an entire tree filled with my children’s handmade creations. These ornaments are simple and cute, and you can definitely make them with your kids.

1. Snowman face ornament

Just take an ordinary Christmas ball and coat it in epsom salt. You may need more than one coat. Then, fashion a “carrot nose” from a pipe cleaner and glue the carrot and two buttons to create the snowman face. Use an infant sock to create the hat.

2. Pine cone ornaments

You can make these ornaments so easily: just get some jute twine, ribbon for bows and some pretty pine cones from your yard. Tie the ribbon into bows and tie the jute twine around the bow knot. Hot glue the bow and hanger to the pine cone. That’s really it!

3. Snow globe ornament

We made these ornaments by gluing a tiny Christmas tree inside an empty clear ball. Then, we added some epsom salt “snow.”

4. Pipe cleaner candy cane

This is by far the easiest ornament on this list, and you can make it with small kids. All you need are red pipe cleaners and white- no glue and no cutting! Simply twist them together and curve them into a candy cane shape.

5. Picture frame initial ornament

Want a super cute gift for a friend or teacher? Go grab some inexpensive small picture frames and stick on letters (or cut them out with a Cricut or Silhouette). Attach a cute piece of ribbon and you are set!

Have fun creating!! What are some of your favorite handmade ornaments?