Red Star Chicken Spa

After walking by an old piece of 1×2 that had fallen off my sweet pea trellis for the umpteenth time, I said to myself “I should really make something of that nice aged wood!”  And so it became a barn for the little flock of hens that I’ve been sculpting.

This is one of those wonderful projects that just worked despite my complete lack of planning.  I guess these chickens were meant to have a barn.

I began by cutting a piece of pine for the floor and painting it to like it’s strewn with straw.  I didn’t measure anything – just cut what looked to be a good size.  Then I cut a cardboard pattern for the front and back walls.  I cut pieces of the 1×2 and glued them together for the walls, then cut the angles on the tops.  Amazingly, there was just exactly enough wood.  But what would I use for the roof?

I perused my rust farm and found the perfect thing – a beautifully rusted pineapple juice can.  Wouldn’t you know that once I had cut and flattened it, it was just the perfect size.  I put it in place with two-part epoxy glue, but first I sprayed both sides with clear satin acrylic.

The finishing touches were to paint the red star and make the sign.  I cut a rectangle from a rusted can, painted the center portion with Light Ivory acrylic paint (after sealing it with Krylon’s Workable Fixatif) then stamped the lettering – “red star chicken spa”.  I was going to write “farm” but at the last moment “spa” seemed better.  The rusted can was something I found around the property.  What was unusal about it is that the sides are flat.  Most cans now-a-days seem to have ribbed sides.  I’ll have to keep my eyes open in the grocery store for flat cans as the metal is very useful.

Here it is completed with the chickens in happy residence.  The hen on the peak of the rook – the one wearing the glasses – is the look-out!

A Note about my Rust Farm:  I have a plastic bucket with a snug fitting lid and in it I keep a concoction of water with salt and white vinegar.  I throw clean, used cans into it for a few days then set them out in the weather to finish rusting.  The resulting rusted metal is useful for many projects.


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