Posted in dollhouse, How to, miniatures

The Chicken Coop: A Club Project

When my granddaughter gave her friend a tour of my miniature projects, she stopped at the chicken coop. Her friend said she wanted to see every little detail. Now, my work is not nearly as elaborate as that of many of you, so I was flattered that it would catch their attention.

The Eugene Miniatures Club members wanted a project that would span more than one meeting. We selected a 1:12 scale chicken coop that could stand alone or be worked into a scene.

While we were in the planning and preparation stage, the members focused on accessories. We made bushel baskets and scoured the stores for chickens.

We had formed an ad hoc team to make kits. Mary offered to design the structure and cut well over 100 pieces of wood for each of the 15 kits.

Diane, Joanne and I color-coded many of the pieces. I built one kit so that I could make instructions for each of seven phases of construction. Our objective was to teach how to do a nearly scratch build by providing the wall and floor pieces and scale, dimensional lumber. We started small with a nesting box and laying the flooring, then we stained the walls and the lumber with Minwax water-based stain. Next we built the structure. The framing lumber was true to scale for 2x4s.

We added casings to the windows and doors…

… and we added trim.

The windows were operational with mullions, glass and screens.

Once the structure was built, each member could add their own finishing details. I added hinges, and handles to the windows as well as battens to the walls. Mary designed the chicken door so that it could be raised and lowered with a “rope.”

I added lighting by fashioning a lightbulb using a bead and some styrene tubing with an LED chip, and covered the wire with shrink tube. I found hen house accessories at the Portland Mini Show.

I also made a barn light for the outside of the coop. Other finishes include a door with hinges and a lever latch, and asphalt shingles on the roof. The nesting box has a door that hinges down on the outside to access the eggs. When all was said and done, there were very few scraps

I chose to add purchased lattice to the foundation and landscape using paper clay. I added some plant material and made cornstalks. It just barely fit in a display case for a basketball.

Author:

I’m a Californian living in Oregon. But home is where my miniatures are.

6 thoughts on “The Chicken Coop: A Club Project

  1. I love it!!!! Guess what I’m working on right now for the Fairfield? 🙂 Mine is about halfway done, and isn’t nearly as cool as yours. I love the little pulley system for the chicken door. And yours has lights! I love the little water system, too, and will see if I can rig up something similar in half scale. I am just looking and looking at yours for further inspiration. 😉

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    1. How fun that you are making a chicken coop for your Fairfield. I’ll bet with your skills and attention to detail, yours will be wonderful. If the instructions from any part of our club chicken coop would be a help, let me know; our club loves to help other miniaturists.

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  2. Absolutely marvelous! I love that you have included so many functional and true to life details! I would sit and marvel at each of them, too! The light fixtures are ingenious, I love the large front door made from boards, and the rope raising chicken door tickles me! Everything down to the studs and tongue and groove siding are so authentically wonderful, and things like the beautifully done corn stalks make this a project to treasure! Once more I wish I lived close to your mini group because you talented gals do some fun projects!

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    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement. This project would not have turned out so well had it not been for the other club members. The members of the Eugene Miniatures Club each have unique talents and together add up to an amazing collective force as shown on the club web site.

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  3. Love your chicken coop! Your added details make it cute as well as functional. My father was a chicken farmer when I was born, and I used to love when he would buy chicks in the spring as well as fond memories of candleing eggs in the cellar with my Dad. I love all things chicken!

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