Toy barn

March 14, 2011 § 9 Comments

Here is the scenario:  Kami and I are out Christmas shopping with the kids.  We make a stop at Toy’s R Us and Eli spots this barn on the shelf and goes half crazy wanting us to put it in the cart.  Kami and I look at each other and both know that he is getting a toy barn for Christmas.  He is a complete animal nut and will literally play for hours with those stupid little plastic animals.  Then we take a closer look and find this for $119.

Yeah, not paying $119 for a barn that he will destroy in no time.  Not to mention that this thing is tiny.  He has accumulated what seems like hundreds of these little animals from playing the con man with both of his Grandma’s while at the dollar store.

That was when the thought popped into my head… I think that I can build that thing much cheaper and much sturdier than this piece of crap.  Turns out, I can.  Started with a concept in my head and went from there.  Some 1/4″ birch plywood from one of the local big box stores, some hardwood I had laying around, some wood glue and paint.  Only took a couple of nights of building then a couple more nights of painting and final touches and here we go.

This photo was after most of the building and finishing was done.  Just need to add a few finishing touches.


Finished product:


End result was that we saved $120 and Eli was thrilled.  Total cost of the project for me was $32 with paint and hardware.  The trim pieces that I used were from some scraps that I had in my shop, so there wasn’t any cost there.  Other than that, we ended up with a quality product for Eli that works much better for his huge collection of animals.

Mission accomplished.


§ 9 Responses to Toy barn

  • Jennifer says:

    Is there anyway you could send instructions and a supply list for this? My son is asking for one for his birthday and yes can not see spending $100 on cheap small barn!!! His birthday is in a week so I will need to get busy!!! Love it!!

  • Jennifer says:

    Oh and the dimensions please!!! Thanks I look forward to seeing your response!

  • kathy says:

    YES, can you send instructions? so appreciate it! 🙂

  • BenMiller says:

    All – I didn’t use or document any instructions for this Barn. Just grabbed some 1/4″ ply and some scrap yellow pine and started building. From a lessons learned perspective, I would recommend a full piano bench hinge for the roof rather than cheap hinges as those screws will just tear through the ply. Otherwise, it is still kicking after 2 1/2 years.

  • dennis wells says:

    could you please send measurments for this barn it is awesome.thank you

  • Keith says:

    Do u have plans for this barn would love too buy then thanks

  • Jen says:

    Where did you find the barn door handles? They are adorable! We are doing this this weekend and cannot find anything like it anywhere!

    • BenMiller says:

      All of the hardware and materials came from Lowes. I believe that the barn handles are metal tie-downs used for mini-blind cords. I just went into Lowes with a rough idea of what I wanted and they had everything that I needed. I suspect you’d find the same type of hardware at Menards or Home Depot as well.

  • Jan says:

    Love this barn and I want my hubby to build one, but he says he needs some good instructions and directions. Did you ever make a pattern for this?

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