Chicken Coop Plans

chicken-coopSkip reading all of the stuff below and just buy and download the plans here.

Only $8.99

Raising backyard chickens has been a surprisingly fun thing for our family.

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Sample Photo from Chicken Coop Plans

I wasn’t initially into the urban farming concept, but i have to say that chickens are kind of a funny animal, and their eggs, when fresh, are delicious and can last for weeks un-refrigerated.  Believe it or not!

Now, prior to my original experience, my background with chickens amounted to eating eggs and cooking chicken.  But when my lady, Jess, asked if we could raise three chickens (when we lived in Portland, we were only allowed to have three hens–no roosters!), I rolled my eyes and said, “okay, but you’re taking care of them.”

photo of backyard chicken egg

First egg!

Jess determined that I could contribute by building them a chicken coop.  Being the team player that I am, I started designing a chicken coop that would comfortably fit three hens and be easy to access all areas for cleaning and egg collection.

So, here are my plans for a hen house.

First, I made sure we had somewhat of a budget.  At the time, I didn’t want to spend a ton on something we didn’t even know how to do, so I decided we would spend no more than $200.

Actually, I think we came under the budget by about $40, but I’m not going on record with that.

photo of backyard chickenHere is a video of my chicken coop.  Jess wanted to be able to easily clean the coop and the run without a whole lot of fuss, so I created a pull-out drawer floor for the coop, and we made the run like a giant sandbox/litter box.

I am selling my plans for $8.99.   Click the “buy now” link below if you’re interested.

See the video of what your coop will look like:

Only $8.99 for the plans!

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Make a Cheap Custom Homemade Screen Door for Your Porch

Homemade Wood Screen Door

Zoom in to see layout of screen door

I built this cheap diy screen door in a couple of hours.  We couldn’t  find one at Home Depot to fit our front doorway, so I busted this out.  My girlfriend painted it BRIGHT RED. Total cost was about 30 bucks, so it ended up being a very cost-effective way to get some air circulating through the house in warmer months.

Here is what you need to do. Depending on the measurements of the door opening (especially if it’s an old house), it might be anywhere from 2’6″ – 3’6″ wide by 6’6″ – 7′ tall.  Grab 1×3 furring strips and lay them out in the dimensions of the actual door opening measurements.  Remember, you will be making two OPPOSING layers of wood, so the thickness will be more like 1 1/2″ thickness than 3/4″ thickness.

Then, on the opposite side of that roughly laid-out door, you position a second layer of 1×3 boards so they all hold together with screws and glue (this means you reverse the layout of the wood so it creates alternating lap joints).  See the illustration of lap joints.

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You can also zoom in on the door photo above to see how it was laid out.  The trick is in having TWO LAYERS sandwiched together with alternating corners all around.

alternating layers for screen door

layers alternate to form lap joints

Where the screen will go, you just roll out some window screen material from the hardware store flat, and sandwich it tightly between the two upper layers of the door frame.  DIY Cheap Wooden Red Screen Door The bottom wood panel is 1/8″ luan plywood, and is similarly sandwiched between the layers, too.

You might want to take some wood putty and fill up the screw holes, too.

Make sure to paint the screen door with house paint that’ll hold up to outside elements!

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How to Build a Homemade Nascar-Themed Race Car Bed for Toddlers

photo of race car bed

I first primed each side of the bed with a white primer paint, then added a red water-based enamel paint as a base for the airbrushed details

Back in 2002, I built my oldest son, Matthew, a blue race car bed for his “big boy”  2 year birthday. I didn’t want to buy him one of those plastic Little Tikes beds–they have this mass-produced soulless look to them, in my opinion. I was pretty sure I could learn how to build a homemade racing themed bed for him with my own skills at woodworking and airbrush painting abilities.  Turns out,  the bed turned out great!

I bought the race car bed plans online, and, after I saw that my son enjoyed his cool new bed and showed it off to his friends, a neighbor suggested that I sell them online.


Here, I’ve added some of the stripes, tires, and fleshed out where Dale Jr. would sit.

I thought, “Hey, that’s a great idea!”  and immediately whipped together my very first website.  It was a ghastly design–but hey, it was 2002, and it was not much worse than other websites at the time.  BTW, I built it in Frontpage.  UGH.

Anyway, so, after several days of manically checking my emails for ONE response, I finally got an interested buyer–who wanted me to make him a Earnhardt Nascar style car.

As you can see from the photo of my son’s race car bed, I would need to design something myself–and the customer also wanted me to build in a “trunk” toy chest at the head of the bed!

nascar bed photo

Here is the finished assembled car bed. Notice the toybox “trunk” in the back. I had a movie contact me to see if I could build them on–but they needed it built and shipped in one weekend! No way!

Well, the pictures you see are the result of my design–and I finished it off with a custom airbrushed paint job to resemble Dale Earnhardt’s real car.  I didn’t want it to look like one of those cheap plastic Chinese beds–plus, I made it out of 3/4″ cabinet grade plywood for a quality build.

I designed it so it could be assembled without any tools by the customer–it incorporated slide tabs that fit together snugly and can be assembled in under three minutes with two people, or about 5 minutes by one person.  Not too shabby!

I used a water-based enamel paint to paint it (after I primed it with Kilz), and then I airbrushed it to look like Dale Junior’s red car design.  I even cut out a stencil that read “Good Year” and made the tires look kind of real.  I didn’t really like the flat decal-based “paint jobs” of those mass-produced car bed designs.

I sold that car bed for approximately $900 ten years ago, plus about $200 extra to ship it.  Not bad for my first attempt–and I made several more before I decided that building beds by yourself is quite a lot of work for a side-job.  Here is a Jeff Gordon bed I built.

I’ve considered creating plans to sell online, but I’m not sure that there is a lot of demand for homemade race car beds anymore.  If you think there is, feel free to comment below.


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Custom Airbrushed Xbox 360 Modern Warfare

airbrushed modern warfare xbox 360Gamers are a group that love to stand out from each other and show some flair.  It’s fun to customize an Xbox 360 by grabbing an airbrush and painting video game cover artwork on it.

On this 360, I painted the cover artwork from Modern Warfare 2 in the Call of Duty franchise.

I’m not including a step by step how to paint tutorial for this because I didn’t have the presence of mind to record my steps (I didn’t have this blog when I painted this).

Word of advice: before you begin airbrushing your 360, it would be a good idea to carefully remove the case from the inner electronic components — just so you don’t get paint inside the machine.



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