This was a Christmas project for my 2.5 year old daughter. She enjoys playing with toy animals, and since she gahtered a lot of farm animals recently I decided to make her a farm to put all those animals in. My first project was similar but with a different theme you can check it here and some of the process is very similar in this project such as flocking the tarrain.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Basically, I used stuff that I had lying around at home, and just bought some balsa wood.
- Exacto knife
- Hand saw
- Balsa wood
- Any kind of wood that fits the profile
- PVA glue
- acrlyic paint
- wooden tongue depressors
- shishkebab wooden sticks
- wooden toothpicks
Step 2: Aranging the Layout
This is a piece of plywood with dimensions of 8x630x790mm which used to be a door/barrier for my daughter on the steps in our house.
I needed some kind of layout of the farm. I have cousins in the countryside and they have a farm, so that farm was an inspiration for my scale model. Scale model is kind of a wrong word since the animals in question aren't in scale. No matter.
The farm needs: main "road", the barn, pigsty, hen house, small barn, feeder, two dog houses and a pond.
The road and and the pond were routed out at approx 2mm depth, but this is not neccesary.
The "road" needs to be kind of a gravelish/muddy heavily stomped with cattle and other animal tracks so I put some wood putty on the the road and stomped the toy cow up and down the road.
Step 3: Dog Houses
First thing I did were dog houses. They were pretty easy to do since I already had the basic shape. These are kids' candy called "Vau-vau" which are sold in Croatia and they come in a dog house shaped box. And candy are in the shape of a :::surprise,surpise:::, dogs! Anyway, I just glued few pieces of thin wood on the sides and made the tiles from cardboard. Basic tiling is easy, just cut strips of cardboard and then cut again perpendiculary and just glue them in order. The ones that go on the crown of the roof are done by getting the cardboard wet and then shaping it around somethin round. I used a shish kebab stick.
That done, off we go to the next step, painting comes last.
Step 4: Hen House / Chicken Coop
Next thing I did was the Hen house. I wanted it to be in two floor mode, hence the "shelf" in the middle of the hen house. First I made the frame from balsa wood and then cut two pieces and drilled a hole through them to serve for the door, and a piece of shish kebab stick will hold the door. The doors and the back frame are fortified by wooden tongue depressors (WTD) which are very cheap (you can get them in any drugstore) and easy to handle.
When the frame was finished, I just glued the "chicken wire" which is acctually just a plastic web. And I gave the whole thing a bit of coating to make it look more wooden.
Step 5: Donkey Barn
This consists out of already made part (made in China) and my expansion which I made with balsa beams, WTD and forex. I really don't know the english word for that material, we call it forex. But you can use basically anything.
Step 6: Pig Sty
Next, a pig needs its' own place too. The walls are made from balsa and were my first attempt at dovetailing. The floor, the feeder and the inner doors are made from forex. I glued small pieces of balsa into top corners of the pig stye and put magnets on them so the future roof would be easily separated and yet hold firmly in place. The door was made with glued WTD, and the same system for opening and closing as the chicken coop.The roof was made of two balsa pieces held together by a beam and two cross beams which were fitted with magnets. For fixing magnets you can use either a hot glue gun or super glue.
For the roof I used the same principle as for dog houses, only I wanted it to be in greyish tones, so I used grey paper and on the other side of the paper just painted with some earth tones.
Step 7: The Stable/barn
This is by far the largest building on the farm. First I did the basic frame out of plywood since balsa is to soft to handle a building of that size. Also in all four upper corners are pieces of balsa for magnets.
Also, the stable needs to have a feeder for the cattle and horses. This was done with three pieces of forex, shish kebab sticks and toothpicks. That piece will be painted and then glued to the wall of the stable.
Next, for the door you need more pieces of wood (I used balsa, but it turned out to be too soft, so use something else) to drill a hole through. The doors are balsa rectangulars and are just glued to the drilled pieces. Mind you, if you want your door to open and close you must glue every OTHER drilled piece to the beam of the door otherwise it won't be able to rotate on its' axis and therefore will not open. Or close, depends in which position you glue the pieces.
The roof needed to have an opening in it for the hay, of course. The construcion is really quite simple, four beams, a crossbeam and diagonal beams which really hold the structure together. Leave it to dry overnight. Next, add plywood to the roof and start tiling. When you leave the roof construcion to dry, you can prepare your carboard for tiles. Just calculate the surface of the roof, add an extra 20% for good measure and cut ot the needed amount of cardboard. I used carboard from frozen pizza packaging. Paint them with a large brush. Just run them over casually, you don't have to be precise. I used a tone of red and brown. Just put those two paints on the cardboard and rub them with a large paintbrush. Let dry.
After everything is dry, cut the strips from your painted cardboard and then cut them to little pieces. Mine were approx. 10x15mm. Put them all in a container and mix them. I wanted to make the roof look like randomized tiles, but in the same tone. You will acheve that by really mixing the pieces. Next take one piece at the time and glue it on to the roof. Repeat. This is a long and repetetive process so have patience. Once you are done, you can coat the whole roof with a layer of PVA glue, just be sure that the glue is transparent when dry.
Step 8: Back to the Base
I did most of the things simoultaneously since one part is getting dry, you can work on the other. So, now was the time to finish the base of the whole farm. I painted the base green leaving out the parts where I would glue the buildings to save paint and for the glue to better adhere to the surface.
Donkey barn needed the fence around it so I just grabbed round balsa wood, cut them into right lenght (which depends on the size of toy animals), drilled two holes through each of them, and drilled appropriate holes in the base to glue them in. Next, just thread really anything that resembles a rope through those holes, and you have a fence!
Step 9: Finished Farm
That's it. For the openings on the stable roof I used pieces of a hend held fan (made of sandalwood) and just cut the opening in balsa. The feeder is a part of an older toy, prefabricated, I just painted it over.
The hay bales are made from hemp (used for plumbing) rolled into a cylinder.
For painting and flocking instructions, please check my other Instructable.