What To Do In Your Coop In August

What To Do In Your Coop In August

It’s August – and there’s plenty you can do in your coop to keep your hens healthy!

 

It’s almost Back To School season and the holidays are fast approaching – now is the time to prepare for fall, and at a minimum, make decisions you can implement later that’ll keep your backyard chickens healthy and happy throughout the cooler months.

 

August is also a time to be extra vigilant about the heat!

 

Here’s what to do in your coop in August!

 

What to do in your backyard chicken coop in August

Keep making sure your hens are cool with these tips here. 

You can also add a window if things are still blistering hot.

 

Start preparing for molting

Chickens don’t always start in August but some do, and its best to be prepared. Chickens start molting in the fall as the days get shorter.

 

Add extra protein to their feed such as mealworms, black soldier fly larvae, or Fluffiest Feathers Ever!

 

Think about whether your coop needs any adjustments before cold weather arrives, school begins, and the holiday season approaches.

Does it need any changes or additions to keep your hens warm and out of bad weather during winter? Are there leaks that can become a problem during a freezing rain, or even rain in cooler temps?

 

Any areas for predators to get into? As cool weather arrives and food is scarce, your flock becomes an even bigger target.

 

Make sure your chickens have access to a good dust bath.

Consider adding diatomaceous earth or an herbal blend like MitesBGone to it so they’re mite-free.

 

Add fall decor & boredom busters to your coop

An herbal wreath to the coop door will look cute, or if you have access to pumpkins, try making a fall planter.

Looking for a cute fall decoration for your chicken coop? Make a vase out of pumpkins! (Hint: It's also super nutritious for your hens!)

You can also hang apple slices (without the seeds – they’re poisonous), herbs from your garden, or other goodies in their run to reduce boredom.

 

If it’s still hot, treat your flock to some frozen suet cakes!

 

Recycle waste from your vegetable garden in your coop

Your hens will love the additional treats! Keep dried beans, potato skins, apple seeds, and stones from fruit out of the coop.

 

Some people add a compost pile to their run for the hens to help turn over – it’s up to you whether this works for your flock.

 

But be sure to clean your coop weekly!

You’ll want to reduce manure and ammonia load (from their waste) as the days continue to be hot.

DIY Window Ideas for Your Coop That Will Keep Your Chickens Cool All Summer Long

DIY Window Ideas for Your Coop That Will Keep Your Chickens Cool All Summer Long

So one of the most important aspects of your chicken coop is proper ventilation.

 

Chickens have a very delicate upper respiratory system and so it’s very important that your coop has proper ventilation to avoid respiratory diseases in your chickens.

 

Chickens also poop A LOT. And trust me if you don’t have windows in your coop, it’s not going to be pleasant for you or your chickens.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you have proper ventilation in your coop is to add windows. Windows allow air to flow in and out of coop and it can carry some of the smell out (thank goodness!)

 

I wrote an entire article about how you can add windows to your coop  to help keep your chickens cool this summer. Adding windows is a great way to keep your chickens cool and make sure your coop has the ventilation it needs.

 

I also love having windows and doors in my coop because it allows sun into your coop which can help your flock get the Vitamin D that they need.

 

Vitamin D is important because it helps with calcium absorption which ensures your chickens have strong bones and healthy eggs!

 

In addition to making sure my chickens get enough Vitamin D I also give them my chickens nesting herbs (I sell nesting herbs here in my store), so that they stay healthy and produce healthy eggs!

 

 

There are so many different ways that you can add windows to your chicken coop and there are TONS of different window styles that you can use.

 

So today I decided to collect some of my favorite chicken coop window ideas, so you can see how many different options there really are for windows for your coop!

 

First off if you’re building a new coop check out my article about chicken coop plans! I’ve gather more than 50 chicken coop plans that are all free for you to use! I love all of these plans and they all have great ideas for windows for your coop!

 

If you’re just starting out raising chickens, I highly recommend that you read my book about how to raise naturally raise chickens.

 

I give tons of detailed information in that book on how you can raise a healthy flock, that’s difficult to fully explain in a short blog post! So check it out!

One of the most important things for you to do when adding windows to your coop is to make sure you have some way to protect your flock from the elements.

 

There’s nothing worse than a wet coop (and wet chickens) because you don’t have any way to cover your windows on your coop!

 

In my coops, the roof overhangs over the side of the coop, so that when it rains water can’t get into the coop. But if you’re adding windows later on and your roof doesn’t overhang then I recommend you find some way to cover your windows. You could add a door or a shutter to your window that can easily be closed during a rainstorm.

One of my favorite window ideas is adding shutters to your windows. I love how cute shutters are on windows, especially on chicken coops! Not only are shutters really cute, but they also are functional and can protect your coop from the elements during a storm!

 

These shutters are some of my absolute favorite! I love the idea of adding a colorful shutter to the window of your coop!

 

I think it’s a super cute way to protect your coop from the elements. I’m also a huge fan of window boxes. Check out my article here all about my favorite window box ideas for your chicken coop!

 

 

I also really love these cute shutters on this coop! While these shutters don’t look like they are actually meant to be used, they do look so cute and would be so easy to add to your coop as a fun decoration!

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjWq2q9AV3t/?tagged=chickencoop

I love this idea of having a sliding door to cover the opening of your coop! This makes it so easy to close when the weather is bad or if you want to keep your chickens inside for a bit too!

 

I’m also a huge fan of the cute windows in this chicken coop! This is a little bit fancier version of windows for a coop!

 

There’s an actual glass window here that can be opened and closed to allow air in when needed and keep the elements out when needed!

 

I also love that these windows have a screen on them! One of the biggest concerns I hear from readers during the summer is how to keep flies and bugs away from your chickens during the summer.

 

I love the idea of using screens on the windows of your chicken coop to prevent insects from getting inside your coop.

 

While this won’t prevent all bugs from getting into your coop, it will help so I think adding screens over your coop windows is a great idea to help keep some bugs away from your chickens.

 

Because a screen won’t keep all of the bugs out of your coop I also recommend that you use herbs, such as citronella lemon balm, and peppermint. I also have an amazing recipe for peppermint coop spray that does a great job of keeping bugs away during the summer.

 

This window is so cute too! I love how simple this window would be to make and how versatile the smaller, narrower window is for a smaller coop.

 

Don’t be afraid to use a window that isn’t the conventional shape. I think this window is great because with smaller coops it can be harder to add a full sized window.

 

Especially since my chickens will try to fit through anything! This longer narrower window style prevents your chickens from getting out and predator from getting in!

 

Although you should always add chicken wire over your window (especially when it’s as close to the ground as this one to prevent predators from getting into your coop!)

 

Square windows.

Traditional, but so classic for any chicken coop. I love the wood trim around the outside of the windows. I think it adds a really nice touch and is an easy way to quickly make a normal window look much nicer! Note the chicken wire on the window – that’s a great way to keep out predators!

What have you done to dress up the windows on your chicken coop? Tell me about it in the comments below!

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop?

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop?

Deciding what chicken wire you’ll put on your coop is a pretty important part of backyard chicken ownership.

While we see our fluffy butts as cute feathered pets, the sad truth is the rest of the animal kingdom sees your chickens as dinner. So, we have to take steps to protect our hens, and that means choosing chicken wire that’ll keep predators OUT and your flock IN. There are lots of different types of chicken wire, and in this article, we’ll discuss:

  • ½ inch & 1 inch chicken wire
  • ½ inch hardware cloth for backyard chickens
  • ¼ inch hardware cloth
  • Screens

And the advantages and disadvantages of each. We’ll also talk about poultry netting versus wire, and plastic versus metal and coated metal. The type of chicken wire you’ll use on your coop depends on a few factors, including:

  • Your budget
  • Predators in your area
  • The age of your chickens
  • Aesthetics (yes, this is important!)

So, get ready for an in depth look at each type of chicken wire out there!

What length and width chicken wire should you buy?

The answer to this question will vary from situation to situation. We discuss specific hole sizes below, but it’s also important to consider the length and width of the chicken wire you buy.

For example, we’re redoing the fencing on my coop right now. The posts are 4 feet away from each other. We’ve purchased 1-inch chicken wire that’s 48” wide and 150’ long to ensure we have enough to make panels for the entire run. If your fence posts are closer together,  or wider apart, then you’ll have to consider that spacing before deciding on which chicken wire will work for your coop.

While we usually install fencing horizontally, in the case of chicken wire and chicken coops, it’s best to install the wire itself vertically. You want your chicken run to be tall enough to keep your flock in, and you don’t want any gaps between the wire that predators can get through. When installed horizontally, a 48” tall fence will require a second layer so the fence is tall enough. Avoid this scenario!

Chicken wire ½ inch – 1 inch

When you think of chicken wire, you probably think of the wire fencing with hexagonal openings. This is traditional chicken wire, and it has advantages and disadvantages.

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop

While it comes in various sizes, for chickens, the ½ inch or 1 inch variety are best. Chickens, especially young ones or smaller bantam varieties, such as Cochins, silkies, ameraucana bantams, or brahma chicks, might be able to fit through larger holes, or predators might be able to get through. Also, pests such as rats might fit through larger holes. Half and one inch chicken wire is easy to cut (an important consideration) and install – you can use staples or screws with washers to attach it to fence posts.

However, you should remember that this type of chicken wire is thin and easily pulled apart by predators. In our area, we don’t have a lot of carnivores trying to kill our hens, so it works well for us. But for readers who live near bears, or have very aggressive neighborhood dogs, or who have wily raccoons, this type of wire can lead to some sad situations.

Another consideration, especially if you have chicks, is they can become tangled in chicken wire, and get a wing caught. I’ve dealt with this situation a few times – we’ve had to unwind the chick from the wire to set it free. Don’t ask me how they manage to get stuck – chickens be chickens!

But yes, this can happen – so it’s something to think about. That being said, this type of chicken wire is relatively inexpensive, and is easily found in longer rolls at big box stores.

Hardware cloth ½ & ¼ inch

Hardware cloth is usually what experienced backyard chicken owners use when building their coops. It’s very sturdy and, when installed correctly, is harder for predators and neighborhood dogs to rip through. It also doesn’t stretch out of shape like chicken wire, so predators can’t maneuver through it as easily.

You can buy hardware cloth with larger openings, but typically, the half and ¼ inch sizes are best. These sizes are impossible for backyard chickens to fit through – so they’ll remain in your coop – and most predators can’t fit their fingers/paws through the holes.

Raccoons in particular like reaching through chicken wire to grab a free meal. Hardware cloth makes it harder for them to grab a pullet’s leg and rip her apart. It’s also harder for predators to get a grip on the wire and rip it off.

Hardware cloth also looks better aesthetically than the other options on this list, although it can be pretty expensive, especially if you need wider pieces or you have a large run for your backyard chickens.

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop

Metal – Coated vs. Uncoated

You might notice that chicken wire comes in 2 different varieties (other than size) – coated and uncoated. Coated chicken wire just contains an extra layer of plastic on the outside. It’s typically green, but I’ve seen it in other colors as well.

While coated chicken wire certainly isn’t necessary, it can look better and, if your chicks get stuck between holes, it can make it easier to free them and less painful for the chicken.

It’s also a little easier to install because you won’t have to grab thin wire for the entire installation. It tends to be a bit more expensive, so your budget will dictate whether coated or uncoated chicken wire is for you.

Screens

Another unconventional option are screens – yep, the same screens you probably have on the windows in your house. This is a great option if BUGS are a big issue in your area. Nothing is worse than a fly or gnat infestation – and they CAN harm your flock! Screens are typically made of wire, and they’re pretty easy to install, although fixing them (should they get torn) is a bit of a pain in the butt.

If your chickens are active and like to bicker, or if you have other pets such as cats, you might find screens don’t last very long and you’ll be replacing them pretty frequently. They also won’t stand up to most predators – so if your neighbors dogs like to make a meal out of your flock, then screens are best avoided. They also tend to be a bit expensive, so it’s important to compare the costs to the other chicken wire options in this article.

Poultry netting

Another option available is poultry netting, which is plastic fencing that looks like hardware cloth, but is made of plastic. This type of chicken wire is good for keeping your hens out of your garden, but provides little protection against a predator, since its easily ripped off. It can also look pretty ugly – especially if you get orange poultry netting! It’s best to stick to traditional chicken wire or hardware cloth.

Hopefully this article gives you some ideas about which chicken wire is best for a coop. There’s plenty of options, and your choice will be specific to your own situation!

Hot Chicken Coop? Add Windows With This DIY Tutorial!

Hot Chicken Coop? Add Windows With This DIY Tutorial!

Adding a window to your chicken coop is easy – as long as you have a plan.

 

While the coop we bought for our hens is largely perfect, when the summer time heat hit, it got just a little bit too stuffy in there for my comfort.

 

Backyard chickens don’t sweat like humans do – so they feel heat more and chickens have a hard time cooling down.

 

It’s very important your coop has great ventilation and air flow so your hens don’t develop respiratory issues and suffer heat stroke – so we decided to add a few windows to our chicken coop to reduce the heat inside AND increase the airflow.

 

Before we get started, know that there’s a LOT of decisions to make before you start cutting a hole in the wall of your coop…..practical AND style decisions.

 

And since you’ll be looking at your coop for a LONG time, both of these types of decisions are equally important.

 

For those who can’t wait to discover what window we chose, we opted for a $30, pre-fab, single hung windows with screens. You’ll learn why as you read the article.

 

Backyard chicken coop window tutorial

 

You should choose the type of window that works best for your own situation, however.

 

Here’s how we did it, and how you can add a window to your chicken coop yourself.

 

Tools needed:

  • Sawzaw or other way to cut a hole in your coop wall
  • Window & manufacturer’s window installation kit
  • Molding or wood to frame the window
  • Broom to sweep up wood shavings and dust
  • Measuring tape
  • Ear plugs (yes, these are important – you don’t want ringing ears!)
  • 1-inch drill bit & drill
  • Electric screwdriver
  • A carpenter’s pencil or a marker

 

Step 1: Decide Where To Put The Window

This is critical – once you cut a hole in your coop wall, it’s permanent, so keep the following questions in mind before adding the window.

 

Where does the wind blow?

The goal is to create air flow – so you want to make sure you stand a good chance by putting the window where there tends to be a lot of airflow already.

 

Don’t make this decision lightly – you need to keep airflow from all seasons in mind.

 

On our farm, we have a lot of wind from the North, so it seems it would be best to place the window on the North side of the coop.

 

But in the winter, the North wind come from Canada, and it’s cold and bitter. So, the North side isn’t the best place.

 

The coop already has a window to the South, so we decided on an East/West location for the windows. We get a good West wind, and during the winter, it’s not as bitter as the North wind.

 

Are you adding more than one window?

Not every coop needs multiple windows. Ours does, so we decided to add 2 windows.

 

But going back to airflow….

 

You might need more than one window if your coop is very hot and stuffy over the summer, or if you want a lot of light in your coop and live in a cooler area, so make this decision before deciding on the final placement of your chicken coop window.

 

Is there a spot that tends to get super wet with rain (avoid this spot)?

An open window is an invitation for wet weather to seep into your coop. If you have a particular spot that’s more likely to bring water into the coop, this might not be the best place to add a window.

 

For example, we rarely have East winds – so we know we’re less likely to have our coop soaked during a sudden rainstorm with a window that faces the East.

 

This is key to reduce moisture in your coop and keep your chickens healthy.

 

What height should you put it at to avoid predators?

If chicken predators plague your area, you want the window to be high enough that they can’t just jump into your coop or rip open any screens.

 

In our area, we don’t have much trouble with predators. However, we still make sure the window is several feet off the ground.

 

Backyard chicken coop window

The goat had to inspect our work

Where does the window look the most attractive?

Really, this IS important, so don’t gloss over this because it seems frivolous.

 

You’ll be looking at this new window for a long time – choose a spot on the chicken coop wall that looks “right” and not funky.

 

The last thing you want is to regret the placing decision and spend the next 20 years kicking yourself.

 

Do you need to move any structural beams or add bracing?

Go inside your chicken coop and look at the overall structure. To install the window, will you need to move any beams and will you need to brace the walls around the window?

 

For our coop, the interior 2×4 beams were largely for looks – they didn’t really support the walls at all. So, we were free to remove them as needed.

 

However, your coop might not be structured the same way, and you might need to brace a wall in order to keep your flock’s home structurally sound.

 

Adding bracing is pretty easy. We had to do it in our farm house when we installed French doors, but it’s important to know whether you have to do it – so you don’t walk out one morning to a crumpled heap of wood.

 

So, take these decisions into consideration when deciding where to place the window in your chicken coop.

 

Do you plan to buy a pre-fab window or build one yourself (or simply cut a hole in the wall??)

Ask yourself whether you plan to DIY the window (which brings up another host of questions) or if you’ll buy a window and kit and just install it yourself.

 

We opted to buy windows – they cost about $30 each and look better than just a hole in the wall.

 

Step 2: Will the window close?

Ask yourself whether you plan to close the window at any point. This is also an important decision.

 

In the past, we simply cut holes in the wall, slapped some hardware cloth in it, and left it at that.

 

Then winter rolled around, and we regretted being so cavalier – because we then had to cover the chicken coop window with really ugly tin.

 

In some areas (such as areas with little rainfall and high temperatures), a window that closes isn’t as important.

 

So, you need to consider your local climate.

 

But if you plan to close the window during bad weather, you’ll need to buy or make a window that has the ability to close.

 

Do you plan to use hardware cloth or a screen?

The purpose of a window is to create airflow, but you also don’t want your flock to escape through the window.

 

So, you’ll need some sort of covering for the big gaping hole you’re about to create. We wanted to keep bugs out of the coop as much as possible, so we opted for a prefab window that had a screen.

 

If you live in an area with a lot of predators, a screen might not be the best option. In fact, if you live in an area with bears, you might want to consider safety bars.

 

If raccoons or opossums are an issue in your area, then ¼ inch hardware cloth might be a better option. For areas with aggressive neighborhood dogs, ½ inch hardware cloth will work well.

 

We don’t have a lot of predators, and certainly no bears, but we do have a LOT of flies in our chicken coop……so we went with a screen that gave us a bit of bug control.

 

Before cutting, ask yourself whether you’ll use hardware cloth or a screen.

 

Single hung or double hung?

This is kind of a minor decision, but ask yourself whether you want a single or double hung window to grace the wall of your chicken coop.

 

Single hung windows are cheaper, so we went with that.

 

Step 3: Cut A Hole In The Wall The Size Of The Window

Now it’s time to actually install the window. First, keep your chickens out of the coop if possible – they will be disturbed by the loud noise and wood particles in the air.

 

Let your hens free range and enjoy some time outside hunting bugs while you improve their home.

 

Next, make sure you don’t need to move any structural beams.

 

Measure the size of your window, and measure the wall – if any beams are in the way, they’ll need to be moved or you’ll need to find a new spot. Don’t start cutting until you’ve figured this out.

 

Backyard chicken coop window measuring

 

If you’re using a prefab window, consult the window installation kit and instructions before cutting.

 

Remember, you can’t do this twice, so measure twice, cut once!

 

To cut the hole in the wall, we started by tracing an outline of the window on the wall, and then used a drill to create a hole large enough for the sawsaw to fit through.

 

Using the tracing as a guide, we cut a hole the length and width of the window. Easy!

 

Backyard chicken coop window opening

Step 4: Following The Instruction With Your Window Kit, Install The Window

Installing the window was easy – most of the work is making all those pre-installation decisions!

 

Using the manufacturer screws, we easily affixed the window to the chicken coop wall.

 

If you’re using hardware cloth, add it inside the coop. You can use small hardware staples or screws with washers to keep it in place.

 

For extra security from predators, you can also add a wood frame over the hardware cloth to make it even harder to remove.

Backyard chicken coop window installation complete

Step 5: Finish Off The Installation By Framing Your New Chicken Coop Window

You can leave the window as is, or frame it to complete the look. I highly recommend framing it – it’ll keep the window looking nicer for longer, and cover up any mistakes (and we made plenty!).

 

You can also add shutters or a window box for an additional cute finishing touch to your new chicken coop window, like we did with this window:

 

Backyard chicken coop window installation tutorial

What To Do In Your Chicken Coop In June!

What To Do In Your Chicken Coop In June!

It’s June! And there’s LOTS you can do in your coop in June to make the summer weather more fun (and bearable) for your backyard chickens!

 

You’re probably noticing your hens panting a bit – chickens don’t do so well in hot weather, and as their humans, we need to help them.

 

That’s why this month’s “to do” list includes LOTS of idea to keep your chickens cool & healthy (and avoid heat stress!)

 

So, here’s this month’s list of What To Do In Your Coop In June!

 

Make & feed frozen treats

Chickens can’t sweat, so to help them be a bit cooler, we can feed frozen treats including frozen suet cakes!

 

Add herbs such as oregano, bee pollen, lemon balm, and garlic to boost their immune systems in case they do get heat stress to reduce the potential for a latent infection to get worse.

 

Chicken eating frozen suet cakes

 

Install misters to cool air temps if temps are over 95 degrees consistently

While you don’t want to spray your chickens directly, installing and running misters will help cool the ambient temperature a bit. Be sure to install them OUTSIDE, not inside the coop, to avoid moisture and mold build up.

 

Add ice to waterers/freeze waterers overnight for cool water longer

For this one, you should buy several waterers so there’s 24 hour access to water in the coop). Put half in your freezer overnight, then put them out in the morning.

 

Make sure there’s shaded areas in the run (tarps are an easy option) & place waterers under them.

 

Install fans

If you have electricity to your coop, you can use fans to circulate the air. Be sure there’s no way the chickens can accidentally hurt themselves.

 

You can install them behind a guard or grating, or come up with an idea that’ll work for your flock.

 

what to do in your chicken coop in june

Combine water with thyme and citrus juice

In studies, chickens fed a blend of citrus WITH thyme were less likely to experience heat stress. 

 

Use coop refresher to reduce moisture and humidity

Humid and moist coops FEEL warmer than they are, and the moisture will do a number on your flock’s health.

 

There ARE all natural coop refreshers that you can use 2-3 times a week to reduce ammonia & mold build up from manure in hot temperatures. Here’s how to make one at home!

 

Add an extra window or two, if possible, to aid air circulation.

Be sure to install a single hung or double hung window (costs about $30 – $60 depending on manufacturer) so it can be shut during storms so mold & mildew don’t build up inside the coop.

 

Another option is to install hardware cloth on windows so they can stay open all night for better circulation but keep your flock safe

 

Watch out for gnats, ticks, mites etc

Double down on keeping mites and other pests out of your coop with some of these ideas. 

 

They’ll try to suck blood and nutrients out of chickens, which can impede their immune system, especially if they’re already stressed from the heat.

 

Also consider fermenting feed to add extra beneficial bacteria to their digestive systems & reduce pathogens.

 

Look at eggs for signs of heat stress

Eggs might look funny when chickens are heat stressed, so watch out for very wrinkled eggs or eggs that have pigmentation loss on the shells 

 

If you think your hens might be heat stressed, give extra calcium with oyster shells. Be sure to also provide extra protein with dried insects such as black soldier fly larvae and mealworms.

 

You can learn how to raise your own black soldier fly larvae here, or if mealworms are more your thing, you can raise mealworms with these instructions.

 

If you just want to feed dried insects to your flock, head over to the store to treat your hens to black soldier fly larvae or mealworms.

Build This Adorable Rustic Welcome Outdoor Sign For Your Home & Coop!

Build This Adorable Rustic Welcome Outdoor Sign For Your Home & Coop!

Creating a welcoming entry up to your house can be tricky.  If you don’t have the perfect walkway up or your home is built at a weird angle it can seem like you have no options.  

 

In this post, I’m going to share how to build outdoor wall decor to help give your home a welcoming feel.

 

If you are new to DIY or don’t think that you can create decor that looks like it comes out of the Pottery Barn catalog I’m here to tell you that it’s completely possible and it doesn’t have half of the price tag that you see in that catalog.

 

This project uses supplies that you can find anywhere and the tools that I used you probably already have at home.

 

You probably don’t know me since I’m new here.  My name is Jenn and I am completely obsessed with DIY.  

 

I look at things at the store and think about how I can make it better.  Recently it was time for me to update my front “porch” area.

 

I quote the word porch because it’s really a long shot for me to call it that.  My home is in an L shape with 2 big windows up front so I find it quite challenging to create a welcoming entrance.

 

Since I finally figured out how to add some decor to my front windows, (you can check that out here) I wanted a welcome sign to display.

 

I started with kind of a blank slate.  With just open space with the house numbers, I would usually add some flowers to a hanging vase and call it a day.  

 

But I just build this stair planter that added some much-needed color to my front area.  It was time for a little bit more.

 

I started scouring the internet, Home Goods, and my neighbor’s front porches trying to get some inspiration for a welcome sign (in a non-stalker way).  

 

I had seen a lot of welcome signs that was vertical that laid against the wall but I wanted something to hang so I decided to create something horizontal with a rustic farmhouse feel.

 

If you’d like the complete shopping list and dimensions you can get that by clicking the button below.

 

The supplies you’ll need are:

  • 2 cedar planks 5.5”x5’
  • W, E, L, C, M, E letters
  • Boxwood greenery
  • Wood glue
  • 3 straight brackets
  • Wood stain
  • Top coat
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • ½” drill bit
  • ¼” Rope
  • Sander
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue
  • Drop cloth
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Ear and eye protection
  • Mask

 

I started off with the cedar planks.  I love working with them because they’re cheap and you have an instant rustic feel.  The ones I use are fencing planks and they’re about $2 each.

 

Now I needed to cut the wood down to size.  I laid the letters out on the wood. I wanted about 3 inches on each end.  I cut the boards to size and started securing the 2 boards together.

 

Since the letters that I’m using are about the same size as the wood I needed to make the wood bigger so I glued the pieces together and then secured them with brackets on the back to really make sure they’re held together.

 

Just add a bead of wood glue to the top of one of the boards and then place the other on top.  Lay the wood down and screw in the brackets.

 

I allowed the wood to dry for about 30 minutes.

 

Once the glue had a chance to dry, it was time to stain.  I wanted a dramatic look so I used the espresso stain color.  I like to let the stain dry overnight.

 

While the stain is drying it’s time to prepare the letters.  I purchased these letters from Michael’s they’re the 5.5″ MDF letters.  They’re about $1.50 each.

 

To give the aged look I was going for I painted the letters with a dark blue color, allowed that to dry for about an hour and then went over the letters again with white. I then allowed the letters to dry overnight.

 

I used the same technique before in another sign I built here.

 

Now that the wood and letters are dry it’s time for the fun part, assembly.

 

Start off by placing the letters where you want them on the boards giving a 1-inch gap between each letter.  Make sure you leave enough room to add your O. I left a 6-inch gap in that space.

 

 

Once you’re happy with the placement of the letters add some wood glue to the back of your letters and then secure them with some 1-inch finishing nails.  I nailed 2 nails into each letter.

 

Then I wanted to give the sign an even more aged looks so I took my sander to the board and letters.  Be careful with this step because you can take a lot off quick.

 

Once you get your desired look it’s time to plug in your hot glue gun to start building your O.

 

 

I purchased 2 boxwood greenery pic’s from Michaels for $1.50 each.  This gave me enough greenery to use to make a nice full O.

 

 

I took the pic apart and used 2 stems at a time.  I would add a little hot glue to the board and then place the greenery.

 

I’d hold it there for a few seconds and then add a little more hot glue. I continued this process until the O was complete.

 

 

Now it’s time to drill 2 holes so you can hang your sign.  I drilled the 2 holes with a ½” drill bit. Then I added the ¼” rope.  

 

I cut the piece about 6 inches longer than I wanted it so I could have enough space to tie the knots.

 

 

For extra security, I tied 2 knots.  One on the front of the sign and on the back of the sign.  I did that on both sides so I knew it wasn’t going anywhere.

 

I finished off by applying a coat of top coat to the sign.  Since I was using MDF letters and hot glue I didn’t want the weather to destroy my sign so I thought this step was necessary for longevity.

 

I allow the sign to dry for about an hour and then hung it up.

 

What do you think?

 

All in all, I was really happy with how this turned out.  If you are new to DIY and are wanting to get your “hands dirty” then I think this is a perfect project to start.  

 

You don’t need to buy a ton of weird tools or supplies. Everything you need you will find at any big box store (or even Amazon).

 

Since I owned most of the supplies this project cost me under $20 to make.

 

If you’d like to make this yourself, I created a checklist you can follow that includes the shopping list, cut list, exact dimensions, and the steps to take to make this sign yourself.

 

Click here to subscribe

 

I want to thank you so much for hanging out with me, I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did.

 

About Jenn: Jenn is a mother of 2 daughters and a wife of a very patient man.  She loves to build furniture, create home decor, and develop creative ways to organize different areas of her house.  When she isn’t crafting up her newest blog post at Home by Jenn she is enjoying the outdoors with her family and training for the next marathon.  You can learn more about her at HomebyJenn.com.