By Dave Pierik
Shelton-Mason County Journal
A Crafty Time reader suggested that an old bait shack would be fun. Great idea! Happy Tree Village has a drive-in movie spot & restaurant, a castle, a bridge, water, trees, roads and buildings, but nothing like this. Until now!
You will need:
Tools: pencil/pen & ruler, scissors, craft knife, paintbrushes.
Materials: cardboard (corrugated and thin card), school glue, sand, flat toothpicks, bamboo skewers, acrylic paints, masking tape, clear plastic (from window envelopes, for the window “glass”)
Optional for details: artificial bait (fake fish), a bit of yarn or string (rope detail), paper clips (for fish display pole & fish net rim), thin mesh fabric (for fish net), beads for buoys.
1. A sketchy start
I must confess that I have only been fishing a couple of times. Old bait shops show up in movies and things though. To get an idea of the look, I did a Google image search for inspiration, and then sketched out some ideas.
2. Measure & mark
Keeping with the scale of the other buildings, the front entrance will be 2.5 inches tall and 4 inches on each side. To make a peaked roof, the sides will need to be 4 inches at the points.
3. Corrugated appeal
Old corrugated metal roof, meet corrugated cardboard. This looks promising. Could it really be this easy to get the look we’re after? Cut two roof pieces to 5” x 3” and peal a flat layer of the cardboard to reveal the corrugated part. Think about the rain, this is direction-sensitive.
Measure, mark and cut out the windows with a hobby knife (be careful with sharp objects). Make a 6” square base. Double-check each piece for accuracy, holding each up against the others to test for fit and trim or remake pieces as needed. It’s only cardboard so you have plenty of materials.
5. Assembly – walls
Line everything up and run beads of glue along all of the edges. Adjust as you go, and use masking tape to help hold pieces together. If you’ve ever made a gingerbread house, this is similar.
6. Roof and cap stick
Cut a piece of bamboo skewer to the same length of the roof (should be 5”). Glue it all together and put masking tape across the top to hold it together. After the glue dries, peel the tape off.
With scissors, cut bits of masking tape down to size, and cover the side edges of the walls and windows. Cut a hole in the bottom of your shack so you can reach the opposite side and carefully press the tape down into place. This will tidy up the look.
8. Happy mistake
A roof piece that was facing the wrong way will make a great outdoor shed. Cut down bamboo skewers for the main poles, then add flat toothpicks for extra support. Basecoat everything in black. Sketch out a sign for the roof, on thin card.
9. Simple boats
Fold a rectangle of thin card in half down the middle. Cut a curve to a point at the front. Fold the back part into thirds. Open and stand on back to trace back panel, cut and glue. Cut, glue and place a couple of toothpicks across the middle. Let dry. Basecoat black, dry brush white, then paint color and details. Make two or more.
Use a round toothpick, a metal paper clip and some mesh. Shape and twist the paper clip to the toothpick, then shape cut and glue the mesh to the rim. Let dry. You could paint yours but I didn’t.
11. Flock & dry brush
To flock, add glue to joints and edges, then sprinkle with sand. Shake off the excess. This will fill gaps and strengthen everything while also looking great. Thoughtfully paint white over the top of things, giving it a heavy dry brush but leaving black in the low areas. This will brighten up the base coats to prep for color.
12. Color and detail
I painted the sign and one boat yellow. Then, I added silver to the roof (keeping some black and white for texture), so for a minute there it looked kind of new. Finally, I slopped around a rough mix of copper, brown and a bit of the yellow with a big brush. It looks like I worked hard for this look, but I didn’t. You can do this – it’s easy and super fun!
13. Bait Shack Fishing
A battery-powered tea light adds an inner glow of character to our new Happy Tree Village addition!