How to Build a Wooden Barn Model

Written by kasandra rose
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How to Build a Wooden Barn Model
Toy barns are fun to build and play with. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Train collectors often build whole model countrysides to run their trains through. Model barns can enhance the scenery with their bright colours, as well as being able to be used for covering and storing mechanical equipment needed to run the train. This size model barn suits a G-scale garden train set-up. The removable roof of this model makes storage simple. In addition, a model barn sets the stage for playtime with your child. Keep horses and cows in the barn, or use it for tractors and other farm equipment.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Yard stick
  • 1/2-inch, two-side-good, 4- by 8-foot plywood board
  • Circular saw
  • Handsaw
  • 200-grit sandpaper
  • Painter's tape
  • Wood glue
  • 3/4-inch finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • 2 butt hinges
  • Paint or stain

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    Shaping the Barn

  1. 1

    Draw the hayloft front on the 1/2-inch, two-side-good plywood board. Measure and mark point B 15 inches from the bottom corner of the board. This is the width of the barn front; Point A is the corner you started measuring from.

  2. 2

    Find the centre point at 7.5 inches and mark it as point C. Measure up 12 inches from point A and mark point D; repeat from point B and mark point E.

  3. 3

    Measure up 17 inches from the centre point C and mark the roof peak point P.

  4. 4

    Measure 2.25 inches inward from point A along the bottom edge of the board and mark point F. Measure up from the that point 14.75 inches and mark the roof inclination change point G. Repeat from point B, marking point H along the bottom of the board and point I for the roof inclination change.

  5. 5

    Draw straight lines from Point A to D, D to G, G to P, P to I, I to E and E to B. Draw a 3-inch-wide, 4-inch-high rectangular door centred along the bottom of the barn front.

  6. 6

    Cut along your outline with a circular saw. Cut the door with a handsaw. Use the front as a template to draw the back of the barn omitting the door. Cut the back.

  7. 7

    Measure and cut two 12-by-18-inch rectangles for the sides of the barn. Measure and cut two 3.5-by 20-inch rectangles for the lower roof. Measure and cut two 5.75-by-20-inch rectangles for the upper roof. Measure and cut one 17 1/16-by-15-inch piece for the floor.


  1. 1

    Sand all the edges with 200-grit sand paper. Don't spend too much effort on it at this stage, just knock off rough spots.

  2. 2

    Put the floor in the centre of the work surface. Apply wood glue all along the edges of the barn floor. Apply wood glue to the bottom, inside edge of the front and left side pieces. Put the front of the barn in place against the floor. Line the side of the barn up against the front and the floor. Use several pieces of painter's tape to secure the pieces in place.

  3. 3

    Apply glue to the bottom of the inside of the back of the barn and place it against the floor. Tape it in place to the side of the barn. Apply glue to the bottom of the inside of the last side of the barn and secure it in place with tape.

  4. 4

    Nail the sides to the floor, and each other, using 3/4-inch finishing nails.

  5. 5

    Place the two upper sections of roof flat on the work surface and abut the edges together. Attach the two sections of roof with two butt hinges that allow inward folding. Align the butt hinges, along the edge, and equally on both roof halves. Screw the hinges in place. Place the roof on top of the barn.

  6. 6

    Place the upper section of roof in place. Glue the lower sections of the roof on the barn. Allow each section to overhang in the front, back and side. The lower sections should abut the upper sections of roof. Secure the roof with finishing nails.

  7. 7

    Remove the tape. Sand any rough areas and clean the dust off. Paint or stain the barn.

Tips and warnings

  • Make the barn longer than 18 inches if desired, just adjust the two sides and the roof cuts.
  • Add cutouts to the sides of the barn and a hay loft cutout, if desired.
  • Add removable doors by drilling small holes in the tops of a piece of wood cut larger than the doorway and nailing 1/2-inch tacking nails through the holes. You can then lift the door off the nails to play in the barn.
  • Add structures inside the barn such as a half-floor hay loft, cross beams, horse stalls, and so on.
  • Trim out the doors and roof with white-painted balsa wood.
  • Use hamster alfalfa cubes in place of hay.
  • Always tie back loose clothing and hair before using power tools.

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