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The Making of The Bluebird Shed (Part I)

Like many ideas, the concept for The Bluebird Shed was nothing more than a fleeting comment riding on the back of other ideas. I can still hear the words floating across the table, "We could just start our own store..."

What an idiotic idea. What cool idea. What a wonderful idea!

It's been 11 months since that conversation between Sarah (my wife and co-owner), and me, but we are finally done with the planning and creating. The Bluebird Shed is now open for business. It's been a journey to say the least (and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears), but it has been worth it.

This blog post and the next one will take you on a simple journey of the making of The Bluebird Shed, from a pile of lumber in my garage to a fully stocked backyard bird extravaganza. Truth is, it's turned out better than I ever imagined. It's been more work than I ever imagined, but the work has been good work. Solid, honest labor.

The shell of the store was pretty dingy when we took possession, so the first thing that was needed was a new coat of paint. I wanted beige, Sarah wanted vivid colors. She won and was right. The colors are perfect. After the paint, we changed the lights, the flooring, and the blinds. It was quite a transformation!

Then it was time to start building the fixtures. We decided to build rather than buy, because there was nothing pre-fab that was going to give is the look and feel we wanted, which was rustic charm combined with quality craftsmanship...rustic chic. So, custom was the only way to go. It took a little convincing by me and a lot of faith from Sarah for her to let me turn our garage into a temporary wood shop, but I think the results turned out pretty well.

After Home Depot dropped off a pallet of wood, it was time to get to work.

First, the display walls were made. These were going to display all of our seed feeders. It is rough carpentry, so it gave me a chance to get my hands calloused and relearn a few old skills before I dug into the fine carpentry.

Next, the checkout counter area was built, sided, and finished. We were looking for a "barn wood" look, and I think Sarah did a great job with the staining. We wanted a really sharp looking counter top, so we went with a classic butcher block.

Then, we worked on the crate wall. Forty crates make up the wall and they had to be individually stained and wiped clean. This was going to be our hummingbird feeder display.

The next big piece was the pergola. I wanted to give the impression of a back yard patio that would also give us a chance to hang some feeders for a natural look. The bottom is pegboard for displaying small items.

I don't want to even know what this thing weighs, but the smartest thing I did was put it on wheels. We can move it anywhere in the store with ease.

Lastly, we made a few more pieces to complete the ensemble.

Voila! Instant store!

So, that's how everything was built. I highly recommend checking out the next post to watch the store come to life!



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