Decor Animals Dress Up Farm Buildings

When Minnesota farmer Larry Mages, of Lafayette, finished converting an old dairy barn into a hog house, he shopped around for life-size hog silhouettes to dress up the remodeled building, and to let passerby's know that he's a pork producer.

Unable to buy the kind of ready-made animals he wanted, he drew up patterns and made them himself out of 4 by 8 sheets of plywood. Before long, neighbors were asking him to design and paint decor animals for them. One thing led to another and Larry is now doing a booming sideline business in decor animals for farm buildings and mailboxes.

You can buy completely finished silhouettes cut from 4 by 8 sheets of 1 1/2-in. exterior grade plywood and hand painted in cow, bull, hog, horse, dogs, chicks or piglets to be used as mural with larger hens, sows and so forth. Animals can be ordered to face right or left, and hand-painted in your choice of colors.

Full-size patterns for do-it-yourself silhouettes are available, too. You simply lay the pattern on a 4 by 8 sheet of plywood, using it to cut out and paint the animal or whatever other silhouette you want to dress up a barn, machine shed, garage wall, or your mailbox. Do-it-yourself patterns are also available for large letters made from 4 by 8 sheets of plywood.