Monday, November 29, 2021

Installing Barn Door Latches

Materials Needed:

  • Super Glue or other fast-acting, strong glue.  This will do the bulk of the work of holding everything.
  • Masking Tape or Painter’s tape.
  • Pliers or tweezers.
  • 1/32in drill – I use my dremel but a pinvise will also work.  If using your dremel you will need a 1/32in collet.
  • 10 Short pins with domed metal heads.  I use sequin pins but you can also use regular pins cut down to size.

Parts Inventory:

These door latches come with four parts per latch.

  • Main body of the latch
  • 2 Brackets to hold the latch
  • 1 hook for the other side of the door opening.

Before proceeding to the mounting steps, please check that your door is hung correctly and stays closed mostly on its own.  A door that wants to pop open will put pressure on these latches that could cause them to bend or fail over time.

These latches are intended as a d├ęcor element with some functionality, not as a way to force stubborn doors to stay closed.  They should never be asked to accept weight or pressure.

Installing the Latch

1. Before you start, you should paint the latch the color you desire.  A nice chrome paint will make for a bright, shiny steel while black will give you a more wrought iron look.  I use spray paint for mine to give a nice, even finish but you can also prime and paint them by hand.  I recommend painting the whole of the latch but you can skip painting the parts of the hook and brackets that will be in direct contact with wood.

If your barn in a place that gets a lot of bright sunlight, make sure you paint these in a dark, opaque color to protect the UV resin from the sunlight.

2. Begin by positioning the latch on your door in the closed position.  Make sure there is enough space on the door above and below for the full height of the bracket and that you have overlapped to the wall or post by enough for the hook.


3. Take a small piece of masking tape or painter’s tape and tape the latch to the door by its handle. 

4. Apply a small amount of super glue to the back of each of the hook’s feet.

5. Position the hook on the post or wall next to the door.  Make sure there is enough clearance for the latch to fully clear the hook when rotated 90 degrees.  My drawing is a bit off, but also make sure that the feet of the hook are both fully on your wall or post (not hanging off at the top like my poorly drawn example.


6. Load up your 1/32in drill bit.  I use my dremel for this but you can also get a pinvise and do this manually.

7. Drill through each of the tiny holes on the hook’s feet (there is one on each foot).  Drill as far into the wood as the length of your pin.  If you want a guide, mark the drill bit with a small piece of tape at the depth you want to stop. If your pins are longer than the depth of your door/wall/post, cut them down first.


8. Repeat steps 3-6 for each of the brackets.  

One bracket should line up with the edge of the door on one side (or just slightly in from the edge) and be against the latch’s handle on the other side. 

The other should be against the curly end of the latch.

9. Finally, you should pin all the holes you drilled.  While this is largely cosmetic, the pins do create a backup should the adhesive you used fail to adhere. 

To apply the pins, hold the pin near the head with your pliers or tweezers and dip the rest of the pin’s length into the glue of your choice, I used the same super-glue I did to hold the brackets and hook.

Slip the pin into your pre-drilled hold and press it until the head is flush to the bracket or hook foot.  It may be a little roomy, the glue will do the work of filling that extra space and holding it in place.  

If you want the pin heads to match, dab a bit of a matching paint on top of each one.  If you want them to contrast, carefully paint them in the color you wish.  Or leave them silver.  You can also choose to carefully spray the heads before putting the pins in place.

10. Give the glue time to dry and then remove the tape holding the latch body in place.  It should slide easily back and forth and rotate 90 degrees upward.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Assembly Instructions for Barn Window Frames and Shutters

Below are the assembly instructions for my custom SVG files for window frames and shutters for Breyer's big two-stall barn with cupola.  

If you haven't yet purchased the files and would like to you can find them in my Etsy shop.

Barn Window and Door Frames

Barn Shutters


Setting up the File and Cutting

  1. Because the Cricut software does not import items in a specific size, a red square is included to help with sizing.  That red square should be 1 inch square.  When it is that size, the rest of the pieces will be approximately the correct size. 
  2. These pieces are meant to be cut from 24pt chipboard.  

All of the pieces and materials I use for this project are collected on one of my Amazon lists. Please note this is an affiliate link so I do make a small amount from any purchases you make through this list.  If you’re not comfortable with that I also make sure to include the names and photos of things so you can search for them on your own.

Instructions Specific for the Barn Window Frames

  • The barn frames are meant to be two layers thick when using 24pt chipboard.
  • This means the file includes the following:
    • 2x Door Frame
    • 4x Dormer Window Frame (the window below where the hay hook goes)
    • 8x Small Side Window Frames
    • 8x Large Side Window Frames
  • Once all pieces have been doubled up (two pieces layered together) you will end up with the following:
    • 1 Door Frame
    • 2 Dormer Window Frames
    • 4 Small Side Window Frames
    • 4 Large Side Window Frames
  • Once the pieces have been layered, hardened, prepped, and painted I simply glue them onto the barn.  You can use any glue you like for this part of the process.  If you're using a glue with a long working time you can secure the frames with small pieces of painters tape while the glue dries.

Instructions Specific for Barn Shutters

  • Each shutter is designed to be 4 layers. 
    • 1 solid back layer
    • 1 panel layer 
    • 2 cross bar layers.
  • I highly recommend finishing the shutters completely before attaching the hinges.  This way you don't accidentally lock a hinge up by getting paint or glue into it during the building process.
  • You will need 2 hinges for each shutter.  To do the entire barn, it means you'll need a total of 28 total hinges (7 windows with 2 shutters per window and 2 hinges per shutter).  I included the hinges I used on my Amazon supply list.  They're approximately 1/2 inch tall and have 1/4 inch of width from the edge to the hinge and a total width of about 9/16 inches.  These are the size hinges the cutouts on the panel layer are meant to accept.  
    • You can use any similarly sized hinges or hinges that are smaller.  If you do larger ones you may need to make the cut out on the panel layer larger.
    • I HIGHLY recommend looking for hinges meant for small boxes, NOT ones meant for dollhouses.  The difference is that dollhouse hinges are mounted with small nails while hinges for boxes are mounted with screws.
  • Once you have finished the shutters there will be a gap on one of the layers where the hinges can be inserted.  I squeezed super glue into that gap and slid the hinge in.  I did not use screws on the shutters themselves. 
  • To attach to the barn I held the shutter in place with painters tape and then used the screws to screw the hinge straight through the frame and into the barn itself.

Layering Pieces

1. Layering is meant to help build up thickness when using a thinner material.  If you're cutting from a heavier material, you can easily skip the layering steps below.

2. Start with the two pieces you're going to layer together.

3. For layering I use Zig 2 Way Glue.  It goes on blue and as it dries it turns clear.  This isn’t going to do the heavy lifting, it’s just holding everything together until the hardening stage.  You can use any glue as long as it will not cause the chipboard to warp or swell.


4. Lay down a layer of the Zig on one of the two pieces you're layering together.  Then place the second piece on top and align the edges so they match as closely as possible.


5. To get a nice tight grip and so the layers don’t keep trying to peel apart I go over the pieces with a hard rubber brayer roller.  It seals the layers together a little better during the construction phase.

6. And after the braying process.



1. The next step is hardening.  While you can technically skip these steps, I highly recommend you do not.  Hardening stiffens the chipboard, reinforces the layering and makes the entire piece more durable.

2. For hardening I like to use Starbond Thin super glue.  When I purchase this on Amazon it comes with a long nozzle and small tube attachments for that nozzle.  I use both to get the finest control I can. Please make sure you use this in a well-ventilated area and be very careful not to get it on your skin, clothing, or furniture.

3. You’re going to carefully run lines of this along the edges of the layered pieces.  Let it soak into and saturate the chipboard. 


Finish and Prep

1. Between the way the Cricut cuts and the super glue there can be some swelling along the edges of pieces.  I just take a foam sanding block and lightly sand any rough spots or ridges.  You can also use a needle file or exacto blade.  This is also good for cleaning up any areas where the frames may not have aligned perfectly for whatever reason.

2. To finish this off you’ll prime and paint the way you would a wooden piece.  I didn’t take photos of this stage since you can take care of it any way you wish.  I just use Rustoleum spray primer and do additional sanding as needed between layers then paint with either spray paint or acrylic paint.