We Made This: Our DIY Chicken Coop Roofing Project

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoofedItMyself #CollectiveBias

It's not hard to build a chicken coop, but you'll want to plan it out thoroughly before building. Head to Lowe's and see what you can do #ad #RoofedItMyself

So, I think you all know by now that the Bowmans tend to get, shall we say, obsessive about our projects.

We’re projects people. You have read about our crazy birthday parties, Cassidy’s amazing vertical pallet strawberry garden, Des’ garden racetrack, and Scarlet’s fairy garden. You have seen how immersed I get with my work projects. We’re immersed people. We’re planning people. We’re DIY people. And apparently, we’re chicken people. I will tell you that during EVERY winter of the last five years at this house, we have asked ourselves, “Is this THE year we get chickens?”

chicken coop

And then, you know what? 2017 was the year. We decided it fairly recently, in fact.

We ALWAYS have grand ideas about beautifying our backyard, but this one was significant. We have four acres and big dreams. We have wanted this for so long, and while it hasn’t been without hiccups, I was pleasantly surprised at the parts that were easy. The dreaming was easy, but the planning was more complex. The foundation was also more complex, but the roofing was actually easy! We kept each other in check on the ground level, and kept each other safe on the roof level – standing on stable ladders instead of on top of the chicken coop – and we put down the roofing slowly and surely.

The experience was rocky in the beginning. There was such uncertainty with building a chicken coop. How many chickens to start with? Will they survive the initial 72 hours? How can we keep them safe? How can we make their home beautiful? Why is the weather so crazy when we’re trying to build? And, where do we begin? The building itself didn’t take long, after doing a lot of research, planning, and taking trips to Lowe’s! It’s always nice to have help from the employees and our kids!

This has been a true act of labor and love. Oh boy, no one prepared me! The baby chick turnover was hard to fathom at first. The constant vigilance – like when one learned to fly out of our little heated pool and we couldn’t find her for 20 minutes! We have 11 chicks right now, and I’d love for it to stay at 11 – and THIS 11. They are not ready to lay eggs yet, but the older six are just about ready to.. fly the coop. Or rather, NOT fly the coop, but live in it! We are all ready!


chicken coop


We call our coop our “Chicken Palace.” Yes, it’s bigger than we set out to make. I’ve certainly seen bigger ones, but they’re mostly longer. Ours is meant to have a perch. They will be quite cozy in their coop! I know it looks big, but it wasn’t hard or time-consuming to make. Here are some of the most basic steps we took to build our amazing chicken palace coop:

1 – Do your research like crazy. Buy books. Read the Internet. Hire a chicken consultant to come over like we did!

2 – Draw up plans. Plan for safety and comfort, and also of ease of project. It’s not a complicated one!

3 – Plan the number of chickens and what breeds beforehand. We chose all cold-hardy chickens so we don’t have to heat the coop.

4 – Measure, measure, measure everything before your trip to Lowe’s.

5 – Factor in a perch area, nesting boxes, proper ventilation, insulation, accessibility (windows, locks, doors, gates, screens, etc.).

6 – Start building the foundation.

7 – Calculate the square footage of the structure you’ll be roofing before visiting Lowe’s.

8 – Visit the Roofing Aisle at Lowe’s located at the far end of the store.

9 – Gather EVERYTHING you need.

10 – Get to work!

The real fun is HOW we did our chicken coop roof!

Here’s what we used for our chicken coop roof:

FeltBuster® High Traction Synthetic Roofing Felt
Pro-Start™ Starter Strip Shingles
Timberline HD® Shingles in Barkwood
Timberline® Shingles
TimberTex® Premium Ridge Cap Shingles (for a pitched roof)
Seal-A-Ridge® Protective Ridge Cap Shingles (for a pitched roof)
Nails: 1 ¼” galvanized steel roofing nails
Nails: 1” – 1 ¼” round plastic cap roofing nail
Drip Edge: Aluminum or Metal 8’ – 10’ piece
Nail Gun (for some of the roof, our skilled friend used a nail gun)
Tape Measure
At least 2 Ladders (safety first!!)

Now, you might be asking why we chose GAF Roofing? There are a few reasons we wanted GAF to be part of this amazing backyard experience of doing our own roofing! For one, Timberline is the best-selling shingle in North America – made with proprietary, granular technology. It looks good (great, in fact) and is EXTREMELY durable. Simple to install and durable??

That is so important for our chickens! We’re doing the best of the best.

GAF Roofing

GAF is thought of as a professional product – used by contractors – but can be used by the average DIYer. Although personally I would call Cassidy above and beyond the average DIYer, wouldn’t you? He is amazing with details and planning.

Another reason we chose GAF Roofing is that it made us aware of how easy it is to do our own roofing. We have loads of projects on the back burner, and hopefully you’ll check in here to see the other creations we will make.

This is what our roof looked like before:

Step 1 – Install an aluminum or metal Drip Edge around the perimeter of the roof to help prevent water infiltration. This also increases wind resistance. Apply it directly to roof and place underlayment over drip edge. Nail down.

This is one instance in which we used a nail gun, but recommend using nails/hammer instead.

Step 2 – Roll the FeltBuster® High Traction Synthetic Roofing Felt onto your roof surface. We were lucky it wasn’t a windy day when we put ours down. Use the 1″ plastic cap roofing nails to hold it in place.

Step 3 – Time for Pro-Start™ Starter Strip Shingles. These shingles are starter shingles, and while they won’t be seen, they cover the roof to allow for proper run-off. The directions are right on the package.

Step 4 – Shingles. Timberline HD® Shingles in Barkwood. Our roof measured 150 square feet, so we needed quite a few bundles. (each one covers 33.33 square feet) Place the first row of shingles on top of the starter shingles, but make sure the seams are not at the same place, and are at least a 4″ difference apart.

Step 5 – Continue installing shingles in each row. GAF shows you where to mark your nails on the shingles. Super helpful! We placed our shingles from low to high, and this is why we had several ladders.

Step 6 – Once you are down with the shingles, use the TimberTex® Premium Ridge Cap Shingles and Seal-A-Ridge® Protective Ridge Cap Shingles for a pitched roof.

If you want more information about the GAF Warranty, please click here.

I want to hear from YOU! Have you ever installed your own roofing? What kind of project would you use GAF Roofing for?

Stay tuned for an update with the chickens in the coop!

GAF Roofing

DIY Surprise “Exploding” Photo Album For Mother’s Day

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HallmarkForMom #CollectiveBias

This beautiful exploding photo album looks like a paper box but it's actually a surprise! So easy to make. The perfect #MothersDay gift! #HallmarkForMom #ad

Honestly. This. It’s this. What I’m about to show you is SO COOL and SO MUCH fun! I wouldn’t let you down!

photo album

I think you probably know by now about my awesome mom. My mom has been an artist/art teacher for about 40 years now. She expresses her thoughts, opinions, experiences and DREAMS through art. I used to be her art assistant and I’ve taken note of the projects the kids really took to the most, and I use them with my own kids. It amazes me how imaginative they are.


Mother’s Day is sort of my jam. And I loved it long before I became a mom, but I’ll never forget that first Mother’s Day when I was pregnant with Scarlet. Cassidy gave me a surprise box! He decorated the outside of a beautiful box and filled the inside with ultrasound and maternity pictures. I was already about eight months along at that point, and had accumulated quite a bit of baby “souvenirs.” I loved his meaningful way of presenting them to me, and he also gave me a gorgeous card.

We will definitely circle back to that a few times!

gifts for Mother's Day

Also, you know that I’m a greeting card girl. I love to peruse the Hallmark Signature cards to pick out the PERFECT cards for any occasions – and sometimes it’s just to say, “I’m thinking about you!” Aren’t random greeting cards the best?? This isn’t random, though. My grandmother lived to age 100, and we’d send her a card and a plant every year. This year I nod my head to every wonderful mother I know – but mainly my sisters, sister-in-law, mom, and two mothers-in-law. My mom has always loved surprise boxes – big or little boxes filled with individually wrapped gifts. You never know what you’re going to get!

surprise box

She was visiting over the weekend and even though this is a gift for her, I used her amazing diligence and art direction. You’ll see her hands in some of the photos! Those are incredible hands – they have been making art for many decades. She helped me with the overall construction of the project – a surprise photo album disguised as a pretty paper box – but she didn’t see the final touches! The kids and I worked hard to pick out prints, cut them, glue them, and apply stickers, writing, and washi tape. They also helped to pick out Hallmark Signature Mother’s Day cards from Walmart. There’s an incredible selection:

Hallmark Signature Mother’s Day cards

Hallmark Signature Mother’s Day cards

So what do you make for the special mother in your life? How about an “exploding” photo album? It will be a big surprise to her, and she’ll be able to show off awesome photos of her family with this neat, pretty box. It’s portable and full of surprises!

I suggest a small gift on the inside, along with the photo album, and then a Hallmark Signature card on the outside!

Mother's Day

DIY Mother's Day gifts


This beautiful exploding photo album looks like a paper box but it's actually a surprise! So easy to make. The perfect #MothersDay gift! #HallmarkForMom #ad

What You Need:

4-6 pretty pieces of 12″ x 12″ thick cardstock (two for extra, just in case)
Pencil, Ruler, Scissors, glue stick, X-ACTO blade or something similar
A bunch of your favorite photo prints – go crazy for the mom in your life
Patience, diligence, creativity, and help. Help is always good for DIY projects

What You Do:

1 – Start with the outermost layer, and use a pretty paper! We used flowers for ours! Mark your paper with your ruler every 4″ along the border. Then connect your marks with straight lines. The ruler is important for this part! It will look like a checkerboard when it’s done. This might have been the most time-consuming part of the project. I had help!

DIY art projects

photo album

2 – Now, make your “walls” of your box. Cut off the four corners of your “checkerboard” so that you’re left with this:

Mother's Day

3 – Fold your paper to create four walls, and make sure the pretty side is showing as the outside.

Mother's Day gifts

4 – Now you’re making the inner layers. Layers! That’s what this is all about – to get that “exploding” part of the box. The layers will hold all your gorgeous photos. You’re going to make middle layers that are identical to the first one, but the measurements will get smaller each time. Get it? They all have to fit in each other! So trim your middle layer cardstock to 10.5″ x 10.5″. Then, mark your paper at ever 3.5″ all around the border to create a checkerboard like the 4″ one, but smaller!

gifts for Mom

5 – Cut the corner and fold it into the first one! For the third inner layer, trim your paper to 9″ x 9″, and create your checkerboard with 3″ marks. Cut your corners again and fold up your walls. You should now have three layers.

Mother's Day

Hallmark Signature

6 – Lastly, make your lid. Trim your final piece of cardstock/paper to about 6″ x 6″. Create a 1″ border around all four sides of the stock. Start at the bottom right corner of your cardstock and cut a vertical line up the horizontal line to make a “flap.”

Do this to every corner. There should be four, obviously.

Hallmark Signature Greeting Cards

7 – Fold the cardstock along the inner border to create the sides of your box lid. You’ll have to glue your flaps to the sides. A final step would be to glue the bottoms of the layers together so the layers all fit nicely together and aren’t loose.

Greeting Cards for Mother's Day

8 – Here’s the fun part. Glue decorations. Cut up prints. Glue on prints. Make your photo album!

DIY Mother's Day crafts

DIY Mother's Day crafts

DIY Mother's Day crafts

9 – Make it so uniquely YOU! Stickers, ribbons, bows, expressive photos!

10 – Don’t forget to pick out a special Hallmark Signature card to accompany this photo album. Mother’s Day = Covered. There is nothing like sending a paper card and your loved one gets to hold it in her hands and know you picked it out just for her! You wrote in it just for her! Hallmark offers a wide range of gorgeous cards at Walmart. From Seasonal to Special Occasions, there’s a card for everything and everyone. The countdown is on! We have 16 days until Mother’s Day! That’s it!

Once again, Walmart is featuring a collection of NEW Hallmark Signature cards for Mother’s Day. This line of premium, handcrafted greeting cards will make you happy. I had a lot of fun picking out three special ones for moms in my life:

Mother's Day

Hallmark Signature

Hallmark Signature

Hallmark Signature

Lastly, Des demonstrates how to “surprise” the Mom in your life with an exploding photo album:

Want additional digital coupon offers and Mother’s Day inspiration? Then click here for savings!

digital coupons

And are you looking for that special card to speak to your heart? Be dazzled here.

Happy Photo Album Making!