Making a Corn Crib into a Gazebo

I like to think I have some virtues, but patience…well, it is not one of them. Or, at least for me- I do struggle with it. I am being totally honest here and wish this was not the case, but it is the truth. It is something I work at – every day, not always very successfully.

Another tidbit about me, is that I cannot keep a surprise to save my life! In fact, at Christmas…I never can wait till the 25th to give my presents to people.

But every once in a while however, I do surprise myself and am patient.

For example- I have wanted one of those large metal corn cribs that you see on farms that holds …well, cobs of corn. I like the ones that have the open metal fencing on the perimeter so you can see into it and I have been looking for one for over three years to add to our home.


When my husband Steve and I began searching for a home back before we got married back in 2003. And yes- that is me below- um, how do I say this, ……when there was “less of me.” : ) I miss those days and hope to focus some time on me soon!

Steve and me – Back when we were looking for a home, Steve shared with me that he wanted a home with lots of land. I just wanted a house with character. Well, we ultimately found an 1885 purple and white Victorian farmhouse that sits on about 20 acres. I guess you can say, that was a “win:win.”

spring purple painted lady HOME

Having all this land- well, of course I was like…we need chickens! (jokingly I ask you – wouldn’t you have said the same thing?) So, after finding a FREE shed on Craigslist and a lot of hours of creating a chicken run, ordering chicks and raising them in a kiddie pool- we got our chicken coop and run. I could not find a great photo, but you can see the coop in the back right of the photo below.

Chicken coop The purple Painted Lady
Painted cupola with chicken
Chickens eggs

The next thing I have been thinking would look wonderful on our property – is a corn crib. I can picture it- I want to place it behind our vegetable garden on the north side of the house. I have imagined a fence around the garden- where once you open the garden gate there is a path that leads you though the center of the garden, bringing you to the entrance of the “gazebo.” Inside there will be a sparkly chandelier lit with candles hanging, pretty flowers landscaped around the outer sides, comfortable furniture and big pitcher of sweet tea. ~sigh…..doesn’t that sound heavenly?

I found some images on Pinterest of using corn cribs in different ways a few years back, and ever since I have really wanted one. Click HERE to visit my Pinterest page to see some of the corn crib ideas that I think are fun. One corn crib gazebo has a weathervane on the top. I loved that idea and I have been eyeing this cool weathervane by Mackenzie Childs.

The Purple Painted Lady MacKenzie Childs weathervane powers

Lucky for me- I live close to the MacKenzie Childs estate in New York and every July they have a HUGE barn sale and sell all of their amazing creations anywhere from 40% to 70% off their retail list price! So, I think I can see a Mrs. Powers Weathervane in my future!

The difficult part, has been finding a corn crib. Yes, these are available to buy brand new – but do you have any clue how much a new corn crib sells for? I am guessing around a thousand dollars or more. Then, add the cost to have it shipped on a big freight truck and unloaded and that is way beyond my budget. Speaking of budget- it basically is ….well, let’s just say, minimal.

But I remember hearing a quote by Steve Backley,

There are three types of people in this world. Firstly, there are people who make things happen. Then there are people who watch things happen. Lastly, there are people who ask, what happened? Which do you want to be?

Steve Backley wrote The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success. That quote from him seems to be how I live my life and I have always wanted to be a person “who makes things happen.”. So, when there is something I really want, I invest energy into it and work hard to make it happen.

In the case of finding a corn crib, for the last few years I have searched on Craigslist and started really paying attention to properties when I would be driving somewhere. I am bit embarrassed to admit this…but I would randomly stop at people’s homes who had one on their property. Yep, pull the Jeep over, walk up to the door and knock, then pitch my crazy question on if they would be interested in selling their corn crib.

It was a couple months ago when Steve and I were driving on a back country road and I saw a family out in the yard who had a corn crib. This is a local home that I pass every day on my way to my Macedon shop. The couple who lives there- started a cattle farm and raised their children there. Since those days a few decades ago, the children have all grown up and moved away. They are at the chapter of their lives that in the near future- they will be considering down sizing.

It turns out that Steve even went to school with some of their children and they know friends of ours, and well, one thing led to another. We had a very nice time sitting and talking and listening to some of their life stories. After about an hour, we needed to go and I left my business card and hoped that they would give me a call a week or two.

The other day, who walks into my shop with the original corn crib blue prints from 1971 in hand… was this wonderful family. They have decided, their time with this corn crib has come to an end and that they would be happy to know that it was going to live it’s next chapter with us.

To say that I am excited, well, that would be an understatement!

I guess that part of that has to do with who I am as a person. If you have ever met me- then you probably quickly realized …that I am an “all or nothing,” “go big or go home” type of a gal!

I do try to really enjoy life and I get energy from being around other people. Being creative and doing things like this gazebo – is something I really enjoy.

I feel extremely grateful to this local family!

I will share photos of when we move this large corn crib and also, of the progress as we build around it.

Now just in case sharing my fun ventures with our old home and land sounds romantic or has started to make you think about buying an old house, something you should know- is that there is always something that needs to be fixed, repaired, or replaced.

Since Steve and I moved into our home, we have completed many thing – but here are the big ones:

* All new concrete entrances poured (2009/2010)
* Ran gas from the road to our house (2010)(over 450 feet away)
* Removed the big ole’ octopus of an oil furnace replaced with a new, energy efficient gas furnace(2010)
* Replaced the old electric hot water heater with a gas one (2010)
* Had the FIVE layers of shingles and cedar shakes torn off the roof and had a new roof installed (2012)
* Replaced 20 out of the 38 old drafty windows with double hung (supposedly) energy efficient windows(2013)
* Replaced the kitchen’s 27 year old appliances (2012/2013)
* Had a driveway put in over the old gravel drive (keep in mind that we are over 500 feet from the road)(2014)

There is still a long list left of things that need to be done- but once O get my “gazebo” I will be too busy relaxing and drinking sweet tea in it too focus on that list. Maybe someday, you can come and sit and join me too?

The Purple painted Lady paved driveway home



Danni Hammock The Purple Painted Lady
The Purple Painted Lady home winter house 845