How to Make a Western Town Facade

By Sarah Fardell ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Plywood
  • Measuring tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Sandpaper
  • Hinges
  • Saw
  • Sawhorses
Become a modern cowboy with your very own Old West town.

Feel like some Wild West fun? Whether you're hosting a Western-themed party or shooting a cowboy movie, building a Western town facade is both fun and easy. Get the whole family involved for an afternoon of designing, painting and building. These facades will last a long time and can be stored away for use later.

Measure the area where you want to place the facade. It could be in front of a fence, a wall or play equipment. Make sure you measure both the height and width of the area you are going to use.

Buy some plywood at your local hardware store. If it's too big, get it cut to size. Most hardware stores will do this for free, or you can cut it yourself with a saw.

Choose a design for your facade and draw it on paper. Try a Western saloon. Give it an Old West name like "Sioux City" or "Sarsaparilla." Draw a porch, some lanterns, and a red saloon-style swinging door. Add some characters like dancing girls looking out the window or the fat owner peeking through the door. Perhaps you'd prefer a bank with its name written in big old-style lettering. How about a jail with a criminal looking through his cell, or a sheriff's office, a barbershop, a courthouse, a tiny school or a little white church? You're only limited by your imagination.

Draw the design on your plywood with pencil. Make sure to include windows and doors that give an old western feel. If you make mistakes, simply erase them and start again.

To make the facade extra special, choose five things that you would find in the Old West. There are a million possibilities, but you could consider a horseshoe, a cowboy, a wanted poster which reads "Wanted Dead or Alive" (with a space to add a picture of a family member or friend), a tumbleweed and a dancing girl. Draw these designs on a separate piece of plywood.

Use your saw to cut the plywood facade and the extra pieces. Make sure you cut out any windows and open doorways as well. To make cutting the plywood easier, place it on a couple of sawhorses.

Using your sandpaper, sand all the rough edges to get rid of splinters. Also sand over the entire surface of the plywood.

Attach the extra pieces of plywood to your facade with screws or nails.

Paint the facade with any colors you like. Remember, buildings in the Old West were made mostly of wood, but the signs and doors were usually brightly colored. If you draw any people, make sure their clothes are in the Western style with bright-colored vests, jackets and dresses.

When the paint is dry, attach your facade to the wall or fence with screws or cable ties. If you want to create a free-standing facade, then attach some A-frame supports to it.

If you want to make your facade smaller for storage later, cut it into two or four pieces and attach two hinges to each edge so that you can fold it up and put it in the garage or even under a bed.

Tip

To save money, you can use second-hand wooden pallets instead of plywood.

Warning

Paint only in well-ventilated areas

About the Author

Sarah Fardell has over five years experiencing working as a freelance writer and copy editor for several print and Web publications in China and Australia. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in film she won a scholarship to study at the prestigious Beijing Film Academy in China.