Hay Bale Art

Oct 24, 2022

As the end of the year approaches, we have many holidays to look forward to — from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to celebrating the new year. If you live on a farm, consider using an old hay bale to spread some holiday cheer to all those passing by.
Round bales can be easily transformed into a variety of animals, faces, symbols, and scenes. Popular designs include spiders for Halloween, turkeys for Thanksgiving, and snowmen for Christmas, but the possibilities are limited only to your imagination.
Decorating a hay bale can be a fun project for children, especially, as they are on holiday break. But you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this fun project! Keep reading for additional tips on prepping and decorating your hay bales.  
            Maneuvering a round bale is not always an easy task, so make sure to have a space cleared off for your bale before you fire up the tractor. Consider placing your hay bale at the end of your driveway so that street traffic can enjoy your creativity. If you are having a holiday party, consider moving the bale closer to your home, which is sure to create a talking point for guests. No matter the area you choose, stabilize your bale to avoid tipping or rolling. Placing a couple of square bales along each side can help prevent the round bale from rolling if your property is not level.  
Painting your hay bale will lay the foundation for a true transformation. After you have maneuvered your hay bale into position, place a plastic tarp on the ground around the base of the bale to protect the grass or pavement. Using exterior spray paint, apply a light coat to the hay, wait 15 to 20 minutes, then apply a second coat. Repeat as necessary until the paint color is as dark as you’d like. After the spray paint has dried, use a paint brush and a can of exterior paint to apply details.
            Lights are a great way to add some flair to your hay bales and make your creation pop at night. Many stores already have their selection of light strands stocked for the holidays — just make sure you purchase those that are specifically designed for outdoor use and do not emit any heat. Weave colorful light strands around the bale to outline its shape or make a spiral of lights swirling around the center. You can even make patterns and words from the glow. As a safety precaution, we recommend turning the lights off before going to bed, though.
Other Accessories
The accessories you choose have the potential to take your hay bale art to the next level. Paint plywood cutouts to form facial features and other distinctive traits, such as turkey feathers and snowman hats. Large branches can become antlers for a reindeer, and black corrugated drainage pipes can be the lanky legs of a spider. Whatever you use, though, make sure that it is waterproof and can be deeply embedded in the hay so as not to be destroyed in the first storm.
What better place to find inspiration for your hay bale art than at your local farm-supply store? Visit the nearest Co-op for a variety of decorating supplies!
For more content like this, check out the latest issue of The Cooperator.

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