Fun with PVC
PVC is easy to work with and withstands the elements pretty well.
For this project I used 6" PVC pipe because that is what we already had, but 4" could be used also and would probably be easier to cut. This piece is 8" long and the hole is about 4" long and 2-1/2" high. This seems like a good size for a fairly large toad. They like to bury themselves in soft soil or compost, so no bottom is necessary for a toad house.
The top is an 8" funnel that we got from the auto parts store. I cut off the tip of the funnel with a dremel cutting wheel. I made the hole in the PVC with the same tool and used a sanding drum to smooth the edges. Make sure you wear face protection when doing this as small pieces of PVC fly everywhere.
I glued on flat stones that I got from the dollar store with GE Silicone II in a tan color. Then I hot glued Reindeer Moss to the cracks and crevices. The top is glued on with the silicone as well and is covered with a coco liner. I painted a wooden sphere and glued it to the top of the funnel. It's painted green to match the moss.
The hose guides to the right are made from 3/4" gray plastic conduit painted to look like copper with Fusion brand paint for plastics. The paint must cure two weeks, to be chip resistant and no special primer is needed. It took about 3-4 thin coats to completely cover the conduit.
I used steel wool to remove the markings from the pipe and then washed off any residue. Gary drilled holes in a board so that I had something to hold up the conduit for drying. That meant that about a 1/4"-1/2" of pipe would not be finished with paint, which worked out perfectly as we heated up the end of the pipe with a heat gun so it would fit snuggly inside the glass insulator. Great caution should be taken if you ever decide to heat up plastic as it can catch fire easily. We heated it very slowly, turning the pipe constantly, just softening it enough that it molded to the threads in the insulator. Never heat up plastic indoors as the fumes are horrible and toxic. Wear a mask to help prevent respiratory problems.
These hose guides are 24" long, but you can do whatever height works for you. A piece of rebar was pounded into the ground about a foot and then the conduit was slipped on top of that so that the pipe is able to spin when pulling a hose against it.
I also use the same conduit when I make my totems.
Find out how to make a coop house to extend the growing season by going to this page.