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Man builds model homes from popsicle sticks

Updated: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 |
Man builds model homes from popsicle sticks story image
GRAND JUNCTION, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A custodian for South Haven Public Schools has a secret hobby that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Doug Davis builds mini-mansions out of popsicle sticks.

"I had no idea it was going to turn into this," Davis says.

The idea came about ten years ago.
After having surgery on his feet, he had to take three months off of work and simply needed something to occupy his time.

“I had been collecting diecast cars for years and I always wanted a garage for my cars,” Davis recalls.

So he went to WalMart, bought a box of popsicle sticks and built a small structure to house his cars and keep them from getting dusty.

“That house was a disaster,” Davis laughs. “At the time I built it I thought it was nice, but the more I look at it, it’s just an old shack! But it was a beginner, a start.”

Before long, the humble hut made way for his first popsicle palace, complete with a five-car garage, mini flat-screen TV, faucets, furniture and more. 

Davis even wired in light fixtures and an air pump for his bitty bachelor pad's third-floor Jacuzzi.

“Sometimes I wish I could mini-size myself and go in there!” Davis says. “It’s just unique because it's so real. When I look at it, I amaze myself sometimes. I sit back like, ‘Did I do that?’ I go out of the room and come back and I look again. I'm like, ‘Look what I did here!’ You know?”

Believe it or not, the popsicle houses are held together with Elmer's glue.

Most of the materials are things other people throw out or odds and ends he finds lying around his house.

“This motor here I got at a rummage sale,” Davis explains. “You could hook a battery to it and it spins. So I was thinking about making a ceiling fan out of it."

Each popsicle stick mansion takes about 5,000 sticks and a year to complete.

He says he's never done construction in his life and doesn’t use any actual blueprints.

“I look up and it's 3 o'clock in the morning! I'm like, ‘Woah,’” Davis says. “Sometimes I go home and I'm like, ‘I'm not going to work on this house tonight.’ But then I sit there looking at it and think, ‘I could just do this!’ And before you know it, it's been two or three hours and I’m into it again!”

Amazingly, Doug does it all for his own enjoyment: he’s not looking for fame or fortune, just something to call his own.

“Now when it's finished I like to sit back and watch the TV and look at the houses. It just amazes me! It's like a neighborhood, my own neighborhood, but I’m not paying taxes!” Davis concludes with laugh.
Davis is currently working on his third popsicle stick mansion.

A local museum has contacted him to eventually create an exhibit of his work.


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