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I made a really simple, free, hanging cube from fleece this evening. I used a cake board as a template, and the fabric is the remnants of an old Ikea blanket (the rest has been used to make "grass" in a fairy playscape, doll "washable nappy" linings, a demijohn jacket for home brewing, and a few other little nights). There was barely enough there, so a few corners were a bit wonky to fit enough squares on the fabric, but there is enough stretch in the fleece that it's come good sewing. Hanging loops were recycled ribbon from pyjama packaging, and thread got changed part way (both spool and bobbin) to use up leftover cotton. so it is literally made from scraps, and has cost nothing but half hour of my time and the little electric to run the sewing machine - I love this type of project! I won't mind if the boys shred it either, and it's a good trial run while I wait for some purpose bought fleece to arrive in the post.

ImageUploadedByPG Free1415056660.134228.jpg

I only part cut the entrance hole, I thought leaving it as a flap instead might make the cube a bit cosier and more private for the boys, make them feel they have somewhere to hide away if they need.


Want to share any of your frugal bedding creations?
 

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ImageUploadedByPG Free1415405409.718042.jpg hammock and snuggle tube, made from half a pillowcase and old blanket :) the purple is much more vibrant in reality :)
 

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I love the door idea, that is really neat! I am in the process of making a rainbow set currently so might do the doors like the flap you have and see if they like it.
 

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Ooo, you have to show me when you're done, I love rainbowy stuff! I can't wait to buy stuff specifically for a set! We spent so much on initial setup that I can't justify it yet, when I have useable fabrics already here :-/ on the plus side, it gives me a chance to buff up my sewing skills, and work out what works best for our cage and boys. I already discovered I don't like sewn on clips, as some of the cage bars are thicker than others and don't easily fit, so I need a different clip type or baby links/shower curtain hooks.
 

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Cotton/fleece cube, coordinates with hammock and tube. What else should a nice bedding set include?
 

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I've seen people with cubes in their cages and wondered if they were store bought or homemade. I haven't seen many things other than hammocks in our stores.

Is there a pattern or directions somewhere? If it's a single layer of fleece does it sag a lot in the middle? I wonder how comfortable it would be if it bows in the middle too much. Do the rats even care about that? I suppose they already sleep on top of one another! LOL
 

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Here is an amazing tutorial for hammock sewing. It is made by a lovely member of goosemoose (another popular rat forum) and she is just brilliant.

http://www.ratropolis.com/Rat Tutorials/RatTutorials.htm

Very useful for beginners with a step by step on many different hammocks and cubes. Usually, people use one layer of fleece with one layer of cotton or flannel. But you can use two layer of fleece. I would think one layer would be pretty saggy. The more layers there are, the better it holds its shape even if you place the cube on the ground. My last cube was one layer of fleece, one layer of cotton batting and one layer of cotton and it barely dented even when they slept piled up on top of it.
 

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Here is an amazing tutorial for hammock sewing. It is made by a lovely member of goosemoose (another popular rat forum) and she is just brilliant.

http://www.ratropolis.com/Rat Tutorials/RatTutorials.htm

Very useful for beginners with a step by step on many different hammocks and cubes. Usually, people use one layer of fleece with one layer of cotton or flannel. But you can use two layer of fleece. I would think one layer would be pretty saggy. The more layers there are, the better it holds its shape even if you place the cube on the ground. My last cube was one layer of fleece, one layer of cotton batting and one layer of cotton and it barely dented even when they slept piled up on top of it.
One thing I've discovered when working with fleece is that it's stretchier in one direction than the other. If you hold the fleece out and stretch it, you can tell which direction is more lax. Then adjust your sewing to make it so the least stretchy direction is going the way you want. (am I making any sense?) I do double layer on everything but on my cube, I actually used triple layer and made sure to sew the least stretchy direction going left to right of the door. It helps it not sag so much when they're all in it. This is especially helpful when you're making regular hammocks. Make sure the least stretchy part is going long ways or your hammock will sag terribly.
 

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Wow, I'd not seen Ratropolis before! That's the wealth of ideas I needed! The patterns I used I just winged, but I've sewn a variety of other things in the past, I think that helps visualise how things need to go together.

The first cube I did is single layer fleece. It is a bit saggy, but the guys don't seem bothered. The second is fleece/cotton (pillowcase), and is much sturdier. Fleece is nice to sew with, because the bit of stretch means any little wobbles in your cutting out can be pulled into place and recovered. Cotton needs to be slightly more carefully cut. I am a big fan of top stitching (sewing just inside the edge once finished) wherever possible, as this makes things look abit more finished, and can help add a bit more rigidity to the structure.
 
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