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please only post if you have something to contribute to the thread, such as your own design, or something to add to an existing post (tips, improvements, alternate versions, pictures etc.) any chat will be deleted. thanks - the mods

I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread showing a 'how to' guide to making/sewing rat toys. I know we have links to Dapper Rat etc .. but heck, I thought it'd be fun to make one of our own.

I'll start (as I was making a cube anyway)

Hanging Cube

ETA - 18 October 2009

I have updated the process slightly and the thread can now be found here;


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Here's a tutorial for an easy double pocket hammock I though I'd share [it's NOT mine].
This is my last attempt at enticing my boys into a hammock. I'm off to make two! [one for each cage] Wish me luck! ;)

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I never made a tutorial, but I made my own hammocks. And perhaps it might help those who were asking how to hang them.

1) Cut fleece into long rectangles (square hammocks) and two triangles (corner hammocks)
2) Cut corners off one of the triangles for each corner hammock
3) Sewed hemming tape along the exposed edges (I'm no good at this, but I don't think the rats care too much!). A bit more durable and attractive (if you care)
4) Folded the rectangles into squares and sewed down. Sewed the cut-corner triangles onto the full triangles, leaving corners open.
5) Cut teeny holes into the corners and pushed through back of 2 part eyelets. Hammered fronts on.
6) Attached clips.
7) Added rats :)

The eyelets were a pain. I bought a cheap punch from ebay and the parts didn't align, making it essentially useless. The company refunded me without question, suggesting (to me) it might be a common problem :) I ended up buying a pack of 2 part eyelets from the sewing store (important, I think, as no sharp edges unlike single part ones) - you have to hammer them in, but they look great and they're strong. The fabric is just fleece - and the clips I bought in packs of 10 for dirt cheap on ebay.

No progress shots I'm afraid:

They don't sleep anywhere else now :)

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I thought I would post my sewing tutorials I did up for jorats.

Credit goes to Pink who originally told me about this method. Its not really obvious to make them like this until you see it then it kinda smacks you in the head with just how obvious it is!

Step One: Select your fabric, for many of us fabric-holics this may be the hardest step in making a hammock! Fleece/Fleece or Cotton/Fleece. I do suggest a size 12/14 universal needle for this project.

Step Two: Cut out two rectangles of the same size. I recommend 14X31 or bigger (finished sized 13X15). If you have a finished size in mind already double it length-wise then add an inch to the measurements for allowances.

Step Three: Put your fabrics together with right sides facing. (optionally you can pin the short ends at this point if you are not very good at sewing yet

Step Four: Sew a seam down each short side. Seam allowance is optional and do whatever you are comfortable with at this stage. Beginners I would recommend 1/2 to start.

Step Five: Flip the fabrics so that the right sides are now right side out. Sew a top stitch down each of the short sides

Step Six: Fold your pocket so that its in a pocket shape but inside out. Arrange how big you would like each side of the pocket to be. You can make them even or make one side slightly smaller or bigger. Smooth out your fabric and if you like you can pin to hold the pockets in place.

Step Seven: Sew all the way down one side of your hammock, flip it around and repeat

Step Eight: Trim the seam allowances on your hammock to about 1/4 if you made them larger

Step Nine: Flip your pocket right side out now and smooth out. At this point if you wanted you could insert the grommets and call it a day. If you want a more polished look them continue on.

Step Ten: Top stitch along the seam on both sides of the hammock. I think this gives the hammock a polished look, it also prevents rats from chewing on the seams on the inside of the pocket.

Thats it! If you need any general sewing help or more information on a specific step feel free to PM me or post here and I'd be happy to help you out. If you don't know how old your needle is, its probably time to replace it!

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How to Sew Double Deckers

Step One: Select your fabrics. Again cotton/fleece or fleece/fleece is fine. You will want a rectangle 16X22 at the minimum. The shorter number is going to be how long your decker is and the larger number is going to be how big the top / pouch is. So you can adjust accordingly :)

Step Two: Lay your two fabrics right sides together and pin the long sides.

Step Three: Sew along each long side

Step Four: If you used a large seam allowance trim the edges and then flip it right side out.

Step Five: Top-stitch along each long side

Step Six: Fold your decker over right sides together and line up the short edges. You can pin if you like to keep it all together.

Step Seven: Sew along this short side, making sure your fabric doesn't shift around as you sew so your ends come out even. I always like to use a larger seam allowance on this part to ensure that all the layers are going to be sewn through.

Step Eight: Trim this part to about a 1/4 seam allowance. This is REALLY important and will make it MUCH easier to do the next step.

Step Nine: Fold your hammock to the right way around now. You are going to fold over the seam in the hammock and top stitch along it.

Step Ten: Once you have the one seam done measure 7-8 inches out. (you can make the top as large as you wish) And fold over the hammock. You can pin it if you like to keep it in place.

Step Eleven: Sew along this seam

Step Twelve: Grommet your hammock and enjoy!

*note: the bottom pocket of my hammock isn't very big because I was using a remnant that was not as big as the suggested size.

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Have any of you seen this website? I'm not sure how I came upon it or how long ago. (It might have seen it while I was still just lurking here.)


Though the site is dedicated to sugar gliders, I'm sure our babies would love these creations as well. Since JoAnn's is having a 50% sale right now on all fleeces, I'm going to stock up so that I have plenty of fabric to test out these projects. I'm curious to see how long they last since my girls, Lulu and Razzle, have a bad habit of chewing on fabrics.

What about other things do you guys use to make stuff for your rats and their cages? I'm really big on saving empty boxes and converting them into little (sometimes BIG) forts.

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Gary26Uk said:
Ok , so I had a few days off work this week and during my boredom I decieded to have a go at making my own rat perch/ledges to give my girls something more interesting to climb/sleep on.They are a bit rough as I wasnt sure how they would turn out but with a bit more care and attention I think they could look really good.Heres some pics:

Here is the rat ledge with whats needed to secure it to ANY rat cage:

here are a couple of pics of how they are are attached to the cage:

And heres a pic of snoogles chilling on one !

They were really easy to make , and cost next to nothing as most of the stuff I had lying about the shed.
Just take a piece of wood , measure and cut what size ledge you want , I made 4 ledges 5inches by 4 inches and two more slightly bigger to give more sleeping space.

Then using rough sandpaper wrapped around a block , sand of the jagged edges and pointy corners so they look neat and rounded.Blow off the saw dust and wipe clean so you rats dont breath in the dust.

Then mark and drill 2 holes slightly smaller than the screws you are using to fasten it to the back of your cage.You dont have to do this but it makes it much easier to put the screws into the wood.

Your done ! just use a washer between the screw and the cage to secure it firmly to the cage wire.

Ive been thinking about making neater ones with rat friendly coloured woodstain/die to make different coloured ones too.

Just remember , always be careful when using power tools or get a parent to show you how to use them safely first.
Its not easy scritching a rat with no fingers. :D

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None of the below tutorials are mine, I just thought they may be of interest to someone on here.

Cargo Net
ScattieMcRattie said:
This is probably one of the easiest, most versatile things you can make for your ratties. if you can tie a knot...you can make a cargo net. :D

i know there are "how to make a cargo net out of t-shirts" about the forum but i've never tried it myself but i should imagine it works on the same princple, so if you've made one of those you can make one of these. However Some people showed an interest in the cargo nets i make for my boys after seeing some piccies about the forum and asked me if i could do instructions so here they are :D

You will need

A Pair of scissors.
A Nylon washing line.
About an hour of your time.

1) Cut the washing line into equal lengths. i dont useually bother to measure it, and just use my arm span as a guide. Spread my arms and wrap the line around my thumbs the way some of us probably had to do for our parents when unpicking knitting. Once the line is all measured out this way cut the loops so you have seperate strands.Out of a average 30m washing line this useually gives me 20 equal lengths of nylon cord. it may look very long for your needs but once you start knotting it the length will be eaten up

You should have something like this

2) Take two pieces of Line and knot them together about two inches from the end like so...

and then continue to do the same with the rest of them so instead of haveing 20 single strands you now have 10 double strands like so

Dont worry if you have an odd strand dont throw it away just tie a knot in it like all the others

3A)Next you need to find some way to anchor all the strands in place for you to work on. i chose to trap them in my sock draw by the knot. lay them all out next to eachother makeign sure they're not twisted.

3B)When you close the drawer make sure you can see which are the knotted together strands like so....

4)you will have a nice row of double lengths of line. In the first strand, of the first double, tie a knot about an inch or two finger lengths from the knot trapped in the draw

5A)now you want to take the second strand of the first double and knot it with the first strand of the second double.....like so

5B)Continue to do this straight accross all the lengths knotting together the seperate strands, so you have a nice line of knots

5C) move down to the next row and knot the first two strands back together.

And continue along in the same mannor, untill you have a a second nice row of knots.

if you get to the end and have a odd strand again, just knot it and carry on to the next row

6)Keep going with you third row in the same manner and you will have created a nice diamond pattern

7) and then basically just keep on knotting, it doesnt really matter how tidy you make it but if you can keep your knots in a relatively straight & level line, each row about an inch apart, as you go along your net will look neeter and will stretch more evenly when you want to hang it in place.

8) when you get to the bottom and the ends of the line has started to unravel, finish your last row of knots and cut off all the frayed ends

9) Take it out the draw give it a stretch this way and that to get it to lay right and there you have a completed cargo net :D

you can make them to any length width you want useing more/less strands of line, longer/shorter lengths. you can make the right size to fit any gap. you can make smaller ones for in the cage or great long ones for spanning the furniture, climbing frames etc for free range. if you leave the ends longer you can tie them straight onto the cage bars or even table legs. they are great for stuffing with treats and threading with bedding too

anyways perhaps i got a bit carried away with the pictorial but i hope you have fun haveing a go

and yet again here is one of my cargo nets being modeled by Guber :)

4 Way Tunnel
Blossomgirl said:
Start by cutting 8 pieces of cotton, and 8 pieces of fleece in this shape:

Each piece is 20cm wide, 17cm high along the straight sides, 25cm high at the point, and the diagonal sides are 13cm long. I have a stencil made from stiff board to trace around. Makes it easier. :) I've done 2 different pieces of cotton, and 2 different colours fleece to make things clearer to follow. :) You also need 5 little bits of cord or something to make loops to hang it up.

Start by putting 2 pieces of cotton on each other, with the wrong sides facing outwards. Sew them together along one of the diagonal edges.

Do this with another 2 of the pieces of cotton. If you're using 2 different patterns, make sure you're positioning them correctly so that when you join them to the first 2, the same patterns will be opposite each other. (ok that will make sense when you see the photo!).

See what I mean? Right, now you need to line those pieces up back to back, and sew them together.Remember to include the loop for hanging it up in the centre.

When you've sewn them together you should have this:

Repeat this with the other 4 pieces of cotton, this time without the loop in the middle.

Now line up the 2 pieces you've made (back to back), and sew them together. Don't sew the ends of the tunnels!

You now have something which looks like a spider tunnel, only without the fleece inner! Turn it the right way round.

Now repeat all of that with the fleece, only this time you don't need a loop, and you don't need to turn it around when you're done. It can stay inside out.

Now push the inside out fleece spider tunnel into the right-way-round cotton spider tunnel. It takes a bit of pulling and pushing, but you land up with something which looks like this:

At the end of each tunnel, fold the fleece and cotton ends inwards, and pin them. Don't forget to pin a loop in the middel of the top of each tunnel end.

Sew around the end of each tunnel like this:

You can do a double line of stitching if you want. My sewing machine doesn't like lots of layers, so I felt once was enough!

When you've done all 4, it should look like this:

Now, by hand, put a couple of stiches in along the seam in the middle, to keep the fleece up against the cotton. This keeps the tunnel open for your ratties.

Well done! You've just made something new for your rats to pee in and chew on! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Rat Pouch
rattycorner said:
This is a different take on the rat pouch, used to carry your rats with you. It takes its name from sling + pouch. My husband wanted me to call it the rash (rat sash), but I vetoed that one!


1. Fleece lining fabric at least 65cm x 80cm
2. Outer fabric at least 80cm x 100cm
3. A sheet of tissue, paper or card at least 65cm x 40cm
4. Thread
5. Scissors
6. Pen
7. Sewing machine


1. Draw a 2.5cm grid on your sheet of paper/card, and copy the pattern across.
2. Fold your outer fabric in half, with the two shorter sides along the top, away from you.
3. If you have used card for your pattern, cut out the pieces. Place your pattern on the fabric with the smaller shape running along the fold of the material. Keep the shapes to the side of the cloth as you need the side area to cut a strip for the handle.
4. Either draw around the card, or pin the paper to the fabric. Cut out the cloth, but don't cut the hole at this stage. The lines on the pattern are the cutting line, not the sewing line.

5. Cut a strip for the handle about 15cm wide from the long side of the remaining cloth, the full length of the cloth (this includes 2cm of seam).
6. Re-use the pattern pieces to cut the fleece lining. Again, don't cut out the hole yet. You don't need a handle strip from this fabric, just the three pieces.

7. Decide which shoulder you would like your slouch to hang from. Your fabric will probably have a 'right' side - the side which you want to be on the outside of your slouch. Hold one of the outer pieces up against yourself in the desired position with the right side of the fabric away from you. You can then see which end of the piece the hole will need to be - stick a pin or something in it to mark it. Place the pattern back on the cloth and cut the hole.
8. Pin the piece with the hole on top of the matching piece of fleece, with the right sides of the fabric together and the wrong side of the outer fabric facing you. Do not cut a hole in the fleece yet.

9. Sew around the hole about 7 or 8mm from the edge, and then cut the matching hole into the fleece fabric.

10. Cut notches around the edge, close to but not through the stitching.

11. Turn the material right side out, through the hole. Top stitch around the hole.

12. Stitch around the edge of the two pieces of material, fixing the outer layer to the lining with right sides out. Sew around the edge of the second side and the base, again with right sides outward.

13. It makes the slouch much more chew resistant if you now add some quilting to attach the outer and lining pieces together across the whole area. With my stripey material I sewed back and forth along the stripes about every 4cm. (Believe me, it's easier to do it now than remember after you've sewn the thing together!)
14. Take the base piece and sew it to one of the sides along one side of its length about 1cm from the edge, starting and ending about 1cm short of the pointed ends of the base.

15. Now sew the second side to the base, again stopping short of the points of the base.

16. Take the long strip of material you cut for the handle, fold it lengthways with the wrong side out, and sew up the open edge about 1cm from the edge.

17. Pull this through itself until it is right side out. Top stitch about 5mm from each long edge.
18. Pin the end of the handle to the bottom end of the slouch. It doesn't matter which side, we're just working out the length at present.

19. Hold the ratty slouch up against yourself, bring the handle behind your back and over the shoulder, and pin it at the right length to the top of the slouch.

20. Trim the edges, leaving a good length to sew in.

21. Now the tricky bit. Unpin your handle, and position it inside the slouch, with the amount sticking out that you left earlier to sew in. Do the same at the other end, making sure the handle isn't twisted (like the first one I made). Machine them in place between the two side pieces.

22. Sew all around the open edges, making sure it's sewn together all around the top from the base point right round to the other base point, without catching the handle in to the seam.

23. Turn right side out, through the hole.

24. Now you top stitch the seams to hide the raw edges from the ratties inside the slouch, and to add some rigidity. Sew one edge of the base, then reposition and sew along the second edge. Then reposition again and do the rest of the edges. I found I had a small gap near the base points where my machine couldn't cope with the thickness of the layers.

25. Strenthen the handle fixings by sewing around in a square where the handle ends are inside the slouch.

26. Fill with ratties! These babies were quite happy to go straight in. Some of my older rats took a few days to become accustomed to it before they were happy to go inside.

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I haven't seen the method I use for making hammocks posted yet, and I think it's the easiest one :) No pictures, so I'll try to describe in words how I do it.

1. Cut a rectangle the width you want your hammock (plus some for seam allowance) and twice the length you want it (plus some, again). Cut four small rectangles 1/2" x 4"-5" (these are the loops for the hooks!)
2. On the two short ends, sew a hem. This can be as simple as folding it over once and stitching, or folding it over twice to conceal the raw edges before stitching.
3. Fold the two short ends inward (right sides together) so that the hems you've just shown overlap by a half-inch to an inch. In each of the four corners, place one of the four small rectangles (folded in half) between the two layers of fabric. Pin, and stitch along the long edges.
4. Turn the hammock right side out, adding your hooks of choice to the four loops, and your hammock is complete!

Here's one of the completed hammocks, you can see one of the pocket flaps above them, they're laying on the other one.

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this is such a great post...I have to add....
Here is another super fun and cheap toy for rats that mine seem to love!

Get a bandanna. Tie each corner to the top of your rat's cage. It will look like a hammock. Put a small handful of stredded tissue paper inside (I used leftovers from Christmas!). Toss in a few special treats (I used Kaytee's papapa Healthy Toppings treats). Your rats will have a blast digging through the crinkly paper to find the treats. My two baby girl rats- Scarlett and Chelsea- like to wrestle in it!

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Very Simple Hammock

The picture pretty much explains it.

Use a clean sock, snap it around to get rid of loose fibers. Cut it at the toe end and the heel, hang it between two little chains. (or stiff wire)

When it gets stinky or shredded, throw it away and sacrifice another clean sock. My rats seem to like it because it keeps them warm.

Here's a crappy cell-phone close-up of the chain. $5 for 20 feet at Walmart's cheesy little "hardware" section. It's made for hanging plants or signs. You don't need to cut it, you just take needle-nose pliers and bend the links open. I just used the bent-open links as hooks to hang them in the cage.


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Its not really "making" them but i thought id throw this link up http://www.rattoy.com they got alot of cool and interesting things for ratties and they sell hammocks and such... pretty cheap too :p

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this is something i tries the other day, and im already making my 3rd one, my ratties destroyed it!!

what you will need: bottle caps (4 or more, cleaned), ribbon

1. punch holes in the middle of the bottle caps

2. make a knot in the ribbon

3. put a bottle cap in the ribbon, stopping at the knot

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until there are no more bottle caps

5. tie a knot in front of the last bottle caps so they dont slip off the ribbon

6. put in the cage!!

just a 2 minute toy idea, i dangle it in front of my rats face and the paws fly everywhere trying to catch it!

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My girls LOVE apples, I haven't done this yet, but once I get payed will get the stuff for them. You get an apple and use an apple corer to take out the center with the seeds etc. Get some thick string/etc and tie the apple up in the cage. Take it down after 1-2 hours though if the apple has not been eaten completely.

Are there any work men near you? Ask them if they have any pipe off cuts, saves the pipes going in the bin, and your rat's get free toys.

Boil an egg. Let it cool down and give to your rat's. It takes them a long time to get into it, but once they have, you have very messy but happy rats

Do you get phone book's posted through your door? Don't throw them away! They are free bedding. Rip out a few pages and hang them up in the cage, your rat's will pull them down and shred them up to take to their beds.

Get a pot and fill it up with organic potting soil, and go and buy some cat grass, or wild bird seed and let it grow.

Go to your local charity shop and find a wine rack. It makes a great climbing frame!!!

Pea fishing is a great game. Better for the summer months, and for those rat's who love water. Use your bath

Another great toy..... another rat, and yourself

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