Instructables

Pet rat tunnel and hammock toy

Picture of Pet rat tunnel and hammock toy
this is extremely easy to do, and not only fun for your rats but also a beautiful way of  decorating their cage.
it's a combination of tunnels and hammocks that you can build upon by adding consecutive rows of the same materials. make it as long or short as you want. this one is a small 3 row example.easy to remove or replace.

it is my first instructable so i hope it works by being both easy to follow and useful.

feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

thanks!
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
1. Fabric of your choice.

2. One large or three small Pringles cans.

3. Wire, preferably plastic coated and 15 pound strength framers wire works perfectly.

4. Thread and needle.

5. Scissors.

6. Tool of your choice for opening holes in cardboard.


...I chose this CIRCUS like fabric in honor of all RAT KIND!!! 

Step 2: Making the body.

Picture of Making the body.
all Pringles cans are 9 1/2" around so if your fabric stretches, cut a width of 8" like i did, then sew into a sleeve  but depending on the type of fabric you have chosen you might have to tweak the size so when sewn your tube of fabric will fit snugly over the Pringles can.

the length will be determined by how many hammocks and cardboard rings you want the tunnel to have remember to add and extra 3" of fabric  for folding over the rings and covering then  in this case my tube was 30" in length to accommodate 3 rings.

Step 3: Adding support to the body.

Picture of Adding support to the body.
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cut off the metallic bottom of the can, then if using the large Pringles' can cut  three pieces as shown. or cut the bottoms off the three small cans .... bottom line you have to end up with three rings of the same size.

insert the middle ring into the fabric tube/sleeve that you created, it should be big enough to fit snugly and make a passage through the fabric but not tight enough to squeeze the cardboard.

Step 4: Placing the entrances

Picture of Placing the entrances
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pass one of the rings through each one of the ends of the sleeve, then start pulling your fabric up till you reach the other end of the cardboard ring, to cover it.

Step 5: Securing the entrances

Picture of Securing the entrances
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sew the extra fabric around the can to the inside fabric of the tube to open up the passage on both ends.

Step 6: Attaching the wires

Picture of Attaching the wires
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now is the time to decide how far down in the cage you want the tunnel to rest, measure and add a few inches extra for twisting and securing the ends to the cage, multiply this number in two then cut 3 pieces of that lenght.

make two holes about an inch apart on the top of every Pringles' cardboard ring, then loop the wire through it.
it is a little tricky threading the wire to the middle ring but patience and little fingers work well on my case.
twist the wires together  'loosely' as shown.

Step 7: Covering the wires

Picture of Covering the wires
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cut 3 pieces of fabric of the same length you have cut the wire before. and thread through the loosely twisted wire.

start braiding the strip of fabric around the wire. with every pass of the fabric around I usually twist the wire a couple of times this is to make sure that you are tightly tying the 3 pieces together.

keep braiding and twisting alternately until you reach the desired length.


Step 8: The finished product.

Picture of The finished product.
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now you are ready to place the toy in the cage this is a rough idea of what it should look like.


Step 9: Attach to cage.

Picture of Attach to cage.
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put the wires thru the bars in the cage wherever you have decided to place the tunnel  twist the ends together like you would any normal twisty tie.

sit back and let you and your rats enjoy!

I chose this CIRCUS like fabric in honor of all RAT KIND!!!  LONG LIVE RAT KIND!!!

LOVE THIS TUTORIAL ! REALLY HELPED ME OUT ! :)
komecake4 years ago
  The problem is that this is cardboard based. It's a cute idea and you actually gave me a more permanent idea. I bought PVC pipping earlier today. It's not cheap, but I could three connectable pieces for $15 total. I was trying to think of different ways to connect them and I love this hammock + tube idea. It lookis great. The PVC is better since you can just wipe it off and it will last a long time where as the pringles cans you will have to throw away and... well... you have to eat pringles! Haha. Good work though, I like it. :)
The PVC is a good idea, though you'll also need to replace the fabric soon enough. Oh, and the tunnel is a good use for socks that have worn out.
One of my rats used to love sleeping in the hanging sock with a hole in the heel - nose poking out of the hole. Used a soda bottle for shape support - not as stiff as a Pringles tube but worked.
Pringle cans make good short term hang-outs, etc. And it's a good excuse to eat Pringles ;) Even without the fabric, you can mount the tubes (Pringle or PVC) with a couple of small bolts on the side of the cage. Or wire it to the cage. Mounted on a slight angle, they can even use them as ramps between levels. And with PVC, you could possibly have the pipe leave the confines of the cage, join to anther cage, loop around a cage, etc. Hrm, idea for modular cages coming...
Oh, if you want greater diameter - what about baby formula cans?
Closet_RAt3 years ago
This is a really great idea, but I agree you'll have to keep replacing it over time - if not for the smell, eventually, the kids will have soaked the cardboard & it'll loose it's rigidness.

However, I like how you secure the pringles cans, using their own rings & I'm sure the kids LOVE chasing each other in this tunnel!

The best suggestion I can think of on this toy is to make the fabric removable (thus washable). This could be done by separating the fabric into sections that connect at the solid tubes. Using 3-4 grommets at the end of each section & securing those sections with wingnuts mounted on the outside of the tubes, this could be easily turned into a long-term toy for the kids!

Either way, this is a really clever idea if you have the materials & don't mind re-making it every so often.
skiller0k3 years ago
pro :) although my rat dosnt want to come out its too cumfy :)
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