Introduction: Snuggle Sack for Small Animals

Picture of Snuggle Sack for Small Animals

Snuggle sacks are sleeping bags for small animals who like to snooze while cuddling their humans. The main variant is enclosed on 3 sides, making a bag. The flap variant is enclosed on 2 sides, for easier access to burrowing critters who otherwise refuse to ever leave their sacks.

This DIY snuggle sack requires minimal sewing skills, and is easily accomplished as a first-sewing-project. It is far faster with machine sewing, but may be handsewn with patience. Construction time with a sewing machine is approximately 10-30 minutes depending on skill level. The final product is fully-lined and reversable with no exposed seams.

The hedgehog used as a scale-creature and demo in these photos is approximately the dimensions of a very small adult hedgehog (and half the size of the hedgehog who uses these sacks).

Step 1: Cut Fabric.

Picture of Cut Fabric.

Main variant:
Cut two equal-sized rectangles. The final sack will have the same width as the rectangles (minus seam allowances), and half the length of the rectangles (minus seam allowances).

Flap variant:
Cut two equal-sized rectangles.

Suggested fabrics: 
Flannel, cotton, fleece, corduroy, or other tight-woven strong fabrics are all good to avoid catching tiny toes or shredding during attempted burrowing. Special-purpose sacks may be constructed using a layer of waterproof fabric to protect against accidents with baby creatures, or microfleece liners for post-bath cuddles while drying off.

Other Notes:
If you care a lot about final size, you can pre-wash fabric to shrink it. Otherwise, expect it to shrink during the first laundry cycle. Pre-washing is strongly recommended if you are using different fabric types, as otherwise they may shrink unevenly.

Depending on the size and width of fabrics I have available, I usually aim for 6-8" wide x 12-16" long for my 9"-long hedgehog who likes to nap curled up in a ball.

Step 2: Fold Fabric.

Picture of Fold Fabric.

Main variant:
Fold the rectangles in half, right sides together. (Right side = the side you eventually want to show. For printed fabric, the patterned side is the right side.)

The fold will be the bottom of the sack, and the opposite open end will be the top-entry of the sack.

Flap variant:
Stack the two rectangles on top of each other, right sides together.

Step 3: Sew Sides

Picture of Sew Sides

Main variant:
Sew the sides together. My hedgehog likes to burrow inside his sack, so I make sure to sew extra-strong (small stitches, double-back) on the sides closest to the fold.

Flap variant:
Sew the rectangles together along the two short sides and one long side. Leave one long side open.

Optional: Tie the thread ends to secure them, then clip them short.

Step 4: Invert One Bag.

Picture of Invert One Bag.

Main variant:
Invert one bag (doesn't matter which) so it is right-side out. For fabric without a print, the seam is on the wrong side and hidden on the right side.

Flap variant:
Do a small waiting-dance for the main variant sewers to catch up with your awesomeness.

Optional: iron it flat.

Step 5: Stack the Bags.

Picture of Stack the Bags.

Main variant:
Stack the two bags with right-sides together, so that seams are on the outside and inside of the new lined bag.

Flap variant:
Rearrange how the bag is folded, so side-seams are aligned and like-fabrics are stacked on top of each other.

Note for experienced sewers:
If you are comfortable using double-folded bias tape, for the main variant you can instead stack the two bags right-side out, and finished the top side with bias tape (pictured with microfleece fabric).

Step 6: Sew Top Edge.

Picture of Sew Top Edge.

Main variant:
Sew the top edge of the bags together, leaving a small opening. The opening needs to be big enough to pull fabric through -- a few inches is usually good.

Flap variant:
Sew the top edge of the bag together, leaving a small opening. This will be the weakest point of the bag; I usually keep it close to the side seams on the outside-fabric.

Optional: leave one long thread (for later hand-sewing)

Step 7: Pull Fabric Through.

Picture of Pull Fabric Through.

Main variant:
Pull the fabric through the opening left in the top seam. Finish pulling the fabric through the opening in the top seam. At this point, all the right sides are exposed (prints, no seams).

Flap variant:
Pull the fabric through the opening left in the top seam.

Optional: Tuck and fold until the fabric looks like a bag.

Step 8: Hand Sew Opening Closed.

Picture of Hand Sew Opening Closed.

Main variant:
Hand-sew the last opening closed. As this is the weakest point in the bag, keep an eye on it over time to make sure it doesn't unravel.

Flap variant:
Hand-sew the last opening closed.

Step 9: Bask in Victory!

Picture of Bask in Victory!

You're done! I highly recommend laundering it before use, to stress-test your sewing, and to make it smell right to your small friend.

Comments

MizMolly made it! (author)2017-01-06

I made one with left over peace sign fabric and soft minky inside. I have just learned how to sew and these were so easy and fun

KarenJ41 made it! (author)2015-12-27

Thanks for the great instructions - I don't have a sewing machine so had to hand stitch it all, but given I'm rubbish at sewing it still came out great! I use really fluffy, thick fabric for the inside which meant it's pretty sturdy and stands up without wadding. I made two and both my guinea pigs have been sleeping on them all day :)

moonlit_rose made it! (author)2015-12-13

Thanks for the super simple instructions! My skinny pig loves it but i think I made it about 30% too big. haha

LavoneS made it! (author)2015-11-04

OMG! I totally did it! This was my first time using a sewing machine and hand-stitching too! Thank you! I did need to find another instruction page on how to hand-sew a seam.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-08-26

This is adorable! Do you have a picture of your hedgehog using the sack?

Cute? She's mine

LilyK1 (author)HedgieMamaJuniper2015-03-06

cute

Adorable :)

Thanks!

charlieanderin (author)2014-01-23

Next project thanks

kgirl5523 (author)2013-08-28

Cool :)

jessyratfink (author)2013-08-27

Oh what a great idea! I might need to make one of these for Lu - she loves getting under the covers. It might save me from midnight kneading. :P

parisusa (author)2013-08-26

Nicely done! Love how you include the Hedgie in most photos! We have a small bunny who loves to cuddle but Also loves to chew on our shirts, blankets, pillows...so this project would be wasted on him :( But I'm sure lots of little creatures will appreciate it! Thanks!

tipperblue (author)2013-08-26

My next project for sure! My pup is gonna love it!
:)

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