Introduction: Hobbit Hole Cat House

A couple of months ago when I saw there would be a pet contest here on Instructables, I knew I had to think of something good.

You see, this time last year I got one of the first prizes in the Fandom contest with my Cardboard Iron Throne Cat Bed that I made for my cat Arthur. So even though I knew I had to make something equally as good for the pet contest this year, I just could not think of a single thing that would live up to Arthur's high expectations.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I'm rewatching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The idea to make a hobbit hole similar to Bilbo Baggins' popped into my head. I knew I would make it out of cardboard, and had some simple design ideas that would require some felt and paint, so I got to work right away. By the end of the movie, Arthur had a swanky new cat house.

Here's how you can make one too.


  • Cardboard/cardboard boxes
  • Scissors + craft knife
  • Hot glue gun + hot glue sticks
  • 1 yard of green felt
  • 1 sheet light brown/tan felt
  • Acrylic paint (yellow, brown, green)
  • paintbrushes
  • cardstock
  • wooden dowel
  • tape
  • pencil
  • marker

Step 1: Cut Some Cardboard

So, how large you make your hobbit hole is determined by how big your cat is. My cat is a chonker at around 14 pounds, so I knew his new house had to be quite large. So consider size before you blindly start cutting up cardboard.

That being said, first I cut a couple of rectangles from the flaps of an Amazon box: one rectangle was about 24" x 10" and the other was about 10" x 10". I hot glued those together, end to end, so they made an even longer rectangle. Considering the overlap, the long rectangle measured about 32" x 10".

I rolled that up in a tight spiral and then released it so the cardboard could have a curve to it. After a couple of times, I got the half-circle/rainbow shape I was going for.

Step 2: Cut Out the Front

Now we cut out the front of the hobbit hole. So since this needs to have the same curve shape to it, I placed the curved rectangle on top of some more cardboard and drew along the inside of the curve.

Then I drew another curve about 1" right above the original curve. This is because I needed to cut some notches so later we can connect the front of the hobbit hole to the roof. Then I cut out the half-circle and cut out the 1" notches all the way around the curve edge.

Step 3: Cut the Front Door

I cut a circle with a ~9" diameter for the door. I flipped a large bowl upside down and traced around it to get a perfect circle.

To make the windows, all I did was freehand draw a rounded triangular shape on one side and cut it out in one whole piece using a craft knife. Then I used that cut-out piece to use as a stencil and did the same on the other side.

Step 4: Paint

I wanted the circular door to be a dirty green color. So I first went with a green, then did some soft brown vertical lines. I cut a small ~1.5"-diameter circle for the door handle and painted that dark brown.

I painted the whole front of the hobbit hole a bright yellow.

Finally I hot glued the door handle directly in the center of the door and then the door onto the front of the hobbit hole.

Step 5: Cut Some Felt

To cover the raw cardboard edges around the windows, I cut several small rectangular strips of felt, about 1/2" x 2". I then hot glued the strips around the inside of both windows.

Step 6: Cut More Felt

I did a similar thing around the door, though these felt pieces were much smaller, about 1/4" x 1/4". I just hot glued each square around the door.

Be very careful when hot gluing felt as it might seep through and burn your fingers.

Step 7: Glue on the Roof

Using my hot glue gun, I connected the front of the hobbit hole to the roof. This is where those tabs I cut came in really handy. I just used a dot of glue on each tab, and that seemed to really secure them together. I made sure that the roof was slightly overhanging, about 1.5" over the front of the house.

Step 8: Cover the Roof

I bought this square yard of green felt to cover the roof. I cut a rectangle that was slightly larger than the roof and glued it on using my hot glue gun. I tucked the felt underneath the overhanging at the front of the hobbit hole, and underneath the roof at the back and sides as well.

At this point, I decided the front of the hobbit hole needed a little more "oomph," so I got some brown acrylic paint and painted some more details.

Step 9: Make the Floor

I cut a rectangular piece of cardboard that was slightly larger than I needed it for the floor. Then I folded up three of the sides and hot glued it to the inside of the hobbit hole. Then I cut another piece of cardboard and covered it in green felt and slid that on top of the floor. This obviously isn't a necessary step, but it's maybe a little bit more comfortable, and it also covers the boring cardboard.

Step 10: Make Some Felt Bushes

I thought the front looked a bit plain, so I decided to make some shrubbery out of felt. To do that, all I did was cut a rectangle out of green felt that measured approximately 14" x 4", fold it in half, and cut fringe almost all the way through (but not all the way). Then using some hot glue to secure it, I rolled it up. I made four or five of these for the sides of the hobbit hole.

At this point, I also decided to cut some rounded, half-circles out of the tan felt I had used earlier for around the windows as some stepping stones beneath the door.

Step 11: Make a Sign

Arthur is a bit of a curmudgeon, very similar to Bilbo Baggins, so I thought it would be funny to make a "no admittance" sign, just like the one Bilbo had on his gate at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring.

I looked online for some examples and freehanded the "calligraphy" on a small rectangular piece of cardstock, first with a pencil and then with a pen marker. Mine is not nearly as nice as the original, but it's still fun. The sign says, "no admittance -- except on party business."

Then I taped it to a short wooden dowel and stuck it in the felt bushes.

Step 12: Finished!

Both cats seem to like the hobbit hole. Arthur, since he's 18 years old and can't move around too quickly these days, is allowed to go on the balcony with some human supervision. We have a fake patch of grass out there now, and he loves rolling around on it. I'll put the hobbit hole out there with him and he will get in when he wants some shade.

When the hobbit hole is indoors (most of the time), my other cat Rudy likes to hide in it.

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