Cat-sized Cardboard Dome

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About: I love making things with my hands and well, will try to do almost anything I get exited about. And I get easily exited from almost everything from laser-cutted hangers to origamis and infinity scarfs. I cur...

This 'ible was heavily influenced and inspired by supersoftdrinks awesome Cardboard Play Dome she made for her kids. (Can be found in https://www.instructables.com/id/Cardboard-Play-Dome/ ) I was impressed and wanted to make one myself, but as an "adult" it would have had to be huge and it would take a lot of space from our small apartment. Still, I wanted to do this, and I thought to myself: "If I only had kids to make this to, they'd think I'm an awesome mother." Then I realized, petting our newly rescued cat, that I had someone to make this to.

Our cats first walked around it, the braver one finally got cozy in it in the evening. I still have to add something soft inside for them to lay on, and paint the whole thing as soon as I get the right paint.

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Step 1: Preparing

I gathered up the needed materials:
- Thicker cardboard for the base squares and lighter boxes (cereal boxes, etc.) for the triangles.
- A glue gun would have been perfect, but I had to resort to my "universal" glue. If you have a glue gun, protect your fingers with thick gloves if you leave as small flaps than I did, because the hot glue will hurt.
- A ruler , pens for marking and paper to trace your patterns.
- Clothespins or something small to clamp the pieces together while the glue dries
- Paint (I will paint mine when I get the paint), even acrylic paint will stick to this and it's not too big to paint it for a few times.
- Something cozy and soft to line the bottom so your furry friends enjoy it.

I opened my boxes flat, decided the measures for the five triangles to make a pentagon with little notch in it to make the center rise up a little when glued. I was feeling lazy and didn't want to count my own measurements, so I took the ones supersoftdrink had and turned them into centimeters to get the desired small triangles. My measures were: A = 10,4 cm and B = 12 cm.

You'll need 30 AAB triangles and 9 BBB triangles, and 9 B-squares. If you want to put windows in it, leave out one of the B-triangles from the top.

Draw the sample-triangle of both sizes to the cardboard or a piece of paper and add at least 1 cm flaps in each sides.

Step 2: Cutting and Organizing

Cut all the triangles and bend the flaps inside the colored, unwanted side. The backside of the cerealboxes usually isn't as slippery as the printed frontside and will be easier to paint to. Cut the squares too, now that you're at it.

Remember to take breaks from cutting to avoid your hand getting hurt.

Step 3: Start Gluing

Pile the AAB triangles in 6 piles and arrange them so, that the A-sides meet and B-sides are outside, to form a pentagon. I used a few clothespin to keep the pieces together while the glue dried.

To avoid the ugly crookedness while gluing the last triangle on and have the center of the pentagon popped up, I found that easiest way to avoid it is to glue first 2 pieces and another 3 pieces together first, then glue them together.

Line the finished pentagons the flat end downwards and start gluing BBB-triangles to line them together from the bottom. Don't glue all of the gaps together, leave one out to form the doorway.

Step 4: The Dome Is Coming Together

I got so into this step I forgot to take pictures of gluing the last few BBB-triangles to the top of the structure, on the top there should be place for the last pentagon.

If you want to make windows, leave out one or two of the last BBB-triangles. I may weaken the dome, but gluing straps to the edges of the missing triangle should keep it strong.

Windows also add coziness of the hut and let light come inside of it. Also, you don't have to grouch to see if your pet is inside of it.

When the dome-part is ready, it's time to glue those last squares together and then to the dome.

Step 5: Finishing

I will add a picture of it after I paint it, but for now, these will do.

Place the dome in a quiet and peaceful place, where you don't trot around all the time,

Some cats, like our Täplä ("spot" in Finnish), don't like closed places and prefer to lay down in a cat bed with a border or in cardboard boxes, but our other cat Hilu, who likes to find small, comfy places to sleep in, likes this dome really much and started sleeping in it. :)

I hope you and your dear furry fellows enjoy this 'ible.

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2 People Made This Project!

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27 Discussions

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RuthShelley

Tip 2 months ago on Step 5

My daughter and I used hot glue gun with two heat settings. We used it on low heat and didn't need to use pegs ect.

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NelyanRuthShelley

Reply 2 months ago

Good call! Thank you for sharing this tip. I hope others will see it too!

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citizien0

3 years ago

made it for my nephew's cat "Dotty" using holographic card.

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grannyjones

6 years ago on Introduction

I imagine this made of quarter inch OSB, with carpet glued to the ourside.
Maybe a panel of clear or smoky acrylic.
Such spoiled kitties!

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Kui siisti! Vois väsäillä kaverin kissoille tommosen... Great work, dare I say :)

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patron_zero

7 years ago on Introduction

Very, very cool ! I find when making structures from corrugated cardboard the 'two-layer rule' gets the best results, such being two layers of identical pieces bonded together but with the 'grain' oriented perpendicular to one another, will give amazing stiffness and strength.

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Mupton101

8 years ago on Step 4

Very cleaver. I'm going to try it.

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msaarelaNelyan

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

But honey, you are the picturemaster in our household. I barely know how to hold a camera

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NelyanBaritone Blues

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Look at my inspiration; it's an actual child-sized play dome: https://www.instructables.com/id/Cardboard-Play-Dome/

Awesome job! Are you going to sprinkle some catnip into some of the cardboard? That'd be hilarious to watch. :)

You could make a little round pad with cushioned walls to line the inside of the dome to make it more comfy for a cat.

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Nelyansupersoftdrink

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

My cats also love to tear cardboard and sharpen their clavs in it, so this is made to be trashed or replaced when broken, but good idea; maybe if it's done with plywood it could be cushioned. Oh what a throne it would be :D