DIY Recycled Small Pet Carrier Backpack




 Being a pet owner and lover I like to give my pets as much freedom as possible. I have been looking for a backpack pet carrier that I can strap on my back and go for a bike ride to bring my pets with me to the park. The problem? Most pet carriers are for dogs or cats, they have a large hole for the animal to poke their head out of, they are NOT a backpack, or the netting made to keep air flowing is made from a mesh material that my pets can chew threw. How, you say? I have pet rats.

 I needed a sturdy material that would not collapse on top of them, but I also didn't want to make the carrier from scratch. I knew I had to have some things around the house.


1. You can use ANY purse/backpack in ANY SIZE that is sturdy enough to hold itself up. I simply used this because I already had it at home though I plan to make a larger one.

2. This item is meant to be NO SEW. You have the option to use a large industrial needle and thread where I instead drilled holes and used twisty ties. I wanted to create this animal friendly as small animals can ingest thread and get sick/die from it. I also wanted it to be something anyone could make and shorten the time down by using twisty ties (which it does a lot!).

Step 1: Step 1: Gathering Materials

 Here's what you will need to complete this project (I didn't take pictures of everything!):

1. A sturdy purse/backback.
2. Chicken wire, galvanized wire, mesh wire (whatever is suitable for you pet)
3. Wire cutters.
4. Materal.
6.Twisty ties.
7. A drill (I did not use one to make the holes, but I suggest you do! Using scissors worked, but I ended up cutting my finger.) :(
8.Permanent marker.
9. Yarn/ribbon/thread.
10. Backpack straps. (Skip if you are using a backpack.)

 I found all of these items around my house. You may not have all of these things, but you should be able to find an old purse/backpack at a thrift store or maybe from a friend. You can use old clothing for the material; just cut it up. The backpack straps can be cut off an old backpack found at home or at thrift shop.

Step 2: Step 2: Cut Your Wire and Mark.

 1. Cut your wire to the size you would like as the front of your backpack.
 2. Place your wire on top of your purse/backpack and mark about a half inch in with your permanent marker to leave space for tieing. You want your hole to be at least half an inch smaller on each side than the wire you have cut.

Step 3: Step 3: Cut Your Hole!

 Now that you have your bag marked it's time to cut your hole. I recommend making your first hole in the MIDDLE of where you have lined to cut. You can make this hole by sliding your scissors down to the base to make the cut. 

 DO NOT MAKE A LARGE CUT! Only cut enough to make a small hole that you scissors can fit back into to cut along your lines.

Step 4: Step 5: Insert Wire and Add Twisty Ties.

 It's time to insert your wire. You can do this in a multitude of ways, but I suggest that if you wire has sharp edges that you cover them. I did this by inserting my wire where a pocket used to be. It slid perfectly into place. However, you make not have as much luck with the bag that you have chosen. If you do not have this option you can cover the ends of your wire by cutting a long piece of material and wrapping it around the edges. You can also attach your wire to the front or back or your bag.

 WARNING: Make sure all sharp edges are covered to protect your small animals.

 How to attach the wire:

1. Place your wire in position.
2. Drill small holes slightly above the opening of your hole. 
3. Make sure you twisty ties tighten on THE INSIDE. Otherwise you'll end up with a bulky look on the outside.

Step 5: Step 5: the Backpack Straps.

 (Skip this step if you are already using a backpack)

 Since you've already learned how to poke/drill holes to attach the wiring this part should be pretty easy.

 Simply take your backpack straps and make two holes horizontally in the bottom of each end. Then make your holes in your purse and twisty tie the straps on!!!

Step 6: Step 6: Covering Up the Twisty Ties and Getting Loopy.

 Well now it seems like you're done, but you've got this ugly looking front for a pet carrier backpack and the material is just TOO THICK to sew anything onto. Glue won't work so well either as you would end up with a bumpy look.

What to do?:

1. Cut 4 strips of fabric to the measurements of your opening.
2. Place your first piece of fabric on top of the "mess" of twisty ties.
3. Get your yarn/ribbon/thread to tie on the fabric. Simply loop your yarn through and make a knot securing it.
4. Now we're ready to get loopy! (lol)
5. Start weaving your yarn around your piece of fabric until you get to the end. Knot off. Repeat 3 more times.

Step 7: Step 7: Cut a Piece of Material.

 Last step! Just cut a small piece of fabric (I used suede sherpa) and insert it into your new pet carrier backpack! I did not attach mine because rats tend to pee on everything to mark their territory and I wanted to be able to take it out to wash it.

 NOTE: Make sure you get any left over materials of "fuzz" out of the purse/backpack so your pet doesn't ingest it.

Step 8: Finished!!!

 Alright, well that's it! We're done. Here is your new small pet backpack carrier.

 For food or water you can bring a small bowl with you and a water bottle to pour water in it. Apples are a great source of food AND water for your small pet.



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24 Discussions


3 years ago

i have to make this i have a chinchilla and at church we get to take our animals on oct 28th so i am going to make this to take him in


5 years ago

Love this! I have a small bunny who goes with us everywhere but he chews through a harness made for ferrets. This would be great lined with a towel we can toss out (after he chews too many holes holes in it!). Thanks! :)

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

No problem. Glad I could help. Just be sure to line your pet carrier as the ends of the zip ties can be sharp. :)


5 years ago on Introduction

I've been wanting to sneak my dog on campus >.> and in the zoo. very much the zoo.


6 years ago

I think I love u


6 years ago on Introduction

another idea for cutting the hole where the galvanized wire goes, would be to place a board inside where you're gonna cut & use a utility knife to cut the hole. not saying my idea is better, it's just another idea on cutting the hole you need....and I love the drill idea!

awesome instructable!! TY for sharing. I can see this ible be modified for many other types of small pets. @-@

2 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

You are quite welcome Ma'am. : )
Maybe something in a hard plastic??
Or a cage of some sort with straps?
I'm just thinking out loud & off the top of my head....
I've seen strollers for dogs & cats....maybe something like that for your sweet babies?
Again, just another hairbrain idea,,,,
Regardless, TY for sharing, I wish you & your family the best life has to offer.


7 years ago on Introduction

i found this by searching "sugar glider"... figured i'd post, just as a warning to others who come here via the same search:

If you're making this (or anything else) for a sugar glider,
Do Not Use Galvanized Wire!!

Galvanized wire has been implicated in major health problems in sugar gliders. A quick Google search will verify this.

i have used galvanized wire with rats and reptiles without any problems, though. :)

2 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

That's good to know! I did not know that. Thanks for sharing. :)


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

You're welcome. I think this is a really cute idea! I'm planning to do something similar soon. I rarely take my gliders away from home at all, but recently I took one of them who is elderly (and therefore pretty calm and pleased to just curl up and sleep) with me when I had to go visit my husband's grandmother. It delighted her so much, I want to have a more secure way to get him over there more often. :)


6 years ago on Step 6

can you do this for gerbils as well, looks awesome by the way! and my other question is what inner stuff would be the best for a gerbil as they chew and gnaw on pretty much anything! thank you if you do reply!

1 reply

Reply 6 years ago on Step 6

You could try using metal rings or wrap wire. Just make sure to bend down the ends with pliers since they are sharp. I imagine anything would work although I recommend using something sturdy so that your pet doesn't get squished, or lining it with something sturdy.


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

I Goodwilled it awhile back. It needed lining on the inside, which never got sewn in. It was fun to make though. :)


8 years ago on Introduction

I was thinking of making something like this for my rabbit.
this help alot :) i just have to find a nice big bag for my bunny :)

thanks xx


8 years ago on Introduction

Wow That insane... i would have never thought of that ... thanks for the instructible it helped with my ferret.


9 years ago on Introduction

Well this is great . I have cats and a soft cat carrier costs 80.00 and upwards. I have been wanting to make my own so this is good inspiration,thanks