Introducing The Mouse House. Just the right thing if your hand gets cold due to researching on the computer
My husband has a huge, fabulous office. On cold winter days, he uses a standing oil heater and is quite warm after an hour or so, but on those bitterly cold mornings, his hand gets cold. Gloves don't work because he has to use the keyboard also, not even thin gloves.
This had gone on for a while. He said he wished he knew some possible way to keep his hand warm. I said to hold that thought. First I went to get a heating pad from cabinet and then a small utility shelf from laundry room that could be donated to the cause. With a few zip ties, we made the Mouse House prototype. He has used this for at least five years because it works like a charm. A picture of the original can be seen in step 9.
I never tried to make it cute because he was out the door with it. He's sorta the kind of guy that thinks if it works, it's fine. In fact, it has no front and he bent it into an arch because his hands are so big. When I saw the Sew Warm Contest, I knew I'd love to share it, but jazzed up a bit.
Step 1: Gather the Supplies You Will Need.
1. A small utility shelf. This one is approximately 4" X 6" X 12"
2. A heating pad
3. A piece of plastic foam board or old yard sign.
4. An old ski cap
5. Needle and thread
7. Pencil or marker
9. Zip Ties
10. Spray Paint
Step 2: Cut the Ski Cap
Use the height of the ski cap as a measure on how much to cut of the ski cap. Add a couple of inches. This bottom of the ski cap will be stretched around the Mouse House and it shortens as it is stretched.
Step 3: Measure and Cut the Plastic Foam Board
The will be two pieces.
Front wall: Again, use the height of Mouse House as a measure for the front wall. Allow about half inch for bulk of heating pad which will be attached.
Top: Use the width and depth of the top of shelf to measure for the roof of the house.
Step 4: Cut the Mouse Hole.
The actual mouse hole can be free-handed or use a plate or anything appropriate. I looked around and saw this scale. Perfect.
I marked the center of the board and allowed about an inch from the top of board. Draw your arch and cut out.
Step 5: Mark the Heating Pad
1. Flatten the Heating Pad (HP) with the cord side facing you. This is the back. Mark dots at the four edges. See arrows.
2. Then allow shelf to fall back and make four more dots. See arrows.
3. There are two more dots to make on the heating pad where it will be folded and then secured. See arrows.
4. The heating pad will then fold over the middle part of itself. As you can see, the shelf will be in between. The end edges will be zip tied to the back under edge of the shelf.
Step 6: Safety
Make sure you unplug your Heating Pad to make puncture holes for the zip ties.
Stay within about a half an inch when you make holes.
A safe way to make the opening is to stretch the edge over a pencil eraser.
Fold the pad tightly of the eraser
Then use your sharp edge to make the puncture.
Step 7: Attach Heating Pad
Use zip ties to attach the Heating Pad.
Cut off all excess end pieces of the zip ties
One picture is a view from the front.
One is a view from the side.
Step 8: Spray Paint Front Wall and Top
Spray paint any color of your choice. Do the spray painting outside in the open air.
Step 9: Stretch on the Ski Cap
Take the bottom of the ski mask over the Mouse House. It will stretch around all four sides.
Then hand stitch the frayed top edges of the ski mask and sew round each leg. This will secure the material.
Now is the time to cut down the ski cap down the center of the front wall.
Then attach the floppy loose front inside on the top and bottom.
Step 10: Attach the Front Wall and Top
Since the board pieces should be dry, they can be marked for zip ties.
No zip ties along the top of the front wall because of the heating pad that is doubled over and there is no place to punch holes. To help the front wall be more secure, I ran a line of glue between the front wall and the top.
On the original prototype I made for my husband, I ran one long zip tie around the entire front like a big rubber band. Then I used smaller ones to zip tie to the large one to secure the heating pad. No punctures were made through the middle of the heating pad although it looks like it.
Step 11: Plug It In, Heat Things Up, and Mouse House It Your Style!
After the Mouse House was built, I looked around my office and started thinking of dozens of ways to jazz up this new Sew WarmMouse House. I'm sure that it works warmly and I'm sure you can make one and personalize it just for you or someone you love that has a warm heart and a cold hand!