This project is great if you have a small critter like a gerbil, hamster, or mouse. It's helpful for holding them while cleaning their cages and you can have lots of fun watching your little pet explore this awesome maze! Additionally, it only takes a couple of hours to build and the materials are simple and inexpensive.
-several cardboard boxes
-two empty square tissue boxes
-8 pairs of velcro stickers
-a hot glue gun with glue sticks
-an Exacto knife
-a hard cutting surface
Step 1: Cutting the Cardboard
A) Choose an image of a small rectangular maze, and then count how many squares long and wide it is. My maze is 6 squares long and 5 squares wide.
B) Multiply those numbers by 4 inches to account for the distance between the walls. These are the dimensions for the base of your maze, so cut out a rectangle of that size from a box. For my design the dimensions were 24 by 20 inches.
C) Make the outer walls by cutting out 2 cardboard rectangles that are 10 inches by your length dimension above. Then cut out two more cardboard rectangles that are 10 inches by your width dimension above. For my maze I made two 10 by 24 inch walls and two 10 by 20 inch walls.
D) Using the distance between walls as a reference, count how many in-between-wall-length lines are inside of the outer walls in your maze design. In my design there are 19 interior walls.
E) Cut out that number of 4 by 4 inch squares from a box.
F) For the doors, take the plastic out the tissue boxes and draw the oval from the tissue box onto the outer walls where your image of a maze tells you there is an entrance or exit. Be sure to draw it onto the right size wall and also make sure that the oval is drawn on where the tissue box can rest on the ground and the ovals will line up.
G) Carefully cut out those ovals so that there are openings in the cardboard sides for your critters to go through.
H) Cut out a 6 by 3 inch rectangle to cover the ends of the tissue box when you're transporting the small critters.
Step 2: Gluing It All Together
A) Use the ruler to make a grid on the cardboard base with lines that are four inches apart.
B) According to your maze design, mark where all of the inner walls will need to be glued on those lines.
C) Then go one by one with the inner wall squares and glue the bottom of the square to the base, then any connecting square sides, and repeat with the next square.
D) Once all of the inner pieces are glued on, glue the outer walls starting by gluing them to the base and then to the inner walls.
E) Make sure that the outer walls with the oval holes are glued on so that the holes are in the right position according to the entrances in your maze design and also so that they are far enough down for the tissue boxes to rest on the ground.
F) Lastly, stick a matching velcro pair to each corner of the tissue boxes and then stick the tissue box onto the outer walls where they line up to the oval holes.
Step 3: Suggestions for Use
A) You can encourage your critter to get to the end if you put some of there food in the ending box.
B) Always watch your critters when they are in the maze because they may chew the cardboard and you don't want them escaping.
C) When you detach the tissue boxes for transport make sure that you cover the opening of the tissue box with the small extra rectangle that you cut out to keep them inside.
I hope you and your small critters have fun with this maze!