The other evening I was in Hancock Fabrics to pick up some patterns on sale (McCall's 5 for $5, Vogue $3.99) and spied this piece of fleece in the Manager's Special Fleece Remnants Must Buy Full Piece bin:
which is, of course, right on trend for spring 2010 according to Pantone. And, oh looky, it coordinates with this cotton fabric that I had at home, which has even more of the Pantone spring 2010 palette in this lovely Cheerio-esque motif:
What an opportunity to do some re-decorating with our little fashion conscious, Cheerio-snarfing rats.
I used this tutorial to start on a cube. Well, actually I read the first couple of paragraphs, got to the point about how to sew the first seam, then just did what seemed appropriate for the rest.
I made 2 entrances, having observed that our rats are prone to chew their own second entrance in things. And I used fleece selvage for the hanging strips, figuring that the rats would chew them up anyway so why not go totally cheapo.
This got nearly instant approval by the new owners
so on to the next item -- a miniature dog bed, big enough for a rat to sleep in.
Rats like to pile up together to sleep, so I thought this might work out nicely -- fleecy, filled with stuffing, like having an extra rat around. My vision was to put it in a box and have a rat sleep in it
but the rats thought it would be even better if they both stuffed themselves in the box and on the bed. Note that the box is so stuffed full of fleece bed plus rats that it is not longer setting on the floor of the cage.
Next up, a hammock with tunnel, suspended with shower curtain rings (as are all of these items):
Actually, they don't care about this (don't give a rat's ass, one might say), but they appreciate having it to run under on their way from the shelf entrance to the cube.
And, finally, a hammock to act as a safety net if they fall off the top shelf:
This is what started the whole rat-decor frenzy -- trying to come up with something they could land on if they fell. In this case, a fleece/cotton hammock with an extra fleece layer they can hide under if they so desire. The extra layer is bordered with the cotton print, which was not made with bias strips (I figure they're going to eat the entire thing anyway, so why bother making bias strips).
Coming up soon, another set in different fabrics so these can be tossed in the wash during the weekly cage cleaning.