We have two ferrets to entertain, and while not running around the house causing havoc their preferred activity is sleeping in their big cage. In the spirit of giving them new things for enrichment, and trying to buy less and reduce waste, I set out to make them a new sleeping area using all upcycled materials.
My crafting pool was a wooden clementine box, foam shipping material (the kind that fancy fruit gets nestled in to protect it), and some old upholstery samples (one escaped the picture).
The foam packing collapsed naturally into a block that was the perfect size to fit in the clementine box. I hand stitched some upholstery fabric around it, folding it down as if wrapping a present with paper. I used straight pins stuck right into the foam to hold the fabric in place as I sewed.
I also had to soak paper strips off of some of the upholstery squares - you can still see the glue on the edges where they were. Some of the fabric did have these strong eyelets where they had been bound into a sample book and I incorporated those into my design. By folding down the edge that had the eyelets and sewing it like a casing, I could thread through pieces of cloth ribbon to use as hangers. I lined up the eyelets of two pieces (inside out, then turned to finish) to make a blanket that I could anchor in. They love to dig at things, so otherwise it would have been flung away within a minute.
To create a cover for the clementine box that was snug, yet removable for washing, I held the pieces in place with clips while stitching them together.
Here you can see how the blanket is held on with ribbon threaded through the same casing that holds the hanging ribbons.
The blanket is just stiff enough to stand up a bit and look like a cute covered wagon when I tuck it in just right. I think the fabrics will hold up well to ferret scratching, but it was a bit of a pain to work with. While sewing the end of one seam, my machine needle broke into three pieces and came flying into my face!
All finished and hung in the top corner of their cage!
Of course I couldn’t leave you without action shots: here are Coconut and Lea enjoying their new cozy bed.