Tutorial: Cozy Bracket Hideout

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This tutorial will show how to create a fleece hideout that will attach to the side of your rat cage and can easily slip on and off for cleaning.

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Step one:  supplies and tools.

Supplies needed:

  • 2 shelf brackets (pictured above available at Orchard Supply Hardware for $1.19 each)
  • Nuts, bolts, and washers as appropriate; for this exact bracket you’ll need six of each.  I suggest working with the hardware store staff to ensure you have the right ones – it took me forever to figure it out because there are 23987390 options!
  • Fleece

Tools needed:

  • Scissors
  • Sewing materials

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Step two:  measure and cut the fleece.  In this example, the fleece is 13″ tall by 25″ wide.  The finished fleece will form an “infinity loop” that will measure about 6″ tall and 12″ wide, although the width measurement will vary depending on how far apart you mount the brackets.

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Step three: pin and sew the long edge of the fleece.

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Step four:  pin and sew the short ends of the fleece; you want to form an “infinity loop” with the finished product.  I had an awful time trying to figure out how to make this look neat and tidy (especially when sewing by hand), so in the end, I gave up.  It looks a little rough, but the ratties won’t mind!

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Step five:  using your hands (or a pair of pliers), bend the bracket ends so they are angled upwards.  This will help keep the finished fleece infinity loop from sliding off once the brackets are mounted.

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The picture above shows how the brackets and fleece look while unmounted.

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Step six:  loosely mount the brackets to a side of your cage, keeping the bolts loose so you can adjust later.

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…here’s a back view of the first bolts placed loosely.

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Step seven:  to choose the final position of the brackets, place the fleece infinity loop and adjust the brackets until your loop is hanging as desired.

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Step eight:  fasten the final bolts to the brackets and tighten.

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Add the fleece infinity loop and enjoy!  Pictured here is Huey, who was placed in the loop by force.  He didn’t seem to mind!

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Pictured here is Lewis, who chose to explore the hideout on his own volition.  Tada!

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