How To Make A Snuggle Pod For Small Animals 4


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Sewing Bee Fabrics Tutorial

How To Make A Snuggle Pod Basket For Small Animals

small animal snuggle pod guinea pig basket sewing tutorial

We have a new edition to the house... baby guinea pigs. Very cute and fluffy and chatty but also wriggly and fast, which when mixed with 2 toddlers is bound to end up in me chasing guinea pigs around the lounge on a regular basis. So, that's why I decided that a little basket with a snuggly dark corner for them to hide in (which also makes less sides to jump out from) would be a perfect plan.

What you will need:

Fleece (approx. 1/2 metre to 1 metre): Not only is fleece snuggly, but it's perfect to use with small animals. It dries very quickly if there are any accidents, but also the fibres that make up the fabric are very small which means that should your little fluffy snack on a corner without you noticing, then it should pass through and out the other end with no harm done.

Thread

How To Make It:

First you need to draw a circle to whatever size you want to make your snuggle pod. Different animals will be better with different sizes - for example mice will be better in a much smaller size than rabbits or ferrets. Mine was approximately 27cm (10 1/2 inches) which looks huge on them now but at the rate they are eating, they'll be fitting before we know it!

You will need to cut one for outer fleece then a slightly smaller version (loose 1/2 inch ish) for the inside fleece and 1 or 2 fleece layers for inside (you can use wadding if you prefer).

You then also need 4 long strips of your desired height for the basket (mine were 9cm - 3 1/2 inches). The length needs to be enough to go around the outer edge, with a seam allowance to spare. I always cut generously then trim, especially as fleece has a slight stretch to it. It's more hassle than it's worth to try adding a bit because you didn't quite leave enough!

For the top, you simply need to fold your circle template in half then cut one for the outer and 2 or 3 at your slightly smaller size for the inner fleece and the centre padding.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial cutting out the pattern pieces

You will need to make 2 baskets separately then join them together to make the outer layer and the inner fleece lining.

I started with my outer layer of fleece. I joined the whole circle to one long edge of the fabric strip. I used a knit foot just to help the fabric move through the sewing machine a little easier. A roller foot or walking foot also works well for this, otherwise you'll just have to go a little slower.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial sewing the bottom to side pattern pieces

Next, trim any excess off the long strip then sew the short edges together so you should have what looks like a bowl.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial sew side together

I thought it looked best to have the seam at the back, so I lined the hood up so that the centre was in line with the seam. Again, I sewed the seam with the fleece right sides together.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial attaching the hood pattern

Then repeat again with the inner fleece, so you should have 2. If you have a  sewing machine that can handle a few layers, you may want to trap your inner fleece into the seams of the lining, but if not, or if your not feeling confident juggling multiple layers, you might prefer to do it this way.

You can sew the bottom circle for the inner fleece in the same way if you want but I didn't feel that it would move much so I didn't. It's inside in the picture, but it's easier to put it in properly after sewing the inner and outer layers together or it gets a bit in the way.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial making the lining

Now put 1 basket with the right side on the inside, then the other one with the right side out, so when you place it inside the first basket, they sit right sides together. Pin or clip them together so they wont shift out of alignment as you sew.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial attaching the lining to the outer fleece fabric

Make sure you leave yourself a good size gap to turn your snuggle pod through. Fleece is bulky so you'll get stuck if you think you can ease it through a small hole like you would cotton. You might also want to clip any curves of your seam allowance to make it lay flatter once turned. This is especially the case where the top meets the side.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial turning the fleece pattern

Stuff the centre inside and position it in line, then hand sew the opening closed. I use a ladder stitch to make the join look invisible.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial hand sew the opening closed

As my snuggle pod will be thrown around by 2 toddlers, and likely washed frequently, I wanted my layers to stay securely in place. To do this, I stitched by hand the inner seam to the outer seam around the base.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial tacking the layers together

If you want a prettier fix, then hand sew around the centre seam between the lining and outer fleece layers to catch the centre later inside. However, I wanted a quicker fix, so I top stitched around the outer edge.

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial top stitching the edge

Then all you need to do is find something cute and fluffy to put in your snuggle pod. Meet our 2 guinea pig cuties... Polly and Ester. Take out the "and" you'll have our cheesy sense of humour rumbled!

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial small animal holder
Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial toddler animal basket
Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial finished pattern small animals

We've been loving how happy they are in it. They seem to see it as a very safe space, so we've had some lovely snuggle time. Plus it's also very easy to quickly whip them out of the way without upsetting them if you see a toddler about to unwittingly sit on them which happens often here!

Guinea pig snuggle pod free sewing tutorial DIY basket

Happy Sewing!

 

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4 thoughts on “How To Make A Snuggle Pod For Small Animals

  • Jan

    Hi, Linda,
    What a perfect design!
    I’ve been looking and brainstorming for a little cavern for my chihuahua for a few months and this half-circle roof is perfect. I have some pieces of 1/2 and 1 inch (sorry I’m across the pond!) cushy foam I might use for the bottom and maybe for the sidewalls of this for winter warmth. Since he’s bigger than a guinea pig I might make a 15-inch circle, and maybe 5-6 inch walls.
    I am not the most prompt to follow through with plans, especially since our weather is about 20 or 30 degrees above normal so far this winter, but when I get it done, I’ll let you know how Zeus likes it.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Jan

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Thank you so much. I’m sure you should have no problems in scaling it up. The only difference might be that the roof is more floppy but you could easily fix that with adding a layer of firm interfacing if you wanted to, but I bet it would make more of a snuggly cave without! I can’t wait to hear how you get on.
      Linda x