this is extremely easy to do, and not only fun for your rats but also a beautiful way of decorating their cage.
it's a combination of tunnels and hammocks that you can build upon by adding consecutive rows of the same materials. make it as long or short as you want. this one is a small 3 row example.easy to remove or replace.
it is my first instructable so i hope it works by being both easy to follow and useful.
feel free to ask questions or leave comments.
Step 1: Materials
1. Fabric of your choice.
2. One large or three small Pringles cans.
3. Wire, preferably plastic coated and 15 pound strength framers wire works perfectly.
4. Thread and needle.
6. Tool of your choice for opening holes in cardboard.
...I chose this CIRCUS like fabric in honor of all RAT KIND!!!
Step 2: Making the Body.
all Pringles cans are 9 1/2" around so if your fabric stretches, cut a width of 8" like i did, then sew into a sleeve but depending on the type of fabric you have chosen you might have to tweak the size so when sewn your tube of fabric will fit snugly over the Pringles can.
the length will be determined by how many hammocks and cardboard rings you want the tunnel to have remember to add and extra 3" of fabric for folding over the rings and covering then in this case my tube was 30" in length to accommodate 3 rings.
Step 3: Adding Support to the Body.
cut off the metallic bottom of the can, then if using the large Pringles' can cut three pieces as shown. or cut the bottoms off the three small cans .... bottom line you have to end up with three rings of the same size.
insert the middle ring into the fabric tube/sleeve that you created, it should be big enough to fit snugly and make a passage through the fabric but not tight enough to squeeze the cardboard.
Step 4: Placing the Entrances
pass one of the rings through each one of the ends of the sleeve, then start pulling your fabric up till you reach the other end of the cardboard ring, to cover it.
Step 5: Securing the Entrances
sew the extra fabric around the can to the inside fabric of the tube to open up the passage on both ends.
Step 6: Attaching the Wires
now is the time to decide how far down in the cage you want the tunnel to rest, measure and add a few inches extra for twisting and securing the ends to the cage, multiply this number in two then cut 3 pieces of that lenght.
make two holes about an inch apart on the top of every Pringles' cardboard ring, then loop the wire through it.
it is a little tricky threading the wire to the middle ring but patience and little fingers work well on my case.
twist the wires together 'loosely' as shown.
Step 7: Covering the Wires
cut 3 pieces of fabric of the same length you have cut the wire before. and thread through the loosely twisted wire.
start braiding the strip of fabric around the wire. with every pass of the fabric around I usually twist the wire a couple of times this is to make sure that you are tightly tying the 3 pieces together.
keep braiding and twisting alternately until you reach the desired length.
Step 8: The Finished Product.
now you are ready to place the toy in the cage this is a rough idea of what it should look like.
Step 9: Attach to Cage.
put the wires thru the bars in the cage wherever you have decided to place the tunnel twist the ends together like you would any normal twisty tie.
sit back and let you and your rats enjoy!
I chose this CIRCUS like fabric in honor of all RAT KIND!!! LONG LIVE RAT KIND!!!