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Monday, August 26, 2013

New Hammock Added to Rat Hammock Tutorials: The House

Pirate tried out the new Haunted House hammock
The Tutorials for Common Rat Hammocks and Accessories PDF file has been updated to include a modified version of the Cube: the House. The House is really not very different from the Cube, except that it has a peaked top instead of a flat top. If you know how to make a cube, you can pretty much figure out how to make the house - except that it always helps to have all the template pieces and their dimensions mapped out for you so you don't have to experiment with sizes until you get the proportions right.

This particular design is my own original design. I am guessing others may have done similar designs before me - but I haven't personally seen them. I hope the instructions I have provided help others to create similar projects.

The House is a little more difficult to make than a Cube - just because the roof is made from two pieces and fitting the roof over the peaked house top can be a little tricky and takes some manipulation to get it right. And if your rats like to lounge on top of the cubes (our Loki does this - stuffing the cube with his stash of fleece and food and sometimes a cuddle cup, then guarding his treasure by lying on top of the cube), then the House, with its peaked roof, is not for them.

Gabe in the Gingerbread House. This was an earlier design
with eaves, but I found that the added complexity
was not worth the extra effort.
Still, the House is a fun addition to themed cages. I have made Haunted Houses for Halloween cages (as shown above), and Gingerbread Houses for Christmas-themed cages, and I want to make Bird Houses for bird or spring themed cages. I like to find a patterned fabric for the roof and use a solid fabric for the front/back/sides. To accent the House in the appropriate theme, I like to use machine embroidery. On the Haunted House, I have embroidered ghosts, tombstones, bats, and spider webs (and a custom Beware of RATS sign). However, this is by no means required.

It is really a labor of love. In the past, all the effort put into creating the design, embroidering the patterns, and sewing the final product has all been for naught - they all have been chewed up in short order. However, I now design all my cubes and similar hammocks with a back door as well as a front door. If I omit the back door, the rats are sure to create their own. Hopefully, complete with front and back door, this haunted house will last longer than its predecessors.

If you like to sew, be sure to check out the tutorials!


  1. I have downloaded your tutorial and created most of the complex hammocks that I didn't have a clue on how to make before so thank you. This haunted house was just what I was looking for... do you free hand embroider or do you have an embroidery machine?

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I have an embroidery machine - I don't have the skill or the patience to do it by hand.