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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fall Decorating Ideas

Critter Nation Decorated for Fall
For the first time, we have put together a fall theme for the cage. I love the colors of the trees in fall and this year has been an especially colorful one in our area. I decided to focus on this for our theme.

I picked out three cotton prints that featured leaves of various colors. However, when put together, the color of brown stood out too much. So I decided to go with bright fleece colors: tomato orange, pumpkin orange, warm yellow, and a lemon/lime green (these pictures are a little overexposed from the flash and so the green looks washed out into a dull yellow, but in real life, the green really pops). I packed away the browns, rusts, and golds that also would have gone nicely with the theme.
I reused one of the Halloween pumpkins, turning it around so the circular back door opening was featured instead of the jack-o'-lantern face, then made a new set of fall hammocks as shown below:
Fall Hammock Set
These are mainly my standard hammocks - modifying a few to better fit the fall theme. I modified the web-shaped hammock pattern, using a maple-leaf shape instead. I made the top layer orange and the bottom layer rust, but any fall colors would have worked. The design came out well and in the future I may use more of these hammocks to help simulate the appearance of falling leaves.
Cube with Acorn-Shaped Opening.
Above Is the Falling Leaf Hammock.
The cubes were made with acorn-shaped openings and I added a peek-a-boo hammock with a maple-leaf shaped opening. It came out really nice, but was tedious to sew.
Nothing is so comfy as a sack of fall fleece leaves!
Finally, I embroidered a leaf pattern onto a solid orange cotton fabric and made a snuggle sack out of it, representing a sack of leaves. But what sack of leaves would be complete without a set of colorful leaves to fill it with? So I took the same maple-leaf cookie cutter I used to trace the opening in the peek-a-boo hammock and I traced leaf patterns on scrap fleece pieces, cut them out, and packed them into the snuggle sack. I scattered a few of the extras around the cage and clipped a few to the cage bars to give the appearance of leaves falling everywhere.

An accessory that goes extremely well with this theme is the Super Pet Natural Tree Trunk Hideout. This is my favorite of all the commercially made huts that sit on the ground, and it goes fantastically well with this theme (but may be too large for some cages). It also looks good with a spooky Halloween theme or any kind of nature/woodsy theme.

I also reused one of the ceramic pumpkin food dishes for this design. I got them a few years back in the Target dollar section.

So far, I only have the Critter Nation done. Loki's hammocks for the Martin's R-695 are not yet finished, but should be by the end of the week.

One thing I wanted to add is a few walnuts or similar nuts in the shell to scatter in the cage. Nuts on a regular basis are too fatty for the rat diet, but an occasional nut every now and then won't hurt, and the shell can keep them busy and entertained. I haven't seen any yet at my grocery store, so we had to do without.

Check out the photos below for a closer shot of each level of the CN.
Top Half of the Critter Nation
Bottom Half of the Critter Nation

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