DIY: 6 Dog Coats & Sweaters Round-Up

Last week’s post on the DIY Dog Rain Coat got me to thinking about all the other DIY dog coats & sweaters I’ve written about.  Here are a bunch of tutorials on how to make your dog her own coat—everything from upcycling to sewing to knitting to even weaving.

Cardigan Coat



Dog Raincoat from Old Jacket (for people) with pattern



Woven Coat with pattern



Oil Cloth Coat with 2 patterns



Sock Sweater



2 Different Sweaters to Knit



Though it’s not a tutorial, this is a great idea! Check out these super cool coats made out of broken umbrellas created by Taryn Zychal.

DIY: Rat Condos From Ikea Furniture

People are so clever!  Today I bring you 4 easy DIY rat condos,cages or hutches from modified Ikea furniture.  You can, of course, use other furniture too and these homes will also work for other small pets with some possible adjustments.

If you don’t already own something that would work for these condos, you still may not have to pay full price.  Ikea furniture is often found at thrift stores and garage sales.  I bet there’s also a lot of Ikea furniture thrown out by collee students at the of the school year.  Don’t forget to check the Returns section at Ikea before paying full price.

First up is a rat cage made from Billy shelves.  They left it divided into 3 sections—storage, younger rats, and adult rats.  You could also cut holes in the shelves if you wanted to connect the different levels.  They add a lip to each shelf which will help keep anything falling out of the cage like bedding or food.


The rat condo made from Gorm shelving looks good and has room for some storage.  I like that they added wheels to make it easier to move and clean around.  It looks like they made the doors themselves, but that’s pretty easy.  Home Depot and Lowes will cut your wood for you for free if you don’t have too many cuts to make.  The “L” brackets at the corners are a good idea for strength and durability.  You don’t want your condo doors to fall apart!


This elaborate rat condo made from an Ikea Kullen wardrobe uses other Ikea products as components for the interior, like the tunnels, litter boxes, and houses.  This condo has lots of connected level and is flexible, so you can move things around as needed.


Another rat condo from a different Ikea wardrobe, the Aneboda.  The shelves aren’t permanently fixed so you can change things around for different configurations.  I love the flexibility, so you can keep things interesting for your animals.


Finally, check out these ideas for repurposing other inexpensive Ikea products for your rats or other small animals.  This post gives numerous product suggestions for bedding, litter boxes, play, and infrastructure.  The ubiquitous plastic bag holder also works as a bed or lounging platform.  Great ideas!  I’m going to look at Ikea a little differently next time I’m there.

Don’t miss these other nifty Ikea based DIY pet projects:

(Please note: I am in no way connected to Ikea.  Other than I shop there and like all their pretty paper napkins.)

DIY: Cardboard Cat Rocket

Too cute!  I’ve made cat houses out of cardboard, but nothing as nifty as this.  Check out the superb cardboard rocket tutorial at Craftzine from Haley Pierson-Cox, who has her own site, The Zen of Making full of DIY goodness.  There are even carpet squares for each level.  Haley uses actual screws and nuts to hold the rocket together, for the most part, instead of glue, which gives the rocket more structural integrity and avoids exposing your kitty friends to any chemicals in the glue.  I don’t know how much of an issue that is unless your cat eats glue, but I do like how the hardware looks in the final product.  Have fun—your kitty will be over the moon!

You’ll need:

  • 4 cardboard boxes, 20″ x 20″ x 20″ square single-walled cartons
  • 2 carpet squares, 20″ x 20″
  • 68 #10 washers
  • 34 #10 nuts
  • 18 1/2″ #10 screws
  • 16 3/8″ #10 screws
  • Screwdriver, optional
  • Wrench, optional
  • Tape measure
  • Box cutter
  • Long ruler or yardstick
  • Pencil or marker
  • Thumb tack
  • String
  • Drill or awl
  • Duct tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Bone folder
  • Paint, in your favorite colors – Haley used Crayola Washable Kid’s Paint
  • Paint brushes/sponges

DIY: Rope Dog Toys Round-Up

Rope toys can make great tug toys for dogs who are heavy chewers.  Since they have some heft to them, rope toys make good toss toys too.  They’re durable and can be pretty colorful.  To make these rope toys, you can buy new rope, use scrap rope, or you can upcycle retired climbing rope—ask at climbing gyms or climbing stores for retired rope.  Let the knotting begin!

The first group of toys uses the Basic Crown Knot.  (How To Video I, Video II)

Rope Ring

Rope ‘Y’


The second group uses the Monkey Fist Knot.  (How to Video I, Video II)

Rope Monkey Fist with 1 Tail

Rope Monkey Fist with 2 Tails

Rope Monkey Fist Starburst