With the weather getting colder, and the nights getting longer, we decided it was time we bring in our little fluff baby into the house so she can be warm and safe at this tough time of year. We looked at a range of indoor rabbit cages but couldn’t find anything that was suitable for what we needed.
Petal is a free-roaming bun, and we didn’t want her to be locked away, but we wanted somewhere for her to escape to when she wanted some privacy. We also wanted to contain her food bowl, water and litter tray, for easy cleaning. After seeing plenty of inspiration online on how to make a rabbit cage indoor with some really creative solutions and fun tutorials (like this one here) we decided to do the same!
PLEASE NOTE: PETAL IS A FREE ROAMING RABBIT, AND IS NOT LOCKED IN THIS HUTCH – ONE DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN FOR HER TO COME AND GO AS SHE PLEASES. THIS IS NOT A SUITABLE SIZE HUTCH IF YOU PLAN ON LOCKING YOUR BUN AWAY. IF YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION ON HUTCH SIZES FOR CAGED BUNNIES, PLEASE READ HERE.
We’ve decided to share our guide to making your own safe haven for your bunny, in case you’ve been thinking of bringing your pet inside this winter. If you’ve done the same, we’d absolutely love to see your indoor hutches too!
What you’ll need
- Petsafe wood paint
- Mini roller
- Paint brushes
- Mosaic tiles
- Grout for tiling
- Grout float/spreader
- Tape measure
- Bun essentials
Step 1: Buying the materials.
There are many ways you can create your own bunny house – we looked at various cupboard units and TV stands from Scandinavian furniture stores to find something that would both home our bun, as well as suiting our home.
Unfortunately we couldn’t find a cupboard that was the right size, so eventually discovered an untreated pre-built hutch at the perfect size (as mentioned above, this hutch in particular is on the smaller size for a bun, so if you are planning on locking your rabbit in their new home, we recommend choosing a larger hutch).
Just because her new hutch came off the shelf didn’t mean it had to be boring! The benefit of choosing this hutch meant we had a good base to work with, knowing that it was a suitable size for our fur baby, as well as giving us lots of flexibility, and the chance to flex our creative muscles.
Step 2: Bunny safe painting.
We looked online to find which paint would be suitable for this project, as we needed something that looks good, worked on the wood, but most importantly it needed to be safe for our bun.
Petsafe means the paint is waterbased (not solvent), free from heavy metals and is low VOC (volatile organic compounds), and not creosote. We settled on Wilkos own brand “Colour Your Garden” water based, pet friendly paint in white. It comes in two sizes, this is the larger one, the other is about £6.50 to buy and would be plenty for one 6ftx2ftx2ft hutch. It is very low toxicity paint and came with great reviews online.
Alternatively, Cuprinol Garden Shades is the water based paint that comes in the biggest range of colours, and Ronseal Woodland Colours is another water-based wood stain that is safe for pets.
It took about 3 coats of paint using a mini-roller before it was perfect. We laid down some bin bags on our floor to make sure we didn’t get any unwanted spills, removed the latches before starting then got painting!
Step 3: Mosaic tiling the base.
The flexibility of mosaic tiles is what makes them a popular choice for a range of tiling projects. They can be applied to areas which do not offer a compatible surface for the installation of standard tiles, for example; curved walls and sloping wet room floors. We decided this was going to be perfect for the base of our new hutch, as it would be easy to clean and aesthetically pleasing.
Mosaics are attached to a mesh sheet which makes them easy to apply and also means they can be cut and adjusted to create decorative borders and splash-backs. Below we provide some general advice when it comes to Mosaic Tiling.
Prepare the surface by cleaning and drying it thoroughly before you start tiling. If you are tiling a standard floor or wall, start from the centre point. If you are tiling a curved wall your starting point should be either of the bottom corners.
Begin by spreading a small amount of adhesive upon the substrate and pressing the first mosaic sheet down firmly. Work out from the middle to the corners, repeating this method.
Step 4: Cutting and Grouting
You may need to cut a selection of the mosaics to ensure they fit within the area you are tiling. Place masking tape across the mosaics and draw a line where the cut is required. By using a tile grinder make a groove along the line and by applying consistent pressure the cut will be made.
Remember to wear protective glasses when cutting mosaics. Once all the mosaics have been laid allow the adhesive to set for the recommended time before grouting. A greater quantity of grout is required when tiling with mosaics compared to standard tiles due to the increase in the number of grout lines.
Use a grout float to ensure the grout is applied smoothly between the gaps. You can select from a vast array of mosaic tiles at TilesPorcelain including quartz, glass, travertine and granite varieties. We decided to go for clear glass mosaic files, as these were safe for Petal and suited our home.
We then laid down blankets and plenty of hay for Petal, as well as bringing in her chew toys, litter tray, food bowl and water.
Now our fur baby has her own holiday retreat for the winter months. She seems so happy (and even cuddlier) in her new house, and it’s super lovely having her as a house bun, instead of keeping her outdoors.
The only thing we’d have done differently, is moved her in months earlier! 🙂