Category Archives: DIY Toys

The Corset-like Cardboard Tube!

~ Supplied by guest craft expert OnceUponAPig

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The Bun Pop!

~ Supplied by guest craft expert OnceUponAPig

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Raffia Rollers

Hi Everybun!

Today I’m introducing a new regular to the blog – my YouTube pal OnceUponAPig! Not only does she take amazing care of her small animals but she’s also started doing a weekly DIY toy segment that I can’t seem to get enough of! As you’ve probably noticed I haven’t posted any toys in a while – I haven’t forgotten about any of you I’m just out of ideas right now so after discussing it with her I will be posting her weekly craft videos on the blog! Make sure to check back on Tuesdays for a new craft video!

~ Supplied by guest craft expert OnceUponAPig

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Bunny Boredom Busters: How To Keep Your Bunny’s Brain Busy!

You’ve had your rabbit for a while and perhaps the novelty is starting to wear off. Does it seem like bunny is resting comfortably when you leave in the morning and is still right where you left him when you return home? If you’re beginning to think your bunny is a boring pet, you couldn’t be more wrong – bunny just needs something to do while you’re away!

I call these things boredom busters. Rabbits need mental stimulation during those long daytime hours, in addition to getting several hours daily exercise outside their enclosures. Being crepuscular creatures, bunnies are most active at dawn and dusk, and by nature tend to rest during the long day- and nighttime hours. These are the times bunny might enjoy some additional mental stimulation – especially if yours is a solo bun.

Toys – things to shred, chew, gnaw on or eat – are great boredom busters. The trick is to remember to rotate toys so they seem new again to bunny and not to deluge bunny with too many toys at once. Many specialty websites, like BusyBunny.com and BinkyBunny.com, have a wonderful selection of rabbit toys from which to choose. But luckily, boredom busters don’t have to break the bank. Many of my bunnies’ favourites I make out of things I find lying around the house or around town, or that I buy cheaply at my local grocery, hardware, craft or dollar stores.

Some basic boredom busters for bunny to chew on or toss around are: dried pine cones (watch for sharp points & sap); a small straw hand broom; untreated wooden curtain rings (remove any metal hooks first); willow branches (fresh or hand-twisted into small wreaths); untreated, unstained bamboo, jute, wicker & seagrass baskets, plate holders, placemats, table runners or doormats; small clean yogurt cups or lids and hard plastic bottle caps. Some bunnies like super balls, ping pong balls, wicker balls or cat jingles to fling about or chase. Or try buying some undyed, untreated sisal twine at your local craft/hardware store to make your own small loops as chew toys. Twist the twine about itself in a small circle or figure 8 shape and bunny’s fun can begin (make certain that any loops are smaller than bunny’s head size.)

Depending on where you reside, don’t forget about natural growing tree branches and grasses, assuming these are rabbit safe and unsprayed/untreated. Apple tree twigs are favourites with bunnies as are green and dried willow and aspen tree branches. Pine firewood can also be given to gnaw on.

Plastic baby toys can also entertain a bored bunny – try plastic keys or small rattles for bunny to fling about. A plastic slinky may also serve this purpose. Hard plastic caps from drink or juice bottles are also fun to fling around or, stack them on top of each other so bunny can knock them down.

Munchable flooring options for bunny’s abode can include untreated, unstained bamboo window shades found at discount retailers (remove all metal parts & any long, string cords first) and plain seagrass placemats, runners or doormats. Large, flat, thin, clean pieces of cardboard are given away free at warehouse stores and can be used to line wire cage bottoms, while also doubling as bunny’s shredding material. Sections of phonebooks (most are printed with soy ink now) become excellent shredding toys and will keep bunny busy ripping pages for a long while!

Let’s not forget about cardboard boxes of various sizes out of which you can cut windows – or you can allow bunny to custom design his/her own! These are found free at large warehouse stores or sometimes at your local grocery store. Make certain the boxes are clean and avoid detergent/cleaning product cartons in case a toxic residue is present which might make bunny ill if inhaled or ingested. I collect boxes of different sizes & shapes to use as hay boxes for my own bunnies. One can be very creative carving/cutting out small windows to allow bunny access to their hay with minimal mess. Cutting a hole big enough for bunny’s head to get at the hay is key, but too large a hole means bunny will hop inside the haybox!

Lastly, I leave you with two easy “boredom buster” games to construct at home which have brought hours of delight to my bunnies! Take a clean, empty, paper egg carton and cut three double rows off the end so they will still close securely. Place a small treat which your bunny loves – maybe a small piece of dried/fresh fruit or an almond sliver or a banana slice or a fresh herb/green – inside the egg indentations & secure the lid again tightly. Bunny can smell the treat inside and must devise a way to open the carton to eat it! This may take a while to achieve, but a determined bunny will succeed in the end.

Similar is the idea of a round, plastic grape tomato holder with a three inch diameter round opening at the top. The opening is too small for bun’s head to fit inside to get directly at the treat, but big enough for the treat to fall out if bunny flings it about long enough. Drop a favorite healthy treat inside and watch bunny attempt to extricate it. My bunnies never tire of playing this game and are always rewarded with a treat for their efforts. A small, clean yogurt cup & lid with a hole cut into it can serve the same purpose.

Last, but not least: the easiest & cheapest boredom buster of all! A friend of mine likes to leave the radio playing softly in the background while she is away during the daytime and swears listening to music helps her bunny pass the day happily. My suggestion is not to play anything too loud and to stick with easy listening or classical music that won’t frighten bunny.

So, no more excuses! Start making your bunny some boredom busters today and remember to rotate them regularly! Wishing you and your rabbits loads of fun with these edible, chewable, shreddable, tossable and listenable boredom-busting ideas.

Written By: The Bunderful Iris – Guest Blogger

Posted in Bunny Bites, DIY Toys, Money Saving Tips | 39 Comments

Box Mazes

Instead of blocking off areas such as under a bed or couch why not convert it in to a rabbit friendly environment?  We have a futon in our rabbit room that the rabbits love to run under.  I’d hear them digging at the carpet and when I’d move the futon they had made a mess, pooping and peeing everywhere – YUCK!  So I decided to get some paper boxes and create a giant tunnel system spanning the entire length and width of the futon.  All in all I believe I used about 10 boxes.

It is always better to use boxes that aren’t coloured but as your rabbits will be playing inside the boxes where there is no colouring it wasn’t a major concern for this project when I couldn’t get all natural ones.

Materials:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Utility Knife
  • Packing Tape

Cost:

Free!

First I measured the length and width under the futon to know what I was working with.  Next I laid them out on the floor of our room and started connecting them together with packing tape.  Because I didn’t want the rabbits to chew at the tape and hurt themselves I would rip off a long piece, loop it in half so both ends would be stuck together, put this on the outside of one box, then press the outside of the other box to it to hold it together.  I continued to do this until I had made a massive rectangle of boxes.  Since none of the tape was exposed on the inside of the boxes where the rabbits would be they couldn’t ingest any of it.  Next I used a utility knife to cut holes randomly out of the boxes, creating a series of tunnels.  Our futon is fairly low to the ground so I also had to cut some of the top of the boxes down, then I moved the entire thing in to our rabbit room and as Hubby held up the futon I slid the maze underneath.  Once we put the futon back down it secured the maze in place!

Now when the bunnies run under our futon they can dig, poop and pee all they want as they’ll only be accessing the bottom of the cardboard boxes and not my carpet!  As it goes to the back of the wall it also prevented them from reaching a cord we had running behind the futon.  In nature rabbits live in warrens which is a series of burrows and tunnels underground.  This maze system has provided a replica of that for them.  They have space to feel safe, explore and not get into any trouble!  Occasionally I also put little treats in there for them and toys in different areas of the maze for them to find!

Don’t forget to check the condition of your boxes regularly.  You’ll want to replace any torn up or heavily soiled boxes with fresh new ones and a quick vacuum with the shop vac after your rabbits have been in their maze is perfect for cleanup!

Posted in DIY Toys, Money Saving Tips | 2 Comments

Activity Hay Box

This will take only moments to make, keep your rabbit entertained and is absolutely free!

Materials:

  • Cardboard box
  • Hay
  • Scissors or Utility Knife

Cost:

Free!

Begin by cutting random shapes on all four sides of your cardboard box.  You want to make them at least 3 inches wide so your rabbit will be able to access the hay but not too wide that the hay is always falling out of the holes.  Keeping the shapes smaller also provides more of a challenge for your rabbit.  When you are finished cutting out your shapes (I cut circles, squares and the occasional star) stuff your box full of hay, close the upper flaps and leave out for your rabbit to find!  This is great for floor time as it’s fairly mess free but provides an enriching toy for your rabbit to play with!

Posted in Bunny Bites, DIY Toys | 3 Comments

Activity Mat

This is a great way to jazz up a grass mat!  Watch your rabbit spend hours nibbling and shaking the toys or digging and trying to pull them off!

Materials:

These can vary greatly depending on what you already have in the house but here are some suggestions –

  • Wooden shapes (not dyed and all natural)
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • Plastic ball
  • Kraft paper
  • Toilet paper / paper towel rolls
  • Thick twine
  • Pinecone
  • Apple or Willow Sticks
  • Drill (optional)
  • Scissors, pencil

Cost:

  • This toy is a little more costly because you’ll have to purchase the mat but the rest of the toys could be supplies from around your house. Don’t use the tightly woven seagrass mats because you won’t be able to get the twine through the mat. $5-10.

Assembly:

If you wish to use any hard items like wooden shapes or plastic bottle caps you’ll want to drill a hole in the center of each one.  I prefer to spend some time drilling all of the items I have laying around that need drilling first so I’m ready when a new idea pops in my head!  If you’re under 16 have an adult do this for you.

If you are using items such as kraft paper and t.p. rolls start cutting these in to smaller pieces.  I cut the t.p. rolls in to 2″ wide smaller rings.  Next you’ll want to poke a hole in each of these.  You can use a hole punch for this part, sharp scissors, a pencil or knife just be careful not to cut yourself!

And now it’s time to secure your toys to the mat!  Wrap the twine tightly through your first toy, then push the ends of twine through two different spots on the mat.  Finish by tying each end of twine together in a triple knot so it’s nice and secure.  Repeat for your remaining toys.

When you’re all done securing the toys to your mat you should have something like this!  Now it’s time to give to your rabbit and watch the fun begin!

 

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BudgetBunny Book Review

If you’re thinking about a rabbit, you don’t know the first thing about your new pet or you’re always interested in furthering your knowledge on the subject then watch the video below in which I talk about my favourite rabbit resources.  These books and magazines have helped me to become a bunny expert, given me some great ideas to enrich my rabbits lives and helped me remain calm during an emergency situation.

Posted in Bunny Bites, Bunny Buzz, DIY Rabbit Housing, DIY Toys, Fun Vids of the Buns, Welcome!, Your Rabbit's Health | 1 Comment

Hanging Nibble & Chew Toy

This toy will provide hours of excitement for your rabbit!  See them try to pull it down, swing it around and chew away!

Materials:

These can vary greatly depending on what you already have in the house but here are some suggestions –

  • Wooden shapes (not dyed and all natural)
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • Pieces of cardboard
  • Kraft paper
  • Wooden beads (not dyed and all natural)
  • Toilet paper / paper towel rolls
  • Thick twine
  • Book Ring
  • Drill (optional)
  • Scissors, pencil, 3 hole punch, utility knife (optional)

Cost:

  • Again this is dependent on what supplies you’re choosing to use but can range anywhere from being free up to $10 if you’re buying many of the supplies for the first time.  Again many of these things like the twine, book rings and wooden shapes come in large quantities so you’ll be able to use them in further projects.

BudgetBunny Money Savings Tip:  This is a great time to browse your local dollar store.  The large wooden shapes I used for our hanging toy all in came in packages of 10-20 shapes at Dollarama.  A few of the smaller wooden shapes I found at the local craft store where a pack of 50 were around $3 and the wooden beads were in a pack of 50 for $5.

Assembly:

If you wish to use any hard items like wooden shapes or plastic bottle caps you’ll want to drill a hole in the center of each one.  I prefer to spend some time drilling all of the items I have laying around that need drilling first so I’m ready when a new idea pops in my head!  If you’re under 16 have an adult do this for you.

If you are using items such as kraft paper, t.p. rolls and cardboard start cutting these in to smaller pieces.  Try cutting circles a few inches wide out of the paper and a 4 inch wide rectangle out of the cardboard.  I cut the t.p. rolls in to smaller rings.  Next you’ll want to poke a hole in each of these.  You can use a hole punch for this part, sharp scissors, a pencil or knife just be careful not to cut yourself!

Cut yourself a piece of twine about 18″ long.  This gives you lots of extra if the twine starts unravelling (as mine does) while putting on your chew items.  Leave a loop at the top so you have a way to fasten your toy to the cage.  And finally it’s time to put the toy together!  Choose a mixture of items, sliding each one on the string until you’ve reached your desired length.  Triple knot the toy at the bottom and cut the excess string off.  Use a book ring to fasten the toy on your cage and watch the bunnies go nuts for it!

 

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Book Rings

Some of the upcoming DIY toys I will be posting about need to be hung from the top of your cage.  You could tie, binder clip or zip tie them but I thought these were perfect!  Not only do they easily fasten to your rabbit’s home and toys but they are easy to remove and therefore reusable.  I bought a pack of 18 for around $4, more than enough for 4 rabbits!  You should be able to find these at any office supplies store – it’s no secret where I picked these up!

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