Your Cat Will Be Endlessly Entertained by This DIY Cardboard Playhouse!
It's no secret that cats love cardboard boxes. Anytime I receive a package, I'm excited about my new item — but my cats are even more thrilled about the cardboard box. For anyone whose cats are just as fixated on boxes as mine, this cardboard cat house DIY is perfect for your furry friends. Not only does the house serve as a toy, but it also offers cats a private and cozy spot to nap (which, let's be real, is how most cats will spend their time in their new home).
This DIY is simple and only requires a few items. Obviously, you'll need a cardboard box, and with a few more essential tools, toys, and decorations, you can easily get started on your house. This how-to will provide a good guide to get started, but feel free to mix things up and use toys or decorations that you think your cat will enjoy the most. This DIY requires sharp objects and a hot glue gun, so be sure to craft carefully and allow the glue to fully cool before you let your cats play with their new toy.
What You'll Need
To make the cat house, you'll need an 18x18x16 inch cardboard box (you can use a smalleror larger one, if you'd prefer), scissors, a box cutter, a hot glue gun, wooden popsicle sticks, thick string (I used parachute cord), feathers, small cat toys, and a small amount of fabric to decorate the roof. The fabric is optional, though I do highly recommend it to give your house a cute touch. (Plus, you can match it to your decor!)
Cut Out the Bottom Box Flaps and Cut Two Off the Top
Using your box cutter or scissors, remove all four bottom box flaps. On the top, remove the front and back flap, leaving the two side flaps in tact. As you're cutting be sure to save all your cardboard scraps! You'll need them later.
Cut Out a Door
In the front of the box, cut out a door. The size and shape is optional, just make sure it's big enough for your cat to fit through comfortably.
Add Windows on the Sides
Cut a couple of smaller rectangles on the two sides of your box for windows. You can also do square or circle windows. I recommend tracing your shape with a marker first and then using a box cutter to cut the shape out.
Add Frames and Siding to Your Windows
Using a hot glue gun, carefully glue two popsicle sticks together to form a cross shape. On the inside of your house, glue the cross onto your window so it forms a frame. Then, using some of your cardboard scraps, cut four strips and glue them onto the outside of your window to add siding. (The siding is optional, but it does makes the window look a little more polished).
Start On Your Roof
Using a small piece of extra cardboard from the bottom flaps, glue it in between the two flaps that were not cut off of your house, as the picture shows. You can adjust the middle piece to your desired size — the narrower you cut it, the shorter your roof will be.
Finish the Roof
Now, take a larger piece of scrap cardboard and hold it up against the opening in your roof. Using a marker, trace the size you'll need and cut the shape out. Then, using your hot glue gun, attach the front of the roof to the sides. Do the same for the back of the house.
Decorate Your Roof
I went with this cute heart patterned-fabric for decoration on my roof — simply hold the fabric up to the side of your roof and use a marker to outline the shape. Use scissors to cut the fabric and then use a hot glue gun to adhere the fabric to the cardboard. Repeat on the other side and top.
Add Decorations to the Front
Using the same fabric and technique as the last step, hold a piece of fabric up to the front part of the roof and mark the measurements with a marker. Cut the shape out and glue it onto the cardboard. Then, glue a line of feathers onto the area where your roof meets the house to create a more seamless and clean look.
Create Your Toys
Using your string, cut a piece long enough to hang from the top of the door to about halfway down. Taking a small cat toy (I went with a toy mouse), glue one end of the string to the toy and the other end to the top of the door. Be sure to use a thick string that a cat won't easily chew through or swallow. Yarn and sewing string can be dangerous to cats, so avoid those.
Make a Feather Toy
Using your box cutter, make a small slit on the side of your house, by the door. Tuck the stems of the feathers into the slit, so they are firmly held in place but the feather part sticks out. You can also use hot glue to ensure they remain secure. Feel free to add more toys inside, if you'd like!
Decorate Your Door
Glue some feathers in a line around your door to create a frame.
Put a Soft Blanket in the House
Once you're done decorating, put a soft blanket or cat bed into the house so your cat has a cozy spot to curl up for a nap.
Let Your Cat Explore Their New Home
Once the glue is thoroughly dried, you can let your cat(s) explore their new home! The feathers, dangly toy, and private little nook are sure to be huge hits with your pet and will keep them endlessly entertained.