How to Make Washable Guinea Pig Cage Liners
Guinea pigs are wonderful creatures. With their button eyes, cute nose, and lovely personality, they will surely capture your heart! But, as adorable as they may be, they can be quite messy.
Bedding cost gets expensive in the long run. That is why people opt for washable cage liners. Cage liners are relatively comfier than your usual paper/wood shavings and save more from your guinea pig budget. It is also environment-friendly as you throw lesser trash than before. And this is the part I love the most: if you have pieces of cloth or towels that you won’t be using anymore, you can make the liner yourself! It means that you now have a free cage liner or for a very low price.
If you’re like me who loves to craft and save your precious hard-earned money while still giving your fur babies the best, then this project is for you! Nothing says love than effort, don’t you agree?
In this article, I will teach you the basics of how to make a washable Guinea Pig cage liner from scratch. You can use old towels and fabrics and upcycle them into a new and usable cage liner, or buy the materials for a cheap price on Amazon or in your local department store.
Crafting Supplies and Materials
Here’s an overview of all you need to get started:
Fleece is the perfect fabric for this project since it has good wicking properties. Well, old fleece that is. So take out those fleece blankets that are stuck in your cabinets for quite a while.
New fleece works, too. It just needs to be prepped before sewing it with the rest. With prep, I mean washing it several times with unscented detergent. Warm water works well, too. Others add vinegar to the wash for a faster process.
Do take note that your fleece would sit on the top layer of your cage liner. So pick a design that you’d like or you’re Guinea baby would love.
This is where your old towels come in. It will serve as the middle layer of the cage liner that absorbs the spilled water and guinea pig pee. If you have a little bit more in the budget, you can buy absorbent fabric on Amazon or in your local department store.
Waterproof Fabric (Optional)
Most DIY cage liners use fleece fabric as their top and bottom layer. But, swapping out the bottom fleece for a waterproof fabric proves to be extra useful as it locks in the wetness inside the liner. This keeps the bottom of the cage clean. Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) fabric, utilized as diaper covers, can be used as it is washable in hot water settings. Other waterproof fabrics include shower curtains or mattress protector.
You can use a regular fleece fabric if you opt to skip out the shopping for PUL or if you don’t have unused shower curtains or mattress protectors lying around your home. Since new fleece does not have wicking properties just yet, it would work well on keeping in the liquids.
Sewing Machine (Optional)
Any sewing machine will do for this project! If you don’t have any sewing machine around, you can do it by hand. It will take a little bit longer and gets tedious, but it works well, too. Show off your hand sewing skills!
Basic sewing supplies
This would include your scissors, needles, pins, thread, a marker, and a ruler or measuring tape. You might want a comfy couch, too, if you’re sewing it by hand.
Steps in Making the Perfect Cage Liner for Your Guinea Pig Baby
Step 1. Measure the Cage
Do you agree that the first step is the most important step of all? No? Just me?
In this project, the first step is the most important. Your cage liner should fit your cage perfectly. If the liner is too big, the edges will curl upward and gives your pet a hiding place and probably a secret place to do their business. The same goes for a linear that’s too small.
The best thing to do is to measure the length and width of the cage and add half an inch per side of your linear. This extra half-inch would be for the seam.
Step 2. Mark Your Fleece! (Oh! And other fabrics, too!)
Now that you have your measurements, it’s time to take out your markers and mark your fabrics. For the fleece, make sure that you make a straight line to avoid distorted fabric cuts. For the absorbent layer, if you are using old towels or absorbent fabrics that are too small, you can sew them together to make up for the total measurement (do remember the extra allowance for the seam).
Mark also half an inch from the sides per side on the fabrics. It will make it easier later on as you sew the pieces of fabric together.
Step 3. Cut it Out
After practicing drawing straight lines on the fabric, you now have to practice cutting it straight! Just kidding. But, for the fleece, it isn’t. Fleece, as mentioned, tend to distort due to its stretchy nature. So it is better to cut it along the straight line you have marked on it.
Step 4. Fabrics, Assemble!
By now you have three fabrics for the three layers that you’ll be sewing later on. This is a tricky part because you would think that you’d just layer it according to how I describe the fabrics earlier. Nope. That is not how it would go. So, here is how the layering should be: the top fabric (which is your prepped fleece) should be placed right-side-up; then, the next layer would be you bottom fabric placed right-side down; and, lastly, the absorbent fabric (which is your PUL fabric or the un-prepped fleece) is placed on top. Pin the fabrics together, afterward.
Step 5. Sew it Together
This step is easiest when you have a sewing machine. But, if you don’t have one, your hands, patience, and dedication will do.
On the half-inch mark, sew the fabrics together. But, on the last side of the liner, leave an opening. This allows you to flip it inside out. Now, you have the layers in the correct order! Hand-sew the remaining area and you, now, have your DIY washable cage liner!
It is recommended to at least have two cage liners so you have an extra one to swap out when you need to throw the other in the laundry. Wishing you all the luck in your DIY adventure!
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