Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Do you sometimes fall asleep with an idea in your subconscious and then wake up with the thing fully-formed in your mind? 

A few nights ago, I did. I didn't actually dream about what the thing looked like, which is a shame, because that would have been actually interesting (compared to my usual dreams of regressing to Secondary School days and failing my Chinese exams). I just woke up the next morning obsessed with making a rabbit hutch. Why? Why? Why? 

I actually went as far with the idea as to make a sample baby bunny out out of some old bedlinen. I was halfway through stuffing it when I came to my senses. It was one of those "What the.......?" moments. I mean, there I was, on a perfectly beautiful summer (OK, spring) morning and I was sitting at my mess of a sewing table, indoors, poking polyfill into this shapeless sack. Not even because I wanted to do it, mind you - only because of a dream! Tossed it aside in disgust and went out to play in the sunshine.

Today, though, I thought I'd make the hutch. It was still in my head, and the kids have been playing pets all week, dragging random beanie baby kittens and leopards around the house by strings tied around their necks. So I lugged a cardboard box onto the deck and cut into it. About an hour and a half later, we had a hutch.

I cut out the two sides and stuck vinyl pieces (cut up one of those clear zippered things that bedlinen comes in) on the inside. 

Also made these legs from the inner tube of wrapping paper and some cardboard circles.

Jenna and Kate circled around me, markers in hand, waiting for me to give them free rein with the decorating.

They colored all afternoon

and Kate set about cutting up cardboard scraps into food.

For rabbits?

Snort! As if.

For polar bears, of course!

Everyone knows polar bears live in hutches (although we did try to introduce a small bunny into his living quarters to see if they would coexist). 


So that was our craft today. 

A few extra notes on this hutch, if you want to make one for your own resident polar bears.

I made a lift-open roof so the girls could play from a different angle. It fastens with velcro.

There is a front door

that opens out, drawbridge-style. I made a detachable ramp (i.e. found a random piece of cardboard and plonked it on the open door to weigh it down). If I'd actually thought about it, I'd have made the door itself taller, so that it became a ramp unto itself. That's what comes out of not paying attention to dreams. 


  1. that is very cool! i like the fact its got "legs" to stand on

  2. That is so awsome !!! I want a polar bear house as well !!! ♥

  3. This is great - very slick construction - is it all made out of one box or did you need another to get enough cardboard for the roof?

  4. What an adorable idea!
    My little girls would love this - I'm tucking it away for a summer afternoon, thanks!

  5. How lucky are your daughters to have a mom as creative as you! thanks for sharing and be our inspiration!

  6. This is sooooo cool! I'm going to make one for my girls too! They are always playing with animals...far more than dollies :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wow, that IS awesome. It also looks like a super fancy chicken coop. Your daughters are SO lucky!

  8. This brought tears to my eyes...I remember creating things for my children when they were young. Now at 13 and 15, they shy away at the words "I know, let's MAKE something!" To see these photos takes me back, thank you for that. I'm sure your girls will have loads of fun with this hutch all summer!

  9. Wonderful reuse! I think this would make a great kitty house too! Fun to sleep in, fun to scratch. Thank you for this idea.

  10. An afternoon spent coloring on the back deck. You can't beat that!

    I once dreamed the solution to an inventory problem at work (yes, a decade ago). Um, not as exciting as a polar bear hutch.

  11. So cool! I wish it'd work for kittens... I have a few to corral. I'm afraid it'd be shredded in short order, though. :)

    I also wish I had creative dreams. I think I did solve a sewing problem one time, though!

  12. @debra lynn
    Know what, Debra? That was the first thing that Emily said when she saw it, and I'd told her it was a rabbit hutch. "Or you can put chicks and our chickens in it!" she exclaimed.

  13. @Lisa
    Lisa: it was pretty much from just the one box, except for the roof flap. The roof sides were from the actual box flaps. But I wanted that overlap flap, so I took another piece of cardboard from my stash for it. The ramp was also an add-on.

  14. @Yarni Gras!
    Yarni- oh what fun to read your comment - thank you! Your girls are so busy being teens, it sounds like! I hope they return to their old habits of making stuff when they exit adolescence and enter their own motherhood. Full circle, then!

  15. Looks like the girls had a lot of fun! Can't wait until my is old enough to enjoy something like that!

  16. They should have filmed YOU instead for 'The Beautiful Mind' :)

    You're awesome, L!

  17. @Otherwise known as Jen
    Yes, it's their loss. Think of how much more interesting that movie would have been if it involved failing Chinese exams. Every Singaporean would have given it 5 stars.

  18. So cute! (Yet another post I can't let the girls see right now... They've been lugging their stuffies around on "leashes" this week too.)


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