How to make a Bunny Palace (Ikea hack rabbit cage)

IMG_4117 crop

You will need:

MATERIALS

IMG_3085 crop2 x Ikea HOL storage tables
4 x castors
wire mesh
staples
hardboard
panel pins
lino
No More Nails
pine strips (14mm x 25mm)
pine strips (14mm x 14mm)
pine edging strips (14mm x 3mm)
8 x L-shaped brackets
4 x thumb turns
4 x small basic hinges
2 x corner hinges
1 x closed screw-in hook
string
plastic litter tray
shower curtain hooks


TOOLS

IMG_3088 cropjigsaw + goggles
pencil
hacksaw
staple gun
wire cutters
stanley knife
metre stick
screwdriver(s)
hammer

  1. Assemble the first HOL as per the instructions, with one change: wait until later to attach the stoppers to the lid. Turn it over and use pine strips to fill the shortest gaps between the corners, then screw castors into strips.

    IMG_3101 crop
    The front panel with insides removed, and pine strips making up the new door
    IMG_3048 crop
    Cutting the mesh to size

     

  2. Using a jigsaw, remove inner wood from front and one end. Sand edges. Remove end panel, cut mesh to fit inside and staple on. Attach pine edging with panel pins. Screw panel back into place.

  3. Remove front section. Cut 14mm x 25mm pine strip and use four L-shaped brackets to create door (right).

  4. Staple mesh on inside of door. Attach door to HOL using three hinges. Screw in two thumb turns.

    Step 2 crop
    Ground-floor level complete, apart from the hardboard/lino removable base. I’ve also added very thin pieces of wood in each bottom corner, to stop the door swinging inwards.
  5. Cut two pieces of hardboard to fit floor, and one piece of lino. Attach lino to top layer of hardboard with staple gun. Floor will be removable for cleaning/replacement of hardboard if necessary.

    IMG_3513 crop
    Ground floor plus stairway complete. Time for a test run!
  6. Unpack second HOL and saw base panel in half lengthways to create stairway. Cut and glue on 14mm x 14mm pine strip using No More Nails or similar adhesive to make edge. Cut and glue on 5mm pine strip to make steps, and another piece underneath the top. Then screw corner hinges into top of end panel and top of stairway.

  7. Attach small closed hook to base of edge pine. This will allow stairway to be raised (using a piece of string) to prevent access to top level.

  8. IMG_3151 crop
    Jisgawing the connecting space between ground floor and first floor. I think I ended up cutting a bit more out.

    Attach three out of four stoppers to lid, omitting the corner where the stairway is attached, and place lid on HOL. Jigsaw out an opening to allow access to second floor (it’s best if you switch the lid round and do the cutting away from the stairway to avoid cutting into it). Sand edges and attach pine edging with panel pins.

    IMG_3519 crop
    With edging, to make sure bunny doesn’t get any splinters coming up the stairs.
  9. Assemble second HOL (apart from the base, which you’ve already used for the stairway) and saw down the bottom corners so it sits flush on top of the first one. Cut two hardboard panels to make the floor of second level. Double up to make these thicker. Glue them in position, then lift off the top HOL. Cut lino to fit the hardboard panels and attach with staple gun.

    IMG_3525 crop
    These hardboard panels (fixed in position) made sure the two levels stay together and flush, despite not actually being attached. The palace comes fully apart for cleaning and transporting.
  10. IMG_3591 crop
    It might seem odd to have a door upstairs, but it’s super handy for gaining access to the dining area.

    Using the jigsaw, remove inner wood from front and one end as with basement level, then take HOL apart, but this time make a door for the end and attach mesh (and edging) directly to the front. Attach door using 1-2 hinges, and screw in two thumb turns.

  11. Use hardboard and 5mm pine strip to create
    bedroom box measuring approx 43cmx37cm. Cut out
    doorway. Take 42cm long litter tray and use hacksaw to remove one long edge. Insert tray into bedroom.

    IMG_3594 crop
    The bedroom box, which slides into the first floor. Be sure to add a top – secured with a hinge – so bunny can hide in the dark even when it’s light. Your HOL lid will be on top, but it has holes in it!

    IMG_4102 crop
    Lift the modified litter tray out for easy cleaning of the bedroom.
  12. Join five shower hooks together and attach to top of mesh on top level. Attach one hook to bottom of basement door. To use, join together.

  13. Add rabbit accessories and decorationsIMG_4117 crop
  14. Add bunny!
    IMG_4109 crop
    Edward taking the stairs
    IMG_4113 crop
    Edward emerging from the bedroom for some hay. Use a tray to catch falling hay and also drips of water from the bottle.

    IMG_3840 crop
    Edward is a dwarf rabbit (and just a baby here!)  The Bunny Palace will be too small for larger rabbits if they will be kept in it for long periods.
  15. I’ve also added a socket tidy to the wall side, to keep TV/lamp cables out of harm’s way:
    IMG_3177 crop
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