This morning on the Greenleaf Dollhouses Forum, a member remarked that I seem to be having more fun than the law allows with the Haunted Hangout. (True!) I responded with "Don't rat me out!" ... and thus was set off a chain of events that kept me in the basement for most of today and resulted in just what was needed in the room with the stove -- a rat cage!
I had auditioned some Lemax rats earlier but they didn't make the cut because they come with bulky (for their size) gray bases. They didn't look right standing on the floor. But, I thought, if I could hide the bases ... like in bedding material. Well, you can see where this took me. I Googled "mouse cages" for inspiration. Lots of toys and tunnels seemed to be the order of the day.
I came across a box from a piece of Reutter Porzellan while digging through the stash yesterday. It was just the right size for the cage. I painted some mesh black and glued it to the top to give the appearance of an air source for the li'l devils.
- An upturned flower pot became a house.
- A glass medicine ampule plus a bead and a bit of wire painted silver became a water bottle. (The blue lines were on the ampule.)
- Five pony beads glued onto a pipe cleaner became a tunnel.
- A leftover piece of opaque plastic from a tea light cover became a smaller tunnel.
- A piece of fancy trim became a climbing rope/swing.
- And some wood chips I found in the "kitchen stuff" box became bedding. I think they were meant to be nacho chips. They were a bit big. I don't want to tell you how long it took me to chop them down to a useable size with a sharp craft knife.
The exercise wheel is a combination of cloth-covered florist wire and paper mesh painted silver. The cage was getting crowded, so I skipped a wire base and glued it to the back wall. It's not functional, but I don't think the rats have noticed. The base is a block of wood glued to a piece of flat wood. It needed a bit of height.
I really thought this would bring the Haunted Hangout to a close, but as luck would have it, I found a maple leaf paper punch as I was hunting for the plastic box. Now I'm thinking a scattering of leaves and some moss on the roof is in order. At the rate I'm going, it will be Hallowe'en before this is finished!