Thursday, July 28, 2011

Living World Dome Modification Into a Tree

I am delighted to show you what I have been slaving over for the past two days :) A modification of the Living World Dome into a short, fat tree!

So, this lovely dome-shaped tree is actually the equivalent of a tea cosy. It sits on top of the dome house and it can be removed at any time to be washed.
It was made with brown corduroy for the sides and green fleece for the top. I wanted to use brown fleece, but apparently no one uses brown fleece because the fabric store didn't bother to carry any. Instead I found this brown corduroy on clearance - score!
Because corduroy is rather thin, I have hidden a layer of blue fleece in between the two layers of the brown corduroy. This makes the tree warmer and also gives the sides more thickness.

Here are some pics from construction:

***Please note that these tutorials are for you to make things for your own personal use, not to sell.***
I sewed a tall vertical tube around the dome, and gathered in the excess fabric to make ridges for the tree trunk.  It wasn't an exact science.  I pinned them and sewed diagonal vertical lines (so the inside of the dome has no gathering).  I constantly replaced it onto the dome to make sure it was going to fit.  I then flattened each ridge and sewed that down.

Then I cut a slit for the door, and rolled up the edges to make it thicker and to match the dome.
I pinned the doorway into a shape that I liked, and sewed around the doorway.
 To make the top of the house more neat, I zig-zag sewed it over and over until all the seams were neatly sewn together.
After that, I cut out two layers of fleece in a wavy round shape (they have to be facing opposite sides) to make the tree top.  It didn't look tree-like enough, so I made leaves and sewed them to the top, facing outwards.

Then I sewed the tree top to the base.
It looks super cute in the cage :)
The only downside is that the medium sized dome is rather large. It takes up quite a bit of space in the cage.
So when I add the very awesome Carolina Storm Wheel... well... you can't. It has to be either the wheel or the house.

When I asked my dad about this dilemma, he suggested that I put the dome in during the day when the hedgehog sleeps, and to put the wheel in during the night when the hedgehog plays.

I think this is a pretty good suggestion. So, during the night, I will take out his tree house and put in an alternate fleece pouch. If he needs to take a nap or hide, that will be a good replacement.

Well, I'm picking up my hedgehog tomorrow. I hope he likes his newly modified dome house and the cage set up.

We solved the space issue by removing the wheel from the stand and attaching it directly to the cage wall.  It worked out perfectly!  Thanks, LarryT, for the suggestion.  All I needed were BIG washers to replace the little ones it came with.
UPDATE 07/16/2012
Custom dome covers are now available for sale in my shop.  They will be made to order.  You can also request a customized dome cover.  Email me at bluepandemonium (at) hotmail (dot) com for more information.


PatchworkPottery said...

AACK! You're awesome! The tree is fabulous and your hedgehog will love it!!! said...

Lol, thanks! It turned out a lot better than I expected :) I was working on your cupcake tutorial at the time so you could say it was somewhat inspired by your tutorial :P I had to make it more tree-like though. If it had been a girl hedgehog, I might have actually made her a large cupcake design for a house. Hehehe!

Virginia A. Spencer said...

Oh my goodness this is brilliant! did you get a pattern for a tea cosy or did you wing it? i would love more info! We are preparing for our first hedgie and well a tree is a must :). I am so excited to find your blog! said...

Hi Virginia,

Congrats on your upcoming new hedgie! That is very exciting!

I just winged this dome modification, there was no pattern. I did however just finish drawing illustrations for a pattern for Patchwork Pottery at the time for her cupcake pincushions so that helped me to envision how the tree top would look work.

I have added some extra pictures to show the construction of my tree mod. Maybe they will help you with yours.

Feel free to ask me questions.

Anonymous said...

i just got my hedgie today! my bf and i spent hours building him a nice long running cage that sits on his dresser this tree would make a great addition. you should start your own business i would buy one! but really! said...

Hi Anonymous!

I am excited for you that you got a hedgie! I love my hedgehog very much. He's making crunchy sounds behind me right now as he "secretly" eats cat food when I'm not looking.

I'm glad you like the tree! Poggy seems to love it. He sleeps under it a lot by pulling it crookedly over the side towards the back corner of the cage. It's pretty obvious when he's done this and it always makes me laugh.

Mie Staack said...

The dome looks amazing, but you should never ever give your piggie a mill, cause it bends their spine quite badly and can give serious healt problems. Just an FIY :)