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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This is from an excellent web site, link below:

Finished shelter


Detailed instructions to build this shelter are provided below.


Start with two storage bins that fit inside one another with enough room to surround the inner shelter with straw. A 90 quart bin fits well inside the Rubbermaid Duratote 50 gallon for example. They are in the $9 and $17 range at Walmart. A little more expensive at Home Depot and other stores. Soft plastic is much easier to cut than the clear hard plastic. We used a clear hard plastic Sterelite 90 quart bin for the demo photos to show the construction process more clearly.

Two bins that can work


Cut a 6-7 inch hole in the end of each bin near the center of the side of each bin with a linoleum knife. A square hole is fine if you find it to difficult to cut a circle. In cold weather, warm the plastic bins (a hair dryer works) to make cutting much, much easier. If the plastic cracks you can tape it up with Gorilla waterproof tape. Cutting the hole is the only hard part. There are special hole cutting attachment tools you can buy for a drill if you plan to make several shelters. Ask at your Home Depot or hardware store.


  • Put enough straw on the bottom of the larger bin so that when you set the smaller bin inside, the holes line up.
  • Stuff straw between the sides of the two bins. Pack it all the way down for equal insulation all around.
  • Tape the holes together with a strong winter proof tape (Gorilla Tape is good). This prevents the straw from coming out between the two holes. You can square up the ragged edges with more tape, as in the second photo if your picky like us.

    Put the lid on the smaller bin, top that with straw and put the lid on the Larger bin. Tape around with the super strong tape (Gorilla is Great!) if you think your bin could pop open or doesn’t have strong latches.

    1. Put a layer of straw inside the finished shelter. Cloth bedding absorbs body warmth and is not as effective as the straw. Specially designed heat-reflective animal bedding and mats may work well inside and can be removed to be cleaned.

    Reinforce with tape wherever you think necessary throughout the construction process. Some bins latch well and others can use taping to seal the cracks and assure no water leaking.

    Straw is preferable to hay as an insulator. Hay is food for animals, but straw is only for bedding. A bale may be more than you need but is much cheaper than buying the 4-5 small rabbit bags you’ll need at a pet shop. Straw bales can be bought at Feed Stores or ordered at a garden shop. Small bags for rabbits can be bought or ordered at a pet store and may be more convenient to find thought more expensive.

    Drilling or nailing holes in the bottom corners of the larger bin will allow drainage if you think water could get in.

    1 Comment:

    Methew said...

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