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Sideboard Upcycle (AKA Guinea Pig Mansion…)

I promised it was on it’s way, and now it’s here.
The Amazing Sideboard Guinea Pig Cage…!
All thanks to the lovely hubby, who has worked so hard on it every evening after work when the kids are in bed. And who has even written this blog post all about it 🙂
Take it away hubby….

They are called Gus and Arthur.
One is very hairy and ginger and the other one has a club foot and a slight limp.
I still can’t quite remember which is which. 
(Editor’s note: Gus is the hairy one who looks a bit like an orange mop, and Arthur is the one with the special feet…)

Day 90

We re-homed them and they came with everything a Guinea Pig could possibly want (including toys, sleeping bags and a mirror…)
It wasn’t until we picked them up that we realised that they had always lived indoors! So an out door house was needed and fast.
Unfortunately Speedy the Tortoise’s house was still work in progress when Gus and Arthur arrived so they moved into the spare bedroom (we’ll be picking hay out of the carpet for months…..)

I wanted to build them a new outdoor house from reclaimed materials where possible (Editor’s note-and it was my genius idea to use a sideboard..!) so we set off to Wiltshire Wood Recycling to see what they had that we could use, and we came home with this, for the bargainacious sum of just £15.

Guinea Pig-b41

Don’t ask how we got it and both of us and the Smalls in the car for the journey home…

My idea was to mesh one of the doors and adapt the drawers for them to climb through, but on inspection it was found that one door was split and would not stand up to cutting or the weather. So from the reclaimed pile I made a mesh door all from hard wood strips which were off cuts from a hard wood flooring company.

The drawer plan didn’t pan out either as they were well and truly jammed in, so out they came and in went a new floor made from gravel board off cuts. I then fashioned an upstairs bedroom with a gravel board ramp. The other door was left in its original state to make bedroom and food storage.

Where the drawers were I glazed the top section with some of the Perspex left over from Speedy’s house, with a frame from the hard wood off cuts. I then joined two drawer fronts together to make a drop down front giving the knobs a good coat of hammerite.

Guinea Pig4

The drop down drawer fronts, and the ramp!

The interior was then insulated with scrap polystyrene sheet before being lined with grey hardboard from Ikea’s free scrap pile. The flooring was then added this was thick rubber matting which was sound proof flooring in a pub in its previous life. I also obtained some thick rubber floor coving off cuts to seal up the Walls to guard against poo and wee rot. PIC

The roof was made from a large sheet of hardboard that was rescued from a skip, with the angle being made from gravel board wedges. All that was left after sanding it all down (Editor’s note: I am ashamed to say the sanding was my only contribution to the whole project…) was a liberal coat of 5 year wood stain and to felt the roof. Aside from the sideboard itself all we bought was the felt, Perspex and mesh along with hinges and door catches as the existing ones were no longer very secure.

Guinea Pig8

I’ve also managed to fashion a run and day shelter  from the left overs I had in stock 🙂

And there you have it. I just hope Gus and Arthur enjoy living it it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Thankyou thankyou thank you lovely hubby! It is AMAZING 🙂

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  • Reply Meg and Gosia November 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

    This is a rather super boutique establishment for the two rescued pets! A mirror… I had no idea guinea pigs were vain animals 😉

    • Reply Jen November 28, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Thankyou! There’s no mirror in there. At least I don’t think they snuck one in..!

  • Reply Waste Less Live More-Discover It | My Make Do and Mend Year September 28, 2014 at 7:01 am

    […] Discover how to make do: how to turn something you already have into something ‘new’ that you want or need. Just a little bit of thinking outside the box can mean you can make new cardis from old jumpers;  bags from trousers; drawers into bookshelves; and even old sideboards into deluxe guinea pig housing..! […]

  • Reply Fancy a Cuppa..? | My Make Do and Mend Year June 27, 2014 at 6:01 am

    […] The latest additions to the Make Do and Mend house are Arthur and Gus, our two guinea pigs, who live in a converted sideboard. […]

  • Reply Maria June 24, 2014 at 7:26 am

    What a lucky Guinea Pigs. And you have a great creativity recycling that old wood into GP’s outdoor cage. I feel really safe for them. Don’t forget to give them their Vitamins C, diet with fresh grass and exercise walking/running at your lawn.

    • Reply Jen June 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Hubby’s made them a run too, so they are mowing our lawn very well-thankyou!

  • Reply Drawer to Bookshelf! | My Make Do and Mend Year June 16, 2014 at 7:01 am

    […] But then inspiration struck! You may remember the upcycling extravaganza that was Hubby’s triumphant sideboard to guinea pig cage transformation. […]

  • Reply Kathryn Ayre May 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Oops just seen they came with the sleeping bags…will consult google! Sorry :-s

    • Reply Jen May 19, 2014 at 9:07 am

      Yes, they came with them. I can try and find out where they came from? Looks like it would be pretty easy to make something similar if you are handy with a sewing machine. I had never heard of or seen sleeping bags for guinea pigs before, but they are quite a good idea! Makes it easier for the kids to carry them too, as the guineas hide in the bags, and the boys can lift them out in the bags 🙂

  • Reply Kathryn Ayre May 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Guinea Mansion indeed, particularly like the food storage compartment hidden from guinea view and the upstairs bedroom. I agree, definitely far superior to any Pets at home offering! Love how you guys have manage to extend the Make do and mend philosophy to seemingly every area of your life 🙂

    Did you buy or make the fleecy snuggle bags? And if so, where from? Thanks Jen 🙂

  • Reply Vivienne Downes May 18, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Jen you & your hubby must be one jump ahead ! I have brought an old cupboard down from the loft to recycle as an out doors cat house for when daughter & hubby go on holiday in June !

    • Reply Jen May 19, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Great idea! Would love to see a pic when you’re done-maybe post a pic on the FB page?

  • Reply tiasmum12 May 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    This is totally brilliant! What a clever idea, what very lucky guinea pigs

    • Reply Jen May 19, 2014 at 9:09 am

      Thanks so much!

  • Reply manchesterflickchick May 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm


    • Reply Jen May 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm


  • Reply Krafty Karen May 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    What a fabulous new home for the GPs – and well done for the amount of recycling that you did

    • Reply Jen May 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Thankyou so much. We’re really pleased with it (she says, stealing all the glory!)

  • Reply Angel Jem May 17, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Wowzie! What lucky guinea pigs!! I love the difference to the sideboard and the fact that this is a 100% unique hutch. Who needs Pets at Home when the wood recycling place has these. And I know how you all got home…. you strapped the Smalls to the roof, didn’t you?

    • Reply Jen May 17, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      Ah, you guessed!

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