By Iki Kolohe Chinchillas / Tina Sauer Harshbarger
PM me with ?'s comments or edits
This will walk you through creating fleece covers for a 6" tube (plastic or cardboard).
Step 1 - Cutting
- 6" Tube (I've made 8" to 12" long tunnels and all work equally as well)
- Anti-Pill/Blizzard/Polar Fleece (Online Fleece)
- Sewing Machine
- Tape Measure
Step 2 - Sewing
Measure the length of your tube. Now multiply that by 2, then add 3" (I have done them with only an extra inch if I'm using scraps of fleece). This is how long your fleece needs to be. So for example, if covering a 6" tube that is 10" long, your length of fleece would be 23" ((10 * 2) + 3). For 6" tubes, your width is 21". So a cover for a 10" tube would be 23" x 21".
Step 3 - Completing
Start by folding over the edge that matches the length you cut above (so the 21" side is perpendicular to your sewing needle) and sewing the folded over piece down.
In this photo mine measures 22", but 21" is the correct measurement
To make your sewn ends stronger, I always reverse stitch for 1" - so when I start, I place the fleece 1" in from the needle, sewing backwards (there’s a button or lever to make your machine go backwards) to the edge, then sew forward again, making the first inch double sewed. When I get to the end, I reverse stitch for 1", again, causing the last inch to be double sewn. Once sewn, you will need to trim your top & bottom thread as close to the fleece as you can. Both from where you started and from where you ended.
Fold your hemmed fleece, keeping the hemmed end together and sewn side up. Your fleece should now be the length (minus the 1/2" you sewed over) by 10 1/2". Sew 9 1/2" in from the folded edge.
If measured correctly, this would be an inch in from the open edges. Again, I've pushed that to narrower if my scrap is smaller. It needs to be 9 1/2" in to fit around the tube, but the excess edge can be as narrow as 1/4".
HELPFUL TIP: If I have a number of tunnels to sew, I'll stick a piece of masking tape (or transfer tape in this case) 9 1/2" from the needle so I can just keep my fleece along the tape and not have to keep measuring.
Feed your sewn fleece through the tube.
Pull the uh-hemmed edge up around the outside of the tube all the way up to the edge.
Now fold your hemmed end over the unsewn edge, laying on top of the fleece covering the outside of the tube.
You now have a fleece covered tube. To attach to the top or side of your cage, drill two 1/4" holes about 2-3" in from each edge before putting the fleece on. I put the bolts (I use 1/4"-20 bolts, 1" long) in before covering with fleece... if your folded over edge covers a bolt hole, just snip a tiny piece of the fleece right there for the bolt to go through. Once covered, hold the tunbel in place and add a washer and wingnut to the outside of the cage to hold it in place (Online Hardware).