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How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf

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How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf Empty How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf

Post by Peachy Thu 07 Apr 2016, 10:47 pm

Images copyright, cube pattern royalty free.

No Sew Fleece Cube

WARNING: You will be using Polar Fleece or Felt for your cube. Do not substitute with another kind of fabric. Other fabrics are dangerous and flat out deadly! Other materials have long strings which can get caught around toes and limbs, cutting off circulation. This can cause the mouse to actually lose a limb! Some materials expand when wet, posing deadly problem if the mouse ingests it. Long fibers and/or fibers that expand when wet can choke a mouse and get caught in the digestive tract. Both often result in painful death. Fleece knotting is also safer than sewing as you are eliminating the thread!

It is very difficult to show exactly how to make a fleece cube. In all honesty, it is easier to read this and then "wing it." This is one of the rare cases where pictures don't really help a whole lot. They kind of make it more confusing at times.In an effort to help eliminate as much confusion as possible, I have used 6 different colors of fleece. Pay close attention to this as you go through each step.



  1. Cut six pieces of 8" (20.32cm) square Polar Fleece. This will make a 4" (10.16cm) cube.
    You may choose to make a larger or smaller cube. To figure alternate dimensions, take the size cube you want to end up with and add 2 inches to each of the four sides (this means 4 inches total, both high and wide), compensating the fringes to be knotted. You do not need to make the fringe strips longer, smaller, or compensate for them in any way unless you find it difficult to knot the 2 inches provided. If you find 2 inches too small, add to the pattern all the way around. Adding 2 more inches both high and wide will give you a total of 3 inch fringes all the way around. In the case of a 4 inch cube I'm making here, I add 2 inches to each side to compensate for the knotted fringes, making it so I need a 8" square total. Another example: If you wanted to make a 5 inch cube, add 2 inches to each side (4 inches total, both high and wide), making 9 inch total for each square.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26299502775_81097420d9

  2. Lay all of your fleece pieces on top of each other. You are now going to cut 2" (5.08cm) slits about an inch (2.54cm) apart (unless you have previously chosen and compensated for larger fringes) on all 4 sides of every piece of fleece. To get the proper number of slits I generally first cut a slit in the middle on one side. I then will cut a slit between that middle cut and the end symmetrically on both sides. If more cuts are needed (such as for a larger cube), I continue to cut in the middle of each previous cut to make it symmetrical. Cut the corners off completely and set them aside. They make great nesting material!

    It is very important that you cut all your pieces the same. If any have wider fringes or more/less fringes on one side your cube will not line up properly. If you are unable to cut all pieces at the same time (which requires a heavy duty scissors), cut 2-3 at once. Then take one of your pre-cut pieces, lay it over 2-3 uncut pieces, and use your pre-cut as a guide. Do this until all 6 pieces are cut. It may help to pin the pieces together so they don't slide while cutting. Be sure to use a single safety pin that you can easily remove. I recommend against straight pins or any alternative because they can easily be forgotten, potentially causing harm to the mice when in use.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26207071232_5669579912

  3. Take 2 pieces of fleece, lay them on top of each other, and knot them together along one side. Tip: Fleeces often stretches one way. When ever possible (throughout this entire guide, not just this step), knot the stretchy side of one piece to the non-stretchy side of the other. This will help the cube keep form.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25694633004_6e89ccde53

  4. Fold out, with fringes down.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25696749183_54a6edcbe4

  5. Take another piece of fleece and lay it directly and evenly on top of one of the pieces you previously knotted. There are 3 possible sides you can knot together. None are wrong. For the sake of example, however, I will be knotting the top of the white piece to the top of the light blue piece. After those 2 are knotted, I will then knot the right side of the light blue piece to the top of the dark blue piece.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26207071142_6e5efa3d66

  6. After the 2 sides are knotted together, you will see this when you open your project. This is the inside, fringes/knots out.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26299502625_b434a47c57

  7. With the cube still in the position you see above, take another piece of fleece and lay it evenly over the bottom (dark blue) piece.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26207071072_47da1807a4

  8. Here you will knot the orange piece to the bottom dark blue piece, along the left side.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26026639480_aec89799f0

  9. After you have completed knotting one side, this is what you will see when you fold that piece out. Next you will knot the orange piece to the white piece.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26026639390_9e6623875e

  10. With the orange piece flat down, fold the top (white) piece over it so that it is flush on the side you want to knot. Then knot them together along that side.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26026639350_9e579a5033

  11. Once you have completed the above, you will see this when opened up. It's really starting to look like a cube now!
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25694632744_9769e3ce79

  12. I have now laid the cube down so the white piece is down. You will now introduce another a new piece, such as I have with the green square. Lay this new piece flush with the white one.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26273550016_22398c1b1f

  13. Knot the green piece to the white piece, along the side opposite to the dark blue piece. This means that the white piece will be knotted on 2 sides, opposite from each other.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25694632654_38195b454e

  14. After you have knotted that side, you will see this when you fold your cube out (folding the green piece up).
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26207070752_d7bf898eb6

  15. This is where the directions tend to get confusing. Hang in there. Fold your pattern over so that the green side is flat on the bottom with the light blue side folded over it, as seen below. You will be knotting the green side to the lighter blue side. The picture below may help you gain your bearings if you are lost.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26273549926_5ea1bf8f7c

  16. Once you have knotted the green side to the lighter blue side, your cube will look like this when you fold it out.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26207070632_2e0246155d

  17. You will now fold the orange side over the green side and knot them together along one side.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26299502095_bc8ce63df1

  18. After you have knotted those together, your cube will look like this when you fold it out. You're nearly there!!
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26207070542_0ff0dcb0fd

  19. Take note in the above picture that all fringes are flapped outward. This is necessary. Take your last piece of fleece and drape it gently over your cube, lining each side correctly with the cube.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25694632234_6ac84a1733

  20. Knot all 4 sides of the yellow piece to the corresponding cube side. This will give you a completely closed cube. Do not leave one end open, and do not panic Wink.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26207070482_909ab0d82d

  21. As I'm sure you've noticed, your cube has no door. In one side of the cube cut a slit or a hole. I have chosen to cut a slit. I slid my scissors between the knots on one side and cut from one end to the other, only cutting one side of the cube. Should you choose to cut a hole instead of a slit, simply pinch the material making a pucker and cut the pucker off. Take note that the hole will likely be larger than you intend, so start with only cutting a little. You can always make the hole larger.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25694632144_9e22f9633b

  22. Here you can see the result of the cut I made above.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26026638750_f723e00dca

  23. I have flipped the cube over, so the opening is in the front. The cube is complete! You may choose to set it in your mouses' tank or hang it from the lid. You may even choose to stuff it with mouse-safe bedding (such as the fleece squares you cut off your pattern in the beginning!) for your mice to nest in.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26299501925_9afb25ea70


I have chosen to hang mine. I use wire (floral wire found at a craft store). Be sure that no wire ends can possibly touch your mice as this can cause injury, possibly even the loss of an eye! I only used 2 pieces of wire and all ends are OUTSIDE the tank. To do this I thread one wire inside one corner of the cube and outside the other corner, entering at the back and exiting in the front of the same side. I do this for both right and left sides. Now all 4 ends of the wire are outside of the cube and will go through the lid of a tank making it impossible for the mice to touch. I also choose to place wood beads on each of the 4 corners, threaded on the wire. I do this to add a little extra chew toy. It isn't necessary at all. In this picture I also have a large cardboard roll hanging as well.
How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25694632044_b449f9e72f






Box Shelf

*Note that adding a shelf does not increase the amount of mice you can put in a tank. It only increases the fun! Also make sure that your box is small enough to still allow adequate airflow to the bottom of the tank! Shelves consuming most of a tank will hinder airflow.

This is not a product advertisement for pampers but it is my box of choice for making a shelf for my 75 gallon mouse tank. You can use almost any size box you like. Modify these directions to fit your needs.

You will need one box, glue gun, and glue sticks. Glue is to be used sparingly.

Unaltered box. Dimensions of box Photoshopped in.
How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26234621951_edb2d7d6c6


  1. Cut all flaps off the top of the box and keep them.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26028027590_f71acdde9e

  2. Cut all flaps in half the long way. This will make 4 long flaps and 4 shorter ones.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26234621881_4ebe9fe77c

  3. Take 2 of the 4 long flaps to use for the side retaining walls of the box. Put them over the sides of the box, where they will be mounted. Mark where to cut them to fit the sides. Cut where marked. Save the scrap for later.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26274930696_69fd2a7971

  4. You will use the 2 unaltered long flaps for the lengthwise retaining walls.Shown here are all 4 accurately cut retaining walls.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25696015124_f34cc87898

  5. Glue retaining walls to all 4 sides of the box. Allow the retaining walls to stick up around 2 inches from the shelf floor.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26234621781_532d4fe4c4

  6. Next you will make the corner pieces to secure the sides together, allowing the box sides to be stronger and able to hold bedding better. Take the scrap from the short retaining walls and cut each of the 2 pieces in half. Then fold each of these 4 pieces in half. Before folding, it helps to make a soft cut with a razor or knife no more than half way through the cardboard where you want to make your fold.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25698140023_ef80296fde

  7. Glue each of the 4 corner pieces on the box as shown.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26300881475_5061f5888e

  8. Next you can make stairs, allowing easy access to the shelf for the mice. Take a few of the remaining flaps and cut them in squares. I have chosen to use 5 stairs (top row of squares). The bottom 3 squares will be used as support (below).
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26028027440_33ba9b1ff2

  9. Cut the supports in half, making triangles. You should have one triangle per square.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25696014954_28fec7f05e

  10. Glue one square to one triangle, as shown.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26208457482_f140f214cb

  11. Glue the stairs onto the box as shown.
    How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 26300881405_728b00e905



Completed box with retaining walls and steps.
How to: No Sew Fleece Cube / Box Shelf 25698139883_b66631492a
Peachy
Peachy
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