Our little family consists of us and two adorable cats, who we love to bits. Most of the time we can’t get enough of them…except when it comes to their antics with their food dispensers. When we bought the new electric food dispensers, Marble quickly figured out how to get a couple food pellets at a time to drop in between feedings. She head butts where the tray meets the base and jostles the the whole unit, which we can often hear from the next floor up. This tactic causes little pieces of food fall out 2 at a time, and it’s horribly noisy. All hours of the day and night we can hear her messing with it. Autumn usually doesn’t bother it, but she has her days too…
We mulled over ideas on how to curb her bad habit, and decided some kind of feeder encasement was in order. We figured if it was made of wood and lined with padding, it would be too heavy for Marble to be successful in snatching some food, and the padding would silence any potential noise. With that idea in mind, I needed to figure out a design. The idea of a little house came to mind. I love architecture, its an easy shape to design and would look super cute. So we got to work!
This project didn’t take too long to make, and was fairly easy to construct. The best part was, it cost NOTHING for us to make! We already had scrap plywood, paint and padding (old twin xl mattress topper from college). And I find Ryan is more motivated to help me when there is no extra expense involved. 😉
If you want to make a cover like this of your own, read below!
4 hours constructing
4 hours painting and decorating
- ¾ inch plywood, 4×8 feet
- saw horses
- circular saw
- measuring tape
- screws or nails (1 1/4″-1 5/8″)
- large paint brush
- small detail paint brushes
- 1 inch foam padding
Optional for roof decoration:
- mod podge
- glue stick
- Start by measuring your pet feeder. Our WOPET feeders are 13.7 x 9.8 x 15.3 inches, and we wanted enough space around the feeder for our foam padding to fit snuggly. So our dimensions are pictured below.
- Set up the plywood on saw horses and start drawing & measuring. We wanted all of our cut pieces (for 2 cat feeder houses) to fit on one piece of plywood. We carefully planned where each piece would fit to keep the waste to a minimum.
- To ensure straight cuts and perfect right angles, we recommend using a metal square. Once the pieces are drawn out, start cutting each piece with a circular saw. This is easier as a two person job, so someone can hold the wood steady and catch falling pieces while the other cuts.
- Once all pieces are cut out, focus on the detail cutting. We used the jigsaw to cut out a slot for the food tray to sit comfortably on the bottom edge. We also turned the circular saw at a 45 degree angle to cut the top sides of the roof pieces, so they would join together snuggly at the top of the roof. If your feeder requires a power cord to charge like ours, cutting out a circle or square on the back side of the house is also necessary.
- Now it’s time to start assembling! While one person holds the pieces steady, the other inserts screws at each joint. We used 2-3 screws on each side to secure them.
- Once assembled, give them a quick coat of primer, then paint. We used 2 of the 15+ paints we already owned, so I picked paint from the dining room and kitchen to keep it consistent with where they are stationed. I went with a simple two-toned siding and roof, with pops of color in the names and flowers. I used detail brushes for the more intricate parts & to achieve crisper lines.
- If you want a fun roof detail like mine, all you need are scissors and a pencil. I started cutting the scallops on my Silhouette machine, but it messed up halfway through cutting. I switched to tracing the scallops and cutting them out by hand. I temporarily taped the scallops to the roof for initial spacing, and then I glued them in place. I used a glue stick first to keep the thin printer paper from bubbling up underneath. Once all the scallops are glued on, I applied two thin coats of mod podge to seal the roof, and ensure the paper scallops won’t get dirty or tear off.
- Once all the painting is complete, cut the foam padding and wrap it around the inside of the house. Ours stayed inside without a need for glue or staples like we expected.
- You are done! The house slips easily on and off the feeder when we need to refill it. Also, our cats are no longer able to knock the feeder around, success!! Best of luck if you try this job yourself. It was an enjoyable 4 hours or so of building and about 4 hours of painting & decorating.