Make a Mat

Make a mat for your bunny or guinea pig to enjoy.  Mats are inexpensive and easy to make.  When the mat is soiled or destroyed, you can throw it away. Mat making is so much fun that you may want to make a few mats to donate to BUNS!

To make one mat you will need:

  1. 19 or 20 double sheets of newsprint from the LA times
  2. A flat surface as long and as wide as the paper folded in half lengthwise
  3. At least one rabbit or guinea pig!
Make a Mat: Step 1 Make a Mat: Step 2 Make a Mat: Step 3 Make a Mat: Step 4 Make a Mat: Step 4 (continued) Make a Mat: Step 5 Make a Mat: Step 6 Make a Mat: Step 7

What to do:

  1. Take a sheet of newsprint folded double.  Fold it in half, lengthwise, three times to create a long narrow strip. Repeat with 18 separate sheets. You should have 19 strips. Photo
  2. Lay 9 strips close together on a flat surface. Starting in the middle, weave a horizontal strip in an over under pattern, add a second strip in an under over pattern. Use your fingers to push the two horizontal strips close together.  Then, push the nine vertical strips closer to each other. Photo
  3. Continue adding horizontal strips above and below the two you started with.  After each addition, take a moment to push the horizontal strips closer to each other. Do the same with the vertical strips.  When you have added 10 horizontal strips your mat will look like this. The unwoven sections of both the horizontal and vertical strips should extend about 1.5 to 2 times the width of a strip. Take time to push the horizontal rows closer together. Do the same with the vertical rows. You may need to pull one or more strips  up or down, left or right to even out the unwoven ends. If your rows and columns are tight, you may be able add an additional vertical strip for a 10 by 10 strip mat. Photo
  4. Starting in the center of the horizontal row closest to you, select a vertical strip that lies under a horizontal row.  Fold it up and toward the top of the mat. Photo
    Then tuck it under the horizontal row. Push the horizontal row closer to the row above it.  Working the strips below your horizontal row, fold and tuck on either side of your starting point. Photo
  5. Rotate the mat and repeat the process 3 times.  Your mat should look like this. Photo
  6. Turn the entire mat over.  Repeat steps 5 and 6 until your mat looks like this. Photo
  7. Add a bunny or guinea pig. Photo

If you have a Santa Barbara News Press, you will need 16 sheets, for a mat that is eight strips wide and eight strips long.  

You can use any of our local newspapers to make a mat although the mat size will vary. If you prefer, you can buy large pads of unprinted newsprint at art/craft supply stores.