Using a few pieces of scrap ¼” plywood and a bit of imagination, my daughter and I created this ADORABLE DIY guinea pig hide VW bus for our fur-babies!We have been having so much fun over here!
We have two new additions to our family: Chanel (Tri-colour) and Pixie – Miss Maddie’s new guinea pigs and they are ADORABLE!
This started because Maddie wanted to foster dogs – and I told her we absolutely would – but I needed to get some kind of custody arrangement figured out first. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be coming along very quickly so she started begging for guinea pigs.
I thought I could put her off by agreeing to new pets IF she saved the money to pay for everything; pigs, cage, food etc. You see, Maddie never saves money. She is so much like me in that she is impulsive and the temptation of a quick and fun purchase often wins out over the gratification we might find if we saved for something bigger and more substantial.
I would never have saved enough for guinea pigs when I was a kid.
Probably not even now. lol
But the bugger did it! She shopped around and found 2 guinea pigs in need of a new home, bought a used cage and came up with the rest of the money for everything she needed – and now Chanel and Pixie live in her room.
I’d like to gripe and groan, but these two are so GOOD! Friendly, talkative, don’t bite and their hair do’s just make me laugh.
So of course they have been on my mind for building projects lately.
As you know if you read this blog with any kind of frequency, I’m a bit “weird” – and I happily own it. I didn’t want a standard guinea pig hide for my grand-fur-babies – I wanted something unique, whimsical and fun. (like me!) so I created a VW Bus DIY guinea pig hide for our ladies.
I had some scrap ¼” plywood in the garage, so I drew out the approximate outline of a VW Bus onto it. Ours is rather large at 16″ long by 8″ high – but we have two chubby ladies here. They’re like large potatoes on tiny toothpicks. lol
I brought out my handy-dandy-broken scrollsaw to cut the shape out.
I wanted the hood and rear of the bus to have the iconic VW Bus shape, but that’s hard to do with rigid wood, so you’ll see my first attempt ever at wood bending.
I used my table saw to cut ¾ the way through my plywood at ¼” intervals:
From here I was able to cut lengths to fit the sizes of the front and back.
It got a bit tricky here – you are much better off with two sets of hands if at all possible – I used wood glue on the sides of the hood section and then clamped it tightly between the two sides of the VW Bus.
I started at the bottom and then added a new clamp as I bent the board more and more.
I let the wood glue dry for a few hours to make sure it was good and solid before taking the clamps off.
It held!! Whew!
From here it was just a matter of gluing in the roof (and letting it dry), adding a bit of wood filler here and there and then sanding my DIY guinea pig hide nice and smooth.
I used two coats of primer on the entire VW Bus hide and then taped off the roof section with painter’s tape so that I could paint the body in a pretty (gloss) mint green.
Two coats of mint green and then I brought in the big guns for the detail painting on our VW Bus. This child has the steadiest hands – if she doesn’t become a surgeon, the world will have lost some skillz.
We glued ¼” ply discs on for headlights, turn lights and tires and Miss Maddie drew on the silver handles and lines to make it look like the iconic VW bus.
Isn’t it cute?!!
The piglets didn’t hesitate at all before hopping aboard.
I should say though that this is an outdoor DIY guinea pig hide. It is too big to fit inside a cage, and the paints – while non-toxic when fully cured – could hurt them if they decided to nibble away at their VW bus and digest paint chips or wood filler. The ladies just hide in it a bit each day when we are outside letting them have a bit of lawn to munch on. Totally supervised.
That’s Chanel – she has let it be known that she is the primary driver. lol
Pixie is only allowed to ride shotgun – IF Chanel ever lets her in.
That face! That hair! How can you not love them?!
Oh yes, when they pee on you the ‘unconditional Grandmother love’ is tested. lol
My wood-filler skills are a bit lacking, but overall I think this DIY guinea pig hide – VW Bus style – is adorable!
Chanel is already out cruising for babes.
This project was so much fun: I finally attempted bending wood, I used up scrap wood (so it was $0 if I failed), I was able to make something I’ve never made before, I got to work alongside my daughter on a fun family project, and it is so fun to see it in use.
Just makes me smile all around!
Have a great one!
Oh my gosh, how adorable. I cannot believe your mad skills from everything to decorative painting to woodworking! What a beautiful girl your daughter is, too, and I assume she’s just as talented. I love guinea pigs, as well. Now, once you foster those doggies, I guess you’ll be building dog houses ;-)