A bird's need for privacy and comfort is understandable. After all, it's difficult to live your life on display, never having the option or opportunity for a nap or some alone time. Sleep tents for birds are quite useful for this purpose. If you put one in your bird's cage, it won't be long before he's crawling inside to hide out or catch some Z's. These cozy little tents are simple to make, even without a pattern. Simple pieces of flannel or fleece sewn to a colorful outer wall makes a cute and cozy tent for your bird.
Lay the flannel fabric on a table face up and place the cotton fabric on top of it, face down, matching the edges.
Sew the edges of the two fabrics together with the sewing machine, using about 1/4-inch seam. Start on one of the 22-inch sides, sew along one of the 11-inch sides and then finish off by sewing the other 22-inch side. Leave the second 11-inch side open.
Turn the sewn piece so that the right sides are facing out.
Slide the plastic piece in between the fabrics and center it. The 10-inch length of the plastic should be parallel with the 11-inch sides of the material.
Sew the pieces of the fabric together close to the plastic to secure it into place. You won't need to sew through the plastic; just sew through the fabric close to the plastic on all four sides, taking care to keep it centered.
Turn the edges of the open 11-inch end of the tent to the inside 1/4 of an inch, and sew them closed with the sewing machine. Sew close to the edge of the material.
Cut the nylon shoelace in half with the scissors. Fold each length in half to form two separate loops.
Pin the loops to the flannel side of the tent along one of the 11-inch sides using the straight pins. Place each loop 1 inch in from the 22-inch edge and lay them so that the tops of the loops extend past the edge of the materials.
Line the 11-inch edges of the tent up. This will create a triangle-shaped tent with the plastic floor at the bottom of the structure. Hold them in place with straight pins if you need to.
Sew the top edges of the tent together on the outside. Use a very small seam allowance, sewing as close to the edge of the material as you can.
Remove the straight pins and trim the loose ends of the shoelace on the inside of the tent.
Slide a carabiner through each shoelace loop at the top of your bird's tent, and hang it from the top bars of his cage.
- These instructions work well for a bird the size of an African gray. Adjust the measurements according to your individual bird's size.
- Find lightweight plastic for your tent floor at a craft store.
- You can place a thin layer of batting between the fabric pieces before sewing them together, if you want your bird's sleep tent to be cushioned and have more insulation.
- If you need to adjust the length of the shoelace loops to accommodate your bird's cage, you'll have to do it before you sew them to the tent. Measure the space in his cage where his tent will be to determine if you need to make the loops smaller or bigger.
- Be sure to clip all loose threads from your bird's tent before putting it into his cage.
- Your bird might have to get used to the tent before you put it inside his cage. Introduce him to it outside of his cage, maybe during play time. If he takes to it immediately, you can put it in his cage. If he seems frightened or leery of it, set it outside of his cage for a few days so that he can get used to the sight of it.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.