A Collapsible Cardboard Pet Carrier

It's not suitable for every occasion, but when you have to transport a pet short distances this homemade cardboard pet carrier is the right tool for the job.

| May/June 1983

  • cardboard pet carrier - cat in assembled carrier, lid open
    The finished collapsible cardboard pet carrier, with occupant.
    Photo by Elaine Benson

  • cardboard pet carrier - cat in assembled carrier, lid open

Anyone who's ever tried to transport a sick or wounded animal in a small automobile can fully appreciate the usefulness of a pet carrier. However, because such a device is likely to be needed only infrequently, many folks are reluctant to acquire one (after all, the cages can be expensive to buy and bulky to store). Well, here's a solution to that problem! The carryall described below is a collapsible cardboard pet carrier — it can be disassembled and folded flat for easy storage, and is lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to build.

The "pet case" is constructed from the sort of cardboard that has a single layer of corrugation between two face veneers. (The best source of this material is probably a large, discarded box, such as those that major appliances are delivered in. This container will provide the flat side sheets you'll need to cut out the "pattern pieces" of your toter.)

The carrier is held together by ten 1 1/4"-long, two-pronged brass paper fasteners, which are available at office supply stores. Other necessary tools and materials include a utility razor-knife; a pencil; a ruler; a 45° drafter's triangle; a carpenter's square; a sharp-pointed awl; a blunt-pointed tool of some sort; and white glue.

Putting It All Together

To begin, draw each of the pieces illustrated in my Pet Carrier Assembly Diagram on the cardboard, enlisting the aid of the ruler, triangle, and carpenter's square where necessary. A solid line on the plan indicates a cut all the way through the cardboard (use your utility razor-knife). A dotted line, on the other hand, indicates a fold (just crease the line with a blunt-pointed tool until the cardboard folds easily along that mark).

When the cuts and creases are made, punch holes for the brass fasteners on the end panel piece and the handle strip. Use the sharp-pointed awl. (Delay making the holes in the side panel piece—as well as the handle cutouts—until after assembly of the structure. Your doing so will allow you to use the cutouts and fastener holes in the other pieces as positioning guides.)

Now, using the white glue, attach half of the handle strip to one of the handle sections on the side panel piece, in such a way that the handle strip will be on the outside of both handle sections of the side panel piece. After the strip has dried in place, you can fold the unit into its assembled form by putting the side panel piece on top of the end panel section and creasing the sides and ends upward. Then insert the tabs through the slots and fold the handle strip over. [EDITOR'S NOTE. You may decide instead to keep the handle strip separate from the carrier and attach it to the side panel flaps with nuts and bolts each time you use it. This procedure should give the carrier some additional strength.] 

5/22/2018 8:12:26 PM

I use the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own DIY projects – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

1/15/2009 2:47:47 PM

The project illustration is in the Image Gallery under Article Tools at the top of the article. Click on it once to enlarge. - Mother

1/15/2009 2:42:01 PM

I looked at your article for a DIY cardboard cat carrier but could not find the drawing/plan mentioned. Is there a way to see and print plans from your website?

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters