DIY Critter Keeper in 7 Easy Steps for Kids

Do your children want to have some little animals for a company? Well, these easy 7 steps will be your next project to create a critter keeper of your own.

Have a little home for little creatures that buzzy, crawly, and cute for your kids’ buddy. These keepers will help your kids to observe their favorite animals.

They can take a look at worms, frogs, crickets, grasshoppers, and fireflies without getting itchy to go outside. These easy and simple 7 steps are perfect for your weekend project.

You can do this together with your loved ones and introduce them to some tool names of basic woodworking. They will love the idea when they’re done with the project.

Finally, they will wait for the little wildlife creatures to keep inside the keeper.

DIY Critter Keeper Skill Level: Easy

Any kids who are above 3 years old can do this project easily. If your kids are younger than that, just ask them to take or hold some tools.

You can teach your little ones to do hammering, take the stapler, or hold the drill. While kids above 9 years old can do this project of their own. Are you ready to create the critter keeper?

Materials and Tools for Creating Critter Keeper Rectangle

  • Safety glasses
  • 24 inches long rope
  • Hardware store cutting (saw, or any cutting tool for wood)
  • Drill
  • A 9 x 15 inches piece of window screen material
  • Strips cut or roll Velcro complete with adhesive backing
  • Wood glue
  • Scissors
  • Staples gun or staples
  • Hammer
  • One or ½ inch long nails (6 pieces)
  • 1 x 5 inches lumber (18 inches)
  • ¾ inch ribbon or 9 x 12inch piece of felt for trim


The budget to do this critter keeper rectangle is quite low. The priciest material is the window screen. But, if other tools and materials already exist in the house, you can cut the budget more.

Let’s talk about the lumber first. It costs around $6 for 8 feet. 8 feet of pine can create five critter keepers. Adjust the size of the lumber to get the right size you want.

Second, you can purchase a window screen online. It costs $10 for a 4-foot roll. To reduce the budget, you can reuse the broken screen you have and repair it a little.

Next, you can use your old jump rope, heavy twine, or clothesline. To create a handle, you can braid some yarn strands together. Make sure you look for an unused cord first at your house before you buy it.

Next, you need $2 for a dozen tiny nails. You can also use screws to replace them.

For adhered the trim, you’ll need to use white glue. But as long as your job is neat, you won’t even need to trim anything.

Finally, you can go to the craft store to buy ribbon or felt trim. The price is sometimes less than $2. For alternatives, you can use any supply of craft to decorate the edges of the critter keeper.

Step 1

First, it is essential to wear safety glasses when you want to do this creature keeper project. You need to show your kids that you are a good example.

Next, take the 1 x 5 inches board and cut it into three pieces. For the base, you need a 9 inches long piece. And the sides need 4 ½ inches long of two pieces. Cut it with a saw or a wood-cutter.

Step 2

After that, you can drill the rope handle. Then, approximately 1 inch from the top creates a hole in the middle at one end of each of the 4 ½ inches long pieces.

To make sure that flat and sneaky animals will not find a way to get out fast from the keeper, you got to make sure that you pick a little bit hole to fasten the rope.

Use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges so your keeper will look amazing.

Step 3

Then, arrange the wood piece together. You are going to create the frame box for the creature keeper. The two butt joints are the first step.

First, stand both pieces that are shorter on top of the longer piece. Nail them through the bottom.

Then, check each piece’s side and make sure that the drilled holes are at the top. If you think everything is good, use the wood or white glue to adhere the pieces.

Finally, take three nails to secure the pieces from the bottom on every side.

Step 4

Next, starting from the outside to the inside of the rope, insert one rope’s end slowly into one hole, and create a knot.

Do this step for the other side until the handle for your critter keeper is finished.

Step 5

In this step, you will cut the 9 x 15 inches window screen into a piece. You can cut the Velcro into three pieces. Two pieces are in 4 ½ inches size and one is 9 inches.

These pieces will be on your critter keepers’ front screen. You can open the screen to let or free the animals.

Peel off the backing, and pierce the Velcro’s spiky side to the borders on a box’s side. And repeat the same step with the Velcro’s side that is fuzzy along the end of the screen in 9 inches size.

Step 6

The next step is to press the screen using the Velcro to the front part of the box. After that, the rest of the screen that frees from adhesive needs to be folded.

You need to fold it behind the box and over the top. You can tack or staple it to the rest of the edges’ box. Use a hammer to tap the staples if you choose the stapling process with a hammer.

The hammer will help the edges of the critter keeper are secure and even.

Step 7

Last but not least, use glue to stick the ¾ inch wide ribbon or felt stripes to every box’s edge. With this ribbon, the critter keeper also looks more beautiful.

Now, give the most fun task to your kids to find the animals! They can dig up to find a toad or a few worms. They should pay attention to the trees where beetles usually are hidden.

Make sure they are under your watch and be prepared to see the critter keeper with some animals. Good luck!

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