How to build a hedgehog house

Green, Hedgehogs, Nature

Posted by Emma on 4th September 2020

Hedgehog house made out of a cardboard box for the garden

Ahead of autumn and winter, now is the perfect time to start thinking about making a cosy home for hedgehogs. And with the population of our beloved hedgehogs rapidly in decline, they need our help now more than ever.

Building a hedgehog house doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking and is a great way to get creative. Making a hedgehog house is also an easy and fun activity you can enjoy with your kids. Whether you choose to use wood, cardboard or natural materials, make sure your hedgehog house is comfortable and tucked away among foliage so it's protected.

Hedgehog in the grass

As part of our Holidays with more heart series, we've created a printable guide so you can start making a hedgehog house whenever you wish. Follow the instructions below to find out how to build your own hedgehog house. We’d love to see your creations, so please do send us your photos! Here's our attempt...

Print instructions

Materials required for your hedgehog house

Make sure you have everything you need to make your hedgehog house. You will need:

• A cardboard or wooden box measuring around 30x30x45cm 

• 30cm of pipe for a tunnel entrance at 10-15cm diameter. Use a drainpipe or a wide recycled bottle 

• Waterproof material such as tarpaulin or bin liner 

• Dry leaves, twigs, straw or grass

Cardboard box, paint, glue and other materials for building a hedgehog house

1. Make the entrance

Cut a hole in the box, between 10 and 15cm wide, to create a door for the hedgehog to enter the hedgehog house.

Cut out the door for your cardboard hedgehog house

2. Add a tunnel for the entrance

Make a tunnel out of drainpipe or another waterproof material, feeding it through the doorway to make the entrance extra-inviting to the hedgehogs. The drainpipe should stick out around 15cm in front of the hedgehog house.

Plastic tunnel for your cardboard hedgehog house

3. Air vents

The next step is to cut out some air vents so the hedgehogs can breathe in their new home! Cut out a few slits or holes on the sides, near the top. Then it's time to start decorating.

Cutting air vents into and decorating a cardboard hedgehog house

4. Decorating your hedgehog house

Decorate your box by painting it and adding any finishing touches you like to really make it look like a home sweet home for its new hedgehog residents. We've added a front lawn, a picket fence and even a 'Home Sweet hog' sign!

Cover the box with a bin liner or tarpaulin to keep it dry, and then cover it with leaves, twigs and soil so it blends in with the surroundings. Make sure the air holes are still partially exposed. Put some dry leaves and shredded newspaper inside.

Decorations and finishing touches on the cardboard hedgehog house

5. Wait for the hedgehogs to move in

Your hedgehog house is now complete and ready for the garden! Now it's time to wait for the hedgehogs to arrive. Be patient - hedgehogs are both shy and nocturnal, and it may take up to a year for them to settle into your hedgehog house. 

If you're looking for more ways to help hedgehogs, our hedgehog hub has plenty of ideas. Our informative guides include how to help an injured hedgehog, and a behind-the-scenes look at a hedgehog sanctuary. And if you're still feeling creative and would like to give the hedgehogs in your garden a real treat, why not 'Make a hedgehog cafe' with the RSPB's fun guide? 

For more ways you can help the planet - whether you're on holiday or at home - click the button below.

Holidays with more heart

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.