Hey meatbags, Lucifur the Lord of Barkness here again. I’m taking over the Nom this week to talk to you all about making sure your own personal hellhounds and familiars are being properly cared for. Part of the responsibility that comes with being graced with the presence of a four-legged demigod is making sure you’re providing adequate creature comforts for them. Which is why today I’m sharing this tutorial for a relatively simple cozy cauldron cave, perfect for the more diminutive among us (note, I didn’t say small. A hellhound and/or a familiar is never small…simply well condensed.)
The first thing you need to do is procure the proper supplies. And yes, a few of these links are affiliate links. They help my minion pay for things like this awesome DIY. You can read her full advertising disclosure here.
Now that we’re done with that, you will need:
- 1 large plastic cauldron in a size adequate for your hellhound or familiar (the bigger the better, we like to spread out. For this tutorial we used an 18″ one.)
- Super strong rare Earth magnets (at least 8)
- Self-adhesive Velcro tape
- 1 black plastic platter roughly the same size as the top of your cauldron without being so small as to fall in (We found 16″ was about perfect.)
- Black duct tape
- E6000 glue
- Dremel with cutting blade attached
- Silver Sharpie or light-colored marker
- Self-adhesive automotive door trim in matte black
- 1 can of Great Stuff expanding foam
- 1 bag of plastic bones
- 1 can fluorescent green spray paint
- 1 can black spray paint (glossy, satin or matte, it doesn’t matter)
- 1 can glow in the dark spray paint
- Plastic grocery bags
- Painter’s tape
- 1 soft, round pillow large enough to support the limbs of your creature in luxurious comfort but not so large as to be too big for the cauldron
- Fabric to recover said soft round pillow (my minion used an old pillowcase and I was quite pleased with the results)
- Coordinating ruffles to give said pillow that extra special touch that makes it truly worthy of my bottom.
- Black double fold bias tape
We’ll start this tutorial by first making sure that the cauldron you’ve selected is large enough for your hellhound or familiar. You want to make sure it’s large enough for them to fit comfortably within it and gives them room to stand up, lay down and turn around. This one is about perfect:
Once you’re happy with the overall size of your cauldron, we’re going to ensure that the lid (the platter) stays secure to our cauldron by using our rare Earth magnets (you can also skip the magnets and simply use Velcro strips if you prefer…which brings me to an important safety note. If your demigod is prone to chewing, or eating weird things, definitely skip the magnets and go for the Velcro. Ingesting a magnet can be fatal to your furry friend and it’s far better to be safe than sorry.).
Space the four magnets around the edge of your cauldron on the underside of the lip and then used the E6000 glue to secure them in place.
To keep the magnets in place while the glue is drying, place corresponding magnets on TOP of the lip of your cauldron. The magnetic attraction will keep them in place while the glue is drying.
Set your platter on top of your cauldron and line up your magnets along the edge, making sure they match up with the magnets you glued to the underside of the lip on your cauldron. Glue the magnets to the top of your platter, again using the E6000 glue. Allow to dry fully.
(For added safety, I like to have my minion add an additional layer of black duct tape over top all the magnets to make sure they stay in place and out of tiny, curious mouths.)
Now that those steps are done, let’s move onto the fun steps! Decorate your platter with your expansion foam. I had my minion apply two full layers, using the first to give a good base and then piling up the second layer for more depth. As your layers start to firm up, embed in your bones (double your bones by cutting the longer ones in half).
Set your platter aside for now while the foam dries and cures, (because curing expansion foam does have noxious fumes and our noses are sensitive, we fully expect you to leave this nasty pile outside for at least 48 hours before moving onto painting it. Not only does this guarantee that it’s completely cured, but the last thing you want to do is expose us to anything that is still oozing any sort of chemical fumes or smells) and let’s move onto working on the rest of the cauldron.
Test fit your demigod’s pillow at this time, and make note of where it falls inside the cauldron.
Using your silver or light-colored marker, carefully draw out an entrance for us on the side of the cauldron, making sure that it’s not only large enough for us to use comfortably but still retains enough of a lip to allow our pillow to remain in place.
Using the cutting blade of the Dremel, carefully remove the plastic and grind down any huge or jagged edges.
Once your demigod is happy with the size of the opening, apply the self-adhesive automotive trim carefully to the entire edge of the hole you just cut in the cauldron.
This will cover any unsightly rough spots left over from cutting the entrance hole as well as smooth the edge so it doesn’t scrape our delicate backs. It also gives it a nice, smooth, professinal look. Classy!
I also had my minion apply the remainder of the edging to the entire inner lip of the cauldron for the same reason. Comfort and safety should always be your first two considerations when it comes to doing anything for your furry demigods.
Now it’s time for you to recover the pillow. To do this, simply create a removeable outer covering from coordinating fabric (we used a pillowcase we picked up at the thrift store) and edge with appropriate trim. I had my minion leave one section open so we could remove the case and wash it as needed. You can hem the open edge using bias tape for a nice, clean look.
Don’t forget to test the pillow multiple times to make sure it’s up to your discerning standards.
Feel free to relax here on the finished pillow as your minion completes the final steps to finishing your cozy cauldron.
Observe them as they use the plastic grocery bags and painter’s tape to carefully mask off the bones and anything you don’t want to be painted green and black on your platter lid.
Lay down a base of black spray paint and then go over with your fluorescent green. Add in layers of green and black as you want to help add depth.
Once your paint is dry, peel off your tape and bags and reveal how awesome your platter looks already!
Highlight your cauldron topper using your glow in the dark paint, allowing it to dry between layers. Because it dries anywhere from a clear to a slightly powdery white, I had my minion spray the entire piece with it in varying thicknesses. Thin layers dry clear over the green paint, heavier applications dry white over the exposed bones.
In the light fully assembled, the cauldron and lid looks like this:
…and in the dark, you get this:
Time for final assembly and proper inspection by your furry demigod!
Place the recovered pillow into the cauldron. To help keep it secure and prevent it from sliding around in the concave interior of the cauldron, a few pieces of self-adhesive Velcro tape are an easy way to anchor it while still allowing it to be removed for cleaning and repairs.
Place the lid down on top of the cauldron, aligning the magnets (or Velcro, depending on what you used) and then step back to allow your demigod to do a thorough and complete inspection of their new abode.
Depending on how adventurous your demigod is, it may take a few treats to encourage them to investigate the interior of their new cozy cauldron. Regardless, never force them into a space they’re not comfortable going into (and depending on how recently you painted and/or your foam cured, a few extra days for the entire thing to air out might be the difference between them making it their new favorite place to hang out and a place they want nothing to do with.) Listen to your demigods, they’ll let you know when they’re ready.
Hang on…did that cauldron topper tutorial look familiar?! Want to see another awesome project you can use it for? Why not check out our Glow in the dark smoking cauldron DIY?
And for edible cauldron fun, check out our Bubbling Cauldron Cake Pops.
But wait…you still have leftover bones? Specifically some hands? Well, have we got a great DIY for you with our Skeleton Hand Hooks, Holders and Trays!