Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to Make a Flat Pet

Flat Bentley with the Hill's Pets representatives' Flat Pets.
   One of the great things about the BlogPaws conference is that it is a pet-friendly event.  Deciding whether to bring your pet to the three-day event is sometimes difficult.  You need to ask yourself if they are well behaved in crowds, around other animals, and can you control them while attending sessions.  I must say last year’s pets were all on their best behavior.
   Since we were flying to the conference, we knew Bentley wasn’t joining us. He will NOT travel in cargo.  As we have discussed before; cargo has no snack or beverage cart, no in-flight movie, no micro-toilet, and no Basset Hound!  He passed the “cabin-size” requirements about 30 pounds ago.
   I started feeling sad that all of these other cool dogs and cats would be there and I wouldn’t have Bentley.  I turned to BlogPaws for the answer.  Quite a few people that couldn’t travel with their pets had bought or made something called a “Flat Pet.”  What in the world is a Flat Pet?  I’m so glad that you asked.



   A Flat Pet is a stand-up cut out of your best friend.  There are several online sites where you can order a ready-made Flat Pet.  Prices range from $50 to $200.  I found one for around $50 and some over $200 on various sites.  When you’re saving for the conference and there are a few must-haves, the Flat Pet expense can be tricky.  We came up with what I think turned out to be a perfect solution.  The best thing about it is the entire project cost less than $20.  
Here is how we did it.
Materials: photo of your pet, custom yard sign, Exacto Knife, cardboard, glue, tape
Step One: Take a front view photograph of your pet sitting or standing.  Your picture needs to include their entire front body.  Don’t cut off the feet or the tops of the ears.  It might be creepy just to carry around a big head at the conference.
Step Two: Measure your pet in the same position as in the photo.  You can adjust the size of your photo on the yard sign template at your favorite printing website.  I had to rotate Bentley’s photo, so I could get the correct height.  You want to make your Flat Pet as close to the actual size of your pet as possible.  *If you have a Great Dane, you should probably downsize it.  You don’t want to be toting a billboard around the entire time.  Once you’re happy with the preview, place your order and wait.  *You don’t need to order the optional metal stakes.



Step Three: When your yard sign arrives, it is time to turn your yard sign into your Flat Pet.  You will need an Exacto knife and a steady hand.  Prepare your cutting area by placing a hard thick surface under the sign.  Exacto knives are extremely sharp and can cut into the bottom surface.  S-l-o-w-l-y cut along the outline of your pet. Brush off any “splinters” or rough edges.  


Step Four: Your last step is to make your pet sit.  It’s easy and you don’t have to bribe your Flat Pet with treats.  We used a box to make ours, but any thick cardboard will work.  Cut out a shape as shown in the photo.  Carefully make a straight fold in your stand.  Attach your bent straight fold to the back of the Flat Pet with “temporary” tape to test its stability. 


   Adjust the stand as necessary until your pet is sitting proudly.  You don’t want Ruff or Fluffy to fall over, so make certain that it tilts slightly back.  Mark the spot where you want to glue your stand and remove the tape.  Use strong glue and for extra security; add adhesive tape.  *I brought the tape to conference in case of an accident.
That's it!
   Pack your Flat Pet in a cardboard folder.  We made ours from a box and held it closed with rubber bands.  I placed him in the bottom of my luggage and he arrived unscathed. 
   It wasn’t the same as having Bentley with us, but it was the next best thing.  We took photos and had a great time with our Flat Bentley.  This year, we are bringing the real boy.  I hope he is as well behaved as my Flat Pet!

 Flat Pet Bentley with our friends,
The Cascadian Nomads at BlogPaws 2014.

                

  * I want to invite all of the citizens of Blogville who aren’t already members of the BlogPaws Community to join us.  It is another great group of bloggers helping and working together.  Just sign up and start making more pet loving friends. Click here to say hello. 
  * If you haven’t ordered your BlogPaws conference ticket, now is the time. Click here.  The three-day educational experience will surely be a sell-out.  You can use my ambassador’s code to save 10% on your ticket price.  
BP15-Amb-Melissa -10.  #Nashville, here we come!
   *The line-up of keynote speakers is stellar.  Each session will have something outstanding to offer.  You can meet them and follow their social media by visiting here
   *If you are wondering what will fill your time at this year’s conference, click here for a tentative schedule.  You’ll be amazed at how much goes on in such a short amount of time.  
   *The best way to stay up on everything that is happening at Blogpaws is to sign up for their newsletter.  You get tips, links, and access to a free ebook when you sign up. 
   *Don't miss tonight's Blog Paws Chat on Twitter.  We will be chatting with the fine folks of Hill's Pets from 7:00 - 9:00 pm central time.  Follow the hashtag #BlogPawsChat.  It's a great way to meet new friends, learn great tips, and win cool prizes!

*Disclaimer: I used VistaPrint for my yard sign.  Price and quality will vary depending on the printing service you select. I have no affiliation with VistaPrint.

 I am adding this blog post to BlogPaws Pre-Conference Blog Hop. Visit these others blogs for more conference tips and information. Check back often for additional posts. This is a Blog Hop!

47 comments :

  1. I was wondering where to get a decent flat pet without spending a ton, so thanks for sharing the tip. Unless by some miracle I won't be able to attend Blogpaws this year, though I'd dearly love to come meet you! Hoping for miracles! ~Rascal and Rocco

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    1. Miracles happen every day! I'd love to meet too.

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  2. Hope you AND Bentley have fun at the event this year. Looking forward to seeing the photos!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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    1. Thanks Leah. ♥ I'm sure we will have picture overload! We took a gazillion with the Flat Bentley, so the real Bentley is going to be photo-bombing all over! Haha!

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  3. That is great and what fun. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. It is really neat. When we first made him, it would startle me whenever I walked in the room and saw him on the counter!

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  4. very fun looking project

    retro rover

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  5. This was a awesome DYI even know I'm not attending this would be fun to do.

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    1. They are fun. You could take them with you on trips that the dogs can't go and get shots of the Flat Pet in funny places.

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  6. that is a totally cute idea. Thanks. I think I will be making one of these for a friends as cute little gifts.

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    1. They would make really cute gifts. Great idea!

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  7. I love your flat Bentley and it is such a good idea for people who can't travel with their pets!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. I had a great time with Flat Bentley. He attended all of the sessions and dinners. I'm proud to say he didn't bark or have any accidents! BOL!

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  8. This is BRILLIANT.... We love the Flat Bentley Sign... EXCELLENT ADVICE and INFO... THANKS.

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    1. Thank you so much. Flat Bentley isn't as scary as snow freaks!

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  9. Great post Mom could have used two years ago when she made the terrible mistake of leaving me, the center of the blog, at home. That will not happen again, so no need for a flat pet, but for anyone needing one, this is great!

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    1. I am so excited that you do not have to pose with my Flat Bentley this year. ♥ Woo Hoo!!

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  10. That's awesome - I've been wanting to do a Flat Harlow to take with me to parks. I think I'll do it!

    Monty and Harlow

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    1. You should! It looks so realistic and they are much better at posing for pictures than Bentley! ☺

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    1. You can make two or take a picture of them together and just cut them out as a pair. I did see some like that and they looked wonderful.

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  12. This is great, but I'm not sure I'll take on doing it for three dogs! If I had a blog that was all about one dog, I definitely would though. My dogs aren't that social, nor do they like riding that much so they won't be coming either. But I also want to take in the whole conference without the worry of how they are doing as well. I think for the first time it's a good idea not to bring a pet, for me anyway. I can't wait to meet you and Bentley though!!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. I'm glad that we didn't bring Bentley last year. It's difficult when you're busy trying to acclimate yourself and keep your pet(s) calm. I told Lily & Edward, you can do a group shot and make a Multi-Flat Pets!

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  13. BENTLEY AND PIERRE,
    OH MY DOGS WHAT GREAT INFORMATION...AND SUCH GOOD INSTRUCTIONS. I WAS NEARLY A FLAT MADI ON FRIDAY...AND I DID NOT LEARN MY LESSON...STORY TO BE CONTINUED
    HUGS MADI YOUR BFFF

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    1. I read about your escapades! You had better be careful! XXOO

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  14. Oh I LOVES it!!! And yours looks SO GOOD!!! Thanks for the DYI instructions...if Ma ever wants to go somewhere and take me along...HEY! Why wouldn't I be along????? Wait...I'm not sure I likes this idea...☺
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

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    1. Oh Ruby! I cannot imagine your mom leaving you home from a trip! Where would the fun and Rubyritas come from if you weren't with her?

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  15. This is an awesome tutorial. Thank you. I considered taking flat Cascadian Nomads to the UK last summer because I figured that without the pets along, I wouldn't take any photos. I took the mini-me's but I only got the little guys out of the bag once. It turns out there is photo quality beauty in the world without my pets! (And the UK is so pet friendly that there were plenty of strangers dogs to photograph. tee, hee.)

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    1. Your photos from your UK trip were fabulous. I believe I saw some of dogs that you found along your trip! Is the gang coming to Nashville??

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  16. The mom doesn't want to make flats of us. She's thinking of getting plushes of us to bring to BlogPaws.

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  17. Very neat project. I would need a pretty big picture to get Veruca as a flat pet. Not Great Dane size, but it would be a little unruly.

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  18. Great idea!! I usually bring the "Mini Me's" in place of the dogs, but like the real life quality of Flat Bentley!! No Blog Paws this year...hoping they have it in Vegas or somewhere on the West Coast in 2016 :-).

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  19. I can't wait to meet Bentley in the fur!

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  20. We keep going back and forth, but are now leaning toward bringing the boys with us....Eeek! I waiver because even though they are well behaved, I don't know if they will be distracting! If we decide against bringing them, we will definitely be bringing a flat Harley and Charlie!

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  21. This is so neat! I'm really disappointed I can't make it this year. Even if I could, I wouldn't be able to bring Bain either. Just like you mentioned, I don't want him in cargo :(

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  22. Blgopaws is a million miles away from us clearly but still seeing all the flat pets is very cool! and I am so happy you are taking 3 dimensional Bentley this time :) bet you will have a blast ! loves Fozziemum xx

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  23. I loved the flat pet you had of Bentley - what a great idea. We wouldn't be able to bring Jack or Maggie so this is a great alternative.

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  24. Great instructions - I loved flat Bentley last year and his ears were almost as silky as the real thing!

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  25. What a fabulous post! I have flats of my cats, and can't recall how much they were to do, but the only thing I DIY'd was the stand in the back...so they were spend. Your tutorial and traveling instructions rock!

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  26. Absolutely brilliant! It's too hard to justify spending $50-$200 on a flat pet so this is a great alternative! LOVE!

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  27. Absolutely brilliant! It's too hard to justify spending $50-$200 on a flat pet so this is a great alternative! LOVE!

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  28. What a clever idea ! And it's not expensive at all ! Thanks for sharing ! Purrs

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  29. it looks great and I like the idea to have a flat-me... but I'm not sure if my mom should use such a knife.... I'm afraid a flat mom would rush to the ER :o)
    Easy Rider

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  30. I'm so glad you posted this - I was going to create one for this year's event and wasn't sure where to start!

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    1. This made it so easy and it looked so real!

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  31. How creative to use a Yard Sign!! I'll be making a few flat pets this year - one for Luna and Ralph!
    -Jessica from Beagles & Bargains

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