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Critter Keeper

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Build a temporary home for the backyard wildlife kids discover. Children can even help assemble this easy, inexpensive project.

Children with a frog in a critter keeper.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

Few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade
  • Staple gun and 3/8" or 1/2" staples
  • Scissors
  • Drill and bit set
  • Wood glue
  • 120-grit sandpaper


  • 8" fiberglass vent screening (#101467)
  • 1"x8"x4' poplar board (#1095)
  • Round electrical box cover, white (#163859)
  • 2" (6d) finish nails
  • 2 #8x1-5/8" screw eyes
  • 2' of 3/8" or 1/2" rope (Have a Lowe's associate cut this from a bulk roll.)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Step 1

From the 1"x8" board (actually 3/4" x 7-1/4"), cut two end pieces 8" long and a base 7" long. Measure and mark the center of the front. Then draw a 3"-diameter circle.

Step 2

Drill a 3/8" hole on the inside (the waste side) of the circle near the line. Using a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade, cut the 3" opening and sand the edges smooth.

Step 3

Place the ceiling box cover over the opening with the mounting holes centered on the width of the board. Mark the location of the mounting hole above the opening and drill a pilot hole there. Then glue and nail the front and back to the base and let dry.

Step 4

Cut a piece of vent screening about 23" long. Center it over the front, back, and base and staple it in place. Stretch it tight around three sides of the front and back, stapling as you go.

Step 5

Using one screw in the top hole, fasten the box cover over the opening.

Step 6

Completed critter keeper.

Drill pilot holes and drive the two screw eyes to the front and back. Pass a rope through the screw eyes, knot the ends, and you're ready for a bug hunt.