View Full Version : DIY project - 4 new cages

04-08-2011, 01:50 AM
Hey guys,

I want to introduce my DIY project. At the moment we have 4 cages. Two cages for two syrians and two cages for my four lemmings. My boyfriend doesn't like that all cages are spreaded in the living room, he rather likes to have all cages at one wall. I also want to give my pets more space so this is an excellent point where we have to start a new DIY project :D Of course it should be visiually attractive so that my boyfriend has no reason anymore to say that he doesn't like the cages :p

An here is my sketch

Our plan was to build four cages with chipboard and glas sliding doors. Each cage should have a size of 148 x 65 cm.
Now we have almost finished the four cages, we are only waiting for the glass to be delivered.

I want to show you some pics and give you detailed informations how we build them. Maybe some of you are interested in it.

Here is all the material we bought for one single cage:
2 x 19 mm white chipboard 148 x 65 cm (ceiling and floor)
2 x 16 mm white chipboard 63,4 x 60 cm (sides)
1 x 16 mm white chipboard 148 x 60 cm (back)
1 x 19 mm white chipboard 60 x 10 cm (middle support)
1 x 16 mm walnut chipboard 144,8 x 25 cm (front wood)
E-profiles for the glass slides
L-profiles for the ventilation windows outside
flat-profiles for the ventilation windows inside
ca. 10 m edge tape white
ca. 1,5 m edge tape walnut
ca. 40 screws (3,5 mm thick, 40 mm long)
felt pads for the floor of the cage
aquarium silicone
2 x 4 mm glass 75 x 34 cm for the sliding doors
2 x door nobs

The wood were cutted in the hardware store to the size we needed.

We started to iron the edge tape on the raw edges of the chipboard (just the edges that you will see later). On the instruction was written that you should put a piece of baking paper between the iron an the edge tape, but it also works without baking paper and it's also a bit faster:

The we runned with a wood block over it to press it a bit down and fix it better. We cutted the overlapping parts with an utility knife:

After that we grinded the sharp edges with sand paper.
Then we started to saw the ventilation windows. We draw the lines with a pencil on the chipboard and masked it with masking tape so that the wood don't splinters to much:

After that we drilled holes in the middle to have a starting point for the fret saw we started to saw:

And this was the result:

After sawing all ventilation windows we cutted the L-profiles with a hand saw and glued it with silicone on the ventilation windows (this side will face outside later):

We cutted the mesh and stapled it to the other side of the ventilation window (this side will face inside later):

(the number of allowed pictures is limited so I will continue in the next post)

04-08-2011, 01:51 AM
After that we cutted the flat profiles to hide the edges of the mesh. We also glued it with much aquarium silicone over the mesh edges:


Then we started to screw the chipboard together. First the side boards on the floor:

Then the back:

The front:

And at the end the ceiling and the middle beam. Then we cutted the E-profiles and glued them with silicone on the front wood and ceiling. And this is the result:

Here is a good article about how to measure the E-profiles and the sliding doors, it's very helpfull Naturnahe Hamstergehege: Tipps zu Schiebetüren und Streuschutz (http://hamstergehege.blogspot.com/2010/06/tipps-zu-schiebeturen-und-streuschutz.html) (it's also in english, you have to scroll down)

Now we wait for the glass to be delivered. We needed two whole weekends to build the four cages and i'm looking forward to the end result :)

04-08-2011, 01:56 AM
that looks like it will be fantastic! all very perfessional looking!i wish my boyfriend was that good!

04-08-2011, 02:08 AM
Thank you :) But neither me nor my boyfriend are very professional :D I read everything in the internet and different hamster forums how to build such a cage. I planned it and bought all the matrial and my boyfriend helped me to build it. We even didn't have enough tools and had to borrow it from our neighbour. It isn't as difficult as it looks like. We both are laymen and have a desk job and have nothing to do with handcraft :-D

04-08-2011, 02:50 AM
Woah! That looks awesome! I'm so jealous! I'm starting to realise with so many cages scattered everywhere that something like you are making would be perfect .... hmmmm *scratches head* ;)

04-08-2011, 03:11 AM
the website you recommended is really good! i like the ikea cages!

04-08-2011, 03:32 AM
WOW :o that looks fantastic makes my diy cage look inadequate lol. I wish I had your DIY skills. Cant wait to see the finished product and hear what your hammies and lemmings think of it xx

04-08-2011, 03:59 AM
Thank you all :)

@Jesse: My inspiration was this cabinet cage: http://www.petfoto.de/fotos/data/media/11/Kopie_von_IMG_2932.jpg
It's also a good way to house many hamsters a bit space saving.

@princess-rhi89: That's the reason why I posted so much details here, so that other persons can profit from it and learn more about how to build DIY cages. That's nothing else, what I did, I only read in the internet to get my DIY skills :)

04-08-2011, 05:37 AM
I am very much in awe of you! I have debated trying a DIY cage similar to this, but dismissed it as too scary!

04-08-2011, 06:11 AM
Woah thats amazing!! puts all my cages and attempts to make them look good to shame... :lol: you have very lucky hamsters! x

04-12-2011, 07:16 AM
My husband has problems replacing the toilet roll - never mind building anything! If I want something done in this house I have to do it myself. There's no way I would manage something like this - you're very lucky - it will look fab when it's done! :)

04-12-2011, 08:13 AM
that would make a good viv

04-18-2011, 03:19 AM
Two days ago the glass arrived.
So we moved all pets into the new cages and here is the result:



I didn't take pictures from the setups, because they are not finished yet.

But we got a new hamster and yesterday our first dwarf moved in
She is a RC dwarf and sooo cute. Her name is Emily and she is a rescue and lived in really really bad conditions before the police distrained all pets of the former owner and gave them two a rescue organisation. The hamsters had nothing but a cage with the size of 40 x 20 cm, no toys, no house, nothing. They already started to form houses of their own poop
So I gave one of these poor hamsters a new home and here she is:




04-18-2011, 04:37 AM
The cages are AMAZING! Make me some?! :mad: hehe

Emily is a cutie :D Well done for saving her.

04-18-2011, 01:38 PM
Beautiful and brilliant homes! I am in love!!
Little Emily is very lucky. Bet she can't believe her little eyes with what you have given her. Well done you for giving her a new home :)

Gizmodo ^_^
04-18-2011, 01:40 PM
Wow they are amazing, your hamsters are so lucky. Emily is a cutie, she must feel like shes gone to Heaven:mad:

04-19-2011, 12:43 AM
I have no words for how amazing those cages and setups are! My hammies are putting themselves in envelopes to be posted to you. Incredible, hope you'll keep posting photos as you finish your setups and your hammies move in. :)

04-19-2011, 05:00 AM
Thank you very much :)
It's so great to see Emily exploring her new home.

@samincittagazze: please no hamster envelopes :mrgreen: My boyfriend will kill me when I bring home one more pet ;)

Of course I will also post some pics of the finished setups.

04-19-2011, 05:10 AM
Holy moly!
They have a paradise each one of them!
I am happy that my hamsters don't see this as they might get jealous. Your work certainly is inspiring, maybe I will try some DIY work myself as you seem to be able to do so much more than in normal wire cages!

04-19-2011, 05:15 AM
All I can say is WOW!

04-19-2011, 10:32 AM
These are gobsmackingly good :mrgreen:
Your hamsters and lemmings are very lucky x

05-02-2011, 12:30 AM
Here are some pictures of the cage setups

This is Mollys cage, she is a cinnamon longhaired syrian:




This is Emilys cage setup, she is a RC dwarf:




05-02-2011, 12:31 AM
This is the cage of syrian Elvis:




One cage is divided in the middle, on the left side lives my senior lemming Lulu. She is old and cannot walk very well:

The right side is for my two lemmings Emma and Feivel. They will get the whole cage, when Lulu decides to pass away.

Hope you like it :)

05-02-2011, 01:13 AM
I am in such awe of these cages, they really are beautiful :)

05-02-2011, 01:35 AM
Those cages are amazing! Are they expensive to set-up? If you don't mind me asking! :mad:

05-02-2011, 02:53 AM
All I can say is WOW, they are amazing :) xx

05-02-2011, 06:46 AM
They are amazing! What type of plants are they? Your hamsters and lemmings are very lucky :)

05-02-2011, 09:45 AM
Thank you all :)

@SnickersTheFirst: Most of the furnishing is made by myself and DIY-furnishing is always cheaper then buying it. The moss is from the garden of my boyfriends parents, the stones and the branches are also collected outside and so they were for free ;-)
The only more expensive thing are the different kind of beddings for example in Emilys cage. They are more expensive than normal wood shavings.

@amyXlovesXhamstersX: I often give different kind of plants and I also sow seeds in pots. The grass in Elvis cage is cat grass from the pet store. When I sow seeds, I take oat, lenses, peas, grass seeds, wheat, rye, millet, zucchini seeds, pumkin seeds, sunflower seeds and so on.

05-02-2011, 10:47 AM
Wow! o.O Amazing!

05-02-2011, 11:05 AM
Amazing indeed. Very very nice set-ups.

05-02-2011, 11:08 AM
Ack puts my set-up to shame :( wish I was as good with diy as you! Germans have such amazing set-ups.

05-05-2011, 09:07 AM
oh WOW those are amazing!! loving the natural setup ^^x

05-06-2011, 04:40 PM
These are just so nice. Will most definitely try and copy one of them at some point, thanks for the list of materials and measurements! ;)

05-08-2011, 03:06 AM
Wow! Both me and my hammies are insanely jealous! I was thinking of making my own cages but i don't even know where to start! :mad:

05-08-2011, 04:24 AM
Those cages are the most beautiful I have ever seen, If I ever do make a cage I would very much like this idea. Just two questions though:
a) how do you open it to get them out, does the front flip down?
b)Would the cage still get ventilation from those meshed windows at the back even though it looks like they're kinda blocked off by the back wall?

05-09-2011, 12:47 AM
thank you all very much for your compliments :oops:

@cheekycheeks: The doors are glass sliding doors, so you just slide them to the side to open them. If you want to know how to make such sliding doors, have a look at this german blog (everything is also translated in english, just scroll down)
Naturnahe Hamstergehege: Tipps zu Schiebetüren und Streuschutz (http://hamstergehege.blogspot.com/2010/06/tipps-zu-schiebeturen-und-streuschutz.html)

I decided to make large meshed windows to have a good ventilation although the windows are close to the wall. There is also distance of around 10 cm between the windows an the wall so there is no problem with the ventilation :)

05-09-2011, 04:16 PM
thank you all very much for your compliments :oops:

@cheekycheeks: The doors are glass sliding doors, so you just slide them to the side to open them. If you want to know how to make such sliding doors, have a look at this german blog (everything is also translated in english, just scroll down)
Naturnahe Hamstergehege: Tipps zu Schiebetüren und Streuschutz (http://hamstergehege.blogspot.com/2010/06/tipps-zu-schiebeturen-und-streuschutz.html)

I decided to make large meshed windows to have a good ventilation although the windows are close to the wall. There is also distance of around 10 cm between the windows an the wall so there is no problem with the ventilation :)
ahh, i see! good job

05-09-2011, 04:28 PM
Utterly, utterly amazing. I would happily pay a small fortune for someone to come and make similar for me. No joke! Or even make one from Expedit from Ikea for me (then it matches my other stuff).
Honest, it would be my household dream (apart from an Roomba robotic hoover ;) ) to have something like this. It's the only way I can think of neatly having more than one hamster :D.
Honest, someone in the UK with the skills should set up a custom pet home producing business.

I'm am inspired by your project, I truly am. It's wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

05-27-2011, 02:40 AM
WOW. I love these cages. Me and my boyfriend have started planning a similar project. Only we are going to have mesh doors. Because glass is so expensive. Do you have the measurements and material list? Maybe I can talk him into getting glass sliding doors :)
Do you have pictures of the pet-lemmings? Here in Norway they only live in the nature.

05-28-2011, 02:10 AM
Thank you very much!
Have a look at my first post of this thread, there you find all the materials an measurements. I searched a long time in the internet to find the cheapest glass. And in the end it wasn't that expensive.

The lemmings in norway are another species then the pet lemmings. Here are some pics:




05-28-2011, 03:40 AM
Thank you for answering. The lemmings were so cute!

05-28-2011, 05:54 AM
soooo sweet :D I really want some lemmings xx

07-13-2011, 02:40 PM

Wow, these are amazing! It is inspiring what is possible with a bit of effort, so much better than normal hamster cages, these are what hammies deserve! So nice to hear about the rescue hamster that is enjoying their new life :)

I'd love to make something similar myself - can I ask, what type of wood did you use, and what do you use to stick the wood together? Thanks!

07-31-2011, 08:46 AM
Heya, I believe Lemming used chipboard as wood and aquarium silicone glue.

11-20-2012, 05:09 AM
hmm youve inspired me to build something now! I want additional Syrians in the future and was wondering how i'd fit individual large cages in the animal room. stackable bookcase type cages solves the problem! x

11-20-2012, 05:17 AM
alternatively, if you arent very good at building stuff from scratch or dont know where to get supplies from you could always buy cheap stackable vivariums (the ones that come flatpacked). they have sliding glass doors and all youd have to do is cut a window on either side of the cage and stick mesh to it to allow ventilation. think thats what i might do! x

The Hamster's family
11-20-2012, 08:45 AM
I'm deeply touched by what I've seen...I don't think it's worth saying anything as no words can express the amazing feelings I went thru looking at those habitats (I cannot call that cages...) Thank you for the experience I just lived... May your animals be blessed and happy ! (Now let's find a wall to transform into a giant habitat here...!)

Annie xx

11-20-2012, 02:46 PM
omg i want !!! :o:o

12-22-2012, 05:18 PM
to neat, love the idea of making your own design, and creating it

12-22-2012, 05:54 PM
How did I miss this thread? Wow, I am seriously in awe of these homes that you have created for your little ones. They are very lucky animals to have such an amazing place to live. You did an unbelievable job! :)

12-23-2012, 02:11 AM
Thank you all so much. Unfortunately all of my hamsters and lemmings except syrian Elvis passed away. So I selled these DIY cages, but I already build a new huge cage for my persian jerds :)

01-08-2013, 02:53 PM
Amazing habitats for hamsters and lemmings. I wish I had enough space to build something like this.