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15 DIY Chameleon Cage Plans You Can Make Today

chameleon in a cage

Chameleons are delicate creatures, and as such, need a certain type of living space to reduce their stress levels and make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. Store-bought aquariums don’t always make the best environment for sensitive chameleons, which is why you might want to consider a chameleon enclosure for your next DIY project.

Building a DIY chameleon enclosure is a great way to save money (in some cases), tailor your chameleon’s living space to their needs, and make sure it fits perfectly where you want it to go in your home. Check out these awesome DIY chameleon enclosures that you can make today or over a period of time.

Please bear in mind that the material and tool lists may not be extensive and are based on the pictures or information we have available.

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The 15 DIY Chameleon Cage Plans:

1. Basic Structure Chameleon Cage

Materials: Thick mesh, light metal screen, wood, background material
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This DIY chameleon cage was made with a basic wooden structure with a background attached. A light metal screen is stapled around and a thick mesh is used at the top for securely hanging lamps. There aren’t really detailed instructions available for how to make this cage, but if you’ve got a bit of DIY experience, the pictures and notes by the creator should suffice.


2. DIY Chameleon Mansion Build

Materials: Red oak, black cherry stain, polyurethane coating, satin nickel hinges, aluminum rails, fiberglass screen, handles, sash lock, screws, wood putty, styrofoam sheet
Tools: Cabinet hardware, drill, screwdriver, c-clamp, brackets, braces, staples, hammer
Difficulty Level: Difficult

If you don’t mind spending a little more time on your chameleon enclosure, this awesome enclosure coated with black cherry stain might be for you. We like its warm, classy appearance and the obvious time, energy, and thought that went into making it. If you’re looking for something quicker and easier to make, though, check out some of the other plans.


3. China Cabinet Chameleon Enclosure

Materials: Spray foam, spray paint, expandable foam, old cabinet, PVC liner, plant boxes, mesh
Tools: Saw, sander, clamp, hammer, tape measure
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This DIY chameleon enclosure offers the perfect opportunity to recycle old cabinets as it provides you with a ready-made structure that you just adapt for your chameleons. The creator maintains the “woody” effect on the background by spray-painting foam, and we think the inlaid plant boxes are a cool idea. The materials are pretty standard and easy to come by, though it may take a bit of time to put this all together if you factor in the time it takes to cut out windows and sand the wood.


4. Wooden Chameleon Enclosure

Materials: Pine boards, wood screws, gorilla glue, screen, spline, stain, door hardware, floor material
Tools: Table saw, miter saw, sander, planer, cordless drill, tape measure, screening tools, screwdriver, cutting knife
Difficulty Level: Moderate

We love the simple, down-to-earth design of this wooden chameleon enclosure. The creator mentions that it takes about 6–8 hours to put together, but for beginners, it could take a day or two. Fortunately, the creator has written out really detailed instructions on how to build it. The great thing about this design is that the dimensions are entirely up to you—you can tailor this enclosure to just the size you want.


5. Hawaii Outdoor Enclosure

Materials: Cedar, hardware cloth, wood, hinges, screws
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This tall and simple enclosure was designed for outdoor use and to be moved around for optimum sun exposure in the morning. The creator found commercially-bought cages too small, which was the inspiration for this DIY project. The creator has not provided step-by-step instructions for this enclosure, but if you’re already quite crafty, you may get inspiration from the pictures and comments on the materials they used.


6. DIY Chameleon Cage/Enclosure

Materials: Wooden frames, L brackets, sanded plywood, paint, stain, mesh, stainless steel pipe, screws
Tools: Cotton cloth, screwdriver, pliers, drill, gorilla glue, tape measure
Difficulty Level: Moderate–difficult

This chameleon cage was built for a growing chameleon that needed some extra space. The creator notes that the total cost was around $400 CAD and was made over a period of two weeks in their free time. There’s quite a lot to put together here, but the end result looks like a real chameleon paradise, so if you have the time and willpower, why not?!


7. DIY Cabinet Vivarium

Materials: Old cabinet, mesh (if replacing glass door), non-toxic sealant
Tools: Drill, screwdriver
Difficulty Level: Moderate–difficult

If you’re looking to recycle an old cabinet, you may get some inspiration from this. The creator uses a gun cabinet with glass doors, but depending on the environment you live in, you may want to switch these out for mesh doors. Mesh doors allow for better air circulation in hot, humid homes especially.


8. Giant Outdoor Chameleon Cage

Materials: Mesh, wooden beams
Difficulty Level: Difficult

There isn’t a whole lot of information to go on as to the material or tools used to make this magnificent DIY chameleon cage, but one thing’s for sure—if you’re using this cage as inspiration, expect to spend a significant amount of time building one similar as the creator spent a few months putting it all together. Equally certain is that your chameleons would be very lucky indeed—this is an absolute giant of an outdoor enclosure!


9. DIY Bioactive Chameleon Cage

Materials: Wood panels, cabinet, paint, wooden legs, hardware cloth, expandable foam, mesh, planter, screws, polyacrylic protective finish
Tools: Drill, hammer, screwdriver
Difficulty Level: Difficult

You can follow the creator’s working process for this bioactive chameleon cage DIY project on their Instagram page. This is a project that appears to have taken place over a period of weeks or months, so expect to set a fair bit of time aside for this one. We love the intricacy of this chameleon cage, and its height, and hugely admire how much time and thought went into it!


10. Chameleon Enclosure Set Up

Materials: Varies depending on the type of enclosure you choose to build
Tools: Varies depending on the type of enclosure you choose to build
Difficulty Level: Easy–difficult

Though this is not a DIY project per se, the writer of this blog shares a lot of useful information on how to set up your chameleon enclosure, whether you’re buying or building your own. She shares some fantastic tips and photos to show you what an appropriate chameleon enclosure looks like and what it needs to contain to keep your chameleons as happy as possible.


11. DIY Plastic Tub Enclosure

Materials: Vinyl-covered hardware cloth, tub, zip ties, mesh
Tools: Drill, knife or scissors to cut the screen with
Difficulty Level: Easy

We absolutely love this simple and clever plastic tub enclosure, which is probably the easiest DIY chameleon enclosure we’ve found. The creator designed this enclosure to hold a small tree and it’s made from easy-to-find materials including a plastic tub, mesh, and zip ties. If you’re looking for something as easy and stress-free to make as possible, this could be the DIY enclosure for you.


12. DIY Two-Hour Outdoor Enclosure

Materials: Quest plastic chicken wire, plastic hanging flower pots, hot glue, twine, PVC pipe, zip ties, wood, plant wire
Tools: Wire cutters
Difficulty Level: Easy

Another creative, easy-to-make chameleon enclosure is this outdoor enclosure that took the creator only 2 hours to put together. Even better—the creator has written out detailed instructions as to how they made this enclosure. This enclosure is perfect for those who want an outdoor space for their chameleons without having to spend too long on assembly.


13. Ikea Cabinet DIY Enclosure

Materials: Ikea cabinet, mesh
Tools: Something to cut into the top of the cabinet
Difficulty Level: Level: Easy–moderate

This simple chameleon enclosure was made with an IKEA cabinet and has a hole cut in the top and covered with wire mesh for ventilation. This was pretty easy to do, according to the creator. If you can face a trip to IKEA, the end result looks pretty cool and it requires minimal materials and tools to make. The creator has left simple instructions for building it within the comments.


14. DIY Corner Vivarium

Materials: Walnut hardwood, walnut veneered MDF, ultravue screens, low iron glass, screen
Difficulty Level: Difficult

Cabinet enclosures are some of the best DIY chameleon cages to make because they’re great for concealing the drainage system in the lower parts. We like how this enclosure combines width and height to give the chameleon ample space to move around and how perfectly it fits into corners. The finished interior looks amazing due to there being plenty of space for a variety of plants and wood.


15. Alicia’s Chameleon Cage and Cabinet


Materials: Pinewood, oak plywood, plexiglass, fiberglass screening, screws, Minwax water-based stain
Tools: screwdriver, tape measure
Difficulty Level: Moderate–difficult

If you’re looking for something with very detailed instructions and clear information as to the materials and tools you’ll need, try this chameleon cage and cabinet by Alicia. Another enclosure with a lot of thought given to both width and height, this one can fit a range of plants and decorations. It may take a bit of time to put together, but the end result is certainly worth it.

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Final Thoughts

And voila! 15 DIY chameleon cage plans by some very talented—and, it must be said—dedicated chameleon enthusiasts. We’ve covered a variety of plans and designs ranging from simple to complicated, and hope they’ve given you a good dose of inspiration for your own chameleon enclosure DIY project.


Featured Image Credit: the_chris_spencer, Shutterstock

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