If your hamster’s cage is less than inspiring, then we’ve got good news for you! It’s pretty easy to learn how to build a hamster cage! Here you can create your own DIY hamster cage rather than buying an expensive ready-made one.
Hamsters need safe and secure places to sleep at night, so even if you let your hamster out for exercise during the day, you’ll need a cage for them to hang out in at other times, too.
We’ve done the hard work for you and found eight of the best DIY hamster cages. From a super-stylish Palm Springs-inspired cage to one using an easily available Ikea bookshelf, pick your favorite and start building!
Each plan includes a list of the tools and materials you’ll need, as well as an approximate suggestion of the level of DIY skill you’ll need to successfully build each project.
For each plan, we’ve assumed that you already have all the vital accessories your hamster needs, such as bedding, a wheel, a water bottle, and a cozy house.
It’s worth noting that there is a minimum recommended size for hamster cages, so make sure your new project gives your hamster enough space to move around comfortably. The ASPCA recommends a minimum tank size of 10 gallons for Syrian hamsters,1 but they do mention that it’s best to get the biggest cage you can afford!
The 10 DIY Hamster Cages:
1. Palm Springs Hamster Cage by The Sorry Girls
|Materials:||Glass aquarium, Plywood, Hot glue, Wood glue, Popsicle sticks, Small nails, Twine, Hamster-safe plants and accessories, Suction cups|
|Tools:||Hot glue gun, Craft knife|
If your hamster would like a minimalist and stylish cage, then this tutorial by The Sorry Girls uses an old aquarium to provide an eye-catching new home for your hamster, including a wheel, elevated house, succulent plants, and even a super-cute swing. Besides the written tutorial, you can find a YouTube video here. We’d recommend adding a wire mesh top to stop your tiny critter from making any escape attempts!
2. High-Life Hamster Mansion by Instructables
|Materials:||Old doll’s house, Plastic netting, Hot glue, Spray paint, Paper clips, Small wooden planks|
|Tools:||Staple gun, Hot glue gun, Knife or scissors|
If your hamster would like a bit of multi-level living in a cute mansion, then you can upcycle an old doll’s house using this tutorial from Instructables. Many of the materials needed can be found around the house, so besides being an easy project, this one is budget friendly too. Be sure to choose a doll’s house with enough floor space for your hamster.
3. Acrylic Lookalike Aquarium Hamster Cage by Instructables
|Materials:||Pre-cut clear acrylic panels, Wood screws, Acrylic glass glue|
|Tools:||Craft knife, Screwdriver|
This DIY hamster cage from Instructables uses four pre-cut panels of clear acrylic glass for an aquarium-style hamster cage on a budget. You can also add a platform with a ladder for your hamster to explore, and the tank is deep enough for them to enjoy plenty of burrowing. You can learn how to build a hamster cage of this caliber in this YouTube tutorial here.
4. Plastic Crate Cage by Hammy Happenings
|Materials:||Wire mesh, Cable ties, Plastic crates, Duct tape, Nuts and bolts|
|Tools:||Metal ruler, Soldering iron, Knife|
This plastic crate cage from Hammy Happenings can be put together in a couple of hours. There’s plenty of ventilation, thanks to the mesh top and sides. The design here uses two levels to create space for your hamster to explore. You can use a plastic tunnel internally or externally to provide access between the levels.
5. Hamster Bin Cage by WikiHow
|Materials:||Clear plastic bin, mesh, zip ties|
|Tools:||Scissors, glue gun, wire cutters|
A plastic bin might not seem like an ideal container to transform into a hamster cage, but with the right preparation and a bit of work, it can be. You will need to cut out the lid and replace the plastic with a suitable mesh, ensuring good ventilation and security, and you should ensure that the wheel, bottle, and other items you buy use suction cups or some other viable method of attaching them to the side of the tub. Otherwise, this hamster bin cage is really easy to make and costs very little.
6. Build Your Own Hamster Cage by Instructables
|Materials:||Nails, screws, staples, linoleum, MDF, wood dowels, reinforced wood corners|
|Tools:||Jigsaw, hand drill, hammer, screwdriver, stapler|
This DIY hamster cage uses wood to create a frame and mesh to provide a barrier. The benefit of having mesh walls, rather than Perspex or plastic, is that you can fit water bottle wires and even some wheel attachments through the cage. The mesh itself also provides ventilation. But you do need to carefully ensure that the wire and the mesh do not poke through and into the cage or your Hammie could suffer serious injuries.
7. DIY Ikea Linnmon Hamster Cage by SmallFurry Friends
|Materials:||Ikea Linnmon table top, Ikea Hemmes glass top, screws, screw caps, silicone, mirror brackets, floor protectors|
|Tools:||Saw, drill, screwdriver, sealant gun, wood filler|
We love a good IKEA hack. IKEA’s furniture is flat-packed and inexpensive, and there’s a massive community of people that develop and publish hacks for the items. This DIY IKEA Linnmon Hamster Cage tutorial is a YouTube video that enables you to turn a fairly simple tabletop and glass top into an attractive hamster cage. Some sawing is required, leading to moderate difficulty, but it’s not too challenging a build.
8. Luxury Hamster Cage by Babblepie
|Materials:||Plywood sheets, mesh, softwood battens, bead|
|Tools:||Saw, PVA glue|
The actual frame of this hamster cage is a fairly simple box shape, but inside the cage there are multiple layers. Access to the upper layers is granted from the use of cage decorations, such as log ramps and kitchen roll tubes. The tutorial includes instructions on how to build ladders and other elements, which means that you can make a feature-packed cage that will not only house but entertain your hamster. The process is relatively simple but there is some cutting involved.
9. IKEA Hack Hamster Condo by Jessica of Awesome
|Materials:||IKEA Expedit bookshelf, Lekman plastic bin, hamster tubes, plexiglass, tape, glue, wire, zip ties, hinges, screws, nails, L-brackets, plastic bubbles|
|Tools:||Plexiglass cutter, power drill, screwdriver, hacksaw, hammer, wire cutter, circle cutter|
Why give your hamster a cage when it can have a condo? This IKEA hack hamster condo uses the IKEA Expedit bookshelf and a plastic bin that is designed for use in the bookshelf. It creates a multi-level condo with multiple rooms and areas and is sure to make your pet a happy little hammie. You are going to need a circle cutter or an appropriate bit for your drill to make the holes between the sections, but you can configure the layout pretty much how you want.
10. DIY 3-Story Gerbil House by Consumer Queen
|Materials:||Storage bins, candle, screws, wire mesh|
|Tools:||Drill, box knife|
Rather than throw away your old hamster cage, you can salvage some of the parts and use them, in conjunction with some plastic storage bins, to make an upgraded and improved multi-level hamster cage for your pet. This DIY 3 Story Gerbil House is also suitable for hamsters and it provides plenty of space, utilizes the mesh from an old hamster cage, and it only requires some fairly simple tools, although the size of the project means that you should expect to spend a few hours on the project.
That’s a Wrap!
We hope that you enjoyed our round-up of these best DIY hamster cages that you can start building today. Whatever your level of DIY skill, one of these plans is bound to suit you. From a cute doll’s house cage to a roomy run made from an Ikea display unit, there’s something for everyone.
Your hamster will be more than happy with their new home!
Featured Image Credit: Zdeněk Chalupský, Pixabay