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9 DIY Reptile Enclosures You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

lizard (DIY Reptile Enclosures You Can Build Today)

Are you a proud owner of a snake, lizard, turtle, or bearded dragon? Or maybe looking to get your first reptile pet? Either way, giving them a great enclosure will make them feel safe and welcome in your home.

If you’re the crafty type, you’ll be interested to know that there are plenty of options for DIY reptile enclosures that you can build today! So, when you’re ready to learn how to build a reptile enclosure for your scaly friend, take a look through our list of the 9 best DIY plans for reptiles of every species.


The 9 DIY Reptile Enclosure Plans

1. Upcycled Bookshelf DIY Reptile Enclosure from Instructables

We love any DIY plan that can take disused furniture and make it into something great. If you have an extra bookcase that’s not storing your novels any longer, why not turn it into an awesome reptile enclosure with these plans from Instructables? It’ll take a little bit of DIY know-how to finish, but is well worth the time and effort.

  • Old bookcase
  • Wood filler
  • Deck screws
  • White contact paper
  • Silicone caulk
  • Fence post topper and 2x4s for legs (optional)
  • Construction adhesive
  • Trim nails
  • Crown molding (optional)
  • Acrylic sheeting or sign holders and 1x2s for doors
  • ½” C-channel for sliding doors
  • 1” PVC pipe and window screen for vents
  • Tape measure
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Jigsaw
  • T-square
  • Sander
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Clamps
  • Hot glue

2. Upcycled Windows DIY Reptile Enclosure Plans from Animals at Home

Animals at Home has provided these unique plans to turn old windows into a custom enclosure for your reptile friend. They’re quite tricky to build, but the video found with the plans will clear up any questions you might have along the way.

  • (8) 36” x 21” windows
  • Mineral oil
  • Painters tape
  • GE Silicone I
  • Black indoor/outdoor latex paint
  • Oak trim (1) 1” x 3” and (3) 1” x 2”
  • Polyurethane stain
  • Acrylic sheet for door
  • (2) 3” door hinges
  • (6) bolts & acorn nuts and (6) wood screws for hinges
  • No More Nails
  • Cam locks
  • Headlight buff kit for cleaning acrylic (optional)
  • Storm door panel clips
  • Glass cutter
  • Paintbrush or roller
  • Sandpaper or fine steel wool
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Jigsaw
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure

3. Simple DIY Reptile Enclosure Plans from Aussie Pythons

The reptile-lovers from down under at Aussie Pythons were kind enough to share these clear and concise instructions for a custom-built DIY snake enclosure. You’ll need a fair number of tools to get it done, and an electric saw such as a jigsaw makes it much quicker and easier. With directions to install your own wiring, it’s truly an all-in-one DIY plan.

  • 2400 x 1200 x 16mm melamine sheet
  • Off-cut of melamine or a piece of pine 1200x70x19
  • 1200 long glass track
  • Vent
  • White iron on edging
  • White screw caps
  • White sikaflex
  • Buildex chipboard screws, 8-10g x 32mm
  • PVA glue
  • Small nails – 20mm x 1.25mm
  • Example
  • Electric or cordless drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Hacksaw
  • Handsaw
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver bit for cordless
  • Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Work horses or bench
  • Iron
  • File

4. Wooden DIY Reptile Enclosure Plans from Reptile Range

We love the simplicity of these DIY plans from Reptile Range. Anyone with basic tools and a desire to learn should be able to make this after a trip to the hardware store for supplies.

  • (2)wood sheets 900mm X 450mm X 10mm
  • (1) wood sheet 900mm X 470mm X 10mm
  • (2) wood sheets 450mm X 450mm
  • (2) Perspex sheets 450mm X 445mm X 5mm
  • (2) glass runners 880mm long and about 10mm high
  • Wood screws
  • Silicone adhesive
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Saw

5. Entertainment Center DIY Reptile Enclosure Plans from Instructables

Another awesome option for upcycling old furniture, this reptile enclosure from Instructables is made out of an old entertainment center! Since most of the construction has already been done for you, it’s a great project for people short on time who are willing to follow directions closely. Plus, it’s one of the largest DIY reptile enclosures you can build.

  • 5 shelf wooden bookcase
  • Acrylic sheet at least 29” x 48”
  • (16) corner braces
  • (2) flat braces
  • (4) butt hinges
  • Weather stripping
  • LED strip kit
  • Saran wrap
  • Styrofoam sheets
  • Coco fiber
  • Drill and bits
  • Silicone
  • Hot glue
  • Polyurethane finish

6. Custom DIY Reptile Enclosure Plans from Instructables

If you have access to the tools of a woodworking shop, these DIY plans from Instructables make for a sturdy and easily customized enclosure. Equally suitable for snakes, turtles, or lizards, it’s a fairly advanced project that requires considerable time and effort.

  • Wood screws 1 ½”
  • Screws ¾” and 1″
  • Pine wood 1″x2″ and 1″x3″
  • 2″x2″ wood
  • Plexiglass .093″ thickness
  • Plywood about ¼”
  • Screen clips
  • 1″ hinges
  • 1½” bolt latch
  • Mesh screen (screen door screen, optional)
  • White pegboard
  • Stain
  • Mold resistant paint
  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Drill and bits
  • Jigsaw with wood and plexiglass cutting blades
  • Hot glue gun
  • Staple gun
  • Sander
  • Clamps
  • L square

7. Acrylic Terrarium DIY Reptile Enclosure Plans from Instructables

Small reptiles don’t get as much love in most DIY plans, but this tiny acrylic enclosure from Instructables more than makes up for a lack of options. For how impressive it looks, it actually requires very little in the way of tools or skills – just a willingness to learn new things as you work with acrylic.

  • Lock or Screen Clip
  • Hinges
  • (3) pieces acrylic 6” x10”
  • (2) pieces acrylic 6” x 6½”
  • (1) piece acrylic 6” x 3½”
  • (1) piece acrylic 6” x 1½”
  • (1) piece acrylic 6” x 5”
  • Router table (if cutting acrylic yourself)
  • Corner Clamp
  • Measuring Tape
  • Rivet Gun
  • X-acto Knife
  • Electrical Tape
  • Applicator Bottle
  • Torch
  • Weld-On 3
  • Sanding Block
  • Marker
  • ½” spade bit
  • Step Drill Bit
  • Clamps
  • Funnel
  • Drill
  • Carpenters Square

8. Bookcase DIY Reptile Enclosure Plans from Instructables

You can turn any thrift store bookcase find into a fully outfitted reptile enclosure with these plans from Instructables. Since most of the wood construction is already done for you, all you’ll need to do is install the windows, decorations, and heat lamps to make it a complete home for your lizards or snakes.

  • Bookcase (5 shelves)
  • Window screen material
  • Caulk
  • Branches
  • Sand (safe/appropriate for animal)
  • Heat lamps and other lizard supplies
  • Hook and eye closures
  • Hinges
  • Screws
  • Nails
  • Paint (for decoration, if desired)
  • Drill and bits
  • Jigsaw
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Hammer
  • Paintbrushes (optional)

9. Bearded Dragon DIY Reptile Enclosure Plans from Instructables

Specially designed to house a bearded dragon, this enclosure from Instructables has simple materials but requires quite a few power tools. If you’re willing to put in the effort to make it though, you’ll be rewarded with an all-in-one home for your bearded dragon that’s durable and customizable.

  • (1) sheet ½” Baltic birch ply-wood
  • ¾” x 1″x 8′ poplar
  • (2) ⅛” – ¼” thick Plexiglas sheets measuring 15½” x 17″
  • ¼” hole Poultry fabric for the top
  • 1¼” screws
  • Cordless drill
  • Cordless screw gun
  • Table saw
  • Crosscut sled
  • Wire cutters
  • Sander

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Final Thoughts

Caring for reptiles requires specialized habitats, and these can often be quite expensive to buy from the store. With these DIY enclosure plans, we hope that you’ve been inspired to learn how to build a reptile enclosure for your reptile that will keep them happy and healthy for years to come.


For more DIY projects check out these posts:

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Featured Image Credit: PIRO4D, Pixabay

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