Baby tub DIY for $10

Vegas Chad

Avid Member
Every winter I always hit up Target when they put their medium plastic tubs on sale for $4 bucks to make some more baby tubs. I have quite a few small screen cages however a whole baby tub set runs me about $10 where as a screen cage is at least $30. When I build 10 or so at a time that $20+ savings per unit really adds up! As I was making a bunch I thought I would do a little ‘how to’ on them. They are VERY simply to make. All you need is a plastic tote of your preferred size, a box knife, hot glue gun and some screen.


Take the lid off of the tub and using your razor knife cut out the center of the lid leaving the outside edge with the locking lip in place. Once you are done with this go ahead and plug in your glue gun so it has time to warm up.


Next take out your screen and again with your knife cut out a square big enough to fill the void leaving enough overlap so that you will be able to glue it into place.



Once you have it cut to the necessary size place the screen about where it needs to go. Now take your hot glue gun and run a bead of hot glue on the long side of the lid, place the screen on the bead and push the screen down into the glue, depending on how tough your fingers are you can do this by hand or you can use some sort of tool.



Now do the opposite side the same way, make sure when you set the screen into the glue that you pull the screen taught to reduce and sag or waves in the screen.


Glue both of the ends and again pull them taught.


And presto, you have yourself a baby chameleon tub! For $4 and some ol’ glue sticks and screen that you probably have lying around.



You can also screen the sides of the tub using the same methods as above however for how I set up my tubs it behooves me to leave them solid. It’s also important to note to choose a tub that has opaque sides.

This is the first half using $4 of the $10, $6 part two below.

Vegas Chad

Avid Member
Part 2

The second half of this DIY is how to make an easy to remove and clean climbing grid that you can place into your tubs! For this you will need some sort of solid wire structure or like item, a few sticks or vines and some fake vines/plants. I use live plants in all of my adult cages however for baby cages I use fake plastic plants as the poop count in baby tubs is always much higher :). This is how I do it as it is super easy to clean however you can use whatever suits you.

I use cheap $3 desk file holders, the wire structure makes for a nice climbing grid and an easy way to weave in the vine.


Insert a few of your favorite sticks. For me this is bamboo.


Now weave in your plant vine and you’re done!


Toss in 2 paper towels in the bottom of the tub then set the grid in, insert chameleon; snap on the lid and your all done! Easy as pie... The sticks and vine should run you about $3 putting up right at $10 bucks.



Obi Wan Ambilobe

New Member
Looks wicked mate, I would put a bunch of tiny drilled holes at each end, 1" or so up from the bottom and mesh them up to help air the flow tho!

Good stuff!


Chameleon Enthusiast
Very nice Chad! I like the idea of having a top to keep the fruit flies in. I'm trying to decide what to keep my babies in when they hatch this spring. Do you always use tubs or do you sometimes use small screened cages?


Avid Member
I love clever ways to make our lives easier. Especially when you as large of a collection as some of us do.

I use your cage technique to make crickets bins, with exception to the screen. I use aluminum for obvious reasons.

Now the file holder is a handy idea! I make larger versions for the adult cages out of dowels. 2" dowels can be drilled to hold smaller 5/16" or 3/8" dowels. I'll see if I can grab a decent pic of the one I just made for the adult quads that just came in.

Fun stuff...


Vegas Chad

Avid Member
Very nice Chad! I like the idea of having a top to keep the fruit flies in. I'm trying to decide what to keep my babies in when they hatch this spring. Do you always use tubs or do you sometimes use small screened cages?

I use both screen cages and tubs. These days I have been separating out clutches to 10-15 per cage, so using the tubs makes it easier to afford separating.


Avid Member
Haha that's pretty much what I did - should have made a DIY to go with it. Nice! I love the choice in color... ;)
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