Homemade Enclosure progress pics

Steve A

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello everyone,

Just wanted to share what I've been working on. We have a new panther chameleon coming next Wednesday! This is the enclosure I built for him.

I have pretty much no woodworking skills, and the wood I used was very Imperfect. I think it came out okay, considering 🫣😀

I just wanted to do the best I could for him because, like so many others who get into chameleon keeping, I had so much wrong the first time around.

I wanted to give him more than the typical 2x2x4. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I just thought I'd give him as much space as I possibly could. I have two palms in there for just some added cover for now. All of the other plants are pothos. All of the sticks are natural branches from around my home. I had some flukers bend a branches I wanted to add but I noticed some of them were deteriorating so I threw them all away.

The main thing I learned from this is getting the right tools. Which I initially didn't quite have. For example my wood joints are terrible looking (structure is strong) I learned I needed a flat blade for my table saw to do those right and I didn't have one 🫠. I also should have planned the screen better. I didn't realize it would be so difficult to work with. It's not that hard to cut, but it doesn't cooperate well. Had I gotten the screen on earlier I would have simply covered the ends with thin wood trim.

Overall it was a pain in the butt, but I had a good time doing it. And you can definitely save money doing this. Depending on what tools you already have. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask and I'll answer the best I can. Hopefully my experiencing can help out others.
 

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I see one thing that you want to fix... You know the netting you put in? You need to get that stapled down to the frame in the front. You do not want any openings like that in case the baby crawls in between that netting. Right now it looks like it is not hooked to the wood at the front of the cage. If I am wrong ignore me. :)

Otherwise looks really good. :) You might put a latch on the doors up higher just so little hands can not easily open the cage when your in the other room.
 
I see one thing that you want to fix... You know the netting you put in? You need to get that stapled down to the frame in the front. You do not want any openings like that in case the baby crawls in between that netting. Right now it looks like it is not hooked to the wood at the front of the cage. If I am wrong ignore me. :)

Otherwise looks really good. :) You might put a latch on the doors up higher just so little hands can not easily open the cage when your in the other room.
Nope you are correct. I did not put one on the front. I believe at this point he may be about 4 months old. Would you still recommend that? It's an easy fix so I may just do that anyway. I have a latch, but I opted not to do it for now because the doors are VERY tight. They're actually a little bit of a pain to open and close lol So I just decided not to. I feel like it would be redundant considering how tight they are.
 
Nope you are correct. I did not put one on the front. I believe at this point he may be about 4 months old. Would you still recommend that? It's an easy fix so I may just do that anyway. I have a latch, but I opted not to do it for now because the doors are VERY tight. They're actually a little bit of a pain to open and close lol So I just decided not to. I feel like it would be redundant considering how tight they are.
Then don't worry about the latch (had the same issues when I did the doors on my outside enclosure.)

Go ahead and hook down the material... Weird things happen with these guys and the last thing you want is to have to cut him out from between the two materials and ruin the cage.
 
Then don't worry about the latch (had the same issues when I did the doors on my outside enclosure.)

Go ahead and hook down the material... Weird things happen with these guys and the last thing you want is to have to cut him out from between the two materials and ruin the cage.
Yeah that's true. That's a good point. When I put it on, it didn't seem like that would be an issue. Then when I added the branches, it stretched it. I actually thought you were talking about the doors at first, because I just have the normal screen there. But I see what you mean now. On the side, it opens up and he can crawl in between. This might actually be tougher to fix than I originally though. I'm not sure if it will cooperate well considering how stretch it is. But I will take a look at it when I get home and see what I can do. Thank you!
 
Yeah that's true. That's a good point. When I put it on, it didn't seem like that would be an issue. Then when I added the branches, it stretched it. I actually thought you were talking about the doors at first, because I just have the normal screen there. But I see what you mean now. On the side, it opens up and he can crawl in between. This might actually be tougher to fix than I originally though. I'm not sure if it will cooperate well considering how stretch it is. But I will take a look at it when I get home and see what I can do. Thank you!
If it is easier try to hook it to the inside of the wood rather than flat against the other side of it. They are masters of doing their own thing so you gotta try to think of all possible things that could run a muck. lol
 
If it is easier try to hook it to the inside of the wood rather than flat against the other side of it. They are masters of doing their own thing so you gotta try to think of all possible things that could run a muck. lol
Yeah I'm gonna have to figure this out. Because I made it to attach to those support bars on the top and bottom. I'll see if I can stretch it to the inside like you're saying.

I have more wood, but the problem is it's not sealed. Otherwise, I would just cut 4 to the length of the inside of those support bars and then staple it to those on the inside. I wish I thought of this before lol. When I get home I'll check it out and if that doesn't work I'll take some more pics and maybe you can help me brainstorm another solution :)
 
Yeah I'm gonna have to figure this out. Because I made it to attach to those support bars on the top and bottom. I'll see if I can stretch it to the inside like you're saying.

I have more wood, but the problem is it's not sealed. Otherwise, I would just cut 4 to the length of the inside of those support bars and then staple it to those on the inside. I wish I thought of this before lol. When I get home I'll check it out and if that doesn't work I'll take some more pics and maybe you can help me brainstorm another solution :)
ok let me know.
 
ok let me know.
Ok I can definitely hook this to make it tighter against that front portion of the frame. Do you have any suggestions on what I should use? Off the bat I am thinking maybe some dry wall hooks that I can screw in by hand.
 
It looks great and I think you have more skill than you know.
For the netting, can you just kind of ‘sew’ it to the screen if it doesn’t stretch? You could use a very fine wire or even just a thick literal sewing thread. Another option may be to add some pretty wood trim to frame the outside and then staple from the inside to that. 🤷‍♀️
 
It looks great and I think you have more skill than you know.
For the netting, can you just kind of ‘sew’ it to the screen if it doesn’t stretch? You could use a very fine wire or even just a thick literal sewing thread. Another option may be to add some pretty wood trim to frame the outside and then staple from the inside to that. 🤷‍♀️
Thank you! I supposed I could possibly use fishing line. But I really like your idea about the wood trim! I can definitely make that work! What a great idea :) I can literally just cut it to length for each side and it can overlap the edge.
 
Ok I can definitely hook this to make it tighter against that front portion of the frame. Do you have any suggestions on what I should use? Off the bat I am thinking maybe some dry wall hooks that I can screw in by hand.
I used the highest quality staples for my staple gun. That way it held it firm to the wood.
 
I used the highest quality staples for my staple gun. That way it held it firm to the wood.
Thank you both! I fixed it. When I woke up this morning I realized I had a bunch of extra material so I went ahead and just put a patch at the end. Stapled it to the enclosure, and then used zip ties to secure the two pieces of fencing to each other. Now it's super tight and secure 🙂
 

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Thank you both! I fixed it. When I woke up this morning I realized I had a bunch of extra material so I went ahead and just put a patch at the end. Stapled it to the enclosure, and then used zip ties to secure the two pieces of fencing to each other. Now it's super tight and secure 🙂
Great job :)
 
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