Custom Enclosure From a Dresser

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Hi All,

I have been looking to build a custom enclosure for a while, and wanted something that would fit in like a piece of furniture. Luckily, my mother in law had an old dresser sitting in her garage that she said I could take off her hands.


Removed the top two levels of drawers, and added a plywood 'floor'


I used 3/4 inch styrofoam sheets on the back, sides and floor


Then started building....


Added a three coats of sanded grout, then four coats of hard coat mod podge


My wife then decided that she didn't like the color (yay), so I sanded down the outside and restained to a color of her liking. I personally think it looks exactly the same (but would never say that!). Here it is airing in the California sunshine for a week or so.


Lights were already installed, as were the vents, so just tidied up all the cords on the back.
I used this light with reflector on the left hand half of the enclosure, with a Reptisun 10 T5 bulb. On the right I added a generic fluorescent light for some extra light.

The wires from all the lights are fed back into the body of the dresser, and into the center drawer, so I have easy access to the timers etc, and the whole thing can sit as close to the wall as possible.


Used the Knape & Vogt runners for the sliding doors, and had 1/4" tempered glass doors made. Here it is, everything installed and in place in the house:


And finally, here is the little guy enjoying the extra space!


I am still playing around with the basking light to get good temps etc. Originally had a 50w halogen flood but had to have that dimmed all the way down to get to 105 degrees. Swapped out for a 38w PAR38 halogen flood and am getting steady temps of 100 to 105 degrees depending on time of day, still dimmed down, but with room to dim further if things get too hot in the summer.
Overnight temps and cool side temps seem fine. The styrofoam in the walls and floor seem to insulate things very well.

I personally think it needs some additional decoration, but not sure what yet.
I thought the mod podge came out a little shiny and slippery for my liking, but he doesn't seem to care and just likes to run around doing parkour on all the features.

Any feedback for improvements etc would be appreciated, this is my first build, so I am sure there are things that could be better.

Thank for looking!


Hatchling Member
That is awesome looking. I want to do something like that so bad but my hubby hates my beardie so he would never agree to an enclosure that is a focal piece of furniture. What are the dimensions of your enclosure?


Original Poster
The internal dimension of the enclosure are roughly 54 inches wide x 24 inches deep, and the height is around 24 inches also.


Hatchling Member
gj1980uk":sihghsay said:
The internal dimension of the enclosure are roughly 54 inches wide x 24 inches deep, and the height is around 24 inches also.

Wow!! That's a nice size. I bet your beardie loves the space.


I am making something like this but out of an old tv cabinet. I don't know how to wire the backing light fixture? None of them I found come with a cord to a plug


New member
I love your enclosure, I'm going to be getting a bearded dragon in the coming months and I am looking to create my own enclosure pretty much how you have it. I'm tossing around the idea of laying the inside down with tile floors for easier cleanup and less issues with urine and such soaking into the grout which seems to be a big issue according to online places i have read. With the use of the final coating of MOD PODGE (never heard of the stuff) does it not soak up any liquids?


Original Poster
Honestly, there isn't too much issue with moisture soaking through the mod podge. I did four coats total. Noticed that when he poops, it will turn the mod pudge opaque, but that dries back to clear. My beardie generally poops in the same spot, and only if I don't quickly get to clean up is there any issue. There are a couple of places with a little staining on the mod podge, but nothing too bad. Tile may have been a more practical option, but I wanted to go with grout for the entire thing.


Original Poster
I had the glass doors custom made at a glass place local to me. I found instructions online for the runners I got on how to measure the opening for the glass (needs to be smaller than the opening height so the doors can be dropped in after installation of the runners). So basically I just gave the glass place the dimensions I measured, including allowing for an overlap of the doors in the middle.
In the end, I messed up the height measurement so couldn't drop the doors in when the runners were installed so I had to install the runners with the glass in place, so I can't take the doors out. I got the glass place to do a "pencil edge" on the edges of the glass so it slides easier.

Cost of the glass was approximately $100.
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