DIY hide out

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Hatchling Member
I've been wanting to get Charlie a hide but they can be expensive! So, I followed the lead of so many others on the forum and made my own. Since there is no budget line for Charlie at the library, I needed to make the hide as inexpensively as possible, with items I had on hand.

I started with a Hello Fresh insulated box someone had given me. The styrofoam inside was nice and thick, and seemed perfect.
But as you can see, it has a foil-type covering. It wasn't a great surface to add grout to. But I managed to only use an entire bucket of the stuff (we had some leftover from a project.)
I textured the grout with a damp sponge, but I found it wanted to peel away if I tried to do too much. The outer edges are rough, but they will not be overly visible, so I'm going to call it a win.
Here is the hide after I painted it. I actually did this twice, the first coat looked like pinkish red baby barf....the browns worked out better and I was able to make it look more like natural stone. The picture shows the rocks that were gifted to Charlie that inspired the colors in the paint job. Its hard to see but here are some subtle layers of creams and pinks over the top of the brown like you might see in a sandstone cliff.
I don't have pics of the hide in the terrarium because it's still drying. Then the maintenance man is going to seal it with polyurethane for me while I'm gone for the weekend. Hopefully it fully airs out by the time I get back on Monday.

Claudiusx Sicko
Staff member
Looks great! Especially for your first time!
G9ves me the itch to start making some again ha.

Just make sure that you cant smell the poly before adding it into the enclosure. If you can still smell it then it is still off-gasing and curing.



Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Claudiusx":3ky94joo said:
Just make sure that you cant smell the poly before adding it into the enclosure. If you can still smell it then it is still off-gasing and curing.

That's what we figured. I hope the humidity is low this weekend, it will help it dry, but we've had a lot of rain lately so it might take extra time to be ready.


If you ever decide to make another, i'd add all 3 of those rocks. One for the bottom step, make the back two pieces and the little wall to the right of the entrance. Leave those 3 pieces off and make the cave without the rocks above but remember to take into count where they will be and build accordingly. Once done place the rocks in their new home and glue on with gorilla glue and silicon.

You could also build the back wall and insert the rock flat in the basking platform instead. Just add a layer of foam a little bit all around underneath the rock.

I love those rocks!


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
I do too! They are so neat. He hasn't been using the hide yet, but I'm keeping my hopes up. I won't bother making another until I find a deeper tank. This one is a 48x12x18 and I'd love to at least have it 24 deep.
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