Ikea Bookshelf Enclosure

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Kadaan

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I've noticed my greek pacing back and forth along the front wall of his enclosure trying to walk up the side there, and being a very adept climber reaching close to the top of the 6.5" high walls where the plants are. I decided to make a different enclosure with the following goals:

- Completely opaque
- At least 12" high walls
- More 'appealing' to have sitting in my living room
- Be able to swap out planters of live plants/grasses/weeds for grazing

With those things in mind, I spent a little over an hour at Ikea and found exactly what I wanted!


23 5/8" wide, 50 3/8" tall, and a nice 15 3/4" deep, for $80. I put it together without shelves, laid it down, and put one shelf on "vertically" (horizontally when it's laid down). Makes a perfect hide, and a shelf for me to put stuff on.


To place it on, I picked up 2 of these small tables for $7.99 each:


Assembled one in the corner to see if there's enough space:


The whole thing:



I picked up a plastic bin at Target for $5 that fit perfectly length-wise inside:


They wouldn't fit in evenly if I bought more of them, so I'm trying to find something that will fit well in the remaining 35" x 22". I was trying to stay away from directly putting substrate inside, since pressboard and moisture don't play nicely together.

One option I've been thinking about is lining the inside completely with clear contact paper and sealing the joints with silicone. Would contact paper work, or is it not waterproof? I could always go the vinyl shower curtain route, but I was hoping to keep the wood look inside.
 

Meg90

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I'm not sure about contact paper, I would just use a shower liner, but MAN GREAT JOB.

Can't wait to see it when its done!

Makes me wish we had an Ikea. I can't find shelves deep enough to convert.
 

Yvonne G

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I like the fact that you've used one of the shelves as a lid at one end. Very inventive on your part!

I purchased a plastic shower curtain liner from Orchard's for about $7. Its very flimsy material, as its meant to be used as a liner to an existing shower curtain, and its see-through, so your wood grain would show through.

Good job!!

Yvonne
 

fishtanker

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IKEA! Gotta love those craft scandinavians! Shower curtain is probably the cheapest way to go. You could use thicker plastic sheeting from the hardware store but it may be more expensive. Pool or pond liner too. I like the way your table looks not only functional, but incredibly pleasing to they eye an professional.
 

Isa

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Really nice, I love the idea! I like the color and it looks really nice on the 2 tables!
 

Meg90

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The stick tiles would work---I know people use them in custom enclosures for tegus, and the substrate is moist and the environment is humid.

Good idea!
 

Sudhira

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I am very inspired to follow your lead Kadaan. How did you affix the end board to pivot?

Thanks,

S
 

chadk

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Kadaan said:
They wouldn't fit in evenly if I bought more of them, so I'm trying to find something that will fit well in the remaining 35" x 22". I was trying to stay away from directly putting substrate inside, since pressboard and moisture don't play nicely together.

One option I've been thinking about is lining the inside completely with clear contact paper and sealing the joints with silicone. Would contact paper work, or is it not waterproof? I could always go the vinyl shower curtain route, but I was hoping to keep the wood look inside.

Looks a lot like mine.

I used heavy plastic liner (vapor barrier type stuff in construction stores). Just used black duct tape to holt it right up to the top level of the substrate, so you hardly see it.

I aslo used a bin like that on one end. I put if full of substrate for better digging, burrowing. I then kept only that bin really moist. The other areas I let dry out for the most part. I built a humid hide on the deep soil\bin and a ramp leading up to the bin using state tiles to trim nails. Then placed other slate around the enclosure for walkways and then water dishes and food dishes.
 

Kadaan

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Where's a good place to get slate? I bought a box for $30 from petco that was for an aquarium, but people have said you can get it much cheaper elsewhere. I looked around Lowes and didn't find anything besides their perfectly shaped garden tiles. Where can you find just plain old irregular shaped slate pieces?
 

chadk

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Lowes\Home Depot should have some. Just check in the landscaping area by the pavers.
 

Yvonne G

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Or look in the Yellow Pages of the phone book for gravel, sand, rocks

Yvonne
 

Meg90

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I bought a piece of tile (the nicely shaped ones :)) like, the 12in square, and then wrapped it in a towel, and hit it with a hammer in different spots to bust it up.
 

chadk

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Oh, and if you need to ask someone there, ask for "flagstone"
 

Kadaan

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Sudhira said:
How did you affix the end board to pivot?
I just used the shelf and pin-things that came with the bookshelf. You get those little metal plugs that go into the holes to set the height of the shelf, I just put them in holes so the shelf would be horizontal when the bookshelf was laid flat :). I'll see if I can take a better photo later.
 

Sudhira

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Kadaan said:
Sudhira said:
How did you affix the end board to pivot?
I just used the shelf and pin-things that came with the bookshelf. You get those little metal plugs that go into the holes to set the height of the shelf, I just put them in holes so the shelf would be horizontal when the bookshelf was laid flat :). I'll see if I can take a better photo later.
Oh goodie, thanks so much!
 

Kadaan

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Sudhira said:
Kadaan said:
Sudhira said:
How did you affix the end board to pivot?
I just used the shelf and pin-things that came with the bookshelf. You get those little metal plugs that go into the holes to set the height of the shelf, I just put them in holes so the shelf would be horizontal when the bookshelf was laid flat :). I'll see if I can take a better photo later.
Oh goodie, thanks so much!
Here's a better photo of the shelf:



I grabbed a few things from Lowes tonight after work; two 30" window planters that fits really well inside, a heavy-duty clear vinyl shower curtain, 2 rolls of shelf liner, and a box of 8 3"x6" slate tiles. I figure this way I can rotate one planter outside/one inside to let the weeds regrow and get some real sun.




Right now I'm trying to work out how to raise the substrate in just that empty spot. The planter/bin are a good 7" high, which is quite a bit more substrate than I'd like to use. Since I'm going to be using the bin in the back as the humid area, do you think I could just cut and stack some cardboard 3-4" high and put 3-4" of substrate on top of that?[hr]
I also tried finding some Organic mulch/potting soil but couldn't find anything labeled as such. The closest thing I could find is this bag of "All Natural" potting soil. Would this work to mix with coir/playsand for a substrate?

 

Kadaan

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Just spent a good 2 hours wrestling with the shower curtain and vinyl shelf liner that's supposed to tape/hold it up. Got ONE WALL done -.-. That stuff sticks to the shower curtain like nothing else, the curtain stretches a bit, and it's hard getting it to go in a straight line! ARGH!
 

chadk

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Instead of trying to raise the lower area up to the bins, why not use ramps? A slate tile ramp or other similar approach offers great exercise, a nice hiding place under the ramp, and can help keep the nails trim.[hr]
Oh, and that potting soil should work fine. Just be sure it doesn't have the little white balls of perlite or vermiculite.
 
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