My New (Free to Make) DIY Hide!

Memphis, TN
I made this using things I found around my house! While I understand your average Joe may not have all this stuff lying around, I'm sure a lot of people do.

The finished product:
IMG_9817.jpg IMG_9819.jpg IMG_9820.jpg IMG_9818.jpg

Of course, its not the prettiest hide ever, but it sure is the cheapest!
(this method is only for making smaller creations, I dont believe it could support itself during the making if you made a full terrarium setup using this method! Also, this method is used for low humidity tanks. 0-60 humidity, probably)

How I made it :
I first took an old plastic spinach container and rinsed it out. It was bigger than I needed, so i cut it in half and cut off the lip. Then I covered that in the classic paper mache (not too much, just enough to give it more strength so that is can support itself). Let that dry COMPLETELY! Consider putting on another layer or two, focusing FIRST on the sides then on the roof. You may have to put a mug or some other support inside so that it doesnt sag too much in this stage. Bugs will be really attracted to it at this stage, but not for long! While the skeleton of the hide is drying, make a few natural looking rock shapes by dipping various sized sheets of newspaper into the flour/water mix and crumpling them up to mimic the shape of rocks. I'd suggest making more than you need. Also during this stage, you can make a flat piece of paper mache to cover half of the entrance to make it smaller and provide your reptile with more privacy.
Now... let it all dry.

After it's all dry, hot glue the rocks and the part of the front into the places you want them. This is just to hold them in place during the grouting process. I also added a spot for a calcium bowl! Next, It's time to grout. I used some premixed grout i found in my garage, left over from some renovations. I started on the inside(which i strongly reccomend, so that you have some more support when adding the heavier outside) and at first, i didnt add enough water and after it dried, it began to crumble! I learned he longer grout takes to dry, and the thinner each layer is (You have to do a lot), the tougher it is in the in! So ADD WATER! Water is your friend! So are LAYERS!! LAYER LAYER LAYER! After all the layers of grout have been placed and dried, its time to paint. This is the fun part, but this requires patience!

Start with a light color, such as beige or tan and let that dry. Next come back with a darker color and quickly paint over everything. Dont let it dry! Come back with a rag or paper towel and rub away on the places you want the lighter color to be. Of course, you can just free hand the whole thing, but this is an easier method. After that dries, dry-brush the some places with white or a very light sandy color. Let that dry completely.

Now, take some mod podge, or other water based sealer, and start with thicker layers on the high traffic areas. You can also sprinkle some sand on the high traffic areas to offer a better grip. Then, keep layering on mod podge. You can add water to the layers, but this is not necessary.

Now let the mod podge dry, and after a few days, it should have little or no tackiness!

Try it for yourself! :)

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