Pet Furniture

Published on December 27th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Make your own two storey hamster apartment

Materials: Ikea Billy bookshelf, Dioder four piece lighting strip set, multicolour

Description: Sarah shares how to make a two storey hamster apartment with panoramic views of your living room. It’s fairly straight forward and may take a day or less to complete.

The hamster cage is made out of a ‘Billy bookshelf’ with the lucky hamsters occupying the top two “floors”. A glass panel is hinged onto the top shelf. The bottom half has an acrylic sheet secured against the front to allow for a thick layer of wood shavings and happy hamster digging time.

Vents are added for circulation. Red LED lights too so you can spy on your hamster to your heart’s content.

See how to make your 2-storey hamster apartment instructions.

~ Sarah Robinson

More hacks on

Framework to cover switches
Easy Trofast play kitchen

The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

14 Responses to Make your own two storey hamster apartment

  1. Amy says:

    Where did you get the glass door from?

  2. Kelsey says:

    I think this is a great cage and I will be doing something very similar this weekend. Instead of the glass hinge door though I will be using a wood frame and putting screen there. Also on the shelf I will put a glass or plexy glass wall about 6″ high so no bedding gets out. Sarah your cage is great and don’t let these people disrupt your creativity. Your hamsters will live happily in there palace while the other are in small pet store cages.

  3. Natalie says:

    I think this is a marvellous invention and I am going to use your idea as my son would like a hamster. I have thought of a couple of modifications that I would like to do, but what a great idea.
    BTW to all those people who slated it, shame on you I dont see you coming up with any clever ideas, bit you are willing to slate somebody who has come up with a design that is far and away better than anything you can find in the pet shop grrrr and especially to the “Anonymous” person – couldn’t even bare to go with your own name – what a coward!!!
    Excellent piece of ingenuity – Welldone :-)

  4. Ruthie A says:

    Hi Sarah – I think that this enclosure is fantastic and as you say much nicer than the store bought ones, both for you and for Hammy. Not sure why the anonymous felt the need to post such a pointless comment as it was clear that it was an pet post (She is more than welcome to go to a pet shop, buy all the hamsters and try releasing them into the wild). Sorry rant over – It’s just disappointing that there are so many people who seem to assume that you’ve not thought this through when you obviously put a lot of hard work into making a fantastic place for your pet. I guess people just get hyper critical when it comes to pets and children! Keep hacking and sharing!

  5. Sarah says:

    Firstly there is more than enough ventilation for my hammie, there are holes drilled on the lower level for ventilation and there are huge air vents on the top level. Also as the drop down front is not air tight, plenty of air flows through there. The LEDs let out very very little heat and they are hardly ever on anyway. I installed them because as hamsters are red blind, you can have the red LED on at night and watch them whilst they are completely unaware.

    Kelsey, yes when you push they shelf up, it does make a mess!!! I just hoover it up… but your idea sounds good, having two hinged doors makes sense. That would probably make it less messy. Anyway, my hamster loves this cage and its far nicer than one of the cheap plastic cages you get from the shops.

  6. Kelsey says:

    I love this hack, Sarah, and I’m sorry you’re getting so much flack for it! It seems like a very well-designed hammy house, and I may be copying it in the future. One logistical question; when you push the bottom shelf up to remove it for cleaning, how do you prevent shavings from getting everywhere? I was thinking about the possibility of doing two hinged doors instead–how do you think that would work?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, it doesn’t look like there’s enough ventilation in that cage. Should have vents on all levels and at the top too. I think the lights would really heat up the cage.

  8. Alexandra says:

    hahaha very funny! awesome idea!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ugh. Another hack that perpetuate the captivity of innocent creatures. We should just put a heat lamp over you and see how you feel…

  10. Sarah says:

    No problems with smell, all the open areas and seams were sealed with non-toxic hamster friendly sealant so no urine can seep through. The bottom part is easy to clean, just lift the shelf out, empty the bottom with a dustpan or similar and then when it is empty of wood shavings, I clean it with an antibacterial pet cleaning spray. Easy peasy, the hamster loves it and no smell what so ever.

  11. Helen says:

    I thought the same thing as wildsoda. My kids had hamsters and that cage needs regular, thorough cleaning. How do you clean the bottom part, and won’t the urine seep down into the seams and be absorbed by the particle board? I don’t think hamster cages should be made from potentially absorbent materials. I predict a very smelly living room in the near future!

  12. Anonymous says:

    unhygienic and generally very stupid

  13. wildsoda says:

    It looks cool, but how are you meant to clean out the wood shavings from the bit with the sealed acrylic? (That is, when they get filled with hamster poop?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑