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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran EverEvolvingExotics's Avatar
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    Lightbulb DIY naturalistic laybox/moist hide

    I've been telling myself to make a naturalistic laybox for my hopeful upcoming season of breeding crested geckos. I procrasticnated a long time on it and took even longer to finish it. It wasn't hard to do, but I just decided to take FOREVER to complete it. I just made the final touches on it today now all I have to do is let it cure from all the chemical smells for around a week, add some peat moss/vermiculite mix, and put it in the Exo-Terra and it will be good to go!

    Without further ado, here is the step by step processes on how I did it. Enjoy!

    Purchase a plastic food container of your choice.


    Hot glue on pieces of styrofoam to give it structure and rock-like shapes.


    I used a Dremel tool to cut away even more texture in order to give it a realistic look, but you can use anything to chip away at it, even your fingers. I also used the dremel tool to cut out holes to glue in magnets in order to keep the lid on (pictures later).



    Next I filled in all the gaps with a cheap joint compound (like you would use to fill in holes in drywall). I waited for it to dry and then added on 3 coats of grout. Every coat I made thicker. I had colored stuff laying around, but you can use any type of grout.



    I decided to use spray paint on this project because it was cheaper and easier than trying to paint multiple coats. I only used one coat and then touched up spots that needed it after it dried. I also had some Krylon "Make it Stone" spray paint lying around that I sprayed a quick coat on just to give it some more "life."

    When the paint was done drying I put on 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic water based sealer. I have used this product on multiple different DIY "fake rock" projects and have been very pleased with the outcome. The only down fall is it makes it look a little bit shiny when done. I haven't found anything that is satin finished that also acts as a sealant.


    I then hot glued the magnets into the holes.


    Here is the finished product, I really like the way it turned out!



    On top of it being a laybox the gecko has a little space to hide under that I believe will be used often.
    Specializing in Ball Pythons, New Caledonian Geckos, and African Fat Tails


  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to EverEvolvingExotics For This Useful Post:

    jsmorphs2 (03-24-2012),MarkS (04-09-2012)

  3. #2
    Registered User Cameron Lamb Exotics's Avatar
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    Very Creative

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    EverEvolvingExotics (03-22-2012)

  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran luvmyballs's Avatar
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    Re: DIY naturalistic laybox/moist hide

    that is 1 heck of a good idea. it looks really good. nice job.
    0.1 butter
    1.1 pastel
    1.0 mojave
    0.1 bumblebee
    1.0 normal
    1.0 uromastyx mali
    2.1 anole
    0.0.1 peachfront conure
    0.10 chickens
    1.0 dog
    3.4 cats
    2.4 asf

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    EverEvolvingExotics (03-22-2012)

  7. #4
    BPnet Lifer Mike41793's Avatar
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    Idk if the chemicals would be harmful to the geckos at all but you should be good if you let it air out long enough...
    With that said i think it looks absolutely amazing. Better than alot of the stuff i see in stores. I especially like the use of the magnets. I would seriously consider selling these if i were you. Idk how long or how expensive they are to make but i could see myself paying $25-$30 for one if i had geckos lol. It really does look better quality than store bought ones!
    1.0 normal bp
    mad roaches yo

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    EverEvolvingExotics (03-22-2012)

  9. #5
    BPnet Veteran EverEvolvingExotics's Avatar
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    Re: DIY naturalistic laybox/moist hide

    Quote Originally Posted by Reptilecam View Post
    Very Creative
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyballs View Post
    that is 1 heck of a good idea. it looks really good. nice job.
    Thank you, I appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike41793 View Post
    Idk if the chemicals would be harmful to the geckos at all but you should be good if you let it air out long enough...
    With that said i think it looks absolutely amazing. Better than alot of the stuff i see in stores. I especially like the use of the magnets. I would seriously consider selling these if i were you. Idk how long or how expensive they are to make but i could see myself paying $25-$30 for one if i had geckos lol. It really does look better quality than store bought ones!
    Thanks,

    Between the drying paint and sealant it's not worth the risk to put it in an enclosed space with a living animal. Waiting a week gives me piece of mind, it's also what a lot of other DIY'ers suggest doing before placing something like this into the setup. It could be fine without doing it, but I'd rather not risk it.

    I really prefer making my own stuff to buying the store bought things. Unless I was mass producing them it wouldn't be worth my time to make these and ship them out to others. People have asked me before to buy them, but it's a decent amount of worth for little pay. I figure by giving a decent DIY instructional people can make their own and have fun while doing it. I know I really enjoy making them. I learn a little bit more every time I do one. I should be starting another rockwall background here shortly since one of my cresties is starting to get big enough for her new setup. I'll be sure to post a detailed DIY on that one as well!
    Specializing in Ball Pythons, New Caledonian Geckos, and African Fat Tails


  10. #6
    Registered User sporty02's Avatar
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    that is a sweet looking setup great job
    0.1 spider ball
    1.0 pastel ball
    1.0 sunburst bearded dragon

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    EverEvolvingExotics (03-26-2012)

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