Timeless Spirit Enclosure

Complete, Detailed Instructions:
How to Build Our Bearded Dragon Enclosure

4' x 2' x 18"

by Dave Stephenson and Aleesha Sattva
Custom Design by Dave Stephenson

For those who don't want to build this themselves (from these free instructions); Contact your local Vocational School and ask if they will make it a project for a couple of students. Great way for them to learn about dragons at the same time! Cost of supplies, excluding lights = approx. 50-70 dollars Canadian.

Click here for larger image. (968x564 pixels)

Click here to see more photos of this enclosure (as made by other people).

Enclosure: made of melamine, plexiglass, 2 vents (one for each end) and has two lights in it (basking and UVB). The dimensions are 4'x2' and 18" high.

Tools needed are: jigsaw, power drill, table or skill saw and measuring tape, screwdrivers #1 and #2 robertson/squarehead, hammer, nail set.


  • 1 - 4'x8' sheet of 5/8" thick melamine
  • 3 - 4 foot 2"x2"
  • 2 plastic air vents 15"x7" (or you can use smaller ones if you prefer) get the ones with the mesh in them so your crickets can't escape!
  • plexi-glass runners (also called w channels) - *{2 channel 1/8" slider molding… 4 ft long. comes in a package of two (upper slider and lower) - *Click here for a close up of these runners.} If you cannot find these runners, don't worry, you can make the groove for the plexi doors out of two pieces of wood, leaving a space in the middle for the doors to slide… be creative, it's amazing what you can make! And don't forget to check out glass suppliers as they may be able to help you!
  • 11 5/8" x 49" plexi-glass cut in half making two doors (that way you get some overlap)
  • 2 - knobs
  • 4 - legs of whatever height you desire (we used 4" legs)
  • 4 - 90 degree 2" angle brackets (to be attached on the ends - on the inside of the enclosure)
  • 16 - #8 5/8" wood screws - used to attach angle brackets
  • 50 - #6 2" wood screws - used to hold enclosure together
  • 12 - #6 5/8" wood screws - used to hold on the screens (all screws… robertson/square head)
  • 10 - 1" finishing nails
  • wood glue (to be used along each joint and in each screw hole.)
  • non-toxic silicone to run inside along all the edges (optional)

We are using one 8.5" clamp lamp for incandescent bulbs (rated 150 watt) for the basking light and a 10" clamp lamp for the UVB.

We use Fluker's Repta-lighting System. They come with a clamp on the top which we removed as we have the lights hanging from the the two holes drilled in the top, but we do use the metal ring part of the clamp to hold them in place. We remove the clamp and then we slip the lamps into the holes - then we re-attach the clamp ring again and VOILA! they stay in place. By the way, we use bulbs not ceramics.


Cut the melamine into:

  • 2 - 24" x 48" = "A"
  • 1 - 24" x 18" = "B"
  • 1 - 23 3/8" x 18" = "C"
  • 1 - 46 3/4" x 18" = "D"
  • 2 - 47 3/8" x 3" = "E"


Cut one of your 4 foot long 2" x 2" into 2 - 21" pieces.


Assemble pieces together into a frame which will go on the underneath the enclosure and set aside.


Take one "A" piece (bottom of your enclosure) of melamine and attach with angle brackets (2 on each end) to pieces "B" and "C" (sides of your enclosure).

Put the shorter piece ("C") on the end you want to be able to completely remove the plexi- glass doors on (for ease of cleaning the enclosure).

Take piece "D" (the back of your enclosure) and attach it in place on all three sides with 2" screws.

Take one "E" and attach with 2" screws to enclosure. Start by attaching to "A" and then to "B" and "C".

Now attach the other "E" to "B" and "C" at the top.

Decide where you want your air vents to go and using a jigsaw cut the holes and attach the vents using #6 5/8 screws (you could cut the holes before assembly if you prefer). Drill a 1/2" hole in two of the corners (bottom left and top right) close to your cut lines… that way you can start in the drilled hole and get a clean cut line as well!

Now you can attach the top… last "A" piece with screws.


Attach the runners using glue and 5 finishing nails on each one.

Place plexiglass with the knobs attached into runners.

Number one email we get… "Where'd ya find the runners?"

We got ours at Rona up here in Canada. Some people find them at Home Depot or Lowe's in the States and other's make their own by making a groove in wood and fastening it onto the enclosure. Others, decide to do a hinged door (which personally I don't like cause it takes too much space to open - I prefer to have them sliding.)

Attach frame to base using 2" screws and then attach legs to frame.

Now you're done!

Next, decide what kind of lights you are using and attach them to the top. We used a hole saw to cut a hole at 1 3/4". Then we removed the clamps from the light fixtures, pushed the lights up through the hole and re-attached the clamps to hold them in place. We find it an easy way to hang our lights (flukers 8 1/2" clamp lamps). We put the heat/basking lamp at one end and then the UVB lamp in the centre of the enclosure. This way the opposite end is our cooler end where we place our loft for eating. This way our dragon's greens don't get as dried out as having them near the basking lamp.

Remember when putting the vents on to have one up high and the down low (but if you are using sand keep it high enough so your sand won't run thru it!).

Originally we cut a board 2.5" high and as long as the inside width of the enclosure to seperate the sleeping and eating area from the living area - then we put a little sand in the bottom of the living area and the divider keeps the sand out of the eating area, but now we have our "loft" and don't use the divider any longer. Both of our dragons looooooove their lofts! Their food is served to them up there and underneath is a nice cool space for them… so it has two uses!

There is a way to cover the visible cut edges of melamine. They make a white tape that you can iron on with a regular household iron and it makes the job look really nice. It also keeps the water out of the edges and help prevent swelling. Of course you don't have water anywhere near a dragon enclosure… but if you are using it for another critter… like geckos (we have our geckos in one of these enclosures as well - they sure looove all the space!), then you may want to seal the ends with this tape and use silicone as well.

Many people have used these instructions to create a wonderful home for their dragons… click here to see some of their 'visions' as they take our design - twisting it, changing it and making it their own! (all images used with permission)


By the way… Raphael gave birth approx. 16 hours after that photo was taken! To 23 beautiful little eggs!!!

The image on the right is the mating cycle of a silkworm moth. All images are life size except the inserts are a little smaller.


Dave Stephenson is a handy man to have around the house. He has built 2 houses from the ground up with his Dad. Very keen eye for precise cuts which is especially great when cutting and laying laminate flooring!

Aleesha Sattva is the Publisher of Timeless Spirit Magazine, a Reiki Master Teacher and runs Magi's Magick Spells.



Copyright (c) 2005 by Aleesha and Dave Stephenson. This page is copyrighted and can be reprinted without our permission although any images which are not ours must have the permission of the owner before reproduction can be allowed.

Any advice given is for informational purposes only and is true to the best of our knowledge.

*Aleesha Sattva was formerly Aleesha Stephenson*