Introduction: Your Hamster's New Home

Picture of Your Hamster's New Home

This Christmas I received an hamster from my girlfriend!
She is so cute and her name his Ramboia! I am not sure if she ia a Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster or a white Campbell's, I guess I'll wait until Spring to see if she changes colour.

Since I am new to taking care of hamsters and rodents in general, I spent some time searching for information on the internet.
I read somewhere that despite the small size of the dwarf hamster, they are quite active and appreciate plenty of space.

In this instructable I'll show how you can:
- Expand and create room for your hamster, using cheap resources!
- Make a feeder from bottles of water.
- Make tubes using bottles of water.

- Do not harm your little friends!! Use common sense when building something for them.
- Take special attention on plastic edges, make sure they are not sharp.

Step 1: The Original Cage

Picture of The Original Cage

Along with my new little friend I received a pretty much standard cage for small rodents.
It came with a little bowl for food, a bottle for the water, a ramp to access the loft and a plastic wheel (more appropriate for smaller feet).

Despite the small size of Ramboia, I think she feels cramped in this little cage, so I decided to build her a new and bigger house!

Step 2: Cheap Land

Picture of Cheap Land

While I searched for information on how to care for these cute little things, I found that many people make their own cages, mostly from plastic storage boxes. This is a very good idea!

Unfortunately I made the house before thinking on making an instructable, so I don't have detailed pictures of the whole process.

For the cage I used:
- Original hamster cage
- Bolts, nuts and washers
- 42 L Plastic storage box
- Plastic mesh

- Dremel with cutter disc / or Hot knife
- X-Acto
- Sandpaper
- Permanent marker
- Drill
- Hot glue

First you need to fix the bolts in the wire cage. Then you measure the door and mark it in the side of the plastic box.
Cut the side of the plastic box with the dremel/hot knife.
Drill the holes for the bolts in the correct place.
Join the cage to the plastic box and fix it with nuts.

If you noticed, there is a small wall separating the cage and box, despite the hamster being able to climb it, I made a small ramp from two small pieces of wood.

I also cut the box lid and placed some plastic mesh with hot glue. This way I can see through the roof and the air flow of the box is improved.

Step 3: Feeder From Plastic Bottle

Picture of Feeder From Plastic Bottle

The food bowl that came with the cage very small, is very prone to spillage and being buried in the litter.

So, to tidy things up, I came up with the idea of using a water bottle as a feeder.

- Water bottle
- Bottom from water bottle from next steps

- X-acto
- Marker

You need to cut the top of the bottle. Arrange a way so that you can insert the top in the bottle and it sits without touching the bottom, so the food can drop.

Make several openings, at least two, in the bottom of the bottle.

Use the bottom from another bottle as a lid for the feeder.

Step 4: Hamster Tubes! (1)

Picture of Hamster Tubes! (1)

My little, cute, lovely hamster already has more space and a new feeder!
But one thing is missing if I want it to be a real hamster cage! The tubes!

The most expensive rodent cages usually have tubes where they can play around, I don't want to Ramboia miss that kind of fun!

Then a brilliant idea came to mind! (if I may say so)
Why not use water bottles and make my own tubes?

- X-acto
- Permanent marker
- Adhesive tape
- Hot air blower (useful for curving the bottles)

- Many water bottles

You only need an hot air blower if you wish to bend the bottles and make curved tubes.

Step 5: Hamster Tubes! (2)

Picture of Hamster Tubes! (2)

Curved tubes are much nicer than straight tubes, but are rather difficult to make.

I tried to bend some bottles, experimenting and checking which brands where the best for bending.
My best method:
Hold the bottles in a vice by the neck.
Apply the necessary force to shape the bottle the way you want and slowly apply heat until you can shape the bottle.
Remove the heat and let it cold down while holding the shape you want.

I was only able to make small curves and while retaining the 'tube' shape of the bottles.

After deciding the layout of your tubes, you just need to cut the needed pieces from the bottles using the X-acto knife.

Pass your finger along the edges, If it fells sharpy, run your xacto along the edge to remove the sharps, or use heat (flame from lighter)

Keep the bits you cut out! You can use on another project!

Step 6: Hamster Tubes! (3)

Picture of Hamster Tubes! (3)

After having all the cut pieces, all that is left to do is to connect all the pieces together and complete the super tube!

You take each piece and connect it with adhesive tape to the next one. Easy right?

Step 7: Hamster Tubes! (4)

Picture of Hamster Tubes! (4)

I advise on drilling some holes on the bottom and on the top of the tubes.

On the top, the holes improve the air flow, especially on long long tubes.
On the bottom, the holes improve the air flow, enables the drainage of bodily fluids from your little critter and improves the grip for climbing.

Use a small drill, something between 1mm to 3mm and make many holes.

Step 8: Little Playground From 5L Water Bottle

Picture of Little Playground From 5L Water Bottle

From two 5L water bottles, I made a small playground to include in the middle of the tubes.

Take two water bottles and remove the bottom. Find the best way to fit the two bottles. Use the ridges on your advantage. You may need to make a few tries before getting the best result.
Use adhesive tape to join both bottles.

On the top of one of the bottles, cut a square, wide enough for you to be able to clean the playground.
Cover with plastic mesh and hot glue/adhesive tape.

The bottlenecks on the bottles are great as doors. You can close/open one door by screwing/unscrewing the bottle caps.

Step 9: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

Ramboia is happier than ever!
She approves the new space, the new feeder and the tubes!

It is great fun watching her running around the tubes and sliding in the steeper section.

This solution is really cheap,easy to execute and whenever you want you are able to extend the tubes.

I need to find more water bottles! I also might buy another plastic boxes and interconnect them using these tubes, throughout my whole bedroom!

In the next days I might update with more pics and even more tubes, who knows?

Step 10: Update: More Tubes!

Picture of Update: More Tubes!

I've made many more tubes with more water bottles!

It is really easy having a lot of tubes and adding/removing as you wish.

To note that I always remove the tubes when I'm not around and I never let her play unattended.

Step 11: Update: Happy Hamster Is Happy!

Picture of Update: Happy Hamster Is Happy!

Can't you tell when your pet is happy happy happy?


Phoenix830 (author)2017-03-20

how did the home do over time? would you change anything a second time around? Also how did the feeder do. my hamster tends to take a lot of food into its hiddy holes

minecraftpotato (author)2013-08-03

Kewl I wish I had a hamster

meepie2323 (author)2013-02-06

will these be big enough for a syrian hamster?

Hazard (author)meepie23232013-02-07

The larger bottles I used are big enough. Surely you could find plastic bottles big enough, right?
Have fun!

achui (author)2011-11-14

Your tube idea is awesome!! I just have a quick question, since I have mice instead of hamsters (and getting ratties today, and no I will NOT be keeping them together don't worry haha) do you know if they will chew through them?? on a side note... did Ramboia chew through the tubes at any point?

kbarretto (author)2011-11-03

Hey, can you use a hair drier instead of the hot air blower. I want to make the curved tubes, but i don't know anyone who has that tool.

lordbot (author)2011-10-16

"She is so cute and her name his Ramboia!" are you talking about you hamster or your girlfriend. XD

thomasporter (author)2011-07-14

your hamster is too cute!
and the plastic water bottles for tubes is an amazing idea! i wish i had thought of it before i bought some new tubes at my pet store :/ but thank you for the idea!

alex109711 (author)2011-06-18

I need ideas to make toys for my hamster. I cant find any plas that has ideas.

mimilover03 (author)2011-05-31

Great idea, and youve truly made an awesome house for your hamster.
Though i wish you good luck with cleaning it XD. I have two hamsters and i had a LOT of tubes, till i found out that i had to clean the whole shazam every two weeks.
After a couple of months i grew sick of it , so i sold half of the tubes. Shame for my hamsters, but they still have a lot of tubes left and now I dont have to clean as much!

wagnerduro (author)2011-04-04

Congratulations! Look this instructions is funny and make have news great ideas! The photos are clean amd make happy see it. Big instructable!

FrozenIce (author)2010-11-08

SUPER cool thanks soomuck! btw if you had a hamster that climbs allot it mite clmb away from over the tubes! btw u would not be the first one to lose a hamster in their house trust me.i once lost my hamster on my grandmas balcony wich was 6 floors high!

renex500 (author)2010-09-21

it too cute hamster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

renex500 (author)2010-09-21

my hamster loves it(i realy mean it)
thats asome dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nikeman76 (author)2010-09-10

My mom says that I can get a hamster by christmas so this could be really helpfull. Also, IT IS AWESOME!

emielieo (author)2010-02-10

how can you make the house?
could you make an instructable of that ?

emielieo (author)2010-02-09

awsom idea!!!
nice hamster.

punkhead58 (author)2009-12-01

I don't like the plastic tube idea, it seems kinda dangerous for my little buddy. However, the cage and feeders are awesome.

YawningDog (author)2009-10-11

Some common plastic storage boxes can smell kind of bad, and can outgas for a long time, so just be sure to check that first when choosing what kind to use. If you can smell the faintest hint of plastic or other synthetic smell (even after washing the box), the rodents will be able to smell it much more strongly. One good way to test the strength of the plastic smell is to leave it shut in a closet or cabinet for a day or so, then open the door and take a whiff. No smell? Good to use. :)

Also, some kinds of plastic tend to absorb and hold on to pee smells -- usually the softer, more flexible plastics. But then, those are the plastics that tend to smell the worst on their own anyway.

Aspvl (author)2009-10-09

és de portugal certo ?

pela garrafa do luso

Hazard (author)Aspvl2009-10-10

Certo :D

meyers (author)2009-09-18

dude you got to clean his home he must be mad xD just need an LCD in the mansion

lukesthomas (author)2009-08-26

That looks just like mine! Mine is a winter white.

sharlston (author)2009-07-27

wow this really helped with my golden syrian hamster i made her a new house ill post a pic of her

getthim (author)2009-07-16

maybe make a mini slide enterd by tubes

hungyhipo 2 (author)2009-07-14

in the start you put an hamster insted of a hamster

socram (author)2009-07-05

thats its great

Hazard (author)2009-06-23

Your hamster is very beautiful!

Hazard (author)2009-06-23

I don't know.. I though of water bottles because you can easily find them, are cheap and easy to work with! If you find any other object to make tubes, make an i'ble with it :D

Hazard (author)2009-06-20

You can use anything that cuts

awsome pie (author)2009-06-16

Cool I have two gerbils but they would probably eat the bottles,considering they chewed up a PVC tube

k8nvan (author)2009-05-07

too cool! I need to expand my hamster's cage- I have a black bear hamster named Oreo- This looks like the perfect way to do it! Thanks!

Yerboogieman (author)2009-03-31

Do Not Use wood chip stuff like that for little pets. It can make them sick and possibly cause death.

My mom uses Toilet Paper.

trebornerdnoc (author)2009-03-31

nice Instructable maybe u could use a 2 liter bottle to make a feeder for a rabbit

Animal_Freak (author)2009-03-20

ummm well i have a couple cages but how would i conect them one is a bird cage wate kind of tubes did u use and how much did u end up spending. i have a fish tank which my hamster is in now and a nother type of cage

ha123123123 (author)2009-03-08

you should make another islend or place and toob them or cut hole in them so thears mor room make 3 for all i care witch is ALOT

idogis1 (author)2009-03-07

I'm not trying to be facetious but how much bottled water do you drink?

Walder (author)2009-03-01

Esta muito bom, a Ramboia deve estar contente :)

Stercus Fit (author)2009-02-07

A few questions for you:<br/>- Are the water bottles made out of anything special or are they just regular bottles?<br/>- How did you make the edges so that they won't harm the hammie?<br/>- What kind of tape did you use? "Adhesive" can be anything.<br/>- I don't have a hot air gun, my boyfriend does, so excuse me if this sounds silly: what temp/how long should the air gun be applied to the bottles? Wouldn't that emit nasty smells? How would I keep the inside diameter the same while reshaping the bottle?<br/><br/>And a few things for you, in case you haven't figured them out yet:<br/>- The only difference between a Campbell's and Winter Winter hammie is that the Winter White changes colors. It's insinuated that it's the temp that changes their color, but it's really the amount of light -- if there's less than 13 hours of light per day, they change to white-ish. <br/>- As sea4nl said, that fluffy stuff in his house is a big no-no according to the Humane Society. I'm not 100% on the reasoning for this, but they said that bits of tissues (non scented) and toilet paper are perfect.<br/>- Do not, under any circumstances, use pine or cedar for anything around the hammies. Regardless of the type of hammie, they emit odors that we can't smell but are toxic to them.<br/>- Remember that both Campbell's and Winter Whites are *dwarf* hamsters, so just because it says it's good for hammies doesn't mean it's good for dwarf hamsters. (I found out the hard way when my guy escaped from his cage three times the first night). <br/>- Don't let the food or water dish be bigger than the hammie. If so, he can urinate in it and that's not good. It's no biggie if he poos in his food, he'd probably end up eating it anyway, and the water dish can be cleaned out if you see poo in it, but urine isn't as obvious and contaminates the water. I've yet to read anyone suggesting a water dish instead of a water dispenser. I bet a variation of the food dispenser you've got is idea for water.<br/><br/>Hope that helps you and that you're willing to help me. I could totally use it, cuz I just spent about $200 on my cutie, a Winter White.<br/>

Hazard (author)Stercus Fit2009-02-08

The answers for your questions: - The bottles are common water bottles, made from PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) - Well, I test every edge by rubing my finger along, if it has any sharps, I remove them by passing with the x-acto. I also tried to heat the edges with a lighter flame, but it seems to me that it produces the same result. - Yes, I was vague in purpose, I used electric insulation tape, but I believe that you can use whatever kind you have at home. - Well, the bottle will always shrink in diameter. My heat blower has 2 positions, I set in the lower. I sugest you to hold the bottle in a vice, and slowly giving some heat while shaping the bottle. You shouldn't heat too much, or it'll melt. I could only make small curves while retaining the shape of a tube. Thank you for the information! As I stated I will wait to see if it changes colour in spring/summer. May I ask you one question? How can I know if the shaving I buy have pine or cedar shavings in it?

Stercus Fit (author)Hazard2009-02-08

I don't think they even make cedar shavings because any book/website will say no way to it. But I noticed yesterday at the pet store that the shavings will say pine somewhere on there if they are made from pine. I was told by PetSmart that aspen works the best. It's what they used at the store for their hammies and mine seems to love it -- sometimes he even eats it! I bought the Kaytee Aspen Shavings and it was $4; they have it in multiple sizes, the largest being $12 for 4 cubic feet. Sorry about the rambling. I've done plenty of research to give my hammie the best life possible. I also bought from PetSmart a $5 book that has become my bible: "My Hamster" by Peter Fritzsche, from Barron's. They even have ideas in there for homemade toys! :)

AznPanda (author)2009-01-30

Love the update :D Hey what brand of bottles did you use? and did ur hamster nibble on the plastic in the tubes?

Hazard (author)AznPanda2009-02-08

Luso water :P Yes it nibbles on the plastic tubes. I don't know if she is able to cut small pieces of plastic and swallow it, because I don't let her play unantended. I remove the tubes whenever I'm not around.

mman1506 (author)2009-01-29

neat i rember on tvo kids they have this hampster an the had tubes all over the wall very cool and they also made him a co star with voices in this 3 minute cartoon he is very pampered

mman1506 (author)2009-01-12

what about using a 2 litre water bottle for the base, but love the instructable top marks and wil b rvoting for

Hazard (author)mman15062009-01-29

And I updated the i'ble with the idea you gave me! I used two 5L bottles to make a playground!

Hazard (author)mman15062009-01-12

Now you gave an idea! Stay tunned for an update next weekend!

yukas (author)2009-01-22

expand the tubes!

Hazard (author)yukas2009-01-23

I will! Just way for the next week! First I need to find many more bottles.

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