Ikea Detolf is a popular choice of a cage for those with some DIY skills. In the last several years, it became known as the IKEA Detolf hamster cage. Why? Because people use it as their DIY hamster cage. The Detolf cage is actually a glass display cage placed on its side that can provide a large space. It provides the largest amount of unbroken floor space in terms of square inches of any cage on the market.
How big is it? The large affordable enclosure has dimensions of 163 x 43cm (64 x 17 inches). It provides quite a lot of space and versatility. Here is everything you need to know about the IKEA Detolf hamster cage.
Pros and Cons
Let’s start with the pros and cons of using this cage. Why should you use it? Are there any downsides? Here is a quick breakdown.
Pros of Using Ikea Detolf Hamster Cage:
- Cheap, inexpensive value for what you get
- Provides 1024 square inches of space
- Great visibility inside the cage
- Able to pile in bedding for burrowing of hamsters
- Cleaning is easy, just a broom and dustpan will do it
- Looks amazing
Cons of using it:
- Requires basic tools and DIY skills to set it up
- Might take lots of your space
How large is it?
You can go to any pet store and look for different sizes of hamsters cages. You will not find one larger than the IKEA detolf.
We mentioned before the dimensions, but let’s delve into it deeper. On its side, the cage is 64 inches wide, 17 inches tall, and 14 inches deep.
To sum it up, you will need a little over 5 square feet to keep the cage. That means 5 feet long and 1 foot and 2 inches out from the wall.
Yes, it is fairly easy to find a place for it. It can rest on top of all kinds of furniture you already have in your home.
Is it hard to clean?
We mentioned one of the pros of using the IKEA Detolf hamster cage is its easy of maintenance. It is quite easy to clean. You start by scooping the bedding out of the cage with your hands or a dustpan. Then, put it into the trash can or bag and then toss and refill.
If you need to wipe down the glass, use a safe cleaner like vinegar and then wipe it with a wet cloth or paper towel. You can clean the outside of the glass with natural glass cleaner. One option is a mixture of equal parts of vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water.
How to make a lid?
This is the biggest question of prospective owners. It is where you will have to put your DIY skills to test. As well as your tools. There are many videos on YouTube about how to build a lid on the IKEA Detolf cage. Let’s talk about some of the options.
No matter which method you will choose, you will need tools like a saw (unless you buy a pre-cut wood board), drill, screwdriver, wire cutters, staple gun, and sanding paper. The materials include wood board, short screws, metal joining plates with 4 holes, staples, hardware cloth, handles, felt pads, and wood pieces to secure the movement of the low lid. Here are the instructions.
Building a low lid
Before you build a lid, you have to do your own measurements. Depending on the width of the wood board you choose to use, the dimensions can be different. Measure the length between the end boards of the Detolf, on top of the glass. Now, onto the instructions.
- Once your boards are cut, look for any sharp edges. Sand them down and then assemble the lids on the floor with the side you choose as the bottom facing up. For this method, you will need to pre-drill the holes for the joining plates. Yet, make sure you do not go through the boards. When you screw the frame together, make sure to leave enough space on the inner side so that you can staple in the hardware cloth
- Now, cut the hardware cloth to size. Staple it on the bottom side of the lead. The following steps are optional
- Check the placement for the wood pieces on the bottom of the lid. Make sure they are on the inside of the glass. This will prevent placing the lid too much on one side. Screw them in to ensure stability
- Place a few felt pads on the bottom side and ends to minimize sounds when putting the lid up and down
- Pre-drill and screw on the handles of your choice
If you want to build a taller lid, you will need a few extra wood boards. For this method, you will need boards of about 3 inches in width and up
- Start by building the frames as the low lid frames (steps 1-3 in the low lid method)
- Now, get the LONG boards and cut x4 more
- At this point, you have to check the positioning of the side boards that the lid stands on. Place them in a way that they rest on the metal bar frame of the Detolf cage. Draw a guideline using a pencil on the bottom of the lid
- Screw your long boards to the bottom of each lid
- Staple hardware cloth to the ends of the lids
Raised Lid Closed
This is the last method for building IKEA Detolf Hamster Cage as a DIY product. Here are the instructions.
- Follow the steps of the raised lid method
- Measure the lid frame. Place a wood board instead on the most left and the most right end where the hardware cloth is placed. This will make the long boards a bit shorter
- Instead of hardware cloth, screw on the wood boards
Why get one?
IKEA hamster cages have become a popular DIY furniture project for a hamster owner. Remember, hamsters need a minimum of 450 square inches. It is hard to find an appropriately-sized cage at a cheap price. But the IKEA Detolf provides that space and comes at a much cheaper price.
It is so cheap, it is sad to see people still using critter trails. Just for comparison, the IKEA Detolf will cost you about $50. But the critter trails start at $100 and can go even higher.
The popular DIY project provides great size for hamsters, mice, and gerbils. It is a bargain price for its huge size. Turning the display cabinet into a hamster cage is not hard. With some basic DIY skills and tools you can construct the cabinet and your own lid.
What else can you do?
A huge reason why the IKEA Detolf cage is so popular in the past few years is its versatility. We talked about how to turn it into a hamster cage. But what else can you do? Here are a few ideas
- Display your geeky merchandise and memorability. It is a cheap and easy to clean cabinet for merchandise, collectibles, statuettes, figurines, and similar products
- Keep your DVDs and video games safe and organized
- It is a simple way to house bathroom necessities when you have little bathroom storage
- Store books in a dry environment
- Create green space in your apartment
- The IKEA detolf can be your modern China cabinet