Build your own hamster cage – step by step guide

After posting the Build you own hamster cage – photo guide I’ve received many questions about it, so I’ve asked Ross if he can give some more information regarding measures, materiel, etc.
We hope that you find this step by step guide Ross came up with useful. Please do send us some pictures of your cage if you’ve managed to build it – We would love the see it!
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Step by step guide:
This cage is made mostly from standard plywood, 3/4 inch for the base and rear with 1/2 inch thick plywood sides and upper floors. The window / mesh frames are made from 3/4 x 3/4 softwood battens with a small quarter round bead each side of the window/mesh to hold it in place.
Overall the cage measures 850mm wide x 400mm deep x 400mm high
I’ll try and write a rough step by step guide to making it!
Main Cage
1. Cut the back and bottom of the cage from 3/4 inch plywood then screw and glue together (Normal PVA only, butt joint, pre-drill the holes and countersink before driving screws in). Back is 826 x 400mm and base is 382 x 826mm.
2. Cut the sides from 1/2 inch plywood and fix to the base/bottom through the sides in the same method as before. Sides are 400 x 400mm
3. Take your 3/4 x 3/4 softwood batten and cut into pieces to form the frame for your top and window surround, two long and two shorter which fit together with ‘Half lap joints’ in each corner (you can butt joint them, glue and screw if you’re careful but I wanted a glue only joint as it looks neater).
4. Cut more 3/4 batten and fix around the inside of the top to support the top frame when closed.
5. Take your quarter round beads (about 6mm wide I think), cut and mitre them in the corners for a tight fit inside each frame. The bead goes to one side of the inside of the frame so the you can insert the perspex and then repeat the bead the other side and clamp the perspex in place. Beads are fixed with a little glue and tape while it dried (painters tape or masking tape).
6. Attach small hinges to your two frames and mount them in their respective places.
7. Screw a handle on to each one if you like.
8. You’ll need to find a small plastic moulding form a hardware store to make the channel for your perspex to sit in. I ended up using two ‘L’ section plastic trims fixed next to each other to leave a ‘U’ shaped groove to slide the small front perspex wall into. Make it a tiny bit bigger than the thickness of your perspex so it slides in and out ok.
Upper Floors
9. Decide how you want your upper floors to look, bear in mind that you’ll need to have a ladder between each floor so include somewhere for it to start and end with enough space. When you have a plan, cut it out of 1/2 inch plywood and screw fix into place in the cage from the outside.
10. Repeat for the second floor.
11. In our hardware store, they sell pre-formed softwood mouldings of various styles. I chose one which was about an inch by 3-4mm thick to form the little wall around each upper floor. Cut these to length and glue and pin to the sides of your floors to stop your hamster wandering off!
Ladders
12. Get a load of twigs and cut them all the same length (whatever width of ladder you want). Drill a small hole about 1/4 inch from each end in the same direction of each piece. Once you have drilled all of them, get some rigid wire (like metal coathangers) and thread the twigs onto the wire. Repeat for the other end and you just need to bend the wire over at the end to keep them on there. It’s easier to pre-bend the wire into a squared off ‘U’ shape that’s longer than your ladder and thread both sides of the ‘U’ through the twigs at the same time. This leaves only the top two ends which can be bent into hooks which you can then use to support the ladder at the top with little eyelet screws screwed into the edge of your upper floor.
Windows / Mesh
13. When your cage is assembled, measure the hole sizes for your perspex / mesh. Allow a couple of millimeters clearance so that they fit in ok. Our cage had a 6 inch perspex wall in to keep the bedding in when the front window was open.
14. Install the perspex / mesh into the frames and then glue in the second quarter round bead to clamp it in place.
15. I used small cabinet magnets to keep the door closed which were mounted high up on the sides.
That’s it, you’re done!
A few tips:-
When screwing plywood together, always pre-drill the holes and countersink for the screw heads
Make sure everything is square as it gets a lot harder if it’s not
If you need to drill the perspex for any reason, pre-drill it very slowly with a small drill and then with a larger one and so on to stop it cracking
Make sure the ply you are using is nice and flat so it keeps square. If it gets wet, it may twist and the sides will go out of square
Don’t use MDF as it contains some nasty glues
When the cage is built, it’s quite heavy so be careful lifting / moving it
Check your panels after they are cut and adjust the measurements of the next pieces in case they are not quite perfect
 Cage 1
Cage 2
Cage 3
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Nail Polish by Barry M – Baby Pink

Barry M babypink with rhinestones

I wanted to have a subtle and elegant nail polish that looks perfect for at least a week as I really don’t have time to change it every few days. And the nail polish from BARRY M (Baby Pink) did a great job! I applied 2 thin coats followed by a clear coat.

Also to spice things up a bit I stuck some sparkly, pink rhinestones from PRIMARK on the ring fingers. A real eye catcher!

barry m baby pink and rhinestones

Dancing parrot

Look at this funky birdy! It’s having such a great time! This little guy made my day and I hope it is raising a little smile on your face as well. Happy friday!

Springtime at Leeds Castle in Kent, England – Photo Guide

Last year during Easter time I’ve visited Leeds castle and I can say that it is one of the most beautiful and enchanted places that I have seen, with the wide castle grounds making you feel like you are right in a Disney film or The Secret Garden (read here!).

leeds castle lake copy

Leeds Castle is built on one three small islands surrounded by a lake.

cherry blossoms copy

In April, beautiful cherry blossoms bloom everywhere.

cherry blossoms

Who doesn’t get spring fever when seeing these?

leeds castle grounds copy

You can walk through the huge castle grounds and watch squirrels playing in the grass.

leeds castle

The history of Leeds Castle goes back to the eleventh century and the castle had housed many famous people of the past such as King Edward I, King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.

purple flowers wall

I couldn’t stop taking photos. There was magic in every corner.

leeds castle cherry blossoms copy

This is one of my favourite shots. The scenery was just so romantic.

leeds castle flowers copy

I’m proud of this shot. No words can describe how lovely this huge meadow of flowers looked.

purple spring flowers leeds castle copy

This shot reminds me of this little guy.

I can highly recommend to everyone to visit Leeds Castle. It’s a must-see for everyone who loves nature, beauty and history! Whether you plan a family day trip, or like to take great photos, or need to de-stress, or simply want to enjoy beeing at one of the most beautuiful spots in England – Leeds Castle will enchant everyone. Let me know what you think of Leeds Castle if you’ve been there!

What kind of vegetables my hamster can eat

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While browsing through some hamster forums and q&a platforms i came across many hamster owners that seem to not know how a proper diet looks like for their little pet. I even read a post of one person who wasn’t aware that hamsters regularly need fresh food.

That’s why I thought I make a small list with all fresh vegetables that you can give our furry little friends without doing any harm, and which ones you should avoid.

You can give your hamster the following vegetables:

    Cucumber
    Tomato
    Carrot
    Broccoli
    Pepper
    Fresh sweetcorn
    Courgette
    Fennel
    Pumpkin
    Celery
    Beet root
    Lettuce and spinach (only small amounts)

Give fresh vegetables once a day. Make sure that you remove all green bits ( i.e. tomato) as well as the soft inside ( i.e. cucumber). Always give just a little bit so that the hamster doesn’t hoard it. If he does, remove it before it starts to rot. Ideally give a choice of 3 to 5 different types of vegetables.

! Do not give:

    Any bulbous plant, like onion or chives
    Any cabbage, like white cabbage, red cabbage or Brussels sprouts
    Raw potato
    Raw peas
    Beans
    Aubergine
    Avocado

These can make your hamster feel ill as they are hard to digest and may cause diarrhoea or flatulence. Ok, that just made me giggle.

More posts will follow with some advice on what fruits, herbs and what kind of protein you can give to get a happy hamster.

By the way, I get most information about hamsters from diebrain, a great and very detailed (German) website with information and guides for rodent owners.

What is your hamsters favourite kind of vegetable? Hazel loves loves loves tomato!

Build your own hamster cage – photo guide

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Hazel’s cage. Can you find her in the picture?

EDIT: You find the detailed step by step guide for building this hamster cage here – Building your own hamster cage step by step guide

If you have seen Hazels big hamster cage in some of my posts and you have wondered how we have built it then have a look at the following pictures!

I can’t give any detailed step-by-step description as I my boyfriend has done most of the work :) But maybe some of you can find some inspiration to build your very own big cage for your furry little friend.

Here we go.

5 HAZEL 8 9 13 photo(3)

Let me know if you are interested in some more detailed information about how this cage has been built or what material we have used! I’m sure Ross is more than happy to help as he is really proud of his little project :)

Mini Strawberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate

With the winter almost gone and the fresh strawberries being back in the supermarkets I think it’s time for me to share this great mini strawberry cupcake recipe with white chocolate.

Mini Strawberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate

It’s really easy to make these yummy mini cupcakes, trust me. I am not very good at baking and also way too impatient. But they always come out well and they taste delicious!

For around 30 mini strawberry cupcakes with white chocolate you’ll need:

  • 300g flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 225ml milk
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 80g fresh strawberries
  • 75g white chocolate, chopped
  • 200g white chocolate coating
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 3 tsp red currant or cherry juice

Also you’ll need some of these super cute miniature cupcake paper forms.

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven at 200°C

2. Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar in one bowl. Whisk the egg in another bowl and then add the milk, vanilla extract and the melted butter to it and mix. Then add this mix to the flour-baking-powder-sugar mix. Mix it all together.

2. Dice the strawberries and add to the mix. Then add the chopped white chocolate and mix everything carefully.

3. Put the mix in mini cupcake forms.

4. Bake the cupcakes for around 15-18mins in the oven until they rise.

5. Take the cupcakes out of the oven and evenly apply the melted white chocolate coating. Then let them cool down.

6. Mix the icing sugar with the red fruit juice. With this pink mix you can decorate your cupcakes. Tip: Put the mix in a freezer bag, cut one corner open and squeeze.

Et voila! Ready they are! 30 super delicious mini strawberry cupcakes with white chocolate!

Ok, ok, I admit it, I was too lazy to make the pink icing myself…instead I bought one of these ready-made coloured icing pens, muahaha!

I told you I am lazy with baking, don’t judge me!