The playpens that you can buy in the shops usually take a hamster a split second to figure out how to clamber up and over.

A few months ago I came across an easy way of making a better hamster playpen on this forum. I thought I’d try it out and share what I’d made with you.


Plastic interlocking storage cubes

Cable ties x 24


Duct tape (optional)

Pegs or bulldog clips (optional)

Step One: Preparation

Take the plastic square panels of the storage cubes and lay them out in a line. 13 panels is enough to make a good size hamster playpen. You don’t need the connectors that come with the cubes.

Step Two: Connecting the Panels

Use the cable ties to connect the panels in the corner sections. Do this at the top and the bottom of each panel.

You can either leave the cable ties long or trim the ends. If you trim the ends, put duct tape over the corners as cut cable ties can be sharp.

Step Three: Enjoy!

When you have connected all 13 panels like this, the playpen is finished! It’s that easy and takes 5-10 minutes.

If you set the playpen up in a circle with a generous overlap of panels, you don’t need to secure the ends. If you want to make the playpen the biggest possible and only overlap one panel then use large bulldog clips or pegs to secure the end panels and prevent escapes.

Step Four: Tidying Up

After use the playpen folds down nice and quickly with no disassembly (apart from removing clips/pegs if you use them). The folded playpen slots easily into a narrow gap for storage, and the panels are easy to wipe clean.


Panel size: 35.5cm high and 35.5 long

Total length of 13 panels: about 460cm

Cost of materials and delivery: £13.86

Cost of a small wire playpen from a pet shop: £16

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2016. It has been updated for clarity in May 2019.

A Chinese hamster with the outline of the Isle of Wight behind it

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