Repurposed Entertainment Center (for Slimy Critter Fanatics)

I almost always accept a challenge no matter how crazy they are, but I really enjoyed working on this with my daughter, and her interesting pets seem to really be at home in here.
My daughter really wanted me to make a custom enclosure for her for her snakes. Mind you, I do NOT particularly like snakes but I am always up for a good challenge. We found this entertainment center at the local good will for $35.
We started by removing the doors, back and all hardware. With help from the hubby, we cut door openings in the back where the maintenance will be done (the entertainment center was already on wheels which will make this easy). We lightly sanded and repaired any scratches or dings in the wood with wood putty.
The inside was painted with a nice blue, this will be "sky" in the near future and the rest is painted black.
The vines and trees started to go in, this was done with a combination of brushes and sponges with craft acrylic paint.
After finishing all of the detail work with the flowers and plants that my daughter wanted, it was sealed with polyurethane and allowed to "cure" to make it safe and semi-waterproof for the snakes. We measured, cut, sanded smooth branches that we harvested from a tree that we had recently lost. We then baked the branches to make sure there were no bugs in them and attached them securely to the inside of the enclosure.
We mounted the glass to the inside of the enclosure and caulked it around the edges.
That's where my work ended, my daughter finished the habitat with the things that the snakes enjoy.
My next challenge is to make a water bath for this one, I just haven't figured out how yet.
I still don't particularly care for the snakes too much, but I think their new home turned out great!

Suggested materials:

  • Entertainment Center  (Goodwill)
  • Tempered glass  (local glass cutterl)
  • Paint, sealer and brushes  (local hardware store)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Carolina
    on May 9, 2016

    I think it turned out fantastic! love the painting of plants in the background. love the snakes. However, can they escape easily by pushing the glass door?

    • Linette
      on May 9, 2016

      No, the glass is secured with caulk and wood trim on the inside, there is no way to open it, the only opening is the doors on the back which have secure latches and locks so that no one who doesn't know how to handle the snakes can get them out. And thank you for the comment.

  • Marlis Horgan
    on Feb 12, 2017

    When did you add the lights?

    • Linette
      on Feb 19, 2017

      we cut a small square out of the top and put screen on the inside of the habitat and rabbit wire on the top (outer), the lights sit on the rabbit wire so that the snakes couldn't accidently touch the lights and get burned.

  • Brooke Wildman
    on Jan 10, 2019

    Does the tank hold moisture Well? I have a old entertainment center that has multiple cubes that I had planned to do this idea with, but my main concern was holding humidity without damaging the wood. I have read to insulate with Styrofoam and seal it.

Join the conversation

3 of 57 comments
  • Linette
    on Jun 21, 2016

    Awww thanks! I really did have fun with this!

  • Mandee
    on Feb 12, 2017

    This turned out beautiful. This will be the inspiration for the enclosure we are about to build! Thanks so much for posting

    • Linette
      on Feb 19, 2017

      Thank you, I hope you have as much fun as I did with it!

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