top of page

How to Make a Custom Background in Your Terrariums

Welcome to the DIY Background Extravaganza for your reptile's enclosure! If you're looking to spruce up your scaly friend's living space with something more exciting than plain old glass, wood, or PVC, you've come to the right place. Today, we're diving into the wild world of creating custom backgrounds that are as fun to make as they are functional.

The Dirt Background: Embrace the Messy Charm

Let's start with the basics — the Dirt Background. It's the gateway DIY project for reptile enthusiasts who want a naturalistic vibe without breaking the bank. Imagine your lizard or snake feeling right at home against a backdrop that mimics their native environment. All you need are some tubes of silicone sealant, your favorite substrate (think dry soil or even wood chips for texture), and a bit of patience.

Dirt background on a glass tank

**How to Do It:**

1. Lay your enclosure flat like it’s catching some rays on the beach.

2. Slather silicone on the wall — think of it as spreading peanut butter on toast, but gooier.

3. Sprinkle your chosen substrate over the silicone and press it in gently, like you're crafting a sandy masterpiece.

4. Let it dry for a day (or 24 hours, if you’re precise like that).

5. Vacuum up the excess — because even your lizard doesn’t want to live in a dustbowl.

Sure, it might be a bit plain, but it’s easy, cheap, and gives your reptile a cozy corner to call their own.

The Cork Bark Background: Nature's Architectural Wonder

Feeling a bit more ambitious? Enter the Cork Bark Background. This one’s for the reptile enthusiasts who dream of a multi-dimensional, tree-trunk-inspired masterpiece. Using silicone, spray foam, and a collage of cork flats, you can create a backdrop that’s more climbable than a rock gym. Plus, it adds a touch of woodland charm to any reptile’s abode.

**How to Do It:**

1. Plan your design — it’s like mapping out a hiking trail for your pet.

2. Secure the cork flats with spray foam, letting your inner sculptor shine.

3. Wait for it to dry (24 hours again — patience is a virtue in the world of DIY reptile decor).

4. Seal the deal with silicone and substrate for that finishing touch.

5. Vacuum, because cleanup is the unsung hero of any DIY project.

Sure, it’s a bit fussy, but your reptile will thank you for the extra climbing opportunities.

The Textured Background: Where DIY Gets Artsy

Ready to flex your creative muscles? The Textured Background lets you mix materials like stone, branches, and even mini plant pots into your masterpiece. It’s like creating a mini jungle gym for your scaly buddy, with spray foam as your trusty sculpting tool.

A Textured background on a glass tank with wood pieces

**How to Do It:**

1. Lay out your materials — it’s like prepping for an arts and crafts marathon.

2. Use spray foam to stick everything in place, creating texture and dimension.

3. Shape and mold until you’ve built a reptile paradise.

4. Finish with silicone and substrate for a polished look.

5. Vacuum, because even DIY artists need to tidy up.

Complex? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely, especially when you see your pet exploring their new playground.

The Carved Foam Background: Sculpting Magic with Spray Foam

Feeling adventurous? The Carved Foam Background takes DIY to the next level with spray foam as your sculpting medium. It’s like creating a mini diorama in your reptile’s home, complete with ledges, caves, and all the nooks and crannies a reptile could dream of.

A carved foam background on a glass tank

**How to Do It:**

1. Plan your masterpiece — think of it as sketching the Sistine Chapel on foam.

2. Layer on the foam, sculpting as you go to create depth and detail.

3. Let it cure (patience, my friend, patience).

4. Carve, shape, and sand until you’ve captured nature’s essence.

5. Paint and seal for that realistic finish.

6. Vacuum (seriously, it’s your best friend by now).

Sure, it’s a challenge, but imagine the bragging rights when your friends see your reptile’s swanky new digs.

Conclusion: DIY Delights for Reptile Enthusiasts

Adding a background to your reptile’s enclosure isn’t just about aesthetics — it’s about creating a habitat they’ll love to explore. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned DIY pro, there’s a background here to suit your skill level and budget. So, grab your silicone, spray foam, and substrate, and get ready to transform your reptile’s home into a jungle hideaway or a desert oasis — the choice is yours!

Just remember, keep those gloves handy unless you want to walk around with a substrate pattern on your hands. After all, DIY is messy fun — both for you and your scaly friend!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page