DIY lid Ikea detolf

There are many questions about how I made the lid of my Ikea detolf. That is why I decided to explain it to you in this blog.
Always measure the dimensions carefully before you start!
What do you need
  • 5 wooden slats of 20 x 30 mm 156 cm 
  • 1 MDF plate 
  • screws 
  • 4 hinges 
  • chicken wire with holes of 1 cm x 1 cm 
  • a staple gun
Step 1
I made the sides of the lid from an MDF plate. You can also use a different type of wood, this is entirely your own choice. It is important that you take the thickness of the plate into account, otherwise you will run into problems with the dimensions later. Below you can see how to cut them to size. Repeat this step 2 times so that you have two sides.
Step 2
If you have cut the two sides to size, you can assemble the frame. We start with the back of the lid. Here you need 3 wooden slats, 6 screws and the 2 sides of the frame.
Step 3
The lid flip is the same idea. For this you need 2 wooden slats, the 2 sides of the lid and 4 screws.
Step 4
Now that we’ve done that, you can choose to give the lid a lick of paint. I made my lid white, because my detolf is also white. When you have painted it, it is time for the chicken mesh. I attached the mesh to the outside of the lid with a staple gun
Step 5
Now we are going to attach the lid to the frame. We do this by means of 4 hinges. When you have completed this step the lid is ready and you can place it on the detolf. As you may know, the Ikea detolf has a kind of aluminum skeleton. This is where the lid rests on. If you want to make the lid for a different type of cage, you will have to think about where you want the lid to lean.
Ask? Feel free to send me a message.


  • Abena

    Hello, thank you for sharing the details of your lid! I want to ask a friend to make this, but I need to know what width MDF plate did you use?

    • hamsterscape

      Hi! Lovely rato hear that you are going to build this lid! I used a normal MDF 244x122cm and 10mm thick. Hope this helps you.

      • Nazie

        Hi there! We built this (x2) for our daughters’ hamsters. I just have a few questions. One of the hamsters managed to crawl / climb the wire! Have you experienced this ?
        The other one tried to chew the wood. I understand this is due fo boredom but with a habitat this elaborate, what else can we do so they aren’t bored/trying to escape/chew/climb?

        • rhys

          hello! i don’t know if u still need help w this but if u do maybe try to give them an even bigger enclosure OR crowd the enclosure a lot. put as many substrates, herbs, toys, boredom breakers, anything you can feasibly fit put it in there and dont worry abt the hamster needing to climb over it; that in itself provides some enrichment bc they’ll need to use their brain to figure out how to get where they want to go! if u need ideas lmk!

      • Anke

        da dies (in meinen Augen) der schönste Deckel war, den ich im Netz entdecken konnte, habe ich ihn nachgebaut. Das war wirklich einfach, weil die Beschreibung und die Zeichnungen sehr gut verständlich waren.
        Nun werden ich mich auf die Suche begeben und mir einen süßen Hamster aussuchen.
        DANKE 🙂

    • Katherine Black

      Hi I love you lid for your detolf hamster cage. I was wondering if you are up to making one for me and I will pay you? I just don’t have time to build it and my hamster get out of the cage. Please let me know


      • hamsterscape

        Dear Kathy,

        I am sorry but I am not building lids for people. I live in the Netherlands so shipping will be impossible.
        That’s why I made this blog so everyone is able to build it themselves.


      • Vera’s dad


        But note your measurement for the two short slats is the same as the long ones. I guess they are supposed to be shorter. That’s how I made it.

  • Kellsie

    This is a wonderful and descriptive tutorial! I’m sure many hamsters (and their people) appreciate your hard work. =]

    I do have a question though….is there a reason for not adding a handle to the front to aid in opening the lid? Is it a bad idea to do so?

    • hamsterscape

      Thank you so much!
      It was just A personal reason To not add a handle. I you would love to make a handle feel free to do so!


  • Maddie

    Hi there, I just had a couple of questions about this lid. I have built the Ikea Detolf for my Syrian hamster, but being the escape artist he is, I knew I would have to make a lid.


    *My hamster is a bit of a chewer, has your hamster ever managed to chew through the chicken wiring?
    *What chicken wiring did you use, if possible could you list the brand or the place you purchased it.
    *Do you make these for people to buy, because I would like to purchase one if so.

    • hamsterscape

      Hi Maddie,

      A IKEA detolf for a Syrian hamster is difficult because of the height. It’s not high enough to give your Syrian hamster the amount of bedding it needs.
      This lid will be the answer to that! Because it’s high So you can give your Syrian hamster the 15inch of bedding it needs. (The more bedding to better it is).

      To answer you questions:
      My hamster never chews on the bars, this because my hamster isn’t bored. He doesn’t want to escape because he is fine where he is. Chewing bars often means your hamster is bored or needs something that he doesn’t get.
      I used the chicken wiring from the brand Handson.
      I don’t make this for people to buy but I am happy to help if you have more questions!

      And if you want to know more about the chewing habit of your hamster you are free to take a look at the blog I wrote about chewing bars.

      I hope this helps you out!


    • Schermesser


      Je voulais vous demander comment vous avez fait pour le tracer pour les côté, quelle mesure faut faire pour les lignes arrondi ?
      . Merci.

  • Sarah

    Hi There,

    Thank you so much for providing such a detailed tutorial! It is greatly appreciated.
    I do have a quick question though – all of the wooden slats are shown to be 156 cm long, however sometimes they are attached inside the mdf side frames, and other times they are attached in the notched out area of the sides.

    For example on the lid flip, the lower slat is attached inside the two mdf ends for a total length of 158 cm (156cm slate plus the thichness of the mdf sides x2 (10mm x2) ). The upper slate is attached with screws that are vertically drilled down into the mdf, so wouldn’t this slat need to be 158cm (or am I missing something here)?

    • Tracey

      Sarah, I noticed the same thing about the slats, thanks to your post.
      I’m about to make this lid for my detolf.
      My undertanding is that one of the slats for each part of the lid are fitted on the inside of the board. So those two slats would be the full length minus the thickness of the board on each end. The other three slats would be the full length.
      Thanks for these instructions, I excited to provide more height and a secure lid to my enclosure.

  • Hannah

    Hi! I am getting my detolf tomorrow. I can get slats which are 18mm x 28mm and mdf which is 9mm thick. Will this be okay? Also what length screws did you use? Im a complete novice to building anything!

    Thank you

    • Vanessa

      I had the same thought and went to measure my Detolf. The total length of the inside of the cage is 156cm. So for the pieces in between the two MDF sides you will need the length to be 154cm (+2*1cm from the plates). The ones that are placed in the “cut-outs” are 156cm.
      I hope I measured everything correctly.

  • Kellie

    I’m so glad I found this. It’s amazing! I just assembled a Detolf for my spoiled little hamster and was trying to decide what to do for the lid. I’ve some temporary ideas, but hope I can find someone that I can pay to build it for me. You are very talented! I love that (as you said) allows for higher substrate (even though my ham does not seem to burrow at all) and also has room if you need to raise a wheel or anything. Thank you!

    • Georgia Freeman

      Hi, I just wanted t9 say thank you for this tutorial, me and my boyfriend made this lid for our Syrian, Brian, and we’re over the moon with it. It looks smart and gives us so much more opportunities for burrowing space and amazing set ups! This is the only detailed tutorial I could find for a rounded, hinged lid and it was extremely helpful, thank you!!

  • Britt

    Hallotjes !
    Zou dit ook werken bij een bak die twee keer zo breed en lang is ? (175×80 cm)

    Groetjes !

    PS: super fijne en duidelijk uitleg !

  • Stevie

    Screwing into the end of the MDF plates caused it to split (I did drill pilot holes first). Any tips on how to stop that? Or any tips on how to repair the damage without starting from scratch again?

  • Anne-Marie

    Why do the 3x2cm squares need to be cut out of the top edges of the MDF plate? Couldn’t all the wooden slats just be cut slightly shorter and sit inside the MDF plate – screwed in from the side rather than from above – as they are with the very front slats?
    I’m planning to make a half-length version of this for my detolf (the other side is covered with a huge tank topper for my gerbils, it’s a great design! I’m just confused by that part.

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