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diy outdoor bearded dragon playpen

If you’re looking to build a DIY bearded dragon playpen, you’ve stopped at the perfect place!

Whether you want to build an indoor or outdoor bearded dragon playpen – this guide will work for either!

We’ll also give you some bearded dragon playpen ideas (in terms of building and accessorizing your playpen).

Additionally, for the lazy ones out there (you know who you are!), we’ll give you some recommendations on inexpensive playpens you can buy.

This will save you the time, materials, and the costs of having to build one yourself!

So, let’s dive right into some of the best bearded dragon playpens you can purchase online.

From there, we’ll teach you two different methods on how you can build one yourself!

Jump to..

Bearded Dragon Playpens You Can Buy

So, before we dive into a building a DIY bearded dragon playpen, we want to give you some alternatives to building one yourself.

Truthfully, building a playpen can be expensive and time consuming.

Therefore, here are some great options if you’d simply like to buy one!

#1. SlowTon Small Animal Outdoor Bearded Dragon Playpen

In terms of size, this is the best deal on our list!

At a whopping 73” x 25” in size, the SlowTon Outdoor Bearded Dragon Playpen will give your beardie tons of space to run around and explore!

Besides being the largest on our list, this playpen is made of mesh and has a removable bottom.

This will give you the option of letting your beardie experience walking on real grass (if you place the playpen outside).

Furthermore, you can use the bottom as a topper if it’s too hot outside. We suggest placing the topper halfway across the playpen.

As a result, this will create a cool side that your bearded dragon can go to if it gets too hot on the exposed side.

In addition to all these great features, this bearded dragon playpen comes with scratch-proof mesh on the bottom few inches.

Finally, similar to the X-Zone Playpen on our list, the SlowTon Playpen requires no assembly. It’s easy to fold and place in the small bag that’s included in the package.

Overall, it comes with the playpen, 9 inch nails that are used to stabilize the playpen outdoors, and the removable bottom/topper.

We highly recommend this indoor or outdoor bearded dragon playpen due to its spacious size and scratch-proof bottom.

#2. Tespo Pet DIY Bearded Dragon Playpen

The Tespo DIY Bearded Dragon Playpen is an awesome choice for any bearded dragon owner!

It comes with 12 metal panels that are each 12” x 12” in size. These panels are connected by ABS connectors and cable ties.

You can put them together in a basic rectangular shape or place them together in unique shapes. In addition, you can stack them to make the walls of your playpen higher.

The entire package comes with 12 metal panels, 26 ABS connectors, 30 cable ties, 12 anti-slip mats, a wooden hammer for assembly, and instructions!

Additionally, one of the best features of this playpen is the fact that it’s able to be modified and expanded.

Unlike the other playpens on our list, you can buy two or three sets (see options on Amazon) and expand the size of your playpen to any size you’d like!

Therefore, I think this is one of the best options in terms of creating an enormous outdoor bearded dragon playpen. Of course, you can use it inside as well!

The assembly is easy, and it can easily be taken apart! Overall, we highly recommend this playpen for your bearded dragon due to its fair price, durability, and customizability!

#3. X-Zone Pet Portable Foldable Zipper Playpen

The X-Zone Playpen is an excellent option if you’re looking for a spacious, breathable, indoor, or outdoor bearded dragon playpen.

Keep in mind, this playpen is designed for other animals such as a cat or dog. However, it works perfect for bearded dragons!

It comes in several different sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large. However, the bigger the size, the better.

Of course, if you’re on a budget, you can get a smaller size. Although, we recommend getting at least the medium size.

The X-Zone comes in the following sizes:

Furthermore, it comes in black, blue, and pink! Hence, you can get whichever color is your favorite. Or you can base the color on your beardies gender!

In addition, the X-Zone Playpen is made of mesh, has a removable top (so your bearded dragon can get essential UVB from the sun), and has a zipper door on the front. Plus, it’s completely escape-proof!

Overall, we know your bearded dragon will love this playpen! It has pockets on the sides that you can store materials and it can easily be folded and stored in a closet.

Plus, best of all, it requires no assembly! It’s durable, simple, and works great!

#4. Outback Outdoor Portable Play Tent

If you’re looking for a bearded dragon playpen that is both fun and mentally stimulating, the Outback Outdoor Playpen may be the perfect playpen for you!

Although this playpen is designed for cats, it works incredibly well for bearded dragons as well!

It provides an amazing 30 square feet of space for your bearded dragon to run around and exercise in!

Comparing it to some of the other options on our list such as the X-Zone and Slowpen playpens, the Outback Outdoor Playpen is also made of mesh.

However, unlike these playpens, the Outback Outdoor Bearded Dragon Playpen comes in a unique shape that promotes both exercise and entertainment!

Furthermore, it’s super easy to setup and requires no tools! It’s also completely safe, escape-proof, and is super breathable.

Plus, a nice little feature is the fact that the tunnel of the Outback Outdoor Playpen is detachable. You can remove it and simply have a nice little tent for your beardie to roam in.

Finally, it comes with a small carrying bag allowing you to take your beardie to the beach, the park, or wherever else you’d like!

Although it’s a little more expensive than some of our other recommendations, we think it’s well worth the additional price because of the tunnel feature and massive amount of space!

#5. GoStock Folding Collapsable Pet Pool

Although this is a pet pool, the GoStock Folding Collapsible Pet pool makes for an incredible bearded dragon playpen.

It comes in at a whopping 55 inch x 12 inches size. This will give your bearded dragon plenty of space to exercise and explore.

This pet pool, unlike most, is made of durable PVC. Hence, it is non-inflatable and can easily be folded up and stored.

Not to mention, the GoStock Folding Pool can also be used as a tub to bathe your bearded dragon! Pretty nice little addition if you ask me.

Moreover, it’s non-slip, safe, eco-friendly, and healthy for all types of pets – including reptiles!

Consequently, if you’re seeking a unique and multifunctional playpen for your bearded dragon, this one may end your search!

#6. Pawaboo Small Animals Playpen

If you’re on a budget, this is the perfect option for you. The Pawaboo Small Animal Playpen is similar to other mesh playpens except it’s a little less durable – but a lot less expensive.

Furthermore, it doesn’t have any pockets or special features. It’s also quite a bit smaller than the X-Zone Pet Playpen.

Comparing it to the X-Zone Playpen, for instance, that comes in sizes up to 55” x 30” – the Pawaboo Playpen only comes in one size which is 28.3” x 15”.

Therefore, it may be hard to put a lot of accessories in this playpen. Additionally, it doesn’t have a topper that you can use as a ceiling in case your beardie gets too hot.

Nonetheless, it’s a simple, inexpensive playpen that you can place inside or outside – allowing your beardie to get some heat and natural sunlight!

How to Build Your Own DIY Bearded Dragon Playpen

For those that want to build your own DIY bearded dragon playpen rather than purchase one, here’s a few ways to build a bearded dragon playpen!

Method 1: DIY Bearded Dragon Playpen: The Cardboard Box Technique

Overall cost: $15 – $30

Estimated build time: 20-30 minutes

For this method, you’ll need three large cardboard boxes of the same size. Although this won’t create the fanciest of bearded dragon playpens, it will do the job!

Here’s the full list of materials you’ll need:

Now, let’s jump into the step-by-step guide!

Step 1: Cut Down the Boxes

The first step is to take your boxes and unfold them, so they’re straightened out. Pretty simple, huh?

If you purchased the blank cardboard sheets from the Amazon link above, you can skip to step 4!

Step 2: Remove the Flaps

Now that you’ve broken down your boxes, you need to cut off the top and bottom flaps of each box.

You can keep the flaps for later, but disregard them for now. We’ll get to the flaps later.

Step 3: Cut One of The Edges

So, now that you’ve cut off the flaps, you need to open the boxes up by cutting one of the edges of each box.

At this point, you’ll have three opened up boxes with no flaps.

These cardboard pieces will act as the walls of your playpen.

Step 4: Build the Walls of Your Playpen

Next, you will need to tape together the walls of your bearded dragons playpen.

This is fairly simply. Take the Three large pieces of cardboard and set them side by side.

You will then tape together the edges of each box using PMMA tape. PMMA tape is non-toxic for your pet and its adhesive strength works great with cardboard.

From there, you can set the walls upright and enclose the playpen – taping the final edges together.

The final product should look like this:


Method 2: Advanced DIY Outdoor Bearded Dragon Playpen

Overall cost: $120 – $200

Estimated build time: 6-8 hours

This method, although much more costly and time consuming, will create a much more stable and durable playpen that will last for years.
You’ll need staples, screws, a drill, screen, and lumber.

The specific material list is as follows:

Watch this in-depth tutorial on building an outdoor playpen:

Step 1: Gather the Materials

You can purchase the materials on Amazon through the links above, or you can purchase them at your local hardware store.

You may already have some of the materials. This means, the overall cost of this build may be a bit lower!

Step 2: Lay out your lumber

Next, you need to setup each of your materials. Place your lumber in a stack and keep your materials separated. This is for organization purposes.

Having everything thrown around can make building your playpen a hassle!

Step 3: Saw your lumber

Now that you have your materials laid out and ready to go, we’re going to begin our build!

First, you’ll need to cut your lumber. Four of your 2’ x 4’ x 12’ pieces of lumber will be cut in half to 6’ (72”).

These four pieces of lumber will serve as the end pieces of your playpen.

From there, you’ll take five additional pieces of lumber and cut them to 5.4’ (65”). These will be used as support for the top of the playpen.

Because the next steps are difficult to follow in writing, here’s a brief overview. Be sure to watch the video above by Rose City Reptiles for specific instructions!

4: Connect the 72” end pieces to the 65” roof support beams.

5: Next, saw your additional lumber for the support beams (aka the beams going up and down

6: Now, you’ll create the base of your playpen by sawing three additional pieces of lumber.

7: Finish connecting your lumber by drilling your screws.

8: Thereafter, you need to grab your screen roll and cut enough to fit each individual side of your reptiles playpen.

9: Staple each piece of screen to its corresponding side.

10: Decorate your new playpen however you desire! We have some DIY bearded dragon playpen ideas.

Additional Bearded Dragon Playpen Ideas

You can get as creative as you’d like when it comes to creating your bearded dragons playpen.

You can add plants, hides, rocks, and other toys and accessories.

If your bearded dragons playpen is outdoors, make sure to provide tall basking rocks or other accessories they can climb onto. This will help them get closer to the sun and allow them to bask more efficiently.

More Costly Bearded Dragon Playpen Ideas

Additionally, you can paint the walls of your beardies playpen. Note, it’s important that you use organic and non-toxic spray paint!

I personally recommend using green paint as it will appear more natural to your beardie.

If you really want to get creative, you can paint detailed trees and rocks on the walls of your playpen.

Another great playpen idea is to add a small tub of water for your beardie to bathe in. This idea works well if your choose to place your playpen outside!

Furthermore, if you really want to make an awesome playpen, you can create a custom DIY rock background along with hides.

For this, you’ll need Styrofoam, sanded grout mix, expanding foam insulator, paint, and a few other materials.

To be honest, this is a somewhat long and complicated process. However, the results are amazing!

If you are interested, here’s the list of materials you need:

Watch the video below to learn exactly how to create a custom rock enclosure for your playpen. You can also use this to customize your bearded dragons enclosure!

According to Reptile Guide, here’s some safe plants you can add to your bearded dragons playpen:

Bearded dragons, like people, have their preferences. Therefore, it may take some experimentation to determine what your bearded dragon likes and doesn’t like!

Benefits of Having a Bearded Dragon Playpen

There are a multitude of benefits to building your bearded dragon a playpen. One of the biggest benefits is allowing your bearded dragon time outside of its enclosure. Let’s be real, if you were stuck in a room all day, you’d probably want some free time too!

Furthermore, and just as important, having a playpen is an enriching experience for your beardie. It gives them the opportunity to explore new territory. This will keep them both entertained and provide mental stimulation.

Also, a playpen is a great form of exercise for your beardie. More than likely, they’ll be moving around, exploring, climbing, and having a blast! Exercise and mental stimulation are important factors in terms of keeping your bearded dragon happy! Needless to say, a happy bearded dragon is a healthy bearded dragon. They’ll live a long and fulfilling life!

Finally, if you’re building an outdoor bearded dragon playpen, they’ll receive some natural UVB and heat from the sun. Bearded dragons love the sun so it’s nice to be able to take them outside from time to time!

Bearded Dragon Playpen FAQ

You may have some questions regarding beardie playpens. If so, read the Q&A below and hopefully we’ve answered your questions!

Outdoor bearded dragon playpen vs indoor bearded dragon playpen?

This is a matter of preference. Either way, your bearded dragon will benefit from having a playpen!

However, having an outdoor bearded dragon playpen will allow your bearded dragon some time in the sun. As a result, they’ll reap the benefits of heat and natural UVB rays.

How large should I make my playpen?

Again, this is totally up to you. You can make it the same size as your bearded dragons enclosure, larger, or even smaller. Either way, your bearded dragon will love its new playpen!

How can I tell if my bearded dragon likes its playpen?

Sometimes, it can be hard to read the behavior of bearded dragons.

However, if your bearded dragon is climbing, exploring, and basking in its playpen, it’s probably having a great time!

On the other hand, if your beardie is surfing on the side of its playpen (aka propping its body up on the side of the walls of the playpen) it may a sign that your bearded dragon doesn’t enjoy its playpen.

However, don’t fret. Bearded dragons can take some time to warm up to new environments. The unfamiliarity of the playpen may intimidate your bearded dragon the first few uses!

Should I monitor my bearded dragon while it’s inside its playpen?

It’s advised that you do keep an eye on your bearded dragon while it’s inside its playpen – especially the first few times they use it.

However, as long as you’re confident that your playpen is escape-proof, you should be able to leave your beardie unattended for short periods of time.

How long should I leave my bearded dragon inside its playpen?

I prefer to leave my bearded dragon inside its playpen for about an hour or two. In terms of frequency, I use my playpen about twice a week. However, this is up to you.

Keep in mind, bearded dragons love heat and they love to bask in the sun.

Therefore, if you have an outdoor playpen for your bearded dragon, it should be fine for extended periods of time. We suggest keeping your bearded dragon inside its playpen for no more than 3-4 hours.

However, if your bearded dragons’ playpen is located inside your home, you should only keep them inside for an hour or less.

This is because you won’t have a heat source within your playpen. Needless to say, beardies need heat & UVB in order to prosper.

Although, they should be fine without any heat for an hour or so.

Final Thoughts - DIY Outdoor Bearded Dragon Playpen

As you can tell, building an outdoor bearded dragon playpen can be an awesome experience for both you and your beardie!

Owning a playpen will give your bearded dragon a place to bask in the sun, exercise, explore new territory, and experience the great outdoors!

Additionally, there’s plenty of DIY bearded dragon playpen ideas such as adding real plants, rocks, climbing accessories, pools, and so much more!

However, if you don’t have the time or resources to create your own DIY bearded dragon playpen, you can always purchase one!

There’s plenty of great options out there that are durable, safe, and relatively inexpensive!

Furthermore, it’ll be much easier to disassemble and store a purchased playpen.

It’s all up to you! You can get creative as you’d like with your playpen!

Overall, we hope you learned some DIY bearded dragon playpen ideas, how to build a playpen, and the best playpens you can buy!