DIY Indoor And Outdoor Tortoise Enclosure Ideas

15 DIY Indoor And Outdoor Tortoise Enclosure Ideas

Improper enclosures for tortoises can cause them discomfort and will reduce their vitality. That’s why, while making their enclosures, you need to consider the size of the enclosure, the temperature, humidity, location, drainage, risk of predation, etc.

We are here with 15 DIY indoor and outdoor tortoise enclosure ideas. You can use a wooden table, water tub, garden bed, and bricks to employ those ideas. In cases of indoor ones, providing UVB light was necessary to supply appropriate heat. But in the cases of outdoor ones, sunlight was enough, but giving shade is also essential.

Throughout this article, we will provide 15 DIY ideas to make enclosures for your pet tortoise. You will also learn how to proceed with those ideas successfully. So keep reading.

15 DIY Indoor And Outdoor Tortoise Enclosure Ideas: An Detailed Overview 


Tortoise Enclosure Ideas

Here are 15 DIY ideas for indoor and outdoor shelters for your tortoises:

Idea 1

If you want to make an indoor closure near your window, then follow these steps:

  1. Cut plywood planks appropriately and make an open box with those planks. 
  2. Make sure the length and width of the box are a minimum of 6x the width and length of your tortoises
  3. Now, make the upper frame using chicken wire. At the bottom, you can put cocoa fiber to help absorb moisture. 
  4. Then, put a layer of reptile bark over it. 
  5. Provide a hiding prop, water plates, and flat stone inside the enclosure. 
  6. Keep the flat rock under the lighting area and provide your tortoise food there.

Idea 2

When you are making an indoor enclosure using a wooden box, you can organize the enclosure following these:

  1. You can also make a small shell inside the enclosure for them. 
  2. Then, make a wood bar chain up to the roof of that tiny shell. 
  3. Now, keep the water plate and food plate up to the roof. Thus, by climbing the stairs, your tortoises will get good exercise.
Indoor Tortoise Enclosure Ideas

Idea 3

It is an outdoor enclosure idea where you won’t need to provide any UVB lighting. During layering the bottom of the box, you can use topsoil. 

  1. Put a tub in one corner of the enclosure with small stones and fill it with water so the depth isn’t much for your tortoise. 
  2. Also, put a significant amount of river rocks around the pond.
  3. In the opposite corner from this pond, make a small three-sided hut of 1 foot L×1 foot W×1 foot H with plywood pieces.
  4. And at the center, you can plant a large hosta tree to shade your tortoise. 

Idea 4

Sometimes, in the indoor enclosure, you can provide your tortoise with two hides.

  • In this process, you can make one hide with wooden planks and another with clay inside the wooden box. The clay will be slightly cooler, so the tortoise can go into that hide when it feels warm.  
  • You can make the basking area with UVB light over the warm hide. 
  • Make sure the temperature is near 30°-33°C near the heating zone. In this case, you need to provide a wooden stair for them to climb there. 
  • At the center, you can plant a fake fern as another hiding spot. 
  • And near the plant, keep the water dish.

Idea 5

According to this indoor enclosure idea, you can also use Repti bark for layering the bottom of the wooden box. 

  1. Then, put a semi-round wooden hide at one corner of the box. 
  2. Next, put some moss around and into the hide. 
  3. Now, arrange some fake plants on the sides of that box. 
  4. Providing food and water dishes is a must. You can keep those dishes at two corners of the middle of the box. In this case, keep the basking area at the opposite corner of the box from the hide.
Tortoise Enclosure

Idea 6

According to this idea, you can build an outdoor enclosure using bricks. 

  1. For this, choose a relatively shaded and grassy area near any wall. 
  2. Then, arrange those bricks to make three sides of your pet’s enclosure. 
  3. Now, at one corner of the wall side, put some bricks parallelly with the brick border. 
  4. Put a top frame over these two brick borders. This will be the hide for your tortoises. 
  5. Plant some small plants, and put the water and food dishes inside the enclosure.
Outdoor Tortoise Enclosure Ideas

Idea 7

This is an outdoor tortoise enclosure idea where you need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose a less sunny area and arrange wooden planks as 8 feet L×4 feet W×4 inch H. 
  2. Cover almost 1 foot of the top portion with wood as a hide for the tortoise. 
  3. In front of that hide, you can provide another wooden semi-round hide and arrange some small plants around it. 
  4. In another corner, you can put wooden climbing props.
  5. Provide food and water dishes with small pebbles around those dishes. 
  6. Ensure you cover the top portion with a frame containing chicken wires.
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Idea 8

Sometimes, you can also provide your tortoise an outdoor enclosure with a two-layer hide. For this,  follow these steps:

  1. Choose a place where you can use two walls as two borders of the enclosure. 
  2. Arrange bricks one after one linearly to make a triangular shape with the walls. 
  3. Create a 10″L×6″ W× 6″ H area inside the triangular area with bricks keeping one side open.
  4. Now, dig a hole near that closed area and connect it with the inside of that closed area. This will create a two-layer house for the tortoise. 
  5. Put one wooden board over the brick walls and another over the hole. 

See this youtube video to get a better idea:

  1. Also, don’t forget to provide water and food dishes inside the enclosure and near the hide.

Idea 9

Sometimes, in an outdoor enclosure, you can make a house for them in one corner and a small pond near their house. You need to keep stones inside the pond so they can rest when tired.

Make borders with bricks around the place; keep the border’s height more than your tortoise’s. 

Idea 10

If you have more than one tortoise, you can make a large outdoor enclosure for them. 

  1. In this case, make brick walls around your required area. 
  2. Inside the area, build a wooden house for your tortoises. 
  3. You can put wooden blocks and large stones in the corners of the enclosure.
  4. Keep half of the enclosure grassy and the other half soil. So they can dig into the soil when they wish.
  5. Please plant a few small plants inside the enclosure to provide them with shade. 
  6. Ensure you keep the water dish in the middle of the large enclosure.

Idea 11

If you have enough space inside for an indoor enclosure, you can build an 8 feet L× 8 feet× 4 inch H wide wooden table. 

  1. Now, attach corner frames 5 feet high with it.
  2. Next, cover the top and four sides with plastic sheeting material. 
  3. Cover the bottom with soil leaving one corner. 
  4. In that corner, place a water dish with pebbles around it. 
  5. Provide hide, fake plant, basking stone, and UVB light zone inside this enclosure.
Indoor Tortoise Enclosure Ideas

Idea 12

For an outside enclosure, you can make another enclosure made of chicken wire around the real one. 

  1. In this case, casually choose an open place in your backyard and create an enclosure providing shade, hide, water, and food dishes.
  2. Then, make a wooden frame around the enclosure and cover it by attaching chicken wires around the frames.
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Idea 13

Sometimes, you can also use a garden bed for making an outdoor enclosure for your pet tortoise.

  1. Select a garden bed and put the soil up to the required level. 
  2. Then, plant some small flower plants inside the bed; you can put plant tops also.
  3. Now, arrange two bricks parallelly inside the bed and put a wooden sheet over those two bricks. This will provide tortoises with a place to hide. 
  4. In the middle of the bed, put a water dish and a few small pebbles around it. Thus, the tortoise can get inside it quickly.

Idea 14

You can also make use of a livestock water bowl for employing this idea of outdoor enclosure:

  1. Take a large livestock water bowl and level it up by putting soil inside it. 
  2. Then, plant some flower plants inside this bowl. 
  3. Now, you need to put cypress and mosh all over the bowl. 
  4. You must put a wooden hide near one corner of the bowl and a water dish near the hide. 

Idea 15

Sometimes, using a water tub to make outdoor tortoise enclosures can be an excellent idea.

  1. Take a water tub and put the soil inside it. 
  2. You must put a water bowl in one corner and fill the rest of the tub with soil. It will be better to put a stair-type feature from the water bowl to the solid portion of the tub.
  3. Put two bricks parallelly in another corner of the tub and cover the top with a top wooden sheet. 
  4. Near this hide, plant small plants. 
  5. Also, put a large stone in the middle of the tub.
Outdoor Tortoise Enclosure Ideas


In this FAQs section, we will answer a few most common questions about the tortoise enclosures.

Q: When do I need To Bring My Tortoise Inside?

You need to take the tortoise back when the temperature falls below 10°C. Under this temperature, this reptile will go into hibernation. Thus, providing them with adequate heat inside the house is necessary.

Q: When Is a Small Enclosure Preferable For My Tortoise?

You can provide small enclosures of 4 feet L×4 feet W×4 inches Has a temporary shelter during their hatchlings. This is also applicable when your pet already has indoor sections and you want to keep them outside for a short period.

Q: Will Growing Plants Within The Outdoor Tortoise Enclosure Be Safe?

Growing plants will stimulate them, giving the natural habitat vibe; also, they can eat these. Though they can sense toxic plants and avoid eating them, remove all unknown growing plants from the enclosure for better safety.


Making appropriate enclosures for tortoises is crucial as location, space, temperature, etc., matter significantly. Generally, the larger the enclosure area, the better it will be. But for larger areas, you may need to provide multiple hiding places for them.

We already mentioned 15 DIY indoor and outdoor tortoise enclosure ideas. To save your pet from predation, you may need to provide a chicken wire shed in an outdoor enclosure. Also, you need to make sure that walls are high enough to restrict them from going out of the enclosures.

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