Constructing a Foam Hide for a Vivarium
Construct the shape of your reptile hide (this particular one has been made for a Bearded Dragon) using cardboard, wire and any bits you find that will be useful.
When constructing the shape be certain to factor in considerations like: How big will the reptile you are making the hide for grow and how quickly will it grow? How much space will the foam hide take up in your vivarium? In other words, make certain the hide will fit in your vivarium. Is there anything you want to incorporate into the foam hide (e.g. a feeding spot, a raised section for a warm spot)? You do after all want to keep your reptile as happy as possible!
Add shaping to your foam vivarium hide, in preparation for the frothing foam. We have used newspaper to try and add some natural organic shapes.
Spray a layer of expanding spray foam (approximately one inch thick) over the shape of the hide. You can build up the Hanidi-Foam in layers in various areas to create various structures (like rocks). The sprayed foam will expand and harden within 3 minutes. Once you have completed the spraying, you can start sculpting the cured foam into the shapes you desire and sanding it if you want a smooth finish.
Once you have finished sanding and sculpting the Handi-foam, you can decide how to finish it off. We have applied boat varnish and sprinkled ‘silver sand’ and gravel from the gardening centre onto the wet varnish. Make certain that you first bake the sand and gravel in the oven to dry out the sand and gravel and to kill any mites that might be present.
Paint a final layer of boat varnish onto the hide once you are happy with the appearance. Make certain the boat varnish is completely dry and fume free when you introduce the hide into your vivarium.