We adopted a dog from the Humane Society a month ago. Her name is Zoey! She is a beagle / german shepherd mix. I am obsessed with her. Before we even got a dog my husband made the rule “no dogs on the bed.” So I knew I had to make her the coolest bed ever. After her first vet check-up, we found out she is starting to get arthritis in her back legs (she is 7 years old). For the old lady, I splurged on the large-sized therapeutic dog bed mattress at L.L. Bean. Then I got to work designing the frame to go around it.
First I found a couple of free pallets that I planned on deconstructing. I scratched that idea after I came to my senses. Pallets are horrible to work with. I learned that from making this pallet artwork. Not only are they hard to tear apart, they have uneven widths, splinters and nails everywhere (I hate sanding)…they can be toxic. From pesticides, to E.coli, to salmonella, to dangerous chemicals that were spilled on these pallets…you just have no idea where these pallets have been. Making furniture out of pallets is a bad idea. Putting pallets in a baby’s room is an even worse idea (I cringe every time I open Pinterest and see this). Please do your research and be smart about how you recycle pallets!
So! What is a good alternative? Furring strips!!! It is VERY inexpensive wood with imperfections like pallets. I discovered this type of wood when I was searching for something to make my indoor basketball hoop out of. At Home Depot, a 1 in x 4 in x 8 ft furring strip is $1.84.
To make this project you need:
• Large dog bed mattress or a 34″W x 44″L x 5″H foam cushion insert and slip cover
• Approx. 10 qty. 1x4x8 Furring Strips
• Approx. 4 qty. 1x2x8 Furring Strips
• 48″ x 38″ x 3/4″ plywood
• Tape Measure and Speed Square
• Wood Glue
• Approx. 110 qty. 1-1/4″ Self Tapping Deck Screws
• Approx. 28 qty. 3″ Self Tapping Deck Screws
• Wood Stain
• Brushes or disposable foam paint brushes
• Baby Wipes
I started by making all four sides. I cut all the wood to size with my circular saw. TIP: cut the inside pieces first in order to accurately cut the outside frame. To cut the front opening, lay 4 boards together, measure 8.75″ on the top board and trace a 45º line down to the bottom like this:
Then I laid it all out and used wood glue to temporarily hold the outside frame to the inside pieces. Once the glue was dry, I flipped it over and screwed it together with the short 1-1/4″ self tapping deck screws.
Then I screwed all four sides together with the longer3″ self tapping deck screws. I bought several colors of sample sized wood stains at Home Depot. These tiny sample size cans are only a few dollars each and you can do so much with them! I started slapping the stain on, trying to mimic old weathered wood by staining each board a different shade. I didn’t tape anything off and it definitely wasn’t perfect, but I let it dry overnight.
The next morning I sanded everything and went back with a black stain. Working quickly and in small sections, I brushed it into all the cracks and wiped it with baby wipes to help make the sections stand out better and give it an old, antique look.
To finish it, I painted the plywood bottom a solid dark grey and screwed it on to the top section. I put magic sliders under it so we can move it easily and without damaging the floor (the final product is really heavy).
For picture purposes, I put one of our fur throws down. It looks very pretty, but she doesn’t get to keep that. Next, I am planning on making fitted sheets out of flannel or fleece for the mattress so they can be easily washed!
If you found this blog helpful and made your own bed, I would love if you sent me pictures at DanaLaureano@gmail.com and include your first name + city/state if you don’t mind me sharing them on the blog! I can’t wait to see how everyone’s dog bed turned out! 🙂