Seattle seems to be the city of pets. In fact, the Seattle Times at one pointed noted there are more dogs than children in the city! A few weeks ago we built a cat hammock on the blog, but how could we dedicate a project to cats without turning around and honoring the dogs as well? So, here we are.
Friends of ours have two dogs that sleep on a large dog pillow at home. One of the dogs, Faye, is extra-feisty, and likes to take a running jump onto the pillow when she's playing. She ends up skidding across the hardwood floors on it and crashing into the wall. But there's a DIY solution for practically everything! This one? A wooden dog bed frame to keep the pillow in one place.
There are lots of dog beds you can find around on the internet. We wanted to make something unique, and we thought, What a great time to bring back the Kreg Jig! You may remember we used this little device on a couple of other projects, including the mid-century bed frame and the flower box. It was perfect for this project because all the holes will be covered up by the pillow inside!
Our friend's dogs sleep together on one large bed, so we made this frame for a 36" x 48" bed. That's really big—large German Shepherd-sized. But it's really easy to adapt for whatever size bed you have for your pet—just scale down the cutting measurements depending on how big the bed is.
Step 1: Cut Wood
As always, start by getting everything prepped up front so you're not going back and forth to your saw making cuts in between other part of the project. Cut wood with a miter saw or a circular saw. Refer to the diagram below to make your cuts.
- One 4" x 8’ – 36”, 49 ½”
- One 4" x 8’ – 49 ½”, two 16” at long end of 30° angle
- One 6" x 8’ – 36”, 49 ½”
- One 6" x 8’ – 36”, 49 ½”
- One 6" x 8’ – 48”, 48”
- One 6" x 8’ – 48”, 48”
- One 6" x 8’ – 37 ½”, 37 ½”
- One 6" x 8’ – 37 ½”
Step 2: Sand
This is going to be your dog's home for half the day—or more, depending on how lazy they are! Make sure you keep their little paws safe from splinters and sharp ends. Sand every end of the wood with a sanding sponge. Any rough sides that were left exposed after the bed was built, we smoothed out later.
Step 3: Kreg Jig
We will be building the walls of the bed by securing the 1" x 4" pieces to the corresponding 1" x 6" pieces using a Kreg Jig. Adjust the Kreg Jig for ¾” material. Make sure you’re doing this step right! I always mess up and line up the number with the edge of the tool and not with the arrow. Pre-drill holes on one side of the four 1" x 6" wall pieces (that’s two 36” pieces and two 49 ½” pieces). For the shorter boards, pre-drill two sets of holes on either end and in the middle. For the longer back board, pre-drill two sets of holes in the middle (about 16” in from either end) as well as on the ends. For the long front board, pre-drill two sets on either end and two about 14” in from the ends.
Note: If you don’t have a Kreg Jig, you can use support boards in the corners (and at the middle point) like we did in our camping crate project.
Step 4: Assemble Walls
These are the parts that stop dogs like Faye from sliding into bed like a baseball player. Lay the pre-drilled 1" x 6" boards flat next to their corresponding 1" x 4" counterparts. Secure together with glue and 1¼” screws.
Step 5: Attach Walls
With a 3/32” drill bit and 2” screws attach the four walls together. You can use a Kreg Jig for this too, but we chose this method because we didn’t want the holes from the Kreg Jig showing (even with the wood plugs).
Step 6: Floor
Once you have the walls assembled, you can add the floor of the bed. The four 48” 1" x 6" pieces will be making up the slats of the floor. Use the Kreg Jig to pre-drill holes in both ends of all these boards. Depending on whether you’ll be adding the cross pieces in step seven, these pieces may or may not need to be well supported. If they’ll be laying directly on the floor, they don’t actually need to bear the weight of the dogs laying in the bed (unless you plan on carrying around dogs while they’re in the bed). If you’re adding the support pieces in step seven, then you’ll want them well-secured into the walls of the bed. Either way though, because the frame doesn't have to support a bunch of weight, safety really isn’t an issue here. So don’t stress about it too much!
Step 7: Cross Beams
This step is totally unnecessary, but we added it in for aesthetics. It gives the bed a nice little lift off the floor without it being on actual feet. Turn the bed upside-down and lay out the three 37½” pieces perpendicular to the bottom slats (we positioned ours 3½” from either side). Pre-drill the ends into the front and back walls of the bed. Secure with 2” screws.
Step 8: Stain
We waited until this step to stain because only the parts of the bed that are exposed need to be stained. If you tend to be a perfectionist in these kind of things (I stopped myself from being one this time), then you might want to stain all the pieces before assembly. Follow the directions on the can and make sure to wait the full dry time before putting a cushion in the bed or you’ll stain the material.
Step 9: Non-Skid
If this bed frame is living on a hardwood floor and you have a big dog who likes to run and jump into bed, you might need a non-skid bottom. We found a number of different options for this at Dunn Lumber. Vinyl bumpers like the ones below are typically meant for smaller objects, but if you used enough you could probably make it work. They’re self-stick so they’re super easy to apply. Screw bumpers are meant to screw into the bottom of furniture. They're definitely suitable for this kind of thing, but keep in mind the height they add. The last option is rubber cups, which are cups for holding the legs of furniture to keep it from scratching the floor. They have a similar purpose, but this is not quite how they’re meant to be used. Turning them upside-down and gluing them in place with super glue should get the job done.
Step 10: Add a Bed
This is a great opportunity to give your dog's bed a good wash! Once it's clean and dry, set it in the frame and admire your handiwork. If your dog is anything like Draper (pictured below), they'll love it. And if you're sick and tired of your dog's bed ending up on the other side of the room from where it's supposed to be, you'll love it, too.