Pets seem to have a special place in many families and we often times treat them as actual members of the family, dogs are no exception.  I have been a dog person from very young because my mom pretty much insisted on having a dog in in the house.  She passed her love of four legged furry friends on to me.  Growing up I always had big dogs.  When it came time for my budding family to get a family pet, we had decided on chihuahuas.  As I quickly discovered, smaller dogs can be just as much fun as their sizable counterparts.  I don’t know whether it’s the lower vantage point, or their incessant need to feel on top of the world, but I found our pint-sized pups preferred being on blankets atop furniture rather than remain on the floor.  I decided to test my observations by lifting their view on the world by making a platform to raise their dog mattress.  I was thrilled to discover they really enjoyed the added few inches of height and seem to really enjoy the new puppy pad platform.  After the video link there is a step by step write up.



(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 01

My wife had picked up a new foam filled fabric dog bed from our local pet supply company.  I took some generic measurements to ensure that what I was to build, could accommodate the new purchase.  Your measurements for your dog bed will obviously vary depending on what size you buy.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 02

I also made sure to measure the dogs to make sure they would fit too.  And it looks like we are good to go.  Once again, your size may vary, lol.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 03

Once I was armed with the dimensions of the interior of the box I needed to make, I needed to calculate the overall length my wood needed to be.  Sometimes this can be difficult for people to figure out.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 05


If you are using 45° cuts on the ends, a quick and easy way to figure your overall length is to go off of your material thickness.  In my case I am using 3/4″ pine.  The end 45° cut forms a right triangle with equal length legs on the triangle.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 06

So you can add the material thickness, times 2, to your inside dimension, and that gives you your final length to cut the board.  My 3/4″ material x 2 = 1 1/2″.  That added to my inside measurement of 20″, I came up with 20 1/2″.  Remember this trick only works with 45° cuts.  If you are making a project with a smaller or larger angles, this would not apply.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 07

I then proceeded to cut all of the box pieces to final length.  For my project it was 2 boards at 21 1/2″, and 2 at 18 1/2″.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 08

To make it easier for the dogs to get in and out of the bed, I marked an area of the wood to be removed on what would become the front piece.  A handy tip when removing material from a project, look at the parts you are working with and see if you can remove any imperfections when cutting the waste piece.  In my project, I was able to remove an unsightly knot on the reverse side, making the overall appearance of the project that much nicer.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 09

I could then cut the waste material away using my bandsaw.  Making sure to leave the layout line so I could sand to the line in the next step.  A coping saw or jigsaw may also be used if you don’t have access to a bandsaw.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 10

Using a sanding block by hand, or a belt sander, you can now sand right up to the line making the edge smooth and free from cut marks.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 10a

I then test fit the parts while in my strap clamp.  Once everything lined up, I removed one board at a time and added glue to the bevel cut.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 11

With all of the wood clamped up and where I wanted it, I reinforced each corner with a few brad nails courtesy of my air brad nailer.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 12

Turning to the legs, I got some chunks of MDF from my scrap bin, found an angle that looked good and cut 4 legs to size.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 13

Additionally, I cut 4 more legs at the same height and angle, but I made them narrower by the thickness of the MDF, in this case, 3/4″.  That way, when I joined the two pieces at the corner, it gave an even reveal and appearance on both sides of the legs.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 14

Glue and nail the pieces together, and you can see that each side of the legs appears to be the same width.  Glue squeeze out can be wiped away with a damp rag.  Once painted, no one will ever know it is two parts glued together.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 15

To aid in the look of the joints and minor imperfections in the wood, I use drywall joint compound to fill in any problem spots (including nail holes).  If you were planning on staining your project, you would want to use some stainable/sandable wood filler instead.  I was going to paint my dog bed, so joint compound is what I used.  After it dries and has been sanded smooth, most joints and flaws become invisible under a coat of paint.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 16

You may be able to see in the above picture, I had marked each of the legs 1″ down from the top to give me a reference mark, in where to attach the legs.  Glue and brad nails where going to have plenty of holding power for our compact canines.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 18

(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 17

Using some more scrap materials, I brad nailed a couple of pieces of pine to act as supports for the 1/4″ MDF hardboard that was to come.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 19


I choose flat black paint for the finish on my project.  I am not new to using black paint to cover my creations.  I use it so often because, I always seem to have some on hand, I’m rarely disappointed by its final outcome, and it gives projects a modern yet elegant look.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 20

Cutting out a piece of 1/4″ thick hardboard to slightly smaller than the frame opening, painting it as well, plopping it in place and this project was nearing completion.


(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 21

(ep29) DIY Dog Bed 22

A $12 store bought dog cushion with a $4 pine board and some scrap materials, and our dogs couldn’t be happier.  If you are interested I have also made a video showing the build process.  The link for that video is provided below.



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5 Responses

  1. Paul Bucalo

    Well designed. Well built. Simple and functional.

    One advantage in having such a small family member is the reduced cost in materials. I’m hoping this is true regarding food and water. 😉

    • Nick

      Yes it is. I’m surprised to see how much food other people have to buy for their dogs. I’m not the one in the house that buys the food but, I would say the two of them don’t even eat a small 10-15# bag in one month. It may even last them longer.


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