DIY with Dog

DIY Dog Bed Frame

If your dog sheds, then their bed is probably an eyesore in your home.

My 70 pound German Shepherd mix sheds like you wouldn’t believe, and she loves her bed, so it stays constantly covered in a layer of pale hair, no matter how often we vacuum. I recently recycled some shelves from a cheap bookcase we were throwing away to make a frame from her bed. Now we don’t mind keeping her bed in the middle of our living room, between our couches. She loves it, our apartment looks better, and everyone is happier! Using a few supplies and only an hour or two, you can create a similar frame for your dog’s bed that will help it blend into your home’s decor, even if you’ve never worked with wood before.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 boards for sides
  • 1 board for the bottom (optional)
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Paint (optional)

Step 1: Measure your dog’s bed.

Plan the dimensions of the frame before you go to purchase lumber—no eyeballing here! Measure the width and length of the bed, and determine how high you would like the walls to be. You’ll want the sides to be at least high enough to completely shield the sides of the bed, and potentially higher—your dog may like a little extra height to lean against. The frame I made has dimensions of 41 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 12 inches tall (for a bed measuring 38 inches by 29 inches*), so for the walls, I used two boards that measured 41x12 in, and two that measured 30x12 in. *Note: We have a small apartment with limited storage, so we keep our bouldering pad under our dog’s bed. Yes, it stays pretty hairy, but it gives her bed some extra cushion and insulation, and keeps the pad out of our way. The frame I made is much taller than you might want for a dog’s bed that rests on the floor.

Step 2: Find lumber.

I upcycled some dark-colored shelves from an old chipboard bookcase that we were discarding during our recent move. Serendipitously, the shelves were just the right length and width for our dog’s bed. This project is a great way to upcycle scraps you may have in your garage or shed. If you don’t have conveniently-sized wood pieces lying around, you’ll have to buy lumber. Lowe’s, Home Depot, and local lumber stores will cut wood pieces to size for you, so you don’t even need a saw! Just take your dimensions in and ask for those sizes in plywood or chipboard that is an appropriate thickness for your project. The pieces I used for a large frame are about 5/8 inch thick. If you want to add an optional floor to your frame for the bed to sit on, you will also need to buy a piece that measures the length and width of your frame. I didn’t attach a floor to my frame, but if I had, it would need to measure 41x30 in. I found that keeping the bottom of the frame open makes it easier to clean in and around it.

Step 3: Assemble pieces into the frame.

Lay your lumber out in the rough shape of your frame. Then simply nail pieces together along the height edges. Depending on the size of your frame, 2-3 nails per edge should do it. If you are adding the optional floor, after you have built the frame, nail the bottom piece to one side of your frame, using one nail at each corner and 2-3 nails in between each corner.

Step 4: Paint it.

My frame was already coated in dark paint, but if you’re using raw wood, then you’ll need to paint it (unless the raw wood you chose matches your decor, in which case you’re done!). Spray paint, acrylic paint, or paint for walls should all work. If you can, paint it outside to keep the fumes away from your curious pup, and leave it outside to dry (otherwise, use a garage, shed, or other open areas away from tiny paws). Once it’s dry, it’s ready for you to bring inside. My dog doesn’t like change, so it took her a few days to adjust to the frame, but now she loves it! Be patient if your dog doesn’t take to it right away. They’ll be snuggling up in their new, prettier bed in no time.

Emalie Cockrell

Emalie Cockrell is a writer and dog mom living in northwest Arkansas. She holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas. She and her husband, Connor, take their rescue pup Karhu out on the trails for camping, hiking, backpacking, running, and rock climbing any chance they get.
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