A dog kennel end table is a stylish way to keep your canine comfortable without sacrificing style. While today’s best dog crates are safe, comfortable, and secure, often times they aren’t very chic – and they are often a bit out of place. Some metal kennels are hard to blend in with the rest of the room which is exactly what you would like it to do if it becomes an eyesore.
There are a lot of crates that double as a furniture which you can put as end tables or a simple piece that fits your home decor. If you are up for a little project though, a DIY dog crate is the perfect way to create a customized, useful piece of furniture. It is also a great way to get a beautiful-looking indoor kennel that is perfect for crate training Fido without breaking the bank.
If you do a quick search on the internet, you will find that there are many free plans for dog kennel furniture and they are not as complicated as you may expect. In fact, you could craft many of them in an afternoon.
One plan, in particular, uses only a few materials and you probably already have the tools in the garage. If not you may need to pick up a couple from the hardware store or maybe you could ask a friend if you could borrow their saw or whatever tool you need. If you are loving the DIY experience of building this particular dog crate end table you could even make another one and give it to them for a Christmas gift.
When choosing a design to follow you will need to decide what size you will need. A dog crate that’s big enough for a puppy will obviously be too small for a larger dog, and you won’t need a large crate for a smaller breed of dog.
Just be aware of the finished size of the particular project that you choose so that you don’t spend all of your time building a dog end table that will not be a functional piece of furniture for what you need it for. You can always give it away as a gift, but that doesn’t solve the problem of you needing a dog crate yourself.
This particular DIY tutorial is ideal for a dog that is small to medium-sized which makes for a great end table as it is the perfect size— not too small and not too big. The finished project will be about 24 inches tall by 30 inches long and 20 inches wide.
First off you will need to gather all of your materials which include:
- 1 – 8′ 2×4 timber
- 3 – 8′ 1×4 timber
- 1 – 6′ 1×12 timber
- 1 – 4′ 1×24 pine laminate
- wood glue
- 3/4″x25′ steel hanger straps
- 100-1/2″ screws
- locking mechanism
- salvaged horse fence or wire
- wood conditioner
- dark walnut stain
It will be helpful if you have the following tools for this project:
- table saw
- circular saw
- chop saw
- hand saw
- nail gun
- power drill
- angle grinder
The Basic Procedure
With all of your tools and materials in place, it’s time to get started.
Cut Your Lumber
You will need to start off by cutting all of your pieces of lumber. Start with the posts and the base of the kennel first. The base will be created from the 2×4 piece. You will need to set up your table saw to a 45-degree angle.
You may want to measure your guide to the very tip of the blade to allow this. It should leave about 1.5″ remaining to be cut at the 45-degree angle to the tip. After you cut your piece, you will want to hang onto the scrap to use for trim later on.
Now you are ready to cut 45’s on the 2×4’s with the chop saw to make more of the frame. This will make your project look like it was professionally made. Try to be as uniform and precise as you can with this step because you want your project to be nice and uniform when you are finished with it.
You will want to follow a similar pattern with your 1x4s, but you want them to be 2 1/4″ wide so you may need to cut some off of the backside. Keep the back part for use as trim later on.
Build Your Base and Posts
You will need to have your wood glue handy because you will be using it a lot in this project to make your homemade dog crate extra durable. You should put glue where all of the joints meet before you nail anything together. Once you have the base put together and after the glue has had a chance to dry somewhat you can get out your sander and sand everything down to a smooth finish.
Normally you sand everything down right before you stain or paint a piece of furniture, but if you do it now, you are able to reach all of the parts of your project so far much more easily.
Now you are ready to put all of the posts in place. You should use the 1x4s on an angle for a few reasons. You will be able to cut down on the weight of your kennel/end table, and you will also maximize the space that you can create inside the kennel. It will also give your project a much cleaner look.
You may need some extra help to do this part as it can get somewhat tricky. You will need someone to help you hold everything in place as you nail them into the base as well as to each other. You may have a few small gaps but don’t worry about that right now. We will get to that later.
Now you are ready for the baseboard. You should have some of the 1×4 scraps from earlier to use in this step. Draw an even line around the entire inside of the base and nail one of your 1×4 supports into place. If you have any other scraps laying around such as MDF board you can cut it to shape and slide it into place before nailing it to your project in order to stabilize everything.
Walls and Caging
You are now ready to put the walls together which you will need to do before you can put them in place. You will need to use the 1×12 for the bottom section of the wall and the 1×4 for the top. You will need to figure out how big of a window there will need to be and with that measurement, you will need to cut out the desired size of the caging from the fencing. You can use a cutting disc with your angle grinder for this part, but you can also use bolt cutters if you don’t have one.
Lay out the caging onto the wood and draw marks for where you will need to carve out the area of the cage to rest inside the wood. Use your Dremel tool to carve out the wood so it will rest right under the surface of the wood.
Next, you can use the steel hanger strips, also known as plumber’s tape, to screw the caging into its proper place. Once you have completed the walls, you can put them on the frame and nail them in. Make sure that you measure the bottom of where the wall is to get the total measurement because the top won’t be exact because of warping and other factors that cause the wood to not be perfectly even and square. Although everything won’t be perfect, it will even out somewhat once everything is nailed into place and you won’t even notice the small differences.
Make Your Door
You will need to start out by making the top of where the door is. In order to do this, you will need to measure from the bottom so that you’ll get the desired length. With your top support in place, you will be able to measure the size for the door.
You will need some gaps between the frame and the door so that the door will open and close easily. You will need to leave about 1/8″ on all of the sides so you will need to subtract 1/4″ for all of your measurements. Once you have done that you can cut out an area for the door with the 1×4 cut down to a 1.5″ width.
Grab your wood glue again, clamp it all together and leave it overnight to dry. Once everything has had the chance to dry you can sand any parts that have not already been sanded. If you don’t want the doggy door to swing towards the inside of the kennel, you will need to place a stop at the bottom of the door to prevent it from doing that as well as to keep it from placing too much stress on the hinges.
Add Your Top and Bottom Trim
Now you are ready to add your trim. You will need to use the leftover scrap that you set aside from earlier from the 2×4 cut and the 1×4 cut to add trim to the surface of the table. Then you can add trim along the base to really finish off the look of your cute dog crate end table.
Now you are all set to add the lock and install the door. In order to make sure that the gaps around the door stays at the desired 1/8″ you should place a spacer between the door and the entrance. You can use pretty much anything that is about 1/8″ wide such as scraps of wood or plexiglass or even a piece of durable cardboard. Place the locking mechanism in the center on the other side of the door.
Put the Roof/Tabletop On
Now you can router the tabletop to make it look nice and polished. This is the piece that you will see the most, so you want to take your time with it and make it look really nice. Once you are satisfied with the way that it looks, you can secure it firmly in place. To do this, you will need to get out your trusty wood glue and get some really good coverage around the entire edge of your tabletop piece. Then set it in place. Make sure that it is centered before you mail it into place. By now it will really start to look as if everything is coming together and all of your hard work and patience is really starting to pay off.
Putty Nail Holes and Give it a Final Sanding
Now you’ll need to go over your piece and fill in any nail holes with a good wood putty. You can also fill in any gaps in the wood that you may have to give it a smoother finish. Once the wood putty has dried, you can sand everything down to make it nice and smooth. You want to make sure that you don’t have any blobs of putty left on the surface of the wood so inspect it very carefully and make sure that you sand everything down.
Condition and Stain the Wood
Now comes the fun part: staining your wood! You can choose any stain that you like, and you can even make your piece match the other furniture that you have in your home. Or you can even paint it if your prefer. If you choose to stain your wood, you will need to condition it first. You can skip this step but it is well worth it if you decide to do it, because it will help the wood to absorb the stain more evenly.
If you are using pine, it will absorb the stain at varying rates and is more likely to get splotchy, and since you have already invested a lot of time and money into your project, it is just best to do the extra step and condition the wood first. You will need to apply the stain about an hour after you have applied the conditioner so make sure that you have enough time to do this. A dark walnut stain will make your wooden DIY dog crate look rich and expensive but you can go for any hue, and it will turn out looking great. You can also make it darker with multiple coats.
Apply the Polyurethane
In order to seal your crate, you need to apply a coat of polyurethane. It helps to keep the stain, as well as the wood protected (1). You will want to apply the polyurethane to every area of your kennel, and you should use two coats except for the top where you should use three coats. You should also add an extra coat to the top since it will get a lot of use and is the most noticeable if it gets a ding or scratch. You may also want to lightly sand between the coats with a pretty high grit sandpaper such as a 600 grit to help keep everything nice and smooth.
Once you have completed the last step, you are ready to make the crate a comfortable space by adding a dog bed plus your pup’s favorite dog toy, then add your furry friend of course! There is nothing quite like building your very own piece of furniture. You will take great pride in it once it is all done and you will forget all about any of the annoying parts of the process. Plus, your canine pal will love you for it!
This is just one way that you can build a DIY crate for your canine that is also a piece of furniture. You can find many resources and books from the library that will show you all of the steps that you need to take to build a one-of-a-kind end table/kennel for your favorite canine.
Wooden dog crates are all the rage these days, and there is no shortage of ways to build one for your own dog. The blueprints out there that will range from difficult to beginner so you will need to pay attention to the skill level when choosing a design. Most wooden dog crates are quite straightforward to build and even if you are not a master carpenter you will be able to pick it up fairly easily. It is a great time to learn a new skill or two, and if you get really good at it, you could even sell them or make them as gifts.
Or you may never want to do anything like this ever again, but at least you will have an awesome piece of furniture that doubles as a cool hangout for your dog that you can brag about building. You may also want to look for one that doesn’t require a lot of materials or tools if your budget is limited or if you don’t have a lot of tools on hand.
If you don’t have larger or more expensive tools such as a saw, you can normally have the hardware store cut your timber for you as long as you now the sizes beforehand. You may want to do this anyway to save time and to make it easier.
No matter what design you choose, it will turn out great as long as you take the time to read all of the steps carefully and measure everything precisely. If you measure everything perfectly, you are setting yourself up for success, and you will avoid any unnecessary blunders and frustration. As the saying goes, “measure twice and cut once.”