Ever since I was little we’ve had pets. At any given point in time, my family has had the privilege of being the home to at least one cat and usually a couple of dogs. Back in the day, I used to place little pillows on the floor to serve as their “pallets” – pets need soft places to rest, too, right?
But as I’ve gotten older and my tastes have become more sophisticated, I find myself wanting to give them more than a soft place for their paws. When my husband and I finally purchased our first home last year, I wanted the whole family to be in on the celebration.
My 17-year-old Maine Coon has been with me since he was a tiny little palm-sized fur ball, and I spare no expense when it comes to “The Boy” (as he is affectionately called in our home). Well, allow me to clarify: What I mean is, when there’s something that I want for him that is too cost prohibitive (we did just buy a home, after all!), I make it myself!
So today, I’ll show you how I built a DIY pet bed for The Boy and hopefully it will spark some inspiration for your own DIY beds for your furry Boys and Girls.
To create that sophisticated look, I used baseboard trim as the wood for my pet bed box. This is the same baseboard that runs throughout our home, so no matter where on the floor I place the bed, it looks like an extension of the home itself!
The first thing you’ll need to do is gather your materials and tools:
* Piece of MDF plywood, cut to the appropriate size: Mine is 18″ by 18″ and the associate at the home improvement store cut it for me
* Lengths of baseboard trim: I purchased enough to surround the entire box and made sure I had extra to allow for the cuts
* Compound Miter Saw: For this project’s construction, you need a miter saw that also makes bevel cuts
* Brad Nailer
* Wood Glue
* Paintable Caulking
* Cushion and fabric or pillow with cover
Begin by cutting your baseboards. Miter saws, by definition, make miter cuts (vertical angle cuts) but compound miter saws also cut horizontal angled cuts called bevel cuts. To make a miter cut, you adjust the base of the saw from side to side, but to make a bevel cut, simply adjust the handle/blade portion of the saw to create a “slice.”
Being sure to follow all safety precautions when working with bladed power tools, make all of your cuts to surround the pet bed. Place the baseboard flat on the saw and make sure the flat part of the baseboard is flush with the saw’s square fence (the back of the saw with the ruler marks in the picture above).
*Cutting Tip: To ensure your cut baseboards are long enough, use the measurement of your MDF board (18″ in my case) as the inside length of your baseboards. The outside length of each side will be longer to allow for the beveled edges.
I cut three sides at the 18″ inside length but for the front, I wanted to leave a little “entrance” for Cyrus to make getting in and out of his new bed easier. To create the beveled opening, I cut two pieces at 6″ and left 6″ exposed.
Using the brad nailer, connect all of the sides to the MDF base and make the beveled corners at tight as possible. For the gaps at the corners and the nail holes, fill them with caulking and once that dries, paint over the caulk with the same paint on the baseboards.
You’ll notice I didn’t paint the entire base but rather just the places that will be exposed around the cushion. Not only does this save time and money by not painting what will not be seen anyway, but I personally think that the less paint used on something that will be so close to their little faces, the better!
Here’s a shot from above to show you how the corners should line up together and how the beveled entrance looks:
From here, place your cushion or pillow inside and step back to admire your DIY handiwork!
I have damask patterns throughout the house and my home is painted and decorated in different shades of gray, so I love that I was able to continue the theme with The Boy’s pallet. This slate gray damask pattern over bright white fabric coordinates with my décor perfectly and isn’t too girly for my Boy.
I can’t wait to introduce Cyrus to his new sleeping quarters… when he wakes up from his current cat nap, that is!
What type of fabric pattern is perfect for your furry companion?
Rheney Williams hails from Charleston, S.C., and is a DIY crafter, and pet lover, who writes about her projects for Home Depot. Rheney’s pet pallet gave her yet another excuse to use one of her favorite power tools — her miter saw. For Home Depot’s complete line of power tools, include miter saws, click here.