Introduction: How to Make a Modern Dog Bed

About: We're Laura and Louis. Laura is an educator and Louis is an engineer. With our powers combined, we make things and try to show everyone how we tackle projects in hopes to inspire others to get up and create!

Whenever we’re working on a project, our dog Layla is always by our side making sure everything goes according to plan. Given that she’s a valuable part of our team, we thought it was only appropriate that she has her own dedicated space to relax at our shop.


Here is the list of supplies we used: (These are affiliate links where we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, Thank you!)

Dog Food Bowls:

Birch edge banding -

Kreg Accucut Circular Saw Guide -


LED Puck Lights:

Starbond CA Glue + Activator:

Heat Gun:

Seam Roller tool:

Corner Clamps:

Step 1: Design

Before diving into the build, we listed our must-have features for her bed.

  1. First, it needs to be enclosed to minimize dust and debris build up.
  2. Second, it has to cover and house her food and water bowls.
  3. Lastly, it needs to be off the ground to separate her bed from the cold concrete floor.

We browsed Pinterest for inspiration and found a few designs we really liked, so we mixed and matched and made some modifications to fit our criteria.

Step 2: 3D Model on Fusion 360

After getting general dimensions based on her current bed, we modeled the design on Fusion 360. This helped us lay out the cut list. The 3D model and cut list are available for download through the link below:

Step 3: Cut the Pieces

To start the project, we used our circular saw to break down the sheet of plywood into manageable pieces and then cut them down to their final size on our table saw.

Step 4: Measure Opening

This oval/circular opening that wraps around the corner was the trickiest part of this build, so we’ll try our best to break it down. We wanted to make sure the walls lined up evenly, particularly where the corners met, so we decided to stack the walls and cut them together so they’re exactly the same height on the top and bottom.

We attached the wall pieces together using painters tape and Starbond CA glue so we can easily separate them after cutting. Then, we used a trusty old bucket which was nearly the perfect size diameter to trace the arc.

Step 5: Cut Out the Opening

We cut the straight parts on the table saw. (Make sure to stop a couple inches before the start of the arc). Then finish cutting out the rest with the jigsaw.

Then sand everything smooth

Step 6: Attach Edge Banding

We used birch iron on edge banding for all the edges that will be exposed. There were some spots where the edge banding didn't stick well. We tried re-heating and applying pressure, but it still wouldn’t stick. So, we filled the gaps with wood glue and sanded away. The sanding dust mixed with the glue making a filler that blended in well.

Step 7: Paint and Assemble Wall and Bottom Panel

Once all the edge banding was done, we painted the exterior of the two open wall pieces white. In retrospect, we should have held off on applying the paint and finish once everything was assembled because it made more work later when putting all the panels together.

While the paint dried, we started assembling the rest of the bed with wood glue and brad nails. We used inexpensive 90 degree clamps to keep everything square.

Step 8: Glue Opening Panels Together

After fitting two wall pieces and the bottom panel together, we sprayed an oil based poly which, again, should have waited until everything was assembled.

We set that aside and went on to assembling the two opening pieces together. We just glued the two pieces together and left them in the clamps until the glue cured

Step 9: Make Dog Bowl Shelf

We made the shelf that would hold Layla’s food and water bowls. To make sure the bowls were evenly spaced, we used our CNC to cut shallow pockets. The bowls we chose have a rubber grip on the bottom, so we wanted to utilize it by having a solid base for the bowl to sit in rather than cutting the holes all the way.

Step 10: Attach Assemblies Together (disclaimer*)

At this point, we realized we couldn’t attach the walls with just glue to the rest of the structure like we planned because we had applied the oil based poly all over the walls earlier. So, we drilled some pocket holes to make sure the structure is solid for Layla.

*If you're thinking of making this bed, wait to apply any finish on the panels until everything is assembled. The entire bed can be assembled using wood glue and brad nails.

Step 11: Add Top Panel

We attached the top panel to the bed by flipping it upside down and driving in screws.

Step 12: Cut Feet

For the legs, we cut a 1.5” dowel about 1.5” tall. We saw a trick on how to mark the center of a circle and wanted to test it out, so this is what we did:

We connected two points on a circle to draw what’s called a “chord”. We went with 1”, so we can easily find the halfway point. We drew two 1” chords opposite each other, and then marked the center of each chord. From there, we drew a 90deg line from the center of each chord. The intersection of these lines marks the center of the circle! This is a pretty good tip to have in your back pocket if you don’t have a center finding tool

TIL: Another Instructables member posted this awesome tutorial that explains it way better than we did

Step 13: Attach Feet

Once we marked the center, we took it over to the drill press to predrill and counter sink for the screws. Then we set them in place and screwed them in using 1.5” screws.

Step 14: Add Lighting (optional)

We added a rechargeable magnetic light inside to brighten up Layla’s new space. The magnet is held on by 3M double sided tape so it was easy to install.

Step 15: Finished!

Layla wasn’t a huge fan of it at first, but she quickly found some treats and food waiting for her inside. So, we think she’s warming up to it.

Step 16: Subscribe and Comment!

Thank you for reading our Instructable!

If you liked the project, don't forget to share it. Comments and feedback are always welcome. You can check out our other projects here on Instructables as well as our Youtube channel IMEE MADE.

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