Introduction: Pallet Dog Bed

I was building a Queen sized bed and headboard from the following tutorial.

When I looked down and noticed that I had plenty of scraps left over to make my new puppy (Packets) a miniature version of my bed. I didn't have all the tools to properly plane pallet wood, so I opted to buy pine from Lowe's for my build and roughed it up to look like pallets. At the time I didn't know to look for "HT" for safe pallets and I needed a bed.

Step 1: Cut List

I apologize for not having all the lumber I used pictured here.

  • Base frame
  • 2x6 @ 22" x 2
  • 2x6 @ 14" x 2
  • Railings
  • 1x3 @ 26" x 2
  • 1x3 @ 11" x 1
  • Slat Supports
  • 1x3 @ 22" X 2
  • Slats
  • 1x3 @ 11" x 6
  • Headboard
  • 1x2 @ 16" 1/4 x 6
  • 1x2 @ 17" 1/4 x 1
  • 1x3 @ 14" 1/2 x 2

Step 2: Pocket Holes and Base Frame Assembly

I love Kreg pocket hole jig tool.

Tool Tip: I wasn't sure I really wanted to spend $40 on the R3 version. I was leaning towards the $20 mini. But the preset end stops on the R3 version is WELL worth the extra cost. With the face clamp I've never regretted ~$60.

Drill two pocket holes on each end of the longer 2x6s.

If you don't have a pocket hole jig. You can use 3 inch screws to secure the pieces together. I recommend pre-drilling the holes to keep the short 2x6 pieces from splitting. If you have a drill bit that matches the diameter of your screw heads drill a hole deep enough for the screw head to be covered with wood putty (I mean lets be real, if you are going to this much trouble to build a dog bed, lets cover up those screws).

Be sure to use glue and a square to make sure everything is straight and tight.

Your base frame should look like the last photo.

Step 3: Add Railing and Putty

Attach the two 26" 1x3 pieces to the base frame with glue and finishing nails. Place the 11" 3/8 1x3 to the front of top of the front base frame as shown here.

You could really use whatever you want to secure the railing to the base frame. My dog weighs about 3 lbs so finishing nails and glue is more than enough but if your dog is much bigger or you anticipate a small child using this as a jungle gym then screws might be more appropriate. Either way, nail/screw them in enough to cover them with stainable wood putty.

Putty is optional but since I was going the extra mile, I figured why not. If you share the same thought then grab some stainable wood putty and fill in all the holes that you just put in the railing.

Step 4: Sanding and Staining

Grab some 220 grit sandpaper and go over the entire piece. I didn't get to over zealous, just enough to smooth out the wood.

Grab your Rustoleum "Dark Walnut" (you should always have a can of this.... seriously) and apply some to the base frame and railing.

Tool Tip: You can use a rag to apply the stain if you like. I have gotten in the habit of grabbing a pack of assorted foam brushes from Wal-Mart for like ~$1.50. I use those to apply the stain and polyurethane (later).

Applying the stain is pretty simple. You honestly can't mess it up. (Well, you could grab a can and shake it without checking the lid.....I'll never get that stain out of the concrete or those shorts.) Anyways, apply enough to cover the wood. It will look very dark and you will wonder if you have messed up. Nope... wait about a minute and wipe it off. The harder you scrub the more it will come off and create lighter places giving you an uneven look, if that is what you are into. Enjoy the instant gratification of staining wood.

Leave the wood alone for an hour.

Step 5: Creating the Headboard

Take all the headboard pieces and sand them with some 80 grit sandpaper to knock the edges off. We are going for the worn look here. Also, the wood is not that great of quality so it will help to knock it down a bit to cut down on splinters.

Take five of the six 1x3s for the headboard and lay them out. Then, randomly draw a line with the sharpie on each of the six pieces somewhere between 4" and 11". Now take the sharpie and write the row number (1-5) on each side of your mark. This will allow you to keep track of the rows later.

Take the six pieces over to the saw and cut them on the mark that you randomly made. Use your straight edge to make them 90 degrees. You should now have 10 pieces of 1x3 with row numbers written on them.

Use 80 grit sand paper to sand all of the headboard pieces, including the one you didn't cut. I went a little crazy on mine and rounded the edges, to make the pieces look worn. I then beat them with a hammer and drilled small holes in the pieces to make them look like miniature pallet boards that had nails in them at one point.

Arrange the rows in any order you like. As you can see, mine are out of order by the row numbers. Attach all six headboard pieces to the two 14" 1/2 pieces. Put the piece that you didn't cut at the bottom for support. I used 3/4 staples and a bit of glue. Whatever you use, make sure that it won't come out the front of the 14" pieces.... that would be ugly.

Once the back pieces are attached, you can add the top piece. Grab the 17" 1/2 piece and attach it to the top of your headboard... You should have a 1/2" overhang all the way around.

By now the stain on the base frame should be dry.

Step 6: Adding Slats and Slat Supports

Ok, so if it has been an hour, your base frame should be able to be touched. If you are not sure you can lightly touch it on the back side to see if it is tacky.

Take the two slat supports and attach them to the inside of the base frame on both sides. I mounted mine 1 1/2" from the bottom of the base frame with 3/4" staples and glue. (I used a scrap piece of 2x4 as a spacer, 2x6 is same thickness)

Once you have mounted the slat supports, you can take the slats and evenly place them on top of the supports. It should look something like the photo.

For the actual bed I used a standard pillow. You can see me test fitting Packets in the bed.

Step 7: Attaching the Headboard to the Baseframe

Ok, I used 1" 1/2 screws to secure the headboard to the base frame.

Step 8: Polyurethane

Ok, this step is completely optional. At this point, you can throw your pillow on it and entice your dog with treats to lie on the fruit of your labor. I opted to apply polyurethane since I was already applying it to my bed, I figured why not.

I used satin finish polyurethane to coat the entire bed (whereever there was stain applied). I used a generous amount because I wasn't planning on doing multiple coats .... gotta draw the line somewhere. After letting that dry for a few hours, I went over it with #0000 steel wool to knock the shine of the poly.

Stand back and enjoy your new dog bed. Hopefully your dog will enjoy it. Packets seems to prefer the couch with a blanket.

// lance

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