DIY $12 Pet Bed!!

Learn how to build this easy DIY Pet Bed for only $12 in materials with free plans by Shanty2Chic! This is a great beginner project!

I love the way it turned out, and the best part??  This thing cost under $12 in wood to build.  Yup… That makes me love it even more!

I had the whole thing done in a couple hours.  I made this bed to fit a standard smaller dog bed.  I actually found the cushion for the inside at HomeGoods, but you could also use something like this bed on Amazon.  I will be sharing a plan for a large dog bed soon!

 So… Let’s get started!

DIY Pet Bed


  • 3 – 1x4x8 furring strips
  • 2 – 1x2x8 furring strips
  • 1 – 2x4x10 furring strips

Step 1 – Build the Base

Start by making your cuts.  The base of this bed is made with 5 2×4 pieces each cut at 22″ long.  I used my Kreg Jig to attach each of them.  I used 1 1/2″ pocket holes and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.

K5 Kreg Jig

 The base looked like this when I was done.

Base of Dog Bed

Step 2 – Build the Back

The back of the bed is made with 1×4 furring strip.  I made 3 cuts, each at 22″ long.  I used 3/4″ pocket holes and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws to attach the boards. You can see where I put my pocket holes below.

Back of Dog Bed

Step 3 – Attach the Back

To attach the back to the base I used my cordless Ryobi AirStrike Nailer.  I ran a line of Gorilla Wood Glue on the back like this…

Pet Bed How To

Then, I used 1 1/2″ nails to attach it like this…

Ryobi AirStrike Nailer
Dog Bed Tutorial

Step 4 – Build the Sides

Now to make our sides!  Each side use three 1×4″ furring strip cut to 18.25″ and two 1×2″ furring strips cut at 10.25″.

Dog Bed Side

I lined my boards up like below, and ran a line of wood glue down each side.

Gorilla Wood Glue

Next, I used my cordless nailer to attach the 1×2 on each end.

Build a Frame

Both sides will also use two 1×2″ cut at 15.25″.  I like to measure before making these cuts.  Wood always varies just a tiny bit and I find that if I measure as I go I get the most accurate cuts, rather than going off of a cut list.  I used wood glue and my nailer to attach these pieces to the top and bottom.

Dog Bed Sides

Step 5 – Attach the Sides

Once I had both sides built, I attached them to the base and back.  I put the base on it’s side like this and ran a line of wood glue on the end.

Side of Dog Bed

Next, I used my nailer with 2″ nails to attach the sides.  Don’t scrimp on your wood glue.  The nails are basically holding it all in place until the glue dries.

This is what my end looked like attached.

Wood Pet Bed

I repeated the same thing with the other side piece and my bed was almost done!

How to build a wood dog bed

Step 6 – Build the Front

For the front board where his name would be, I used a 1×4 cut at 24″. I used wood glue and my nailer to attach it all the way around.

Step 7 – Build the Feet

Time for feet!   The feet are also made with 1×4.  I cut 4 pieces at 4″ long each.

Dog Bed Feet

I used wood glue and my nailer with 1 1/4″ nails to attach each one at the corners.

How to build a pet bed
Ryobi Cordless Nail Gun

And that’s it!

Wood Dog Bed DIY

Step 8 – Apply a Finish

I chose to stain mine using Varathane Ultimate Wood Stain in Early American.  This stuff is awesome.  Just like Rust-Oleum, it only requires one coat and dries in under an hour.  You can find it at the Home Depot.

Varathane Wood Stain Early American

Once that dried I used my Ryobi Corner Cat sander to distress the edges.  I love the look this gives the wood.

For the chalkboard label I taped off a rectangle on the front of the 1×4 using painter’s tape.

Chalkboard Label

I used Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Spray paint to make the label.

Rustoleum Chalkboard Spray Paint

Here it was drying.

chalkboard spray paint

Once it dried, I used my sander to lightly rub the edges just to soften it up a bit.  I used this wet erase chalk pen to write his name on it.  These are my favorite chalk pens ever.  I use them on all of my chalkboards.

That’s it!  I made this one for my sister’s dog, Gizmo.  I had him come over and try it out so I could photograph it.  What do you think?  He looks like a satisfied customer, right? 😉

Dog Bed DIY_edited-1
Dog Bed DIY
DIY Dog Bed
Wood Pet Bed DIY Tutorial
Tutorial for DIY Dog Bed
Wood Pet Bed Tutorial
DIY Dog Bed

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Let me know if you have any questions at all!

I would LOVE for you to share this bed and PIN it with your peeps below!

Have a great day!



  1. Terry on September 6, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    I built this today and it was one of the most difficult builds I’ve ever tried. I could never get the pocket screws on the back to work without splitting. I just made it like the sides. The dog likes it, though.

  2. Drozing on November 8, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Thank You so much for sharing your Creative Article..
    You Described wonderfully This Article with image.. I am so glad to read your Article..
    I think i need a Pet Bed for my cute Ronson(Dog).. Already i have Miter Saw, Jig Saw & Drill…I think i can Create by Following your Article.

  3. Charly Wellings-Gray on September 23, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Did you ever do plans for this bed for a larger dog?? I have a lab that I’d love to make this for 🙂

    • ????⭐?
      I LOVE THE PET BED!!! I built my own using the plans at www. – it’s a much better design there. I highly recommended you check those out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha

      ?Head on over to www. if you want to learn more – click the pink link above for some more plans! Best of luck on your building adventures!

  4. Jill Crawford Winters on July 20, 2016 at 2:48 am

    Thank you for the inspiration! I finally took the plunge and built my first diy wood project…thanks to you! I have no power tools, so I had to make cuts with a miter box and hand saw. ???? Here is Halo’s new dog bed. It’s a bit larger than yours since she will eventually be around 60-70 lbs. ????????

  5. Bettina Keith on March 20, 2014 at 6:19 am

    I love you girls!!!!! You’re so awesome, inspiring and talented!! I wish I could make cuts as straight as you guys do! measurements are my enemy.

    Do you have plans for a large dog bed? Maybe for a 60lb dog?

    • Jenn on February 25, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      Would love to have info for lmedium to large dog bed as well.

  6. Will on March 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    This was a really fun project to work on and your instructions were great; easy to understand and follow. I’m loving this blog, keep up the great work!

  7. April on February 17, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Definitely pinned this one, and can’t wait to make one for my Molly. Thank you! (Gizmo is too cute!)

  8. Gregory Young on January 13, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Your projects have been keeping me busy. I love your site, thanks for sharing all of these awesome ideas!

    • Shanty2Chic on January 13, 2014 at 6:45 am

      That’s so great Gregory! Thanks so much for your kind words!

      • elizabeth on April 7, 2019 at 1:10 pm

        any idea on what a medium dogs dimensions would be??

    • April on February 17, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      Very nice! What stain did you use?

    • Annette on April 9, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Gregory young do you have the measurements for this big dog bed?? I have big and small dogs and would love to make a big one too! Thanks Annette

    • Megan Crow on November 25, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      Hi! What are the measurements for this bed Gregory? It looks great. New to the DIY world and would love to make a bead for my 85 lb pit bull. She sleeps on a squished old dog bed that’s about 36in… any help with details would be appreciated !

      • John Stanley on August 14, 2019 at 2:36 pm

        Cant seem to find link for the plans

  9. Mona Rollins on December 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Do you need to own a jig to make this?

  10. Amber Moriah Anthony on November 24, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Is it suposse it be heavy? what kind of 2×4 did you use?

  11. Eliska Schneider on November 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Sometimes you use the Kreg Jig and other times you use the Kreg Jig HD. What is the difference? How do you decide which one to use?

    • eesh on November 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      The Kreg Jig HD is used for heavier wood stock like 4x4s whereas the regular Kreg Jig is used primarily for smaller stock like 1x and 2x wood.

  12. Corey Rollison on November 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    the chalk pen link didn’t work… thanks!

  13. livelifeactive on November 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

    What a cutie! It looks great. Great build!

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