Monthly Archives: October 2015

How To: Make a Dog Bed for Your Furry Pal

Project Level: Intermediate

Who doesn’t love a cozy and warm bed to sleep in? With this project your furry friend can be comfortable and their bed will blend right into the aesthetic of your home. Made mostly of solid wood, it can be customized to fit your pup and the size of any pre-cut pad. Plus, it’s a great way to learn how to make table saw tongue-and-groove joints and recessed panels. You’ll also learn about biscuit journey, applying stain, and even learn how to use finishes to protect the wood while maintaining its beauty.

Dog bed

What Do You Need?

  • Usual arsenal of tools
  • Adjustable square
  • Table saw
  • Router table
  • Band saw
  • Drill with drum sander
  • Orbital or finish sander
  • 120-and 220-grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • Wood glue
  • Safety glasses
  • Respirator

To see a full list of tools and supplies, as well as detailed instructions and plans, download the project guide.

Before You Begin

Make sure you follow the directions carefully while practicing and developing your safe working habits. Wear your safety goggles and the appropriate respirator when it is necessary.

Mask1     Mask2

For Your Dog Bed Project

We recommend using solid oak and hardwood veneer plywood. You can see the dog bed project guide for cutting plans and assembly steps. You can buy a dog mat or pad at most pet stores. We suggest looking at the Petco Orthopedic Dog Mat or another of your choosing at

Recommended Finish: Minwax® PolyShades® (in Pecan)

MinPolyDogBed  Pecan

Before staining your dog bed, carefully sand all parts in the direction of the grain. Start with 120-grit paper and finish with 220-grit. Remove all the sanding dust. Make sure to apply Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and then you’re ready to stain and finish.

Apply Minwax® Polyshades® following the label directions. Make sure to use a good quality, natural-bristle brush suitable for use with polyurethane. Stir the can contents thoroughly before starting and periodically during your work session. Allow the first coat to dry at least 6 hours.

For the second coat, sand all surfaces lightly with very fine (000) steel wool. Remove all dust. Apply a second coat of Polyshades®, following the directions above. To achieve a deeper color, you may apply a third coat after 6 hours or longer, repeating the application directions above.

Useful Tips

  • Always test the stains and finishes you have selected on a scrap of wood. On the back of the scrap, mark the stain/finish combination and the type of wood. This is important so you can make sure you like how the color will turn out before staining your frame.
  • All stains and finishes should dry thoroughly between each coat. Keep in mind these drying times may vary depending on humidity, temperature and other climatic conditions.
  • If you have some leftover stain or finish, wipe the can rim so that stain or finish in the rim won’t dry out and prevent the lid from forming a tight seal.

Want To Make Another?

Want to see other pet project?

Check out the dog feeding station project and the antique crate for pet toys by Bruce. Show off your finished work! Share photos of your step-by-step process or finished projects on our Facebook page.

A Crate Planter Tutorial from Stacy Risenmay

Here’s another post from guest blogger, Stacy Risenmay of Not JUST A Housewife. See a step-by-step tutorial on creating a bright and bold crate planter using Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain.

When I went to SNAP blog conference this year I got to preview the new colored stains from Minwax. They are bright and fun and I snagged some to bring home. I had to wait until they were available in stores though before I could share projects I used them on. If you love color even a teeny tiny bit, you are going to love them!

blue crate planter in living room

I had built a crate planter and I wanted it to make a statement, not just blend in. I don’t have all the colors that are available but these are the ones I grabbed and had to choose from. Learn more about Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain here.

colored wood stain

colors of wood stain

After testing them on some scrap wood, I chose the Navy Blue but I was really torn between the blue, coral, and yellow.

colored stain options for planter

Planter Tutorial

The planter is very simple to build. Decide how big you would like to make it and cut some 1x4s to that length. Drill some pocket holes using a Kreg Jig. Half of the boards will have pocket holes that will connect the corners together and half will have holes drilled down to connect the boards together. This will make more sense as you see the following steps.

crate planter pieces

Screw the boards together at the corners to create a square.

screwing crate planter together

Repeat the process until you have as many square frames as you want. The more you have, the taller your crate will be.crate planter getting assembled

Then you will screw each of the square frames together through the downward pointing pocket holes.

crate planter assembled

Creating the bottom of the planter can happen one of two ways. One option: You can trace the outside of the crate onto some plywood and use the pocket holes to attach the bottom to the crate. The downside is you will see the board used for the bottom. Second Option: You can trace the crate on the inside (so the bottom piece will fit snugly on the inside of the crate) and use a nail gun to attach the bottom. You will need to fill the nail holes with sandable and stainable putty.

trace bottom of crate planter

If you are going to add dirt to this and put the plant directly in this, you will need to add a drainage hole. But I prefer to keep the plant in a regular pot and set the plant inside the crate without a drainage hole. This way when I water the plant, if any water seeps out the bottom, it stays in the crate and doesn’t go on my floor. I love that I can have a fun, saturated color but still see the wood grain. If bold and bright are not your style, they have a ton of other colors to pick from. The colored stains are water based and are mixed in the store for you.

blue planter upclose

Would you ever stain something a fun color? What would you stain?

Stacy Risenmay is a DIY enthusiast. In her blog, Not Just a Housewife, she shares her adventures of fixing up her 1938 cottage. She believes that whether it’s big or small, everyone should love their space. Learn more about Stacy and visit: You can also follow Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Learn Tricks of the Trade to Protect Your Tools and Use Them the Right Way

Expertly plan, craft and finish your next woodworking project with these tips and tricks. Keep them in mind and it will surely help your next project be easier. 


I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: those cardboard sleeves are not just for the store display. After you clean your brush, slip the sleeve back on, and it will keep the bristles straight and clean for the next time you need your brush.


This small, lightweight hammer may not be good for pounding large nails, but it is perfect to keep next to your stains and finishes to tap the lids safely and securely in place.


Before you bring your latest project or piece of furniture into the house, turn it over and tap in a set of glides to prevent it from leaving deep scratches or even gouges in your hardwood floor. Its a quick and easy way to protect the investment you have made in your flooring.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!



Avoid Woodworking Pitfalls That Leave Marks

Here are some ways you can easily deal with pencil marks, stickers, and wood filler mistakes.


Ask any experienced woodworker and the answer will be the same:  Don’t sand, erase! Sandpaper drives the graphite deeper into the pores of the wood, whereas a pencil eraser removes the marks left over from your layout. It’s a little tip that can make a big difference!


The person who attached the price sticker to this unfinished crate obviously never stained anything! Even after you scrape off the paper, the glue left in the pores of the wood will repel your stain, sometimes even after normal sanding.The solution? Pick projects with price stickers on the bottom – or be prepared to do lots of extra sanding!


We can always learn from someone else’s mistakes, right? This person made two:  first, they smeared the wood filler over an area larger than the actual nail hole, rather than carefully packing it into just the hole itself. Second, they did not sand off the excess wood filler left on top of the wood, which then prevented the wood from absorbing the same amount of stain as the surrounding wood. For best results, use wood filler sparingly, and always sand off any filler outside the nail hole.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!