Last Spring, I made our Great Dane a deluxe dog bed for our porch outside. I was tired of how trashy it looked just having an old dog pillow out there to greet anyone that came to our home.
I started looking around online to see what kind of design I wanted to do. I happened across this dog bed and I loved the old crate look, but couldn’t use an old crate for a giant dane, so I drew up some plans to help it look crate like. I also came across this and thought it ingenious to use a crib mattress for a dog bed. First, its just the right size for a dane and second it’s waterproof and won’t get all yucky and smelly like a dog pillow. I would just need to make a crib sheet to use as a cover and then it could very easily be taken off and thrown in to the wash! I must admit that it has been over a year now and I still love everything about this dog bed. The cover washes easy, it’s not smelly, lumpy, stained and yucky like a dog pillow gets after only a few months.
This project was fun to have so many eager helping little hands because really what boy doesn’t want to help make their dog a giant bed?!?!
- (4) 1″ x 8″ x 8 feet
- (2) 1″ x 8″ x 6 feet
- (2) 1″ x 2″ x 6 feet
- Water-based Urethane
- Chalk Paint, colors Relic & Everlasting (optional)
- Steel Wool or Sandpaper (optional)
- Vinyl Stencil (optional)
- Measuring Tape
- Circular Saw (or Lowes and Home Depot will cut the wood for free)
- Nail Gun or Hammer
Step 1: Cutting Wood
Here is what I did . . .
The 2″ x 8″ (8 feet) board should be cut into the lengths: 51 3/4″ — 28 3/4″. Repeat with all 4 of those boards so you will end up with 4 of both of these lengths.
The 2″ x 8″ (6 feet) board should be cut into the length of 51 3/4″.
Now with the extra 2″ x 8″ pieces you need to cut 4 pieces that are 7 1/2″ long, to create a square.
One of the 1″ x 2″ boards needs to cut (1) 27 1/4″ — (4) 9 5/8″; The other 1″ x 2″ board needs to cut (2) 27 1/4″ — (1) 9 5/8″
So these should be all of your pieces . . .
- (6) 8″ x 51 3/4″
- (4) 8″ x 28 3/4″
- (4) 7 1/2″ squares
- (5) 2″ x 9 5/8″
- (3) 2″ x 27 1/4″
Step 2: Assembly
Place together TWO of the 8″ x 51 3/4″ boards and TWO of the 8″ x 28 3/4″ boards together to form a rectangle that has the final dimensions of 28 3/4″ x 53 1/4″.
Now mark down 3″ on both of those 8″ x 28 3/4″ boards and nail in TWO of the 2″ x 27 1/4″ ledge/support boards. Note: I cut mine incorrectly, but yours should go all the way to the edge.
Now take THREE of the 8″ x 51 3/4″ boards and nail them on top of those ledge/support boards you just put on. This will create the platform for the mattress.
Flip the bed over and nail in the FOUR 7 1/2″ squares on to each corner. These will act as small feet for the bed, to help raise the bed off the ground. While the bed is still flipped over nail in the LAST 2″ x 27 1/4″ board, in the center, to add weight support for the middle of the platform.
Now its time to put on the upper raised boards on three of the sides; One side is left without a raised board area because this is where the dog climbs on to the bed. First, take the LAST 8″ x 51 3/4″ board and have someone hold it while you secure it into place, with ONE of the 2″ x 9 5/8″ boards, right in the center.
Now take the last TWO 8″ x 28 3/4″ boards and secure them on the two sides with the last FOUR 2″ x 9 5/8″ boards, placing one in each corner.
Step 3: Sand & Paint
Sand down all the edges so that they no longer are sharp.
Then I painted the dog bed. Here’s how: I painted one coat of the Relic chalk paint. After that dried, I painted one coat of the Everlasting chalk paint. I let that fully dry before moving onto the next step of distressing.
Step 4: Distress & Seal
I used steel wool to add some gray-color distressing to all the edges and the imperfections in the wood, such as knots. I also did a little rubbing of the steel wool on different areas to make it look more worn. The steel wool distresses just as sand paper does, but leaves a dark grayish hue behind. (Note: Don’t push to hard when distressing, you want to remove bits of the white paint, but not the gray paint. You want the gray paint to show in those distressed areas. Just like I did here.) If you don’t want a gray-hue left behind, just distress the paint with sandpaper.
I then added a dark wax, just as I did here, BUT if I were to paint this again I would skip this wax step and seal the paint with urethane. Our dog bed never is exposed to water, but if it were the paint would discolor to a yellow, since it’s not sealed.
That being said, I would recommend distressing with the steel wool or sandpaper, painting the name (I explain how below) and then sealing with a water-based urethane, just as I did on our faux wood front door.
Painting the name: I cut our dog’s name out of vinyl, stuck it on the front and painted it with the left over Relic paint. Once dry, I took my steel wool and gently went over the name several times to remove bits of the paint. This helped give the old antique look. (Note: I cut the name 5″ height x 18.7″ long, in the font Broadview.)
Place your crib mattress cover on and it’s ready.
Now your gentle giant is ready to enjoy a little piece of heaven, that is if the kids will move over and quit claiming it as their own. I must admit that my kids love this bed, my 3 year old even wishes he had one just like Lady’s with his name on it. This really would be perfect for a toddler bed!