LOVING this project and LOVING the cost even more. I was able to score this gorgeous pallet for free from a roadside pile on the same day that I was given free bicycle rims (that’s another project in the works).
Free is good, real good. And I was able to find the pipe fittings for a total of $40 – and not at the local big box store that I love with all of my DIYing heart. The dog bed is a recycled former Buddy bed (he went through 4 different dog beds as a puppy including this one) and the fabric was on sale for 40% off. Freaking awesome.
- Pallet (see this tutorial from FunkyJunk Interiors – she will help with the technicalities of picking the proper pallet)
- 4′ piece of 1X2 lumber
- Reciprocating/Sawzall saw
- 8 floor flanges (1″ pipe fittings)
- 4 nipples (2″ size and get your damn dirty mind out of the gutter – these are pipe fittings)
- Black gloss spray paint (I used Valspar because I’m in love with all of their spray paint)
- Drill/Driver (I love
- Drill bit (I used a 5/32 size)
- Screws (2″ and 1 1/4″ were used on my project)
- Miter, circular, or table saw
- Sander or sandpaper
- Chalkboard spray paint (Valspar again)
- Dog bed (or foam and fabric to make your own)
This took me about 6 hours and 3 beers to figure out and make. Add beer to your list if necessary.
Step 1: Disassemble the pallet using a reciprocating (apparently this is a “college word” according to Kurt) or sawzall saw (with a metal or demo blade) to cut through the nails at the “joints” of the pallet. Don’t try to remove all of the nails one by one – that’s a waste of time and you’ll end up with cracked boards.
Check out my girl Amy from hertoolbelt.com – she made a video showing how to cut through the pallet.
Once the pallet is disassembled, you will have a nice pile of boards:
- 3 – 2X4s
- 7 – 1X4s
- 3 – 1X6s
Step 2: Measure your dog bed – this will be the dimensions of the platform for the bed so don’t add any extra to your length and width. Using the 2X4s, I cut the 3 boards the exact width of the bed and then laid them on the floor. I found that laying the project out on the floor with a measuring tape was super helpful. Not for my back but definitely for the project.
TIP: Make sure to check and double check your boards before cutting because there may be metal that will cause your saw to react in a negative (that means the potential for the hospital) way AND it will ruin a blade.
Step 3: Using the 1X2 lumber, I cut 1′ foot sections for the upright supports. Isn’t it great that this is the ONLY piece of lumber that was bought? And it was only $2, so that was a steal. I secured the uprights (in an upright position if the name didn’t give it away) to the outside corners of the outside 2X4s. If you are confused or a visual learner, check out the picture. It is HIGHLY recommend that you pre-drill all of the holes for this project – I also used a countersink bit so all of the 2″ screws were flush with the wood (that was a Dad suggestion).
Step 4: Using the measuring tape again, I laid out the project using my dog bed dimensions and then measured for the 1X4 cross pieces that would secure the 2X4s and create the platform for the bed. Because the uprights take up some space, the 2 boards that were cut for the front and back of the platform were slightly smaller than the boards for the middle sections. I measured each as I went along also because pallet wood can be wonky and is NOT square, so do not assume that the boards will be the same. Once the board was cut, I re-measured and secured the board using the 2″ screws and the pre-drill method.
Step 5: To make the “walls” of the platform, I used 2 of the 1X6s in the back and the remaining 1X6 in the front. I started with the back and measured from end to end for a true measurement. Starting with the bottom board, I used 1 1/4″ screws (after pre-drilling) to secure the board to the uprights and the bottom of the platform. I then used a piece of scrap 1X2 to space out the bottom and top boards. After measuring and cutting the second board, I placed the spacer 1X2 in between the boards and secured the top board the same way as the bottom board.
Step 6: For the short sides of the bed platform, I used the remaining 1X4s and repeated Step 5.
Step 7: The front of the bed was completed in the same way as Step 5 but with only 1 – 1X6 on the bottom. I choose the nicest of the 1X6s for the front because it would be the part that was really “on display”.
Step 8: I used a piece of scrap 1X4 and Valspar chalkboard spray paint to create a little name sign on the front. I taped off the sides of the board and sprayed heavily (it was a lot because the wood soaked up the paint). I let that dry and then attached it to the front board using 1 1/4″ screws (PRE-DRILL). I also forgot this step prior to taking the fancy pics.
Step 9: Using my handy little handheld sander, I went over the bed to get rid of any nasty spots and clean up any dirty areas on the boards. You could clear coat or polyurethane the wood at this point BUT if you have a dog that chews, they would be ingesting that nastiness so think CAREFULLY.
Step 10: I spray painted all of the pipe fittings (do NOT assemble and spray paint – this will not work on in your favor) with a black glossy Valspar spray paint. After they had dried, I started by attaching a flange to each of the corners on the bottom of the platform. It was easiest to gently lay the bed upside down and then attach using 1 1/4″ screws (do I need to say “pre-drill”?). Then I thread the pipe and remaining flanges together but DO NOT TIGHTEN. Because floors can be kinda wonky, you will want to set this up in your house and then adjust the pipe fittings to make your platform even.
Step 11: Add dog bed and admire your work.
Step 12: Add dog.
This was my first pallet project and I think it takes the Milkbone cake.
Thoughts? Opinions? Ask your dog if you need to!