Thursday, 27 August 2015

My DIY Dog Bed

Yesterday was National Dog Day, so I got to work on making our 4 year old Lab Retriever a new bed.  He's had a few different beds, but he usually chews a hole in regular dog beds, landing himself a few nights on a "blanket on the floor" style bed for a while until we replace it.

I browsed Pinterest and Google looking for something cute and simple for him and found lots of inspiring pictures, but no plans to go with them, so I decided to make my own!  I've never done any kind of woodwork before...So I was just as surprised as my husband when I produced a sturdy, functional and good looking dog bed!  Yay me!!!

I set out to Home Depot and grabbed all the wood I'd need.  Here's exactly what I grabbed for wood:
Three 2x2(x8ft) SPF
Seven 1x4(x8ft) SPF 
Yep... That's it.

Home Depot is pretty awesome as they will cut the wood for you if you're super nice and bat your eyelashes (Men will look bloody stupid doing this, so leave the eyelash batting to the ladies).  I had all of my measurements ready to give the awesome Home Depot person and I thanked him profusely for making this so much easier for me as Lance's tools are an absolute mess and I'd have to try and haul the tablesaw outside to use it.  #nothappening

Keep in mind that you'll have to grab wood screws too.  I suggest the (8)1.5" screws.  They came in a pack of 100 for about $5, and I also grabbed some little metal feet for the bottom that cost $3.50.  In retrospect, I should have grabbed some casters instead of feet as it's pretty heavy to move by myself and I don't want to scratch the floor up anymore than I have already.  :D

I spent yesterday lightly sanding down each piece of wood (hand-sander to the rescue...My poor back/shoulder would have hated me even more than they already do!) so that I could stain it before painting it.  Why would I stain it to paint it?  Because I wanted to distress the wood after painting it and it looks so much nicer to have dark wood poking through the "worn" pieces of wood than it would to have crappy SPF colored wood.  I used an ebony stain and only did one coat, although I should have done two to make it even darker!
Ebony stained wood!

Once the stain was dry, I used a "Blue Spruce" milk paint that I already had lying around at home.  I gave it only one coat, but I liked how it had turned out so I left it at that.
Blue Spruce Milk Painted wood, drying on
my smashed up glass patio table.  Grrrrrr

The reason that I like milk paints so much is because I believe that they were invented for impatient people like me!  This paint dries in about 30 minutes!  How awesome!  I was able to sand it that night... But I didn't.  And I'm glad that I didn't.  Why?  Well... I found a neat tutorial this morning on how to distress milk/chalk paints with vinegar.  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Yep!  I grabbed myself a mixture of 50/50 white vinegar and water and rubbed it onto the pieces of paint that I wanted to remove.  I got a really neat look to it and this will be my new "goto" when it comes to distressing as it's kinder to my body than the hand-sander is, unfortunately; I smelled like vinegar for a few hours.  Haha.

I let everything dry while I ran some errands this morning, then when I got home it was time to start building!

A few friends have asked how I made it, so here's the "crudely drawn diagram" as promised.  I hope you're not too confused by it.  I even color coded it in the hopes that it's foolproof!

To explain, the slat supports are screwed into the front and back "bottom" pieces of 40" wood and the middle support is screwed into the left and right sides at the bottom too.  The wooden slats rest on top of the supports so that his blankies don't all fall through.  Any questions, post a comment!

Once everything was all put together and the dog had pushed me out of the way to get in there, I got to work on making a few nice decals with my Silhouette Cameo!  I made a bone with his name written inside it, with a bunch of paw prints.  It just gave it even more of that personal touch.  Love, love, love how it all turned out!  I'm quite proud of my first woodworking project!

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