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Dog Beds Made From Pallets

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Dog DIY By Charlie Boag 10 min read November 23, 2020

make a bed from a pallet

I’m going to make two assumptions as to why you’ve clicked here.

The first one being that you already know every dog needs a great bed. The second? You’re a creative and crafty character willing to put in some serious time and effort for your faithful hound. 

Am I wrong?

There are a ton of really cool ways you can make your dog a DIY dog bed.

And one of the most popular ways involves repurposing wooden shipping pallets to make a cost effective, sturdy bed frame. We’ve combed through the web to find the best plans crafting your own pallet dog bed!

Check them out below and let us know what you think!

Dog Beds Made from Pallets: Key Takeaways

  • You can get your hands on shipping pallets from a variety of places, or you can order a brand-spanking new one, if you’d prefer.
  • Be sure to avoid pallets that may have become contaminated with dangerous chemicals.
  • You’ll likely need a few basic tools to complete the project, and a few of the plans will require more specialized tools. However, with a bit of creativity, you can likely make some of the simplest beds with little more than a hammer and cordless drill.

Why Make a Dog Bed Out of a Pallet?

These days we’re lucky to have a host of materials at our fingertips for all our crafting and DIY needs, so you may be curious as to why you should use a pallet to make a dog bed. 

Here are some of our reasons:

  • They’re cheap. You can buy them new for approximately $20 or less, though you may have to purchase them in quantities of 10 or more. You can also buy re-claimed pallet wood, if you’d like to make things even easier.
  • In fact, you may be able to find them for free. Just inquire with local retailers or warehouses. You may also find them in or around dumpsters, just be sure to stay on the right side of the law, and clean them well before transforming them. 
  • They’re versatile. You can easily disassemble pallets, and some plans don’t even require you to do that — you can just leave them as they are.
  • They’re light. Well, kinda — it depends on the wood and size of the pallet. 
  • They’re naturally pretty. Some pallet wood looks pretty good as-is, but is also the perfect base for a nice wood stain or a dog-safe paint
  • Using pallet wood is ecofriendly. Reusing materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfill is a good deed for our planet, and reusing pallets to build your own bed will likely be cheaper than any eco-friendly dog bed out there.
Pallet-Picking Safety

It’s obviously important to use pallets that’ll be safe for your dog. This primarily means doing a few things:

  • Try to pick the newest, best-looking pallets you can find if you’re not buying new ones. Pallet wood can splinter, and new pallets will typically produce fewer wood slivers than older ones, which have been beaten up during use.
  • Avoid pallets that have been contaminated with dangerous chemicals. It is often impossible to figure out what a pallet has been used for, but the location will provide helpful clues. A pallet sitting behind a grocery store dumpster was probably used for shipping produce, boxed food, or general household products. Conversely, one you find behind an industrial solvent manufacturer may have been contaminated with a variety of dangerous chemicals.
  • Always double and triple check for loose nails, staples, or screws when disassembling a pallet. These types of fasteners may injure your dog, so you’ll want to remove them all.
  • Avoid super-old pallets, which may be made of wood that’s rotting or infested with termites or other insects. Similarly, avoid any pallets that are covered in mold, fungi, or other types of science-project slime.

Essentially, you just want to use common sense and err on the side of caution.

Don’t grab a pallet covered in bugs and rusty nails from behind Bob’s Nuclear Waste Warehouse. Instead, buy a new pallet or use one that you can be reasonably sure was used to ship inert, harmless materials.

10 DIY Plans for Making a Dog Bed from a Pallet

Finding a plan to follow can be as daunting as the DIY project itself. We’ve taken that task off your plate, not only by sniffing out the best tutorials online, but also assessing the skill level required, and compiling your tools and materials lists. 

If you’re looking for a way to thank us, tag us in a picture of your finished pallet bed on social media!

1. Transformed Pallet Turned Dog Bed by Camille Styles

stylish DIY pallet bed

Camille is a super cool lifestyle blogger from Texas, and she’s put together a great step by step guide on transforming a pallet into a stylish dog bed

Skill Level: Advanced

Materials Needed:

  • Pallet
  • Fabric
  • Zipper
  • Pillow fills
  • Blue painters tape
  • Acrylic paint

Tools Needed:

  • Letter stencils
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Sewing machine
  • 4 locking wheels
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Paintbrush

You start by disassembling the palette and then sawing the wood to your desired size. After this, you sand any rough edges, drill the wheels in, and stencil lettering onto the wood. You then measure the space for the cushion and then cut your fabric. You’ll sew the cushion cover together and attach the zip, and voila! You’re done!   

2. DIY Modern Pet Bed by Centsational Style

Kate at Centsational Style has put together this guide for making a bed. These plans aren’t specifically designed around pallets, but you could certainly use pallet materials to create this wonderful modern pet bed. 

Skill Level: Easy

Materials Needed: 

  • Plywood sheet (or pallet wood) cut to size of base
  • Planks (or pallet wood) for sides
  • Hobby boards (or pallet wood) for decorative trim
  • Painter’s tape
  • Wood screws
  • Primer
  • Exterior paint (if using outdoors)
  • Furniture feet
  • Wood glue
  • Brad nails
  • Wood filler
  • Fabric

Tools Needed:

  • Brad nailer
  • Drill
  • Sander
  • Saw (only if not using pre-cut materials)

Begin by creating the bed base and frame, then attach the feet to the bottom. You then sand the edges and add wood filler to any holes. Then paint the wood and sew a cushion and cover. *Chef’s kiss*, you’re done!  

3. DIY Pallet Dog Bed by Living to DIY with Rachel Metz

Rachel came up with a solution for her pampered pooch Cali, who likes to sleep in multiple places around the house — she made him a a moving bed! This pallet dog bed has swivel casters attached to the bottom so it can easily move where your doggie needs it to!

Skill Level: Easy

Materials Needed:

  • A pallet
  • Sandpaper
  • 4 swivel casters
  • Wood glue
  • Wood Screws
  • 4 corner braces
  • Blanket or dog mattress
  • Storage baskets
  • Paint
  • Paint brush

Tools Needed:

  • Drill 
  • Saw 
  • Sander

This DIY Pallet Dog Bed takes just over ten steps, and depending on how you like to learn, there is both an informative step-by-step guide and a follow along video!

4. How to Make a Pallet Dog Bed by Suzelle DIY

You’ll love following along to this fun YouTube video on how to make a pallet dog bed, by the wonderfully creative team at Suzelle DIY. One commenter even wrote: “I don’t have dogs but I’m watching this because of her humour and personality!”

Skill Level: Medium

Materials Needed:

  • A pallet
  • Some pieces of wood
  • Wood screws
  • A cuddly blanket 
  • Two pillows
  • Cable ties

Tools Needed:

Start by measuring and cutting the pieces of wood, then sanding the rough edges. Then glue the four posters to each corner and secure with cable ties until the glue has dried. Screw the remaining panels, give it a final sand, then glue the roof and crossbars into place. Add a cushion and optional fairy lights and you are done!  

5. DIY Pallet Dog Bed by Andreja KH

Andreja and her gorgeous Dalmatians demonstrate a simple, thrifty way to make a pallet dog bed. Requiring minimal skills and time, this is a great project for DIY novices. 

Skill Level: Easy

Materials Needed:

  • An old sheet
  • A piece of foam
  • A pallet
  • Varnish

Tools Needed:

Gotta love how straightforward this tutorial is! No need to alter the pallet, simply measure a piece of foam and sew a cover for it using an old sheet. Varnish the pallet and add your foam mattress once dry.  

6. Modern Platform Dog Bed by Specific Love

The team at Specific Love Creations are certainly professionals, but don’t let that stop you from giving this tutorial a try. This video doesn’t specifically require a pallet, but you could use the wood from one to make this large dog bed

Skill Level: Easy

Materials Needed:

  • 2×4 timber 
  • Screws

Tools Needed:

  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil

Measure, cut, and then drill the wooden slats together to create the base. Cut several support slats and lay them down with gaps in between for air flow. Secure them in place and then measure and attach the legs for the bed. Add cushions and varnish and you’re finished!  

7. Eight-Step Pallet Dog Bed by Instructables

Make a dog bed from a pallet

First of all, the recipient of this beautiful pallet dog bed (the handsome little fellow pictured above, named Packets) will make your heart melt!

Packets’ owner was inspired to make a mini version of her human bed for her best friend, and you’ll love how it turned out. 

Skill Level: Medium / Advanced

Materials Needed:

  • Pallet
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Pillow

Tools Needed:

For this bed you’ll begin by making the base, then the railing, before assembling and installing a headboard. You’ll have to varnish the pieces individually, so it’ll be a lengthier process than some of our other featured guides.

8. DIY Pallet Pet Bed by PaintyCloud

If you are more of a visual learner this a great tutorial for you. PaintyCloud explains how to make this bed very clearly and includes specific steps to follow. 

Difficulty level: Easy / Medium

Materials Needed:

  • Wood stain 
  • Pallet
  • Nails

Tools Needed:

  • Jigsaw
  • Sander
  • Hammer

Saw palette in half, then in half again. Cut six slats — two for the top, two for the side, and two legs. Make sure the entry pieces are fastened securely, Sand the entire pallet, then decorate as you please!

9. DIY Shipping Pallet Dog Bed by Saved by Love Creations

Homemade dog bed from pallets

Johnnie, her Jack Russell, and beagle have worked on this adorable two tiered creation! Just to note: In order to keep your dogs safe, you’ll need to add stairs. You don’t want Fido to get injured climbing into bed! 

Skill level: Advanced

Materials Needed: 

  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Pallets
  • Plywood sheets
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Cloth or painters tarp

Tools Needed:

  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Crowbar
  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Reciprocating saw with blade for cutting metal

First things first, break down the pallets. Build the individual beds, then work on joining them with custom poles. Secure everything in place with screws and wood glue. After assembly, enjoy painting fun stripes onto the wood.

Also, if you need some help learning how to break down pallets and harvest the wood, Saved by Love Creations has you covered!

10. Doggy Pallet Bed by Seaside Interiors

Do-it-yourself pallet bed

Helen’s pallet bed guide is an enjoyable family-oriented read, with a few safety warnings included (hint: Don’t do this barefoot!). She got the whole gang involved which resulted in a cozy bed for their beautiful Bulldog Dozer. 

Skill Level: Easy

Materials Needed:

  • Pallet
  • Casters
  • Metal screws
  • Cushion

Tools Needed:

  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Pen or pencil

Cut the pallet boards from their base, then carefully hammer in staples and remove nails. Measure the base and glue the pieces together, then attach the top layer stakes. Add casters and a cushion and you are good to go! 

Using a Pallet to Make a Dog Bed: Important Tips, Tricks, & Safety Info

Making something special for your canine should be a fun activity! Here are our tips to make sure your project goes smoothly and safely.

  • As always, measure twice; cut once. You don’t want to run out of material and have to go scavenging for more pallets mid-project. 
  • Be sure to check for any leftover fastenings, such as nails, staples, or screws before letting your doggo sleep on the bed.  
  • Avoid pallets that may have been contaminated with harmful chemicals. 
  • Watch for splinters. Spot won’t appreciate splinters, so  you may find it necessary to sand or finish the whole thing. 
  • Use wooden pallets with caution if your dog tends to chew up stuff. 

DIY Dog Bed Alternatives

With any luck, one of these great step-by-steps will have caught your eye and you’ll be gathering materials as we speak! But if you’re beginning to feel as though you’ve overestimated your DIY skills, do not worry, you’ve got plenty of options. 

If you loved the idea of reusing materials and doing your bit for the environment, but aren’t up to the carpentry, try an eco-friendly bed. Or, you may want to check out a wooden dog bed for the pup, if you’d like something furniture quality. 

***

For those storming ahead with their DIY dog beds, we wish you good luck and hope you enjoy being creative.

We would absolutely love to see what you guys come up with, so be sure to send us some pictures on social media or via our photo uploader! 

If you need any further tips or guidance, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help. Happy DIYing folks!

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Written by

Charlie Boag

Charlie is passionate about animal welfare and has worked in multiple rescue shelters across Europe. She currently lives in the UK and is working towards her Veterinary Nursing qualification, so she can continue her travels and help animals across the world!

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