A DIY dog crate is a great idea. Whether you’re looking for a home project or you just want to save a little money, it can be a fun and creative activity.
If you’re creative and know how to use certain tools (like a kreg jig and electric circular saw), you can build a custom dog crate your pet will love.
Here are some tips on preparing to build a cozy pet crate, as well as some easy instructions on putting one together.
DIY Dog Kennels And Crates: Planning, Preparation, Steps, Tips, And Tricks
The key to any successful project, whether it’s building a wooden dog crate, a dog bed, or anything else, is good planning. You’ll need to do a bit of prep before diving into the building of the crate.
First of all, determine how big the pet crate should be. Of course, this depends on the size of your puppy or adult dog. Your pet will need enough room to be able to easily turn around in, sleep, and eat food comfortably. Let’s say your dog is three feet long from nose to tail. In this case, the crate would need to be four feet long, about 3.5 feet wide, and two feet high.
Next, you’ll want to determine what kind of material you want to use. Some pet owners like to use wood while others prefer a steel chain mesh. You’ll want some portability so you can move the crate around your home. So make sure the material you choose isn’t too heavy. 1
Other Important Factors To Consider: Ventilation, Portability, Storage, And Aesthetics
Now, you’ll want to make sure that the crate offers sufficient ventilation for your companion. It should also be easy to store. And don’t forget how it looks – the aesthetic quality of the crate will be important as well if you plan on keeping it inside for an extended period of time.
Make Your Own DIY Dog Crate: Easy Custom Dog Kennels You Can Build At Home
Here’s a quick look at how to build a crate for a medium-size dog. When it’s done, it will be 36 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 27 inches high. The first thing to do will be to gather all the materials from your local hardware store, as well as the tools you’ll need. These include the following:
- 8-foot long 1X3 boards (5)
- 8-foot long 1X2 boards (4)
- One ¼ inch plywood sheet (24 in. X 36 in.)
- One ¾ inch sheet of plywood (24 in. X 36 in.)
- One latch
- One set of hinges
- Pocket hole screws (1 ¼ in.)
- ¾ in. brad nails
- Wood glue
- Wood filler
- Sandpaper (120 grit)
- Paint and paintbrush
- Wood conditioner
- Brad nailer
- Circular saw
- Drill bits
- Ear protection
- Kreg jig
- Safety glasses
- Tape measure
Where To Begin With Your DIY Dog Crate
The first step will be to cut down the wood(using the circular saw) into the pieces you will use to build the crate.
Here’s what you’ll need.
Rails – Cut the 1X2 boards into 21 pieces (6 inches each)
Sideboards – Cut the 1X3 boards into 6 pieces (30 ½ inches each)
Side legs – Cut the 1X2 boards into 4 pieces (26 ¼ inches each)
End legs – Cut the 1X3 boards into 4 pieces (26 ¼ inches each)
Sides of crate – Cut the ¼ inch plywood sheet into a piece measuring 17 ¾ inches by 33 ½ inches
Door frame and backboards – Cut the 1X3 boards into 5 pieces (18 inches each)
Door (top and bottom) – Cut the 1X3 boards into 2 pieces (17 ½ inches each)
Door sides – Cut the 1X2 boards into 2 pieces (15 ¾ inches each)
Door rails – Cut the 1X2 boards into 3 pieces (15 ¾ inches each)
Once Your Pieces Are Cut…
The next thing to do will be to drill all of the pocket holes using the Kreg Jig. You could fill each hole with a dowel, but screws will
work better for this particular project.
Building the side rails – Fasten eight of the 6-inch slat pieces into one of the 30 ½-inch pieces using wood glue and pocket hole screws. Then take another of the 30 ½-inch pieces and attach to the top of the 6-inch pieces. Do this twice.
Build the sides of the crate – Take one of the rails you just built and attach one side to one of the 26 ¼-inch pieces you cut earlier for the sideboards. Do the same thing to the other end of the rail.
Take another of the 30 ½-inch pieces and attach to the bottom of the 26 ¼-inch pieces. Take the 17 ¾-inch by 33 ½-inch piece of plywood and attach to the area just below the rails using brad nails and wood glue. Do this twice.
Build the ends of the crate – Attach two of the 18-inch 1X3 boards to five of the 6-inch pieces of 1X2 boards using wood glue and pocket hole screws. Then attach one end of this piece to one of the 26 ¼-inch pieces of 1X3 board. Do the same to the other end.
Take another of the 18-inch 1X3 boards and attach each end to the 26 ¼-inch pieces. This will serve as the bottom of the end piece. Take the 17 ¾-inch by 33 ½-inch piece of plywood and attach to the area just below the rails using brad nails and wood glue. Do this twice.
Build the inside portion of the door – Take one of the boards for the top of the door and attach it to the pieces you cut for the door rails. Do the same for the board you cut for the bottom of the door. Attach using wood glue and pocket hole screws.
Build the door frame – Attach two of the 18-inch 1X3 boards to two of the 26 ¼-inch pieces of 1X3 boards using wood glue and pocket hole screws.
Attach the inside portion of the door to the door frame – Place the inside portion of the door inside the frame. It should fit flush, with no gaps. Add the hinges and latch.
Assemble the crate
So you should now have all four walls of the crate built. All you have to do is put them together. You won’t need any gaskets to do this. You can fit them together simply using wood glue and pocket screws, or you can use corner brackets for portability. That way, once the walls are attached you can lay the crate flat if needed for storage purposes. Sand the assembled crate to create a smooth surface and then paint.
Add the top cover – Attach the 24X36 piece of plywood to the top using pocket screws. 2
You probably don’t need a bottom piece if your dog is housebroken. If you like, put down a piece of Perspex. This is a piece of material similar to Plexiglas that is resistant to shattering.
This wooden dog crate should be large enough to include a foam dog bed so your pup can sleep comfortably, as well as a food bowl.
If you’re creative, you could add your own special touches to make your crate look nice. You can add crossbars, mesh or just leave it as is. You can also paint the wooden crate to match the decor of your home or even spell out your pup’s name on the front.