Because we adopt older dogs, we’ve been through the crating and housebreaking process numerous times.
(I’ve found that when a shelter says a dog is housebroken that isn’t ALWAYS quite true).
Most of the time we’ve just used a plain wire dog kennel, but they are SO ugly. So I decided to figure out how to hide a dog crate effectively.
Generally speaking this means either buying and expensive dog crate that looks like furniture or taking on a dog kennel DIY project.
(Sometimes when I write articles like this people want to know is it cruel to crate a dog at night? – here is the answer)
Note: This article is about building dog crates that look great and are hidden. If you want to buy a furniture type dog crate, I like the one here that I found on Amazon.
How to Make a Kennel for a Dog that You Can Hide
There are several approaches to creating a dog crate that hides well.
- build one that looks like furniture
- tuck it under a staircase
- create a simple table top for a standard wire crate
- convert an old piece of furniture.
- make one to go under a bench
I’ll show you how to do each one of these in detail so you can pick the best project for your situation.
How to Make a Dog Kennel Out of Wood that Looks like Furniture
When we hear the word crate, we think of a box that is used for shipping and delivering goods in and not something that we would like to have in our front room. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
A good dog crate doesn’t have to be an eye sore, in the way, a place under the stairs or even in the laundry room. It can match the rest of the furniture or better yet, be part of the furniture.
With a good eye for decorating, you could make one in a very short time to match your furniture and end up with something that will give you decades of use. And here is a good way to create an attractive dog crate.
1. Build the Corner Posts
For each corner of your crate, you’ll need to create a two-sided, corner-shaped post — they’re each made of one 28×2.5-inch piece (side A) and one 28×1.5-inch piece (side B), drilled together to create a 2.5-inch by 2.25-inch L-shape at a 90-degree angle.
Drill the pieces together like so, at the top, middle, and bottom. You’ll eventually cover the top of the screw with a little sticker patch.
2. Attach Front-Side Top and Bottom Beams
For this step, you’ll need two 38×2.5-inch pieces. Attach one to the top of the front (long) side and one to the bottom, with two drills on each corner.
3. Attach Back-Side Top and Bottom Beams
This piece is identical to step two. Build it using the same dimensions.
4. The Sides
Once you have the front and back set up, connect them with the side beams (the 26×2.5-inch pieces), attached to the top and bottom with two screws on each corner.
5. Make the Top
I opted to give this piece a removable “lid” top so I could take the wire crate out for traveling, cleaning, and repositioning when necessary — this has proved to be a seriously solid decision.
The lid is one solid piece of melamine at 42×29 inches, with white taping around the edges (I’ll get to that in step six). We applied two small blocks of wood underneath with gorilla glue (you can use wood glue as well) to stabilize the lid from sliding. The wood blocks are positioned on the long sides, set to fit on the inside of the top framework.
6. Finishing Touches
To finish up, I used the aforementioned white melamine tape to cover raw and unfinished edges and dot stickers to cover the holes and screws. You can get this at the hardware store and use a clothes iron to melt it on.
Thank you to Pop Sugar for this great project!
Dog Kennels Under the Stairs
Okay, if you have a lot of room under the stairs, you may want to try this project. Now, of course every staircase is different so naturally that will make the specifications different as well, so keep that in mind.
Furthermore, be careful to make sure that under your staircase can be turned into a doggy house. Also be sure to remember that this project should take you about 12 hours to make, depending on your skills as a craftsman.
However if done right, it should only cost about $130 to make and will provide your pets with a great home.
If you plan to do any kind of construction that involves cutting out studs in your walls, make sure you reinforce them so your house doesn’t fall down. I was able to put ours in only having to take out one stud.
To start here’s a video of how a project like this CAN work. It’s not the exact same as the instructions listed, because each stairwell is different, but when doing a project like this I personally like to have a visual concept of how it’s going to work when I go into the project.
- drywall saw
- reciprocating saw
- multi-tool (Dremel)
- drywall or paneling
- drill, drywall screws, mud, etc.
- floor of some sort
- door trim
- quarter round (depending on floor)
The most important step to this is figuring out where you want to put the door. It would be a shame to just go cutting a big hole in your wall only to realize later that that’s not where you want the door to be.
Spend some time thinking about where to make the door and how it works with your space. Keep in mind the width of the door that you choose to use and how it compares to the width between studs. The less studs you have to cut out, the better. (In case you didn’t know – studs are usually 16 inches apart, roughly.)
The door I chose to use was actually a decorative wall hanging gate that we found at Hobby Lobby. It was kind of pricey (~$100) but they have 40% off coupons all the time. (We actually purchased it during a 50% special – which they have every other week.)
I had to do some cutting to the piece to make it functional, as it is all one piece when purchased. I cut the 3 cross bars down the middle (that held the gate closed), using a simple hacksaw, and then cut those same bars again where they met the outer vertical bars of the gate (to disconnect it from the wooden posts on the side).
We went to https://www.skilledfencing.com.au/ and had them help us install the gate since we were having a hard time doing it. If you will be using this gate, you can work the attached wood part of it into your door, it just wasn’t our style, so I cut them off.
Once you’ve figured out where to put your dog house, cut a pilot hole, using a drywall saw, big enough to get your head through the wall.
Look inside the wall and make sure there aren’t any surprises that won’t allow you to use the space. Probably an important step to take before you cut an even larger hole that you would have to patch back up. If it looks like you expected, make the big cut out for the space you’ll need.
When cutting, keep in mind that you’ll need to factor in;
1. Width and height of the gate you will using
2. Width of the hinges of your gate
3. Width of the 1× 6 that you use to finish out the entryway with (to create the door casing).
You might have to use 2×4’s to frame out the width you need. I put my hole at the center of a stud, cut it out, and then framed out from the studs on either side of it.
This way, I could just screw 2×4’s into the existing studs to the width I needed. I found it easiest to cut out the drywall the size that I needed and then go inside the space and frame it. This way, I didn’t have to do any drywalling on the outer, finished wall.
At this point, you should have a hole big enough to crawl through. You might have to do some clean-up to the space (Our builder left a bunch of pipes and trash in there. Probably because he never dreamed we would cut into the wall.).
The next step is to cut away your baseboard (and quarter round if you have it). I used a dremel multi-tool to do this. Be careful to only cut what you need gone so you won’t have to redo it. (It’s easier to cut more than to have too much gone.) Later you will butt-up your door trim to the baseboard.
The next thing to address is the floor. Put whatever floor you want into yours. Personally, I would stay away from carpeting a dog house for what I hope are obvious reasons.
Next step is to drywall. I’m not going to go into the details but there are thousands of tutorials all over the internet on how to drywall.
After you have all of your drywall done, it’s time to frame out the door. Just use cheap 1×6 boards that you can pick up at your local Menards or Home Depot and cut them down to the thickness of your walls.
Nail them into the studs using a nail and hammer or a nail gun if you have one. Make sure they are flush with the wall on each side. After they’re up, just paint them the color of the trim.
Finally, it’s time to put the gate in. Because the gate I choose to use was decorative, it didn’t have any hinges.
So, I had to buy some hinges at Menards and attach them. I just drilled holes in the gate and used machine screws (that I spray painted rubbed bronze to match the hinges) to attach them. After you have the gate ready, attach the hinges to the 1×6’s (that you just installed) using screws and a drill.
Finishing touches: Install door trim around casing and put back any quarter round and/or baseboard that you had to take up.
And last but not least, have your dog try it out for size!
Time and Cost Breakdown:
|2×4 (3)||$11.00||Cut out drywall||0.25|
|Drywall||$15.00||Frame out new door||0.75|
|Moulding||$21.00||Lay Hardwood floor||2.50|
|Inwall casing||$12.50||Put in light||0.50|
|Light||$11.00||Frame wall on lower end of stairs||1.00|
|Gate||$50.00||Cut/Put up drywall||3.00|
|Put casing in door||0.50|
|Install hinges and gate||0.75|
|Put up trim||0.50|
|Put in floor transition piece||0.25|
|Time Total:||11.50 hours|
Thank you to the Rodimels for this project!
Dog Crate Furniture Hack – How to Transform an Ikea Changing Table Into An Attractive Dog Kennel
Okay, so one day you went to IKEA and bought a Changing Table for your baby. You came home, put it together and for the next few months you used it to change your baby. Or should I say, tried to use it.
Now, let’s be honest. During those moments, a parent will change the baby just about anywhere they can. So, running up to the second floor to change the baby became less realistic as time went on as you found better and closer options all around the house.
After a while you probably thought to yourself, “Why did I buy this?” or “How can I get rid of this?”
If you are looking here, it means you probably have a dog. A dog who watched you patiently as you argued with the Changing Table while putting it together.
Now that you know longer need to use it for changing and might need to save your money for his/her college fund this is a great idea for getting the best use out of it, at the lowest cost.
The steps are quite simple.
1. Find a dog cage that will fit perfectly into the Changing Table
2. Take out the middle shelf
3. Insert the dog crate
4. Take a small tension rod and a curtain and hang it in the front.
Thanks to Ikea Hackers for this great project!
Bench With Dog Kennel Underneath
This video has incredibly detailed instructions to make a dog crate sofa table that can also be used as a bench.
I love this project, because it gives a really luxe look to a typical dog crate situation.
DIY Table Top for Dog Crate
You can make just a plain table top for a wire dog crate, but since crates really aren’t meant to hold the weight of a table top, it’s better to build a simple structure that is meant to hold the weight.
Then you can slide the wire crate right in!
Here’s a video that shows you how.
Summary: How to Hide a Dog Crate
You can hide a dog crate by buying a commercial crate that looks like furniture, or you can make a DIY project. I’ve put together 5 different DIY Dog Kennel projects for you here.
The easiest is the changing table conversion. While the most in depth is the dog crate under the stairs.
Choose your level of expertise and what will fit best in your home. And most of all have fun with this project!
For more information on why crate training is so important click here.
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