I had an amusing night at a friend’s house last week. One of the sofa end tables has an enclosed area that her dog just could not be kept out of. We kept removing her dog, an overly-energetic Pomeranian and placed her in her crate. She hated it; she wanted the end table.
The problem was the end table was expensive and filled with fine items. She would keep knocking the items out in order to create a space for herself. When my friend stated the dog would only do this to cabinets made of nice wood, I had an idea.
We spent time in my workshop assembling various pieces of odds and ends. Leftover trims, lattice, plywood and other items were used to create a crate that resembled an expensive piece of furniture.
It was fun to set the new crate up in a corner of her living room. We opened the crate and blocked the entrances to the end tables. She walked up to the crate, smelled her favorite plush pillow inside and went inside. We closed the door and she went to sleep. After a couple of days, her regular wire crate was removed and her “furniture crate” was designated the main one.
It’s funny- try to put your hand inside while her majesty is inside and you’re likely to get bitten. It’s become her private castle. The other furniture is safe at last.
You will need:
- · Measuring and marking tools
- · General woodworking tools
- · Plywood or plank wood
- · Scrap 1-by-4, 2-by-4 or other wood
- · Wood or plastic trim
- · Lattice, either plastic or wood
- · Cabinet legs- any style you wish
- · Hinges
- · Latch
- · Wood screws
- · Stain and sealer or primer and paint
We measured Polly and decided a cabinet slightly smaller than the end tables would be sufficient. Polly’s cabinet measures 24″ high by 24″ wide by 24″ deep.
Once we had our measurements, we went to the workshop. I found I didn’t really have enough leftover plywood to make a full cabinet, so I improvised.
The floor and top of the cabinet were created by using half-inch plywood. She’s just a little dog. I’d use three-quarter inch plywood for German Shepards and larger breeds.
The sides and the door were created by using 1-by-4 wood ripped to three inches wide. This was used to create frames for leftover wood lattice that Polly couldn’t get through. I created assembly channels by attaching the wood one inch higher than the lattice. A piece of 1-by-4 ripped to the width between the two wood frames created insertion pieces for the lattice framing. Wood screws easily attached everything together. If the crate needs to be broken down for moving, these screws can be removed.
The door did not need an insertion piece; instead one was cut and inserted to be flush with the edges. Stylish hinges and a pretty brass latch allow the door to close and stay that way.
We added bun feet to fit in with the feet of the end tables, sofa and chairs. We matched trim from my workshop as closely as possible to my friend’s existing furniture. The project was coming along nicely.
Before finishing the project, we tried various stains on scrap pieces until we could match the finish of the expensive end tables. The new crate could fit in as well as possible.
Once Polly decided to claim the new crate as her own, we set about placing a vase on the top. I received a call from her with a request for another crate. Her friends loved it. I designed one with a drawer on top to keep treats, toys and leashes secure.
Anything is possible when you build it yourself. Have fun and make one or more for the Christmas holidays. Instead of a pet, it could be a “stuffed animal crate” for a child’s room.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse forms of DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.