I am going to share an oldie but a goodie!
A couple of years back I shared this on My Repurposed Life, and then I gave a teaser on my blog here.
I am exited to share the full tutorial with you today. This has been one of my most popular projects, how to Turn an old Crib into an awesome Dog Crate!
When our dog Sunny started growing out of her old wire dog crate I began looking online for a larger size. I was shocked to see how expensive they were, especially if I wanted something better looking than an ugly wire crate. That is when I decided to pull out my old reliable source...craig's list. But not for what you would expect...
I was looking for an old baby crib, not a dog crate! I see them all the time on the Craig's list free section, and sure enough after looking for about a week I found this one. I knew I could use it to build a dog crate, it was perfect, solid wood and free!
I started by deciding how large to make my crate. I looked online for XL dog crates and used the measurements to help me pick a size for Sunny's crate. I made sure it was big enough to fit her when she would be full grown, and small enough to fit through my doorways in my home.
It ended up being 27 inches wide 46 1/2 inches long. In the photo above I am cutting the crib ends to 27 inches wide. First I cut one crib top off (top left), then used it to measure where to cut the second (top right).
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I also cut off the long side boards...so it could fit through my doors. :)
Using the end pieces as a guide for how to make the sides, I placed a crib rail over the end piece and added boards until I had what I wanted. I was able to use a 1x3 board from the crib, top white board, and then I used 1x2's for the side and bottom, which I got from my scrap wood pile.
I was so excited that I went out right away and made my cuts, but when I laid it out on the lawn I realized my mistake...
Dang! Can you see what I did wrong?
I didn't use my crib end as a guide and I cut my side 1x2's too short! See the gap where the arrow is pointing? Lesson learned, check and double check when you are winging it! Luckily I had a few more 1x2's in my stash to re-cut without having to go to the store. Phew!
Here is a shot of what I was supposed to do the first time around. I used the crib end to make sure my cuts were the right height, or you could measure...I am very visual so using the actual item makes it quick and easy. When I REMEMBER to use it of course!
Now that is what I like to see! Mmmmkay movin' on.
In order to attach all my frame pieces together I used my Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System to drill pocket holes. I love this tool for attaching wood together, If you look closely you can see I also drilled pocket holes into my long top and bottom boards. They will be for attaching the top and bottom of the crate later on.
I also drilled pocket holes in the crib ends and the crib rails.
Since the front crib rail will be the "gate" and will be on hinges I didn't drill pocket hole into it. Instead I marked the top and and bottom and cut it in half on my miter saw.
For an extra set of hands and to keep my boards together as I drill, I used my Kreg KHC-RAC Right Angle Clamp to hold the boards together as I attached the boards with my 1 1/4'' pocket hole screws. Oh yeah, and don't forget the wood glue!
With the outer frame built, next up was adding the crib rails. On the left I have attached the back piece with pocket hole screws and wood glue to the frame. In the photo on the right, I added hinges on all four ends so the doors open. I used painter's tape to hold them in place while I attached the hinges.
Again with the huge help of my awesome Kreg KHC-RAC Right Angle Clamp I attached the sides to the ends, can you tell I love these things!! Seriously I don't know how I used to build without them!
I used some scrap plywood my Father-in-law got from his neighbor, and traced my crate onto it. Then I simply cut on the lines.
Once the bottom was cut to size, I brought it in and laid it on the top of the crate to make sure it fit, and it did! If you don't want a bottom to your crate you could be done...I, however, did want a bottom. :)
I ended up using some 70 year old barn wood for the top, since I had no plywood left that would fit the size I needed. I used two boards and then cut the third in half so they would all fit. I used my circular saw to do the job (middle photo).
I love this wood, and have used it in several projects, like my Cubby Shelf Revamp, my Cabinet Doors into Children's Desk, the Rustic Industrial Chairs, and my Rustic Ironman Medal Display.
I ended up using 5 gallon paint sticks as stoppers. I made one for the top inside so the doors would not swing into the crate (top right). Then one that can be turned on the bottom front to help the doors stay closed. I originally used this screw and washer on the bottom, but eventually drilled a bigger hole and added a bolt with a washer and nut on the inside. I did this because the screw would need tightening every so often and that got old. I have not had a problem since I added the bolt.
Next up was a quick coat of white paint!
As I waited for the paint to dry I did a little doctor work on my old barn wood for the top. Some of the boards were cracked, so I added wood glue and clamped them up. Working with reclaimed wood is worth the extra effort, it is soooo pretty!
I attached the crate to the bottom piece with the pocket holes I had previously drilled.
As a suggestion from a friend, I added peel and stick vinyl to the plywood bottom of the crate. This is great for accidents, witch rarely happen in crates, but better safe than sorry! They were only 99 cents each at Home Depot, so it was $9 total. Plus they were easy to install!
I decided last minute to add casters for easy moving and used these ones that I had gotten free off the side of the road at our city's spring clean up. They needed a little scrubbing, but work great. Well, great enough for me to move the crate around if I need too!
Don't worry they don't roll when Sunny is in the crate, it is on carpet. If you had your crate on a hard wood floor and wanted casters I suggest having locking ones.
I actually love the way it looks with casters and it is super easy to move around, this thing is huge and I really couldn't manage it without them!
For the top I decided to just nail it on, but first I added support boards underneath like I did to the wood in this project here. And now you can see why I love this wood so much...It is so beautiful!! I did seal it with three coats of poly sanding with 400 grit in between coats 1 and 2.
These photos show how we open and close the crate, I got the latch at home depot, but the paint stick idea at the bottom could be repeated at the top to save money!
Here is a shot of the marble vinyl floor! It is nice and smooth and I am happy I installed it over the plywood.
Sunny really does love her crate! It is perfect for her to sit, stand, and curl up in a ball and sleep!
I love that she has so much room to move around! Now that she is older we hardly ever close the doors to the crate, but if we can't find her we always know where to look...
She will be sleeping or resting in her open crate! It is her safe place and she loves it, and I love the way it looks in my room! So much nicer than that old ugly wire crate.
That is it! I saved sooo much money repurposing a crib to make this dog crate and I actually like it better than the ones I saw online! Also, incase you were wondering, Sunny is NOT chewer...if you dog is then maybe this is not the best solution for you...just sayin'.
So what do you think would you attempt this project for your furry friend? :)