Hey there, fellow paw-ssionate pet parents and four-legged fanatics! Today, we’re embarking on a tail-wagging adventure as we delve into the world of DIY doggy delights. Grab your glue guns, dust off your saws, and let’s build a dog toy box that even the most discerning canine critics would give two paws up!
The Pawesome Prep:
Before you dive headfirst into crafting canine paradise, make sure you’ve got all your supplies. You’ll need ¾” MDF or plywood, wood glue, finishing nails, paint or stain, and enough treats to keep both you and your furry supervisor fueled for the project.
The “Bark-itecture” Plan:
Every great construction project starts with a plan, and your dog’s toy box is no exception. Sketch out your design, keeping in mind the size of your pup’s toy collection – because, let’s face it, they’ve probably amassed more toys than you have shoes. Cut your wood to the height and length you want your dog toy box to be – I made a few toy boxes in different sizes, but a 28″ long by 12″ high is a basic size.
The Fetching Foundation:
A bone seems the most obvious shape for anything dog-related, so I found something circular to trace in each corner of my cut wood. My smaller toy boxes I traced a quart can of paint, for my giant toy box I traced a gallon can of paint. Draw a straight line between the upper circles to lay out the shape of the bone. (then do the same at the bottom). 1 ½” from the top of the circles (and bottom of the bottom ones) gave a nice shape.
Cut out your outline with a jigsaw. Note: don’t trace one bone shape onto the second board – they will not turn out the same. For a symmetrical finish, you are better to draw out both separately and then cut.
This step isn’t necessary, but I really like how it turned out; use a trim router and a roundover bit to round the edges (front and back) on your bones. You can see the difference below. While both are perfectly fine, I think the rounded over edges give a bowWOW look.
Using another piece of plywood or MDF, cut two pieces to the width you’d like your dog toy box to be. If your finished size is 18″, then cut the wood to 15″ wide (plus the ¾” bone sides will have you at 18″ in the end)
Set your mitre saw to a 22.5° bevel and cut one end of the wood.
Line the wood up with the bone shape so that it is as far to the edge of the bone (without showing) as possible, mark, then cut again parallel to the first cut.
Once both of your sides are cut, cut the remaining length of ¾” wood/MDF so that it fits between them and acts as the base/bottom of your dog toy box.
Check for fit before gluing. You want the base to be as close to the bottom line of the bone shape as possible and the sides to be as wide as possible while still being hidden inside the shape.
Glue the sides to the base and tack in place with finishing nails. Glue the centre section to the bone-shaped sides and tack into place with finishing nails. Clamp tightly until dry.
Optional: fill any nail holes with wood filler. Your pampered pooch won’t care in the end, so it’s not mandatory.
Once the glue is completely dry, sand everything with 150 grit sandpaper to smooth edges and remove excess glue.
If you are painting your dog toy box, now is the time to add a coat of primer. If you are staining, apply your colour now and let it dry overnight.
Paint or seal, and you are done!
Bentley received a giant one from Santa Paws – we had a subscription to Woof Pack so our house is chock-full of chewables for him and our foster furr-iends.
It’s set right next to his jumbo-sized dog condo.
I built a second, smaller dog toy box for my parent’s Bichon (my “sister” as my Mum calls her). She and her toys are much smaller, so a smaller bone and lower height were needed for her.
After the cuteness overload (and organized euphoria) from these toy boxes, I decided to whip up a couple more for my rescue to raffle off in the hopes of making a few dollars to help cover vet bills.
Puppy price tag:
These are so easy to whip out and just take a few pieces of scrap MDF or plywood to make. Total cost for 5 dog toy boxes came to $0 out of my pocket. I used wood leftover from other projects, glue on-hand, and leftover paints.
The idea for this bone-shaped wonder came from one I’d seen for sale online – for $189US!! Granted, theirs had a name stickered on the front of it, but that’s easily done with a cutting machine, stencil and paint, or even a sharpie marker if you are so inclined.
The Victory Lap:
Finally, bask in the glory of your DIY triumph. You’ve not only crafted a toy box fit for canine royalty but also unleashed boundless joy upon your fur baby. Now go on, take a victory lap together around the living room – you’ve earned it!
If your mutt is mouthy, supervision might be required. MDF, the glues in plywood and certainly the chemicals in paint and stain are all toxic. If chewing of the toy box is likely, you and your pet pooch are much better off with plain wood – untreated, unstained, unpainted, and un-poisonous.
Remember, in the world of doggy DIY, there are no mistakes – just happy accidents and a wagging tail. Happy crafting, and may your dog’s toy box be the envy of the neighbourhood!