You’ll Want To Be In This Doghouse
A few months back, a friend shared a photo with me on Facebook of a dog bed made out of an old 1980s console TV. As the proud and loving mum of a fat old pug, and a huge fanatic of upcycled treasures, I immediately set out to make one of my own.
Let me just say this: if you follow these steps, you will have an adorable & stylish dog bed of your own…but be prepared, because this isn’t a ‘quick and easy’ project. This is a labour of love for your furriest friend. Let’s begin.
You will need:
- An old console TV—the kind made of wood, where the TV is set inside.
- Painting supplies
- House paint—in at least one colour
- Stencil and sponge
- Accessories to taste
- Glue gun and other tool kit items
1. Gut your console TV
This is a messy and horrendous job. Sorry, it is. Your final project will be worth the two or three hours of work this will take, but during this step, you’re going to want to just throw the whole thing out and let your dog keep sleeping in the laundry basket on top of your delicates, like he’s been doing all along.
Be sure to carefully cradle the TV tube when you’re undoing the screws, because there are dangerous gasses trapped inside that must be contained. When you’ve pulled out all the wires and unscrewed all the gadgets, take those things for e-cycling at your local facility.
2. Congratulate yourself; the worst part is over
Seriously, in comparison, all the rest of this is pretty easy, and only as complicated as you choose to make it.
3. Clean, sand, and prime
These old TVs are super dirty. They have been sucking dust into their recesses for years, and now it’s your job to scrub it out. Be sure to scrub both the outside & inside, and use a cleaner that won’t leave a residue that would fight with your primer.
A light sanding is all you really need. I love my mouse sander for this, and I usually choose a medium-grit sandpaper because I like to make sure my paint is going to stick.
After all surfaces have been roughed up, apply a coat of good ol’ fashioned primer (if you’re like me, you’ve always got a can around for upcycling wood projects, but chances are someone you know will have some from a previous house project). Let this dry for at least an hour.
4. Paint away
I usually look for ‘mis-tint’ paint at the hardware store for this type of project. In the paint section, look for the “mis-tints,” which are paints that people brought back because the colour wasn’t right. These cans range from $3-$9, which is huge savings for you. If the finish is too matte or you’re worried the paint isn’t the right kind of longevity, you can always apply a water-based polyurethane after it’s all dry.
I splurged and bought some raggy sort of mini-rollers for this project, and boy am I glad I did. I found they offered much faster, better coverage than the cheap foam ones I usually get, and they were way easier to clean for future use. I did two coats of both the external yellow colour, as well as two coats of the internal teal colour.
5. Add your bedding
Technically, you can stop here by just adding in some bedding for your dog—I got all new stuff from the dollar store, so it would coordinate with the colours—and then really, you’re done. But if you’re more adventurous (and don’t mind some more agonizing hours of wanting to pull out your own hair), then move on to step 6.
6. Take it to the next level
I wanted Mr Darcy’s bed to look like his own little room, so I looked for inspiration online and then added my own twists to things.
Photos: I got some dollar store frames that all matched each other, and I put in a large portrait of Mr. Darcy, plus some smaller images just cut out from magazines. The small frames were very light, so I glue-gunned them into place. The larger one had to be hung on a nail, so it was easiest to place it on one of the thick walls.
If you chose to discard the original back board of the TV and use a real piece of wood, you may be able to nail things to it; but I wanted to re-use as much of the original as I could.
Birdcage and plant: Just a candle holder I found at the dollar store! The plant is an artificial one that I used to have on my desk.
Hanging lamp: The shade was from a plastic cup, with fabric and trim glue-gunned to it. I used a very cheap solar-powered garden light as the actual lamp, though my house isn’t getting enough light to charge the panel; I may eventually redo this with a garden lamp where the solar panel can be placed outside the dog bed, perhaps near a window.
Clock: A five-minute project: spray paint an old yogurt lid, snap a bobby pin in half and use the pieces as hands, then glue-gun the whole thing to the wall.
Stencilling: I used a gold craft paint and a fair bit of patience for this one. I splurged on a good quality stencil, figuring I’ll use it again. After that, the biggest struggle was trying to work in a tight space.
I found a dry sponge filled the stencil in nicely—better than a stencilling brush. Tape the stencil in place, and figure out your spacing between stencils before you begin.
And you’re done.
If you’re lucky, your dog will fall in love with his bed as mine has. That helped make the hours spent twisted into the recesses of a dusty wooden box worth the effort.
My advice: take the project in small steps, but don’t put it aside for too long or you’ll never finish it. The final product is worth the work! Everyone who’s seen it, on two legs or four, has been uber impressed. It’s a great conversation piece, though you will get teased for being ‘one of those’ dog owners. After finishing this project, I’m not sure I can argue that I’m not ‘one of those’ dog moms, quite honestly.But look at that face! How could I deny him is own little room. Thanks again for the great article Jordan! Mr. Darcy is a cutie & seems to be really enjoying his new home. What do you lovely readers think? Will you be giving your pet a room of his/her own? I for one think we all (human or not) deserve a little space to relax. Have a great day!