Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dog Bed from a Wine Barrel

My boyfriend got me a puppy for my birthday! We had been planning on getting one for a while and he went and finally did it! Clearly, I immediately wanted the finest and most unique of items for my soon to be sweet baby! While looking for dog bed ideas that would fit in nicely with our apartment d├ęcor I fell in love with a $250 one made from the bottom section of a whiskey barrel. However, no way in hell were we going to pay that much for a dog bed! I knew you could find barrels like that already cut, normally used as planters, we got ours at Blain’s Farm and Fleet for $22 (also saw them at Home Depot). Then the work really started! How to make your own dog bed:

Bolts (measure the width of your staves to find out how long you need; staves are the wooden pieces that are bound together with metal rings to make a wine barrel)
Nuts (Buy ones that are the same width as your bolts)
Drill bits (for metal and wood in the same size as your bolts)
Sharpie or pencil
Jigsaw blades for both metal and wood
Sealer (sprayable or paintable)
Sand Paper
Palm Sander (Optional)
Belt Sander (Optional)
Plastic Dip (Optional)
Wood Stain (Optional)

Step 1: Sand/scrap the inside of the barrel. Ours came burnt on the inside, so we had to scrape the black char out. We used a chisel and then a palm sander to smooth it out. Eye protection and facemask recommended. *** After scraping is done, spray (or paint) with a sealer; we used Bulls eye spray Shellac. If you don’t do this step the char will continue to transfer black onto anything that touches it.

Step 2: Buy nuts and bolts. We got carriage bolts because we liked the stud look. Use a drill bit that goes through metal, which is the same size as your bolts, to drill holes in every stave (you can do every other, but we just wanted to be sure the barrel wouldn’t fall apart when we started cutting it) Drill through the top metal ring. Hammer bolts in and secure the nuts tightly on the inside of barrel.

Step 3: Cut the excess wood off the top of barrel right above the upper metal ring, we used a hand held jigsaw. We left about .5” of wood above the metal ring for sanding down later.

Step 4: Sand down rough edges. You can do this by hand or use a belt sander/palm sander. The barrels are made of oak and it’s hard to get them to sand down smooth.

Step 5: Now decide how large you want the opening for the dog to climb in to be. We did 14” wide and decided to keep it above the second metal ring. Draw on the shape you want.

Step 6: Drill in holes for bolts and nuts into the second metal ring on the entryway boards. The purpose of this is to make sure the staves have extra support since part of the top metal ring is going to be cut off.
Step 7: Using a metal cutting blade on your jigsaw and cut the entrance for the dog bed.

Step 8: Sand the entrance so edges are smooth.

Step 9: (Optional) Stain rim of barrel to match the rest.

Step 10: Our bolts were a tad longer than we wanted and we really wanted to make sure our puppy never hurt himself getting in or out of this bed so we covered the nuts and excess bolt with liquid plastic. You can buy this stuff at hardware stores in the painting aisle in a container labeled “Plastic Dip”.

Step 11: (Optional) Seal barrel using a wood sealer like polyurethane.

Step 12: Buy or make a rounded doggy cushion to go in your new dog bed! (We’re thinking plaid!)


  1. I just got a puppy (Jack Russel Terrier/Dachsund mix) and I loved the wine/whiskey barrel beds as soon as I saw them, but I knew I wouldn't be able to afford them and I figured I could probably make one. I was looking for something step by step that someone else had done as a guide. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you! :)

    1. Congrats on your new baby! I'm glad we could be of help! Oliver loves his wine barrel dog bed and sleeps/plays in it all the time!

  2. This is an AWESOME idea! Thanks for posting this!! I'll try to get a wine barrel and try to do one for my dog (who looks similar to the one in the photo). Really love it! :)

  3. I don't understand how you made the inside bolts on the top ring disappear? Thank you

    1. The above photo is not what was made. It was the model for his design.

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  6. I have a problem with the idea of just putting "dip it" on the long carriage bolts after the nuts were put on. I would suggest that a one inch thickness of foam rubber be used. Measure the inside diameter of side walls and cover with the same fabric as the dog bed you're making. They make an industrial strength stick on Velcro. Stick it on barrel and back of foam covered fabric. Along the back of top would be best. The cushion would hold the bottom down. This would make it a lot safer. Old blue jeans or old Army issued camo would make a good tough fabric to cover the pillow. ( I use the old uniforms that my husband has outgrown for different projects for my dogs.)

  7. For those of you who don't know what kind of dog is in the barrel, it's a long hair dachshund. Looks like a red mini.

  8. AWESOME idea! I'll try to get a wine barrel and try to do one for my dog. Really love it!

  9. Hi! I'd love to include this post in a round-up feature I'm writing for my own blog. May I please use your photo and link to this page? You can see my blog at Thanks!

    1. Hi Christina, so happy you like the post! Please feel free to use the pictures and link back!

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