Custom Built Dog Crates

Custom built dog crates are a great option to corral a dog indoors!

Advantages of a DIY Crate

  • Build it as big, or small as you like for that giant or tiny dog
  • Use materials that are aesthetic - construct it out of wood to match your other furniture or your room's decor.
  • Build one for more than one dog.
  • Set it up so changing bedding and cleaning it out is a snap.
  • Make a portable one for a small dog so that you can use it in your SUV.

Here's a photo of a homemade dog crate built by Ana White of Alaska (for more information, jump to Large Wooden Kennel)

Ana White's large dog crate

Custom Built Dog Crate Plans

At this time, we haven't developed any plans for dog crates ourselves. However, we have unearthed a few designs below, all of which can be turned into end tables:

LARGE WOODEN KENNEL by Ana White from Alaska

Large – 24” x 36” and 27” tall

Intermediate level woodworker. Build it in a weekend.

Estimated cost - USD 70

Sturdy, basic design with slats on upper 1/3 created from 1x2’s. Door also made of slats.

Provides a nice tabletop.

Includes photos and descriptions (including customizations) by at least 15 others who used her plans to build this crate.

HOW TO BUILD A DOG CRATE by Mark Powers,,20387918,00.html

Medium to smaller dogs - 19.75” and 25” by 21.5” high

Estimated cost - expensive – about $330 since it uses a reproductive floor heating grate ($100) and a decorative cabinet grille ($110) for aeration.

Experienced woodworkers - took him 10 hours to build.

Have to click on a new page each time for each step.


Medium size - base accommodates a standard 20.5 x 29.5 inch crate pan (tray).

Intermediate level woodworker or above.

Well described but information not easy to read since photos are separate from the instructions. Has a pretty good 3-D diagram to correspond to the parts list.

Made of plywood with molded edges and an oil based stain and polyurethane finish. Has a flipper door (retracts instead of swinging out) so crate can be left open without encroaching on room space. 

Custom Built Dog Crate Sizes

So how do you figure out what size crate you need for your dog?

A minimum rule of thumb is that your dog must be able to lie down in it, stretched out, can stand up without hitting his or her head, as well as being able to turn around without it being a contortion exercise.

See the Dog Crate Size Guide for more information.

Dog Crate Floor Pad and Pan or Tray

Your dog crate can have a floor, or it may simply be placed over an existing floor area.

Most dogs, once housebroken, will do all they can to avoid peeing or pooping in their crate. However, sometimes illness, emotional problems, or being left too long in the crate will cause the dog to eliminate there.

If your dog is still a puppy that is liable to have accidents in the crate, you may want to provide a shallow bottomed plastic or metal tray underneath a waterproof vinyl pad, or put the crate on linoleum rather than a carpeted or wood floor.

It is quite simple to make your own waterproof vinyl pad and is likely to cost you less than the store bought variety.

Some people advocate having wire mesh placed over a tray. In my opinion, that is rather inhospitable and stressful for the dog and should only be a temporary solution.

Dog Crate Cover

A lot of commercial dog crates are of an open mesh design.

To help a dog feel more secure in his or her crate, you can put a dog crate cover over it and provide a den-like atmosphere.

There are different cover designs. Here are two ideas you can make yourself:

Make a dog crate cover out of fabric

Make a dog crate cover from bamboo blinds

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