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I’ve got a fun project to share with you today, dogs made from pallet wood. We made one DIY Pallet Wood Dog to keep and another to give as a gift. If you are a dog lover, you’ll most likely love this project.
How to Make a DIY Pallet Wood Dog
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- Aged boards from a pallet – Order pallet wood if you don’t have a source.
- Luan or thin plyboard
- Dog silhouette – We used this one.
- Bandsaw and/or Jigsaw
- Wood glue, pencil, clamps
Obtain Pallet Wood
This past spring I had a few pallet projects in mind and asked on Facebook if anyone had a pallet that I could have. Several people responded and I was able to easily obtain two pallets. I never got around to my intended projects but I did use a board from one pallet to make this sign for our lake house and we used other boards from that pallet to make two pallet wood dogs.
Pallet wood ages nicely and neither my lake house sign nor these dogs required any stain. If you have new pallet wood, you’ll need to stain or paint your finished project.
Make a Template
Find a dog silhouette picture that you like and print it out. We found one that looks a lot like our dog, Sherman. Draw the dog the size that you want on a piece of luan. We didn’t have one sheet that was large enough, so we used two scrap pieces. If you can’t draw, enlarge the picture ( I like to use Block Posters), print it out, and tape the sections together to make a pattern.
Trace Dog Template on Pallet Wood
Line up pallet wood pieces and hold in place with a board clamped to the wood pieces.
Position dog template on wood. Our dog was wider than the boards, so we cut the tail separately.
Clamp the template into place so that it doesn’t move when you trace it.
Trace the dog onto the wood.
Cut out the Dog
Use either a jigsaw or band saw to cut out the dog pieces. We found that a band saw made smoother cuts. Our regular band saw’s blade broke during this project so we had to switch over to my granddad’s. This baby is ancient but still works perfectly.
We ended up using the first four boards for this section of the dog and then cut the remaining pieces using two more boards.
The dog pieces are cut out and ready to be glued together.
Attach the Pieces
Pallet wood isn’t regular. The wood has different widths, some boards are slightly cupped, and it hasn’t been planed to make it smooth. If the wood was regular, we could have connected the pieces with biscuit joints but since it was irregular and we wanted to see a small space between each board, we chose not to connect the pieces using biscuits, instead we used strips of luan.
The strips are in place here but not glued.
Glue the pieces together one section at a time. Clamp into place until the glue is dry.
Here the dog’s nose is glued to his face.
Now his body is glued together.
Now the tail piece is glued to the middle body piece.
Attach a Hanger
Estimate the center of mass for the hanger placement so that the dog will hang evenly. Another options for hanging include screws with wire or drill keyholes.
We made two dogs, a large one and a small one. Here you can see the large dog’s hanger placement.
We used a saw tooth hanger for the small dog. We like to stamp our projects with our personalized branding irons.
The Finished Products
The large dog is for our home but we’ve yet to decide on a place to display it. The small dog was a Christmas gift for Mr. SP’s sister.
We love this project and are looking forward to finding a special place to hang it.
The smaller dog will make its home in California in my sister-in-law’s home.