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HOW TO: DIY A Dog Crate End Table

Hi! Sturgill and Kadee here. I’m Sturgill’s human and a Product Innovation & Engineering Developer at Ruffwear. Sturgill entered my life in October 2021 as a 3.5 year old rehome from a family that wanted to give him a better life. Since adopting Sturgill, I have been crate training him and working with him to create safe spaces in our house to reduce his anxiety. We use his crate for a place to settle, wait for his food and to sleep in. Sturgill sleeps best in his crate when it is covered, and in a corner.

Sturgill's dog crate before its' makeover.

The top of his crate is used to store his toys, apparel, and gear - and inevitably other items like plants, books, and treats. I wanted him to feel safe in his enclosed space while also giving his humans a usable surface that looks nice in our house.

Keeping it simple, I stuck to a budget of around $100 by using tools I already owned and up-cycling materials, when possible. Check out my step-by-step instructions of how to make your own crate below.

How To Build It: Step By Step

Here is my materials list. All items except the up-cycled cabinet doors (purchased at ReStore) can be purchased from your local hardware store. I started with a 36”L x 22.5” W x 24”H wire dog crate, but you can adjust the measurements for a larger or smaller crate.

  • (1) 36” wire double-door dog crate - Dimensions: 36" L x 22.5" Wx 24" H
  • (2) Upcycled cabinet doors (mine were 37"x17.75", 38" length is ideal, +2" from crate size) **Purchased for $8 total at Habitat for Humanity Restore
  • (4) Hobby Board/Apron board slats 3"x0.5"x36" (+0" of crate length)
  • (4) Hobby Board legs 1.5"x1.5"x30" (+2" of crate height)
  • (1) Flat Straight Brace
  • (24) ¾" Corner Braces
  • (60) #6 x ½" wood screws
  • Felt pads for table feet
  • Howard Butcher Block Conditioning Wax - food grade for dogs


  • Measuring tape
  • Speed Square
  • Skill Saw
  • Sander (or a piece of fine sandpaper)
  • Drill & 8/32 drill bit
  • (2) Saw horses
  • Phillips screwdriver/drill
  • Wood Glue and filler for the cabinets

Sturgill is building a dog crate.

Let’s Get Building!

Step 1: Measure. Measure again.

The measuring tape will be your best friend. Even though I measured everything multiple times, I was still surprised by the apron not fitting on the rear legs of the table because my cabinet doors came an inch shorter than my initial plan.

Step 2: Create the table top Using the skill saw, cut cabinet doors from the edges that you want to join together. At 17 ¾" each, I needed to cut off 4 ½" from each cabinet to be 26 ½” across.

(For your crate, make the table top +4" crate width and +2" crate length)

  1. Sand the cut edges
  2. With the top side down, line up freshly cut and sanded edges. Place scrap wood (mine was the piece I cut off) along the center line with an inch or two overlapping each side.
  3. Check that the screws are shorter than the thickness of 2 cabinet doors.
  4. Drill pilot holes with 8/32nd drill bit and screw on the scrap wood to the bottom side to secure the two cabinet doors together.

Kadee working on her table top.

Step 3: Cut the table legs

  1. Measure and mark hobby board legs at 26" (+2" to crate height) **Check there is enough space for the crate door to open when the apron is on. Use speed square to ensure a square cut.
  2. Cut straight across with a skill saw. It's easiest to cut all at once by clamping four together.

Step 4: Cut the apron boards

What is an apron board? An apron board is a horizontal structure that provides additional support for the table legs

A flat lay of the dog crate listing all the different components.

  1. Measure boards for apron.
    1. (2qty) 36" long for sides (+0" to crate length)
    2. (2qty) 23" long for front and back (+0.5" to crate width)
      1. My cabinet doors were too short to have an apron on the back, so I only ended up with a front apron.
  2. Sand Boards to remove any splinters or unevenness.

Step 5: Secure apron to table legs

  1. Line up ¾" corner braces on the apron boards and on leg with ~¼" of the leg exposed on the outside. The edge of the table leg aligns with the edge of the brace.
  2. Mark the hole location with a pencil or sharpie, and drill a pilot hole for each screw.
  3. Use #6 ½" wood screws in each hole.
  4. Offset the braces for each leg so the screws don’t hit on opposing sides. Align edge of brace on inside edge of leg.

Kadee secures the legs on to the table in her garage.

Step 6: Secure to table top

  1. Center legs and apron on table top
  2. Place ¾" corner brace on the inside of the front apron lined up with your visual preference. (Mine was ~1" form the edge of the table)
  3. Mark with pen
  4. Drill pilot hole part way in (don’t go the entire way through table top!)
  5. Screw in #6 wood screw to each hole

Step 6.5 Option: Extra support

Since the apron didn’t fit on the back side of the table with the crate underneath, I left the back apron panel off and added a straight metal brace.

Step 7: Fill gap in cabinet seam

  1. Add wood filler to seam on top of table and let dry
  2. Sand/smooth out wood filler

Step 8: Condition the surface

  1. Use butcher block conditioner on the entirety of the surface.
  2. Select a rag that you can use regularly to condition the wood.

Step 9: Stick table on top of crate

Sturgill lies on the couch by his new crate.

FINAL STEP: Welcome your dog into their remodeled abode!

Once complete, you can add your own flair. I added a simple shelf on top to hold a few books and plants. This serves as an end table for our couch.


  • Stop by a thrift store or local Restore first to see what you can find to up-cycle.
  • Get the rest of your supplies at your local hardware store - many stores will cut to your dimensions if you ask.
  • Getting the support I needed for the two cabinet doors to form the table top was my biggest challenge. In retrospect, a beam across the middle perpendicular to the doors would have been a great solution, or a few straight braces.
  • Corner braces: You can choose from several different options to either have a stronger brace, or use fewer braces - however it will change how you layout your apron and legs.

Sturgill lays inside his crate.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Having a friend to help hold things, measure, cut, drill and bounce ideas off is incredibly helpful. A huge thank you to Kristen & Emma Bean for spending your Saturday working on this with me and to Kami for the inspiration on this project and shopping for supplies!

I love having Sturgill’s crate integrated into our home and sometimes I think it is more for me, than for him…