As soon as I heard that Sarsparilly was releasing a Peanuts collection (full review here), I knew I wanted to do something special to shoot with when the time came. Being the overachiever that I am, I decided to make a Snoopy inspired dog house. I’m not an expert in woodwork but I decided to do this project with my Dad as he knew a little bit, we like spending time together and we both enjoy ridiculous projects. As I had a few people ask me how I made my Snoopy house since I first posted my photos and review, I decided to share my process with you all. I’m going to first of all note that this is not a step-by-step tutorial and the entire project was made up as we went along. I have included as much information and detail as I could so if you are hoping to make a Snoopy dog house for yourself, please use this as a guide.
For this project, we used materials that we found on verge side pickup, scraps around the workshop and bits of old wood we had laying around. We have a non-existant budget and it went for an extra bottle of wood glue, a Bunnings sausage and spray paint. All up, this project took us just under two weeks to complete because we let her dry between paint, base and glue layers, and we also didn’t have many days where we were both able to work on it.
Making the Base Frame
To start making the base frame of the doghouse, we made the two side walls cutting out wooden planks into the following sizes;
X4 70X20X920mm long
x4 40X20X790mm long
X4 Studs 35X20X658mm long
We used drop saw, table saws and thickeners to ensure our planks were the right size and smooth. Once we had our planks, we started constructing our sides by putting wood glue where the pieces touched and then screwing them together.
Dad Tip: always make sure your angles are square and tap your planks lightly to ensure they are all lined up.
Once we made our two rectangular shaped sides and Dad was happy with all the angles and measurements, we put the sides upright on the floor and measured out the connecting beams. We glued them to in between the sides of the wall at top and bottom. We first added wood glue and then screwed them in for extra support. We made sure to clamp everything tightly and by the end of day one, we had the base of our box done.
Dad Tip: you can never have too many clamps.
Making the Roof
Making the roof was a little fiddly and this is where we really made it up as we went along. For the purpose of this project, we wanted the roof to have quite a flat top so I am able to sit on it during a photoshoot. We also wanted to make the roof detachable from the base to help with transport and setting it up at a shoot. If you plan on making your own Snoopy inspired dog house, you don’t have to make it detachable or as wide on top of the roof. In fact, I think a pointed roof would have been easier to make up.
To construct our roof, we cut our wooden planks into the following pieces;
Top flat frame: X2 50X30X1120mm long
X2 50X30X320mm long
with a final measuring of 1120X320mm and all corners cut at 45 degrees
The frame included a rebate and I have included this graphic to illustrate our measurements.
We also had a piece of plywood to put into our rafter but unfortunately we didn’t write down our measurements.
X8 Rafters 70X30X445mm
Our rafters were cut on an angle at one side; the long side measured 445mm and the short side measured 405mm.
Support Frame X4 90X8X700mm ply braces
End Covers X2 148X6X700mm ply
LH and RH sides X2 1165X485X6mm ply
We started by building the flat top roof frame; our wooden planks had a 45 degree angle cut out so when put together, they formed a tight rectangle. All our pieces also had a rebate cut into it to ensure she was extra stable. The rafter was filled with another plank of wood cut specifically to fit.
We put a few support blocks on the front and back edge of our base to give us a height guide and from there we attached our flat top frame. It was now time to add our rafters (4 on each side) which were attached with glue and two screws.
We made sure that everything remained level, smooth and as square as we could get it. Dad also added some support frames on the sides of the rafters connecting two opposing sides together. They were also glued on but we used staples to secure them further. With the roof complete, we now had the basic frame and skeleton of our dog house complete.
Dad Tip: using a piece of twine, tie a piece of twine in the centre of your roof top frame to become your centre guide. Dad recommends measuring from the centre line outwards to ensure everything is lining up properly.
As our dog house had a detachable roof, Dad went ahead and added a rear locating pin to make sure it sat securely together when attached to the base so it didn’t slide around when I was sitting on it. This was done by adding a block to the rear join (between roof and base) of 90X30X30mm. It featured a 20mm hole where the pin (or in our case, a piece of rake handle) could slide in for security about 60mm long).
With our dog house having a strong skeleton, it was now time to add the walls. To do this we used the following;
Wall coverings for sides using 6mm plywood
Roof top X1 1165X315X6mm
Filler pieces for gaps in frame X4 43X20X790mm
In order for the walls to be attached as securely as possible, we started by attaching filler pieces onto the frame where there were gaps, mainly along the corner pieces. These were glued and screwed into place. The filler pieces mean than the sides of the walls can be attached with as much contact as possible and they would also sit flushed. Once we were happy with the frame, we put glue along the sides of the wall where they would meet the frame and once put onto the frame, we used a staple gun to hold the walls in place. We of course, attached all four side walls.
We went ahead and added on the plywood that forms the roof and we also attached a piece of ply wood to sit under the roof on the top layer of the doghouse. If yours isn’t detachable, you can add this section to the main part of your front and back walls. We left the walls overnight to dry so they were stable and secure.
With the walls attached, I grabbed some gap filler and a scraper and went around and patched up any holes, dents, rough bits or anything else that needed smoothing. When the filler was dry, Dad went around and sanded the filler away so the surface of the walls was smooth. We were almost done.
With the end in sight, we covered the entire structure with two coats of a primer base, letting it dry and sanding in between coats. Dad was tempted to put on three coats but I told him it was time for dinner instead (I have my suspicions that Dad added a third coat once I went home).
It was finally time to paint the dog house! Angie Delarie photography was present for this step and we went through 5 cans of red spray paint. We did about two coats but we certainly could have used an extra can or two to cover up a few bald patches. To finish up, we painted on a black “door” and we were done!
This was a really fun and challenging project. It took a lot of working out, many cups of tea and a full bottle of wood glue. Dad really enjoyed the challenge and before I reach the workshop on our building days he already had notes and ideas on how to proceed with the project. It took me a little while to get used to the equipment as most of it was very new to me, but by the end I was quite comfortable using all the machines and tools.
If we were to do this project again, we would make the frame a bit more narrow and scale it down a fraction. I think the roof could have been a little shorter as well but for a first go with no guide and nothing but optimism driving us forward we are both pretty happy. I am tempted to get some black paint and paint panel lines across the sides and the roof so they look like the wooden panels of Snoopy’s house. I think I would also go back and add Snoopy’s name to the top of the doggy door (it was added in post).
Overall I am really happy with how the Snoopy doghouse came out. It looked really bold and bright during the shoot and I love how the photos came out. The best part of this project was spending time with Dad and having him teach me some new skills. I highly encourage you to challenge yourself and learn new skills; it’s certainly easier said than done but there really is a sense of achieve once you create something new. As someone with chronic migraines, I often experience brain fog and as I get older, learning new things can be a bit of a challenge. Taking on this wood work challenge was a bit of a ominous task, I learnt that I was allergic to saw dust, but I also learnt that I can definitely create new things. I’m hoping these woodworking skills can carry across to when I have to make new props in the future.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.