How To Create A Personalized Dog Bowl

MAY 5, 2015 updated Jul 15, 2021

Yesterday, we shared a handful of lovely little DIYs for your favorite furry friend. Today, Spoonflower crew member, Meredith, visits the blog to share a full how-to on how she created a custom dog feeding station for her newly adopted companion, Alligator! Read on as she walks you through step-by-step to create your own version.

At the beginning of the year, I became a proud parent of the sweetest four legged friend (though I may be biased), named Alligator. With her adoption quickly approaching, I couldn’t wait to get started on projects for the pup using Spoonflower. An Eco Canvas dog bed, a Cotton Poplin bandana…the projects were quite endless, but I knew not everything had to use fabric.

After a few weeks of having Alligator at home, I wanted to take her dining experience to the next level with an upcycled dog feeding station! After all, no ‘gator should be eating off the floor! With a bit of thrift shop hunting, power tool prowess, and the help of Spoonflower’s Woven Wallpaper, this ‘gator was dining in style! Follow along as I turn a regular storage cabinet into the Gator Grill!

Materials:

  • Cabinet or box that is the right height for your pet and can hold 2-3 metal bowls (I found a cabinet at the local thrift shop!)
  • 2-3 metal dog food bowls with rims
  • Pencil
  • Permanent marker
  • Compass, circle cutter, or string
  • Drill with 1/2″ bit
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper (optional)

Step 1. Determine the Placement of Your Dog Bowls

Measure the length of the top of the box you’ll be using. Then, divide the length to determine where the center of your bowls should be. I used two bowls and wanted them to be close together, so I divided the length by 3. If you want your two bowls to be further apart, divide by 4. Starting from the left side of the top of the cabinet, mark the two center points based on measurement.

Measure the width of the top of the box you’ll be using. Then, divide the width in half to determine where the center of your bowls should be. With the marks from the above step as a reference, use the width dimension to set your center mark for each bowl.

Step 2. Draw Your Dog Bowl Cutting Circles

Now that you’ve got your bowl centers marked, it’s time to create your drawn circles.  This way your jigsaw has a guideline in the next step! To do this, you’re going to want to brush up on your geometry skills! Flip your dog bowl over and wrap a fabric ruler around the top of bowl just under the lip. Use this to determine the circumference of the bowl. Use the equation C/2π=r to enter the circumference measurement you just found to find the radius. You’ll use this information to help you create a perfect circle!

With your radius, either use a piece of string cut at the radius length, tied to a pencil and pen, or if you have one handy, use a compass to create a perfect circle. Remember to place the tip of the compass at the center marks you made in step 1! To ensure my circle was the right size, I took a ruler from the center and measured out to the sides of the circle and double checked the radius was correct. Remember – measure twice, cut once!

Step 3: Cut out the Dog Bowl Holes


You’ve centered the bowls and created your circles to trace – now it’s time to bring out the power tools! If you’re new to using drills or a jigsaw, I recommend getting guidance from someone who has a bit more experience! With a bit of saw dust created from the drilling, you’ll want to take this step outside! Using the drill, make a hole so that the edge of your drill is along the inside of the circle line you drew in step 2. Once you’ve created the hole, place the jigsaw in and cut around your circle. I recommend staying on the inside of your line to make sure the bowl doesn’t fall through your newly cut hole!

Step 4: Clean The Feeding Station


At this point, you’ve probably created a bit of sawdust around you! This is a great time to wipe down your new feeding station and prime it for decorating. If you’ve purchased a thrift shop cabinet, I recommend replacing any rusty hinges or other nails your dog might get curious about. This is also a good time to see how your bowls look once placed in the cabinet!

Step 5: Create your decorations using PicMonkey

Now that you’ve done all the heavy lifting, it’s time to get the real creative juices flowing! Before heading to Spoonflower to create your woven wallpaper, you’ll want a design game plan. I knew I wanted to use ivieclothco’s double chevron moss linen for the top part of Alligator’s feeding station (Note: this design is no longer for sale as of 8/1/17, but you can find other green chevron designs here or see more ivieclothco designs here.) I also used PicMonkey, a great design resource available at Spoonflower, to create custom decals to add a personal touch. The top of the station was 29” wide x 9” tall, so I ordered two 24”x12” Woven swatches of the design to accommodate the width of the cabinet. With the excess paper left over, I knew I could add a coordinating border around the cabinets.

Before going to PicMonkey, I created a template of a wallpaper swatch that was 24”x12” or 3600 pixels x 1800 pixels. This is a great way to ensure my photos would not be cut off and were sized to fit on the cabinet. To upload the template, select the “Upload your Wallpaper” swatch template. Once uploaded, select the “Edit With PicMonkey” option to the left of your design and let the fun begin!

I used the Butterfly icon to upload a few of my own photos and added pre-made PicMonkey images for extra flare! If you haven’t explored all the options on PicMonkey, I recommend it! A dog feeding station wouldn’t be complete without a restaurant name, so after quite a bit of deliberation, The Gator Grill was born!

After you’re happy with your swatch, select the “Save” option which will automatically return you to your Spoonflower design page. I added the 2 swatches of Double Chevron Moss Linen by Ivie Cloth Co. and my custom woven swatch to my cart, placed my order, and patiently waited my order to print!

After receiving the swatches, I cut down the chevron paper to fit the top of the cabinet. I found it easiest to apply the wallpaper directly to the cabinet and then cut around the holes with an X-ACTO knife. After cutting out the photos printed on the Woven Wallpaper swatch, I added them to the front and sides of the cabinet and used the extra chevron paper as a border. Before you apply your wallpaper, be sure your cabinet is completely dry from cleaning!

Now that you’ve upped the status of your pups feeding station with a bit of creativity and handiwork, I think it’s time for dinner!

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