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Bone-Shaped Doghouse Nameplate

This bone-shaped nameplate for a canine casa makes it clear who's head of the household.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Jigsaw
  • Clamps
  • Drill with 1/8" drill bit
  • Random-orbit sander or sanding block, sand paper
  • 2 sawhorses topped with a sheet of plywood or other flat surface, clamped in place. (Or use any stable outdoor table protected by a piece of scrap plywood.)


  • 1 1x6x4' select pine (#1156)
  • 2 1/4" brass shoulder hooks (#58422)
  • 2 1 1/8" brass screw eye (#331105)
  • Minwax indoor/outdoor spray spar urethane (#99642)
  • Hillman 2" vinyl reflective letters (item numbers vary by letter)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Step 1

Download the dog bone template and print two copies. Each nameplate pattern is sized to fit a 5½"-wide board. Overlap the printouts end-to-end on a flat surface with the long lines together. Then lay your letters on the pattern and increase or decrease the overlap to suit the length of your pooch's name. After you select a length (ours is 18" long), tape the two halves of the pattern together.

Step 2

On the back of the pattern, scribble pencil marks along the outline of the bone to apply a layer of graphite. Lay the marked pattern on your 1x6x4' board and trace the pattern with enough force to transfer the pencil-scribble graphite onto the wood's surface. Remove the pattern and darken any lines enough to follow with your jigsaw.

Step 3

Clamp the board to a steady surface and jigsaw half of your bone tracing.You may have to saw into the board from multiple angles to follow the bone shape. Take your time and follow the lines as closely as possible, but don't worry about making the edges perfect. The handmade look will appear more authentic. Unclamp and repeat for the other end.

Good to Know

Mark the pattern above where the edge of your work surface begins to remind you not to accidentally cut into it.

Step 4

Clean up the rough edges with a sander using 120-grit sandpaper. Then sand both faces. On the upper edge of the bone about 3" from the ends, predrill for the eye hook using a 1/8" drill bit.

Step 5

Vacuum and wipe all surfaces clean and spray on several thin coats of Minwax spar urethane. After these dry, add lettering for your dog's name followed by more coats of finish.

Step 6

Insert the eye hooks and hold the nameplate level in position against the doghouse. Using the eye hooks as a guide, mark where the shoulder hooks will go. Predrill the doghouse with a 1/8" bit and insert the shoulder hooks.

Shop Dog Houses

Step 7

Dog Tag

Hang the nameplate and show your buddy that being in the doghouse is a good thing!