Most pet stores have affordable dog beds but these often look generic or made of poor quality. If you're a little handy with some extra free time, making a DIY dog bed could be rewarding on several levels.
When buying in stores or online, the unique and pretty-looking dog beds usually have higher price markups, and to some it seems not a worthy investment. So if you're fond of do-it-yourself projects, then why not create a special dog bed for your furry friend and save a few dollars? Some of the DIY dog bed materials you can use are likely sitting and gathering dust in your basement or attic.
1. Old Suitcase
Rachelle Blondell, who wrote the book “DIY for Your Dog: 30 Toys, Treats, and Treasures to Make,” suggested using an old suitcase to create a pet bed. Old luggage have hard shells that make perfectly durable bed frames. Just unscrew the hinges to separate the top and bottom parts of the suitcase. Measure the size and find the right pillow or sham to place as a mattress. You could also place a slightly bigger pillow if you like so that there's more cushioning comfort for your dog.
2. Your Nightstand
Does your dog have an existing kennel or dog crate? Can it fit under your nightstand or end table? If it can, it's easy to turn this into a dog bed. After moving the dog crate under it, add some curtains skirt to the front of the table so that it looks like your dog’s private bedroom, turning this dog crate into a piece of bedroom furniture that compliments the decor. If you don't have the right table then you can DIY this to the measurements of the crate, as seen on dog photographer Jenny Froh's blog.
3. Used Sweatshirts or Hoodies
Don't throw your old college sweatshirts or hoodies just yet because you can turn these into comfy dog beds. Guaranteed, your dog will love this bed because it has your special scent. You'll need extra cloth and a cushioning for this project. You have to use your sewing skills as well. Handimania has the tutorial on this basic project.
4. Old Dresser Drawers
The idea behind turning old dresser drawers into dog beds is similar to old suitcases, where you have to prop a pillow inside. You can repaint or stain the dresser drawers or do some calligraphy and art on the wood's surface to give it more charm. Check out the DIY procedure for this homemade dog bed via Liz Marie Blog.
5. Used Curtains or Bedding
Repurpose old curtains and bedding into a one big DIY dog bed for your furry friend. You don't have to sew this together because you can use a fusing tape meant for fabrics, as Pretty Fluffy recommended. You'll need pillow batting to stuff the mattress, which you can buy at home and hobby stores.
6. Old Baby Bathtub
If your child has outgrown his baby bathtub and can't use it anymore, don’t throw it out. The baby tub is actually just the right size for a small or medium-sized dog bed. Mr. Kate used a galvanized tub for this project. He painted the tub so that it looks fresh and appear brand new, too.
7. Discarded Tire
This is the easiest DIY dog bed project you can do because it literally takes two hours to complete, according to the tutorial from Practically Functional. You'll need to clean out the tire first and let it dry before spray painting with a colorful shade. As for the cushioning, simply stuff an old but still fluffy pillow inside. You can invest in a washable cover for the pillows too so that you can clean this dog bed now and then.
8. Old Crib
Old cribs are made of solid wood; thus, its quality is unmatched. You'll need help from a carpenter or someone who’s capable of working with wood for this project because the cribs will be pulled apart and then repurposed together to become a dog bed. My Repurposed Life has the instructions on how to go about this DIY dog bed.
9. Pallet or Wooden Crate
Supermarkets, local businesses, and manufacturing plants throw away pallets or wooden crates after the goods are shelved, so you can source what you need from these sites. You can customize different designs of the pallet for the dog bed. You can even do bunk beds and double-deckers. Look at some samples on how to turn these wood scraps into a great dog bed from Easy Pallet Ideas.
10. Raised Bed with Nylon Strappings
The blog Wouldn't It Be Lovely did not use old items for this dog bed, except perhaps the pillows or cushions. However, this DIY project is great for aging large dogs that have trouble getting up and down from where they are resting. This bed has nylon strappings too for ample support.
11. Quilted Bed
If there are quilted blankets, there are quilted dog beds too! The more fabric scraps you use, the more colorful will the final product look. You need to properly measure the diameter of your pet bed and assemble the scraps on the floor first before sewing the fabric together. Make this into a weekend project with your kids until you complete the quilted bed. Better Homes and Gardens have the step-by-step procedure.
12. Knitted Bed
If you're skilled at knitting or crocheting, you can create a giant dog bed using chunky knit Merino wool yarn. You don't need other tools because you will weave the yarn using your hands only. The whole thing can be done in 30 minutes. Be Cozi has the full tutorial including what specific materials to use.
Turning old things into DIY dog beds does not just benefit your dogs – you're also helping the environment by re-purposing and recycling stuff you no longer need that might otherwise end up crowding the landfill. Just don't forget to clean the re-purposed or recycled items first before putting this inside your house and making a DIY dog bed out of it.
Doing any of these homemade doggy projects with family can be a great bonding time too and you could save a few bucks when taking the DIY approach instead of buying pet beds. With the right tools and materials, a bit of creativity and time, you can come up with a comfortable dog bed in an instant, and add your own variations to the above ones.