From Pomeranian princess to burly Bulldogs, one thing all dogs have in common is a need to snooze. Some of them do it stretched out, belly up, on the couch while others are fans of the turn-around-three-times-before-curling-into-a-cinnamon-bun method. But if you’re a dog owner who finds that sleeping with a 120 pound Rottweiler in your bed is less than restful, you’ve probably given some thought to a DIY dog bed project.
Like most pet products, there is a range of commercially available options when it comes to dog beds. The prices for these beds tend to vary in accordance with the quality – in other words, you get what you pay for. The price is also effected by the size of the dog bed.
Good luck trying to find a cushion in that perfect shade of salmon that matches your wallpaper or a king-size frame that will accommodate your Irish Wolfhound’s lanky appendages. This is why some choose to take matters (and hammers and nails) into their own hands and put their DIY skills to work.
DIY Dog Bed Project: Some Ideas from Around the Internet
When it comes to DIY dog beds, there are instructions and patterns to match just about any skill level. Some require the use of power tools and some utilize hardly more than a pair of scissors. Presented below are seven ideas with instructions, in order from simplest to most complex.
Simple DIY dog bed projects
On her blog, Our Big Blue House, Ashley Krommendyk presents a very basic dog bed plan, which is extraordinarily inexpensive and easy to create. She made use of a thrift store comforter, some upholstery thread, and a few yards of fleece to make a cushion for her dog, Hudson.
First, she made a cushion from the comforter. Then, she took two lengths of patterned fleece, cut the edges into strips, and tied the strips together to form a cushion cover that can be removed and washed. Ashley is even so thoughtful as to include a dog treat recipe that may help to encourage your four-legged friend to agree to the new sleeping arrangements. Check out Ashley’s step-by-step here.
If you’re more of a visual learner and you have a small dog, Stevie NYC’s YouTube video may be right up your alley. His laid-back approach takes some of the intimidation out of tackling the dog bed project. Stevie’s pattern involves two contrasting fabrics, needle and thread, and some store-bought toy stuffing.
While this bed would stitch up faster using a sewing machine, he manages the sewing by hand. Essentially, this bed design ends up looking like a pillow with a built-in pocket on top, which can be perfect for a dog who likes to burrow under the covers. Zoe takes to it right away!
Equally simple in design is this clever upcycled sweater pattern, found on WikiHow. It’s described as a cat bed, but will be just as suitable for a small pup. The only required materials are an old sweater, needle and thread, and some stuffing.
If the sweater is made of wool, you can felt it. Felting causes the wool fibers to bind together, resulting in a thicker material, closing up the gaps between stitches. However, this process causes a great deal of shrinking, so start with a sweater several times the size of what you think you’ll want for your dog’s bed.
While the WikiHow pattern doesn’t include this final step, you may want to consider coating your finished product with a stain resistant spray, like Scotch Guard, as well. We all love our dogs, but we know the mess they can create. If you want to keep their bed as clean as possible between washings, a stain resistant spray is the best idea.
More difficult DIY dog bed projects
Any of the three sets of instructions above will guide you through a simple cushion-style project. The finished product will give your canine companion his very own sleeping spot, lounging quarters, or crash pad without much fuss. If you’re more ambitious, however, there are several designs that kick things up a notch with bed framing and even curtains!
Dana at Crafted Niche developed this design for her Jack Russell, Roxy. It involves a simple wooden frame that houses a cushion made from bed pillows with waterproof covers for easy cleanup. She took her measurements from the pillows, but the dimensions could easily be altered to fit another type of cushion if needed.
Naturally, you’ll want to take the size of your dog into consideration when planning this project. Although a bit more complicated than a needle and thread, the required supplies are still fairly minimal.
You’ll need some plywood, a few two-by-fours, glue, clamps, and a hammer and nails. A few coats of primer and paint and you’ll be ready to introduce your dog to your newest DIY success.
Upcycled pallets are all the rage these days. These once-discarded wooden treasures have been turned into everything from book shelves to patio bars. Their versatility extends not only to human furniture, but to dog furniture as well.
Emory over at Hello, Scarlett has posted this set of instructions for her pallet dog bed. The highlight of Emory’s blog post is her wonderful photography, which manages to illustrate the project’s steps very clearly and be engaging artwork at the same time.
The finished product is similar in appearance to Dana’s bed for Roxy, but it includes casters attached to the underside of each corner, enabling the construction to be mobile on top of cute.
Complex DIY dog bed projects
For the experienced carpenter, or the ambitious crafter, Shanna at Restoration Redoux has devised a way to turn an old television cabinet into a fashionable little cubby for her little dog, Charlie. She elaborates on the details here.
Certainly the most complicated stage in this construction is removing the television from the cabinet. You may want to have an experienced electrician or repair person attack this part of the job, as there may be a danger of electrocution.
After the TV was removed, Shanna sanded down the cabinet, added some paint and primer, used some scrap material to make curtains, and added a few other decorative touches. The result is a super-cute sleeping nook that would make Martha Stewart proud.
Another DIY dog bed project for the experienced crafter is this one that Northern Seclusion has uploaded to their channel, showing how to make a log dog bed, perfect for a rustic cabin getaway. It looks like a small person’s bed with a headboard and footboard, fashioned out of logs.
While construction appears to take several days, the result is quite fetching. Just be sure to wear your safety gear while operating any power tools and varnish the completed construction in a well-ventilated area. The finished product in this video went to auction to help raise funds for a dog rescue charity.
Now that you’ve seen a range of styles and options, grab your supplies and get to work on your DIY dog bed project. Remember to take into account your dog’s measurements, agility – a high bed might not be the best choice for a dog with arthritic joints – and where you’ll want to set up the new bed.
Help your dog to understand that the new furniture is for her by offering treats, encouragement, and gentle praise. You may even want to temporarily put a blanket from your own bed, or something else with your scent on it, on the dog’s bed.
Dogs use their sense of smell much more than we humans do and if your dog likes to sleep on your bed, chances are that she finds your scent comforting. Then, treat yourself to a nap, you’ve earned it!
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