Dog Care 101: Tip #171 – Doggy D.I.Y. Dog Beds

Dog beds can be expensive. And Best Bully Sticks knows that even if you have the means to buy one, some dogs just have a “tear-it-up” gene in them. So, why not make a cushy, sturdy dog bed that you can easily make at home? Other than a little easy sewing and some scrap materials, this bed only takes time. Making pet products at home gives you a sense of accomplishment, more money in your pocket and a stylish looking place to rest for Fido. Today, BBS will show you how to make a trendy vintage suitcase bed and a patchwork sweater bed.

This is the last part of Dog Care 101’s Doggy D.I.Y. series. If you haven’t seen BBS’s other trendy and easy craft projects visit our DIY tutorials on Dog Soap & Tug Toy as well as a Doggy Ball Cap!

Trendy Vintage Suitcase Dog Bed
There are some really great elements of this uber stylish dog bed, but maybe the best is that you can most likely make this bed for under $20! BBS will demystify the complicated look of this great bed so you can dazzle all your friends with your craftiness!




  • Vintage Suitcase
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Pillow (that fits your suitcase)
  • Pillow Sham

1. Open the suitcase and examine how it is hinged together.

2. If it is screwed together, then you just need to unscrew the top half of the suitcase from the bottom half. If it is attached by some other means, then you will have to break out the hammer. You might need a “handy-man” for this step if you don’t have the muscle power yourself!

3. Discard the top half of the suitcase.

4. Cover a pillow with the sham of your choice. If you have an old, unused sham at home, it would be perfect to use!

5. Place the pillow in the suitcase and tuck the corners in. We lucked out because our suitcase was the perfect size for the pillow we used. If this is not the case, you can make your own custom pillow.

(originally appeared in Modern Dog Magazine by Kathryn Ekloff)

Patchwork Sweater Bed
This bed uses old shrunken sweaters to make a cushy, fuzzy dog bed that your pooch will think is as comfy as a cloud. This is truly a rags to doggy riches type of craft!

Old sweaters (at least 50% animal fiber such as wool, alpaca, cashmere, etc.)
Old pillow
Scrap paper and tape
Scissors and/or rotary cutter
Sewing machine

Craft Note: Seam allowance is 1/4″. 

1. Felt your wool sweaters. What’s is “felting?” you might ask? This just means purposefully shrinking your wool sweaters by washing with hot water and a bit of soap and then drying on hot to shrink even more. This process leaves you with sturdy, fray-free crafting material. (You’ve probably gone through this process before, but most likely on accident!)

Craft note: Try grouping similar color sweaters to keep color bleeding to a minimum. Cutting the sweater into usable pieces before hand.

2. By cutting and taping pieces of scrap paper into an approximate pattern to the size of your pillow, you can create a template. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just something rough to go by.

3. To create straight edges for your patchwork pillow, use a rotary cutter or scissors with your paper pattern pieces to cut out your approximate sizes. Then arrange all of your pieces on top. Mix and match patterns, colors and textures to give your pillow it’s own unique look and feel.

4. When you’ve decided on your arrangement, pin the sweater pieces with right sides together. Next, sew along the pinned edge. Going section by section, sew the pieces together until you’re finished.

Craft note: Feel free to iron your seams if your fabric is wrinkling or if the fibers are starting to loosen up. Make sure you iron on the wool setting.

5. Shear off any odd edges with scissors or a rotary cutter. Then use the same pattern for the bottom of the bed, however, you’ll want to create an envelope style opening in the back to slip the pillow in and out for cleaning. One easy way to do this is sewing two skinny strips at each edge, sewn to two larger pieces. You should now have 3 pieces of sewn material.

Craft note: Use the fronts of two sweaters for back panels. Since the edges of these sweater segments already have ribbing on them, there’s no need to finish those edges.

6. Place the top of the bed right-side up on your work table, then place the two bottom panels right-side down, with center edges overlapping. Pin through all the fabric layers, about 1″ in from the edge all the way around.

7. Sew around the entire rectangle, backstitching in areas like the corners for extra strength. Once all the edges of the bed are closed, turn it inside-out from the envelope-style bottom opening and insert the pillow.

(post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy by Jenny Ryan)

Which dog bed are you going to make for your pup? Let us know, or send us photos of your homemade dog bed!

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