I stated in my previous post, that dog beds can be very expensive. And, when you need to find a bed with certain measurements to fit a certain space (like a dog crate) it can be tricky. Ian and I treat our fur babies like children (yes, we are those people), and we want the best for them we can get! Currently, we have our flat coated retriever, Maggie, border collie pit-bull mix, Lady, and German Shepherd mix, Bell. And, I cannot forget our newest addition, our Russian blue cat, Cleo. In case you missed it, we built her a custom cat tower, which you can see here.
I like to call these posts projects for our furry friends. It is so easy to spoil and love on our pets. How can you not when they are so cute! And, the unconditional love 24/7?? It does not get much better than that. Now cats, they may be more conditional, but that’s ok. We all need a little sass in our lives. 😉
I have always been passionate about animals, and I cannot stand to see anything hurt or mistreated. For whatever reason, I am extremely sensitive to birds. I have countless stories, which both my mom and Ian can attest to, about seeing a bird with a hurt wing or hurt foot, and I am in tears for the rest of the day because all I can think about is what kind of pain that poor bird must be feeling, how it probably will not survive for too much longer, and wondering what I could have done to help it feel a little more comfortable.
In fact, Ian and I were at Pensacola beach celebrating our 1-year anniversary the second week of June, and we were watching a large flock of seagulls hanging out next to us on the beach. I overheard one couple pointing out a particular seagull to each other that had its leg, but it was missing a foot. I just about lost it. I then pointed out the same seagull to Ian and started asking him all these questions like, “Do you think it will be ok? Do you think the other seagulls pick on that one because it is different? Do you think it can still get food easily? Do you think it is in pain?” I just kept imagining how life would be harder, food would be more difficult to get, and there would be so many more obstacles to overcome. Poor Ian then had to reassure me that seagull was living life, and it looked like it was doing fine. And, he mentioned how it was a pirate seagull missing its foot, which makes me laugh now, but I could not laugh at the time. In case it has not already been figured out, I am an HSP, highly sensitive person, and while I have hated it most of my life, I have come to accept and embrace it. (If you are curious about HSP or wonder if you are an HSP, I highly recommend this book, “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine N. Aron, that was recommended to me by my mom’s best friend, aka my second mom).
So, as an HSP, it is no wonder Ian and I adopted 4 rescue animals. If I could save all animals and people from harm, mistreatment, or pain I would in a heartbeat. This is also why I cannot watch the news or Dateline, or any of those other shows that showcase harm inflicted on others. There is so much negativity and pain, I get completely overwhelmed and feel it on a level so deep, sometimes it is paralyzing.
Back to the dog beds. After Ian and I upgraded our bed and bed frame to a king, we no longer needed our foam mattress topper that was used on our previous bed. I started thinking how this mattress topper would be perfect for cutting up and making custom dog beds to use around the house. Plus, it would save us a couple hundred dollars with how many dog beds we wanted. Today, I am only showcasing one dog bed. It is pretty simple, but I will say, if you have a sewing machine, it will be even faster and easier.
The method I am showcasing today is a no sew method! It is similar to my no sew curtains, which you can find here. For this project, all I needed was my fabric of choice, an upholstery zipper, liquid stitch, fabric scissors, measuring tape, a straightening iron or hot iron, and binder clips. While, I used part of a foam mattress topper, you can easily use memory foam stuffing instead, a pillow, or any other mattress topper you no longer use.
DIY Dog Bed Instructions
- Measure out the length and width you want for your dog bed.
- If you are using a mattress toper like I did, go ahead and cut the length and width.
- For the fabric, measure out an extra inch on all sides before you cut.
- For example, my dog bed was 21”x36”. So I measured out 23”x 38”. This way I have an extra inch of fabric on all sides. This is needed to be able to attach the other pieces of fabric together without losing any inches of material that fit the mattress topper.
- Cut two pieces of fabric to fit the top and bottom of the dog bed at the length and width you desire.
- Decide how deep you want the dog bed to be.
- For me this was 3” because the mattress topper was 3” deep.
- Follow the same instructions for step 2, by adding an extra inch on all sides.
- Cut 4 strips of fabric to cover all 4 sides of the dog bed.
- To start construction of the dog bed, I decided to start with attaching the zipper for the back side of the dog bed.
- To do this, remember how deep you want your dog bed. For me, this was 3 inches. My entire strip of fabric for this side measured 5 inches to accommodate an inch on all sides to attached to the other pieces of fabric. My zipper also added about 1”. So, I folded the top part of my fabric down 1 inch, and used my flat iron to get a solid crease. Then, I folded it again 1 more inch like an accordion and used my flat iron again. I cut the strip with my scissors after this second fold. With the part of the strip that was cut off, I did the same steps. Now, I had two 2” pieces. The top inch would be connected to the top piece of fabric for the dog bed, and the bottom of the 2 “piece would be glued to the zipper.
- I also needed to cut a bit of extra fabric for both ends of the zipper to connect the zipper ends together to the 2” pieces of fabric.
- Use fabric glue to glue the extra fabric on both ends of the zipper.
- Once again use fabric glue to connect 1” of fabric along the edge of the zipper. Repeat on the other side.
- Use binder clips if needed to get a good hold.
- Allow this to dry for 30 minutes or so, until the fabric is holding together well.
- While your zipper is drying, go ahead and use your iron or straightening iron to fold down 1” on all sides of all your pieces of fabric.
- Now, go ahead and attach your top piece to the top of your fabric with the zipper.
- Glue along the 1” folds, and use binder clips as necessary.
- Allow this to dry and get a good hold.
- Repeat step 11, with the bottom piece of fabric for the dog bed.
- Repeat step 11 once again, for attaching the bottom fabric piece to the strip of fabric that will be shown on the front of the dog bed.
- The sides are not too tricky, but they require folding. You should have 2 strips of fabric you cut for the sides of the dog bed with an extra inch of fabric on all sides. Take one end of the fabric and glue that inch to the extra inch of fabric with the zipper attached.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Now, fold the piece with the zipper up toward the ceiling so the fabric pops up.
- Glue the long side of your side piece to the big bottom piece of fabric on long the edge.
- Use binder clips to hold this in place until the glue sets.
- Repeat step 16 on the other side.
- Now, glue the extra side inch of fabric from your big top piece to the top side of the fabric, and leave the inch end open on the front. Do not do the other side, yet.
- For the corner, fold and interweave the 3 corners of the side, top, and front piece together.
- This may take a little finagling to make sure the corner fits together.
- Use binder clips once you glue to hold the corner in place.
- Now, glue the top piece to the front side piece, until you get to the next corner.
- Once again, follow step 19 to get this corner put together.
- Glue the final side, use binder clips, and wait for it to dry.
- Insert your stuffing, mattress topper, or other material inside your new dog bed.
Now, your precious fur baby can enjoy their new, custom dog bed!
I recommend washing this separately on delicate and tumble dry low. Since I did not use any stiches, this will help ensure your dog bed can go through the washer and dryer without falling apart.
As you can see with the first photo in this post, Bell loves her new dog bed. We made this to fit our dog crate because she enjoys sleeping in the crate at night sometimes. And, Maggie enjoys it too. 😉
I hope this post was helpful for all of the dog lovers out there! It’s amazing what you can make with some unused materials and creative thinking.
Our next post will be another Favorite Product Friday!!! I will be showcasing out deep fryer which has been one of our most used wedding gifts.
What DIY projects have you tried to create for your pets?