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Homemade Dog Bed Ideas

Homemade dog bed ideas provide more choices than store bought!

Dog bed with bolster from old couch cushionsBuddy the Cocker Spaniel on a dog bed made from old couch cushions

Dog beds can be made from recycled materials you have lying around the house or pick up at a thrift store or yard sale.

If they wear out, they're very easy to replace.

Of course, you can also buy brand new fabrics to match any decor, giving you endless options!



Some Recycled Project Ideas

One homemade dog bed idea is to make a washable dog car bed or dog pad for a crate or kennel by using an old quilt or sleeping bag

You can also form a pad by making extra large pillow case from any type of fabric to encase a piece of foam.

Another DIY bed from all recycled materials is the Free Dog Bed (per above photo of Buddy).

This is sewn together for practically nothing from used couch cushions.

It has a rounded bolster to fit a small to medium size dog snugly.

Add a pocket or two for dog toys or grooming tools.

We'd like to thank an anonymous contributor for sharing the following:

Dog Bed from Old Recliner

We had an old recliner that was ready for the landfill.  We noticed the back was still in good shape even though the foot mechanism was broken and the seat and arms were worn.  We simply removed the back (two clips on either side held it on) and placed it on the floor.  It was big enough for our 70 pound Lab to lay on.  5 years later (with regular cleaning) our 3 Shih-Tzus have designated this the bed of choice over all the other beds we have purchased for them.




Basic Measurements

Before you begin, I suggest you take some measurements:

  • Measure the dog's length, head to tail, while stretched out
  • Measure your dog's width at the widest point while curled up
  • Add 2 inches (50 mm) each to the length and the width
  • These will be the minimum rectangular dimensions for your dog bed
  • For a circular bed, use the dog's stretched out length for the diameter unless otherwise specified




More Homemade Dog Bed Ideas

  • Take a foam pad of any size or shape and make a cover out of fabric for it. This cover can be made waterproof using a thick vinyl if you have a dog that is leaky.
  • For an Orthopedic Dog Bed, use high density foam that is at least 7 inches (180 mm) thick.
  • If you're looking for a printable pattern to create your own unique dog bed shape, check out our FREE Dog Bed Patterns here! We provide instructions for measuring your dog for these, enlarging the pattern, materials to use as well as assembly instructions.




Ideas Contributed by Visitors

Generous visitors have contributed their own dog bed suggestions.

Super Easy Cedar Dog Bed from Kelly in Alabama
Easy and Cheap Dog Bed by Ashley in Texas and
Turn an Old Shirt Into a Pet Bed by Teresa from parts unknown.

Just remember that a homemade dog bed doesn't have to be perfect. Your dog is likely to be much more concerned with comfort than looks!

Along that vein, here's Linda Montgomery's idea (Russellville, AR):

How to Make an Enclosed Dog Bed
I took a small trunk bought at a yard sale and cut a small opening in the front using a power jigsaw. I painted the trunk and put a small dog bed inside the trunk. My Chihuahua gets cold from the A\C. With the top hinges closed on the trunk and a small blanket, he now stays warm. He also likes having an enclosed space inside his crate at night to sleep in...he feel much safer and secure.




Other DIY Dog Bed Ideas

  • Make an extra large bed to accommodate more than one dog by sewing two to four old couch cushions together with thick thread or twine. Fill in any gaps by gluing in pieces of extra foam. Add the covering of your choice.
  • Take PVC pipe and canvas or mesh to make a cool outdoor bed for those hot summer days.
  • Build a wooden frame to make a small sofa bed, using old couch pillows or a foam mattress for the pad.
Comet the German Shepherd snoozing on the couchEasiest dog bed of all - the human couch; it kept Comet out of the way in our RV.


  • Use an existing small sofa or love seat - look on Craiglist for freebies.
  • Cover the couch with something that pleases the eye.
  • For removable, washable covers, throw over an old sheet or blanket or make a fitted dog bed sheet.


Finally, if you're looking for even more photos and ideas, head on over to our Pinterest board on Dog Beds and Crates.




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