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Homemade Pet Beds

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Buying a pet bed can be expensive and sometimes frustrating when looking for a specific size or type. This is a guide about homemade pet beds.


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2 found this helpful
April 23, 2017

I wanted to buy my dog a mattress for her bed, but the store versions were just too expensive. I turned an empty polypropylene bag and old newspapers into a recycled dog mattress. Very cost-effective and my dog loves it!


  • empty polypropylene bag
  • old newspapers
  • standard scissors
  • semi-circular needle
  • cotton embroidery floss

Instructions for making the project:

  1. Wash the bag, turn it inside out, and hang to dry thoroughly.
  2. Turn the bag right side out before making the mattress.
  3. Cut the newspapers in strips.
  4. Separate and crumple each strip before adding it to the bag.
  5. Once the bag is full enough, fold down the top of the bag towards the inside.
  6. Use a blanket stitch to sew the bag closed.
  7. Use as is, or cover it with a dog blanket, which makes it easier to keep the mattress clean.
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13 found this helpful
February 10, 2012

If you're tired of having to replace your large dog's bed and spending a lot of money, I suggest you buy a baby crib mattress and a plastic zippered mattress cover. Put a crib sheet over it and you're set, clean up is a breeze and you'll never need another dog bed.

By Gloria Z from Hoffman Estates, IL

Comment Was this helpful? 13
February 12, 20120 found this helpful

I've done that for years and it truly is a great idea. I see them all the time on for free. I also put comforters on them as well during the winter.

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6 found this helpful
March 31, 2011

Give your missing socks a new purpose. Make a dog or cat bed.

Approximate Time: 4 hours



We have a medium size dog so I used 14 socks and 6 tee shirts ripped up to make strips. I made a 2 layer ring of the socks, to create the sides.


  1. Start by cutting the toes of the socks.


  2. Next start stitching socks together, when stitching one goes inside the other, (the outside sock is right side-out, the inside sock should be wrong side-out and shoved inside carefully to match the edges)


  3. Then, pull out the inside sock. I stitched ankle to ankle, and toe to toe.


  4. After every 2 socks or so, begin stuffing the socks with socks or cut off strips of tee shirts, or whatever your stuffing choice is.

    It may become very hard if you stuff more than 6 at a time. I had to put them on the end of a broom handle and slowly shove them in.

  5. Take 10 strips of tee shirts (I cut around the waistline to make a circle and then I made 1 cut to make a long strip.) Tie the 2 layers together (I knotted several times, dogs love to chew!) to form 1 ring.

  6. Lay the ring of socks out on a piece of paper and trace around the outside and add a couple inches and cut circle out of felt or fleece.



  7. Hand stitch the circle of fabric to the bottom of the ring

    Note: I had some felt laying around, you could use an old tee shirt, old sheets, etc.

Good luck and have fun.

By Lisa from Auburn Hills, MI

Comment Was this helpful? 6
April 1, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks everyone, and yes they a Jack Russell pups a week old in that picture.

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September 24, 2010

We have two large dogs - 90 and 120 lbs. that sleep in our bedroom. After going though several dog beds (starting at $40 each times two), because of their size (they literally flattened the beds), I finally convinced my husband to buy a twin mattress.


8 found this helpful
December 17, 2010

Recycle your old bed pillows to make your pet a bed. Put the old bed pillows through the washer and dryer to clean and fluff them up. Then use the pillow fill to make a custom bed for your pet.


2 found this helpful
November 3, 2015

crate with orange cushion

I buy used outdoor patio cushions for my dogs from our local Goodwill stores. They come in all sizes and colors and provide a lot of comfort and usually cost $1 to $2 each.


5 found this helpful
April 5, 2010

I had to throw out the mattress to our dog's bed. So I used packing peanuts with a freshly laundered cover to replace it with. Works fine!


February 18, 20170 found this helpful

Recycled End Table Canopy Pet Bed

This page contains instructions to make a cute pet canopy bed from a recycled end table. This is a guide about recycled end table canopy pet bed.


June 24, 2009

Dog in bed pocket.

This has an inside pillow filled with fiberfill and a removable cover for washing, with a pocket so my dog thinks he is sleeping "under the blankets".


4 found this helpful
August 30, 2012

Lab lying on dog bed in closet.

My dogs follow me all day long and I was constantly falling over them in my home office. I removed the closet doors and layed down 2 old couch cushions and covered them with comforters that I bought at a Thrift Store. It sleeps 2 dogs very comfortably and I have a lot more room to move around.


2 found this helpful
April 13, 2013

My older dog started having bladder issues. She was having accidents in the house, on dog beds and on our bed!


4 found this helpful
August 18, 2011

If you have ever purchased a pet bed, you will know from experience that the bedding often becomes stinky and needs cleaning. I always look for beds with zippers so that you can wash the cover.


February 6, 2008

Our cat loves to sleep on something that we use or have used. We had a bunch of odd socks and holey socks from years gone by. Originally I was going to make sock puppets but had a better idea.


November 22, 20045 found this helpful

My dogs are very destructive and manage to tear blanket, cushions, and conventional dog beds by 'digging' to make themselves more comfortable. They have also destroyed 2 lounges, (sofas/settees), and 3 single mattresses I gave them as beds.


July 31, 2012

Reuse Sofa Cushions As A Pet Bed

We recently got a new sofa, and found out the old sofa cushions fit perfectly in the XL doggie crate we have for our Lab/St Bernard. So we kept them, and will use them as a nice, sofa-like bed for Barli.


2 found this helpful
May 22, 2011

I make pet beds for rescues and an easy way to make some is to collect 'shaggy' rugs like bathroom rugs, cut a piece of sturdy fabric the same size and zig-zag stitch it to the back of the rug.


0 found this helpful
June 12, 2012

I have 6 dogs and 2 require replacing their beds as they have an air conditioned part of my carport and go outside on their own. I simply find old couches that are put out for the trash and if they are clean and don't have wool covers I pick them up and voila! new beds.


3 found this helpful
January 25, 2011

I made a bed for my Basset Hound from a memory foam mattress topper that I didn't need anymore. I cut it into a rectangle, then I cut an old sheet to fit and sewed the sheet around three sides leaving one side open.


October 30, 20041 found this helpful

Doggie beds can be made out of used fleece robes found at thrift stores. You can usually pick them up for very little and cut them apart to make a nice bed for your little pet.


0 found this helpful
April 19, 2012

Take the crib bumpers and fold and layer them to the size bed you want to make or cut a mattress topper to the size of the pet bed you want to make. I had an old memory foam topper that was cut to make quite a few pet beds.


December 21, 20040 found this helpful

Turn a cardboard box (the kind that reams of copy paper come in) into a bed for a small pet by cutting an entrance and lining it with a blanket.



Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
December 11, 2008

How do you make a dog bed?

Julie from Indianapolis, IN

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 21, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Go to thrift store buy child's sleeping bag sew up end that you would slip into . stuff with old pillows also from thrift store and zip up . When it's time to wash it just zip it off hang to dry out side on line. I have purchased 2 so I always have one between washes. My dog is a very big boy and it fits him perfectly. His bed is along side of mine and keeps him from trying to jump on mine.

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0 found this helpful
May 15, 2006

Does anyone have a pattern for a simple and fast doggie bed?

Nelwyn from Bunkie, LA

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August 19, 20080 found this helpful

I actually made a larger dog bed for my 70 pound shepherd/greyhound mix. I just bought 2 yards of fabric, folded it in half, sewed and stuffed it up with a lot of poly-fill. It works great, and wasn't that expensive. I think I ended up using like three or four bags of poly fill, so that was the expensive part. The dogs like that it is not overstuffed, so they can push the stuffing around and it molds to them a bit. I also just toss it in the washing machine when it needs a cleaning. Fills up the washing machine, but its a good size for the dogs.

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0 found this helpful
January 26, 2012

Could I have a few suggestions on how to make homemade dog beds that are durable for a large breed of dog?

By Homeysue

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 27, 20120 found this helpful

I made one by using an old down comforter and an old sheet. I sewed the sheet to make a giant pillowcase, stuffed the comforter in it and sewed the sheet closed. My dog seems to love it - the down comforter makes it flexible enough for him to 'paw' at it to make his bed.

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May 12, 20140 found this helpful

Any suggestion on making a cooling bed for a 60lb dog?

By Susan S.

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May 28, 20130 found this helpful

How would I make a dog bed from an old kitchen chair cushion and old sheets? Do you think it would be comfy if I used a new pool noodle as the sides?
P.S. Please tell me your opinions.

By Jeannie

Answer Was this helpful? Yes


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 11, 20080 found this helpful

I'm looking for EASY ideas for a homemade dog bed. Our dog has outgrown the small sized store-bought dog bed that we purchased when we brought her home from the animal shelter. My kids want to buy one of those they see in the stores that run about $30.00! No way! I'd like to make it a little family project for us to make together.

SkyeBlue from Mena, AR


Homemade Dog Bed

The ones I have bought have been nothing more than two sturdy pieces of fabric, like canvas, sewn together with a zipper. Then the inside is another two circles sewn together and stuffed with poly fill. This way the inside cushion can be removed so the cover can be washed. Should be pretty easy to do if you sew.

By Michelle

Homemade Dog Bed

We have a new puppy Baby Bella the Boston Terrier, and as she gets larger she will be about 14 lbs, she is only about 2 lbs now. We will transition her from her small kennel to a larger one. Right now she is sleeping on a large towel folded over a few times for a cushion and her blanket. I am going to be using just a regular bed pillow put in a soft pillow sham. I found 2 at a yard sale for less than $1.00. I can take it off and toss them in the washer. Also I am watching for more shams for a variety. Even the doggy beds for her are expensive! Just a thought and enjoy your new family member, I know we sure are! (07/18/2008)

By mrsbutler2000

Homemade Dog Bed

I agree with Michelle, but it does not have to be round necessarily. Rectangular or square would work just as well and the zipper would be easier to put in. Or instead of a zipper, perhaps heavy-duty hook and loop tape like Velcro, would be easier. The washable outside cover could be made with old tees etc. from the kids cut into squares, as long as the fabric is washable, go for it. Lots of the commercial dog beds have cedar chips in them to keep down critters in the bed, just a few mixed with the stuffing of the inner pillow would be enough. (07/18/2008)

By thriftmeg

Homemade Dog Bed

Like the reader above, I use a Queen size bed pillow covered with a homemade pillow sham. I made the sham out of fleece fabric. It's made like a regular pillow sham without a zipper; just pop it in and remove for washing. (07/18/2008)

By Tonia73986

Homemade Dog Bed

If it's a larger dog, I'd shop garage sales and thrift shops for a very cheap used bean bag, cover it with a twin sheet "pillow case" I'd make, call it done, and enjoy my pet. God bless you and your pet. : ) (07/18/2008)

By Lynda

Homemade Dog Bed

I've used foam padding found at a thrift store, cut to size and covered with a pillow case. (07/18/2008)

Homemade Dog Bed

My daughter went to Salvation Army thrift shop and bought a small crib mattress and took a piece of thick fabric she also found there and made like a pillow case to fit. She needs no zipper or velcro. (07/18/2008)

By Anna from Maine

Homemade Dog Bed

I used an old egg crate bed topper that I got from a friend. I cut it to size and covered it with an old sheet. It was easy to clean and and didn't cost me a thing! (07/18/2008)

Homemade Dog Bed

For stuffing when I made mine, I used two large ugly stuffed animals from the thrift store. It was plenty for stuffing the large dog bed that I made. I used a kids size bedspread for the cover. I didn't use a zipper, I just hand sewed it shut with large stitches. (07/18/2008)

By kimhis

Homemade Dog Bed

A friend of mine with three dogs buys crib mattresses at garage sales. Her dogs love them. (07/21/2008)

By Lynn Beth

Homemade Dog Bed

I took a large body pillow zippered case, stuffed it with all the plastic bags from the grocery store, Walmart, etc., added two drops of lavender essential oil and placed it in our 130lb Rottweiler's room (yes he has his own room) and he loves it. As he squishes it down, I just add more bags. We have tried cushions from old chairs, couches, cribs, etc. but he would just rip them up because they didn't move around as he was trying to get comfy. The 'bag pillow' seems to move more freely and shapes to his body and sleep patterns. Great way to get rid of all those shopping bags. (07/23/2008)

By Princesshammerhead

Homemade Dog Bed

I've seen where you save all socks without mates, old socks, etc. Stuff them and sew them together end-to-end. Then wind them into an oval/circle and stitch together. You can make it any size you want. It's a great way to recycle. (07/24/2008)

By susanmajp

Homemade Dog Bed

Hi there! I made one out of colorful fleece. I sewed 2 pieces together leaving about a 5 inch border (make sure that you sew double seams), then cut one inch slits all the way around the bed, but not cutting through the seam stuff with washable pillow stuffing (if small) if you need a larger one - use Velcro to one end - so you can wash it! Use two different colors so the fringe looks really neat around it. Will last a long time. And cheap. My cats love them too! If you don't sew- fabric glue works just fine. Good luck!


Homemade Dog Bed

For a small bed, purchase 1 5/8yds of 45" fabric, medium: 3 yds of 45". Check the remnant bin for reduced fabrics. You might want to consider using old pillows to use for stuffing. You can use a style similar to a pillow case or a case itself. This would be easy for the kids to sew, teaching them how to use the sewing machine.

Ideas: fabric paint, doggie paw prints, and you can use different decorative trims that you can glue on, using a glue gun or hemming tape that glues on when using an iron. Put dogs name on fabric (use paint or iron-on letters).

By Sue

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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