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Homemade Pet Beds

Dog on Homemade Pet Bed

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.


Solutions: Homemade Pet Beds

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Tip: Crib Mattress As Dog Bed

Use a Crib Mattress As Dog BedIf 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

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Tip: Make Your Own Pet Bed

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. Save your old sheets and stained table cloths for projects like this - they can be used to make the ticking. Make a cover for the bed using a zipper or pocket closure so you can remove the cover to clean. The best part is you can custom fit the bed to your pet and space. And, if you recycle all your materials, this project might only cost you an afternoon.

By Tubbygirl from Pompano Beach, FL

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Tip: Twin Mattress for Large Dogs

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.

What a difference! Not only is it holding up better, but it's easier to care for. I just put a mattress pad on it and use twin sheets as a cover. With my two I usually change sheets twice a week. Have you ever had to take the cover off a regular dog bed and wash it? I even made sheet covers for their other beds, but they still didn't protect as well as the mattress pad.

I periodically spray air freshener on the mattress and wash the mattress pad. As an added bonus, because my bed sets high off the ground, I can slid the dogs' bed underneath when needed.

By pdg from Davie, FL

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Recycled Pet Bed

Puppies sleeping in a dog bed made from old socks.Give your missing socks a new purpose. Make a dog or cat bed.

Approximate Time: 4 hours


  • mismatched socks
  • old stained up tee shirts
  • thread
  • scissors
  • felt


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

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Tip: Packing Peanuts for Dog Mattress

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!

By dlginlove from Saint Peters, MO

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Tip: Washable Pet Bedding

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. Often the inside is so stinky and it will not wash well, so you end up having to throw it away. Well no problem!

Go to your local charity shop and purchase an old comforter. Cut to the size of the dog bed cover/covers (we have 3 dogs) and Bob's your uncle! Now, you can not only wash the covers, but you can also throw in the bedding on a weekly basis and your pet will have a nice, fresh bed.

By Gooby from Straughn, IN

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Tip: Use Old Socks as Stuffing for a Pet Bed

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.


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Tip: Frugal Dog Bed

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. I was looking for a sturdy dog bed and was quoted $102 (Australian) for a hammock type bed on a tubular steel frame.

Instead I collected 3 medium, (2' x 3'), wooden pallets, (the type that goods are delivered on to warehouses), from the local rubbish dump. I priced some made to measure foam pads - $40 each! I also found some old carpet pieces at the dump and substituted some foam cushions from the two previously destroyed lounges for the bought foam.

I placed the carpet face down on the ground, placed the foam cushions on top, and then the pallet. I cut the carpet to size with a Stanley knife - the area of the pallet plus the depth of the sides, taking a square from each corner so the carpet could be folded up and tacked to the base of the wooden pallet with no bulk at the corners. Once turned over I had a neat padded bed which, despite much scratching, is unmarked. They are insulated from the cold ground with a layer of air and my old arthritic dog finds them very comfortable. I'm very pleased with them for just the cost of a couple of packets of tacks! Regards.

By Jo Bodey

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Tip: Creative Dog Bed

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.

By CaroleeRose from Madison, AL

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Dog Bed

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". Dog in bed pocket.

Approximate Time: 3 hours.


  • fabric for outside
  • fabric for inside
  • tape measure
  • scissors
  • fiberfill
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • paper for measurements


  1. Measure the floor of the dog crate and write it down. Keep handy. Collect supplies.
  2. Cut 2 pieces of the fabric to be used for the inside pillow 1 inch bigger on each side.
  3. Cut enough 3 inch strips of fabric to go all around the perimeter of the pillow. This will form the gusset. It makes the inside pillow thicker.
  4. Cut the same pieces from the fabric for the outside cover. Mine were 18x24 inches so I cut them 19x25 inches.
  5. Sew the 3 inch strips to one of the pieces for the inside pillow all around. Clipping the seam allowance at the corners.
  6. Now sew the second side of the gusset to the other piece of the inside pillow all around. Clip seam allowances. Leave an opening in order to stuff it. Turn right sides out.
  7. Add the fiberfill and hand sew opening closed.
  8. Adding polyfil. Sewing stuffing opening closed.

  9. From the fabric for the cover cut another piece that is wider then the top. Mine was about 6 inches wider. It should be about 3/4 as long as the cover piece. Fold down the top and sew a wide hem in it. This is where the dog will slip in the pocket. He will be able to push it up with his nose.
  10. Pocket open

  11. Lay it on top of the top piece and make several folds or pleats across the bottom and pin each one to hold in place while you sew. After pinning the pleats this piece should then be exactly the same size as the top and bottom piece of your cover.
  12. Put right sides together and sew one side of the gusset to the top all around. Then sew the other side of the gusset to the bottom all around but leaving an opening to turn your work right side out.
  13. Turn right sides out and hand stitch or machine sew the opening closed.

My dog liked it because it was warm inside when I came home from work today so I know he was in there. But he didn't want to hold still to get his picture taken. Enjoy!

By Little Suzy from OH

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Tip: Don't Buy Pet Beds

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.

    By Sharon [15]

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    Tip: Waterproof Dog Blanket/Bed

    My older dog started having bladder issues. She was having accidents in the house, on dog beds and on our bed! She would rather die than have an accident in the house, plus all the laundry to wash everything and countless dog beds that could not be saved. I decided to make a blanket to toss over the beds to protect them. I used a soft fleece for one side, a thicker, fluffy lamb's wool looking fabric for the other, and a baby crib waterproof protector sheet for the middle. Match up the fabrics, sew them together and viola!

      By ava.gray13 [1]

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      Article: Reuse Sofa Cushions As A Pet Bed

      Reuse Sofa Cushions As A Pet BedWe 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. He likes his new bed, because it is his old bed, and we get our new sofa to boot!

      By Jacketbacker from Greer, SC

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      Tip: Use Foam Mattress Pad for a Pet Bed

      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. I put the rectangular piece of foam into the sheet and sewed it shut. Then, I took a couple of his dog blankets and made them into a pillow case large enough to fit the foam. He loved his bed, and it was so easy to clean, just take off the case and wash it. I cut more pieces and made beds for my other dogs. He passed away a few years ago, and my other dogs now use it as their extra bed. I think it is especially comforting to dogs with spine and joint problems like my Basset Hound, Pete.

      By Cynthia from IL

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      Tip: Pet Beds From Old Rugs

      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. I usually stitch it crosswise and lengthwise to hold it together when washing. You could even put some batting inside if you want it thicker.

      By Pat from Phoenix, AZ

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      Tip: Make a Dog Bed With Old Fleece Robes

      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. Just cut 2 round pieces the size you want plus the seam allowance, stuff with fluffy batting and you are done.

      By Kathie

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      Tip: Couch Cushions for Dog Beds

      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.

      By gbk from GA

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      Tip: Making Pet Beds From Mattress Toppers or Crib Bumpers

      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. Then I took an old sheet and made a cover for the bed.

      I sewed the cover on all sides. This was a way to protect the pads or topper. Lastly I made a fleece pillowcase to fit over the sheet covered pet bed. I put a large snap on the end of the case. The pillowcase cover can easily be removed for cleaning, and the sheet cover protects it as well.

      By Cynthia from Chicago, IL

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      Tip: Pet Bed from Paper Box

      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.

      By GrammySheila (Sheila S.)

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      Here are questions related to Homemade Pet Beds.

      Question: Dog Bed Patterns

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

      Nelwyn from Bunkie, LA

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


      Most Recent Answer

      By Janelle (Guest Post) 11/08/2008

      For small to medium dogs, take an old sweatshirt, pull the sleeves to the inside of the sweatshirt, then pull sweatshirt over cheap bed pillow. It's all washable and no sewing. Takes a whole 2 minutes to make.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Homemade Dog Bed

      How do you make a dog bed?

      Julie from Indianapolis, IN

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


      Most Recent Answer

      By robert 1 05/26/2009

      I found great pet beds fashionable well priced and she says she can custom make any sized needed vist

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Homemade Dog Beds

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

      By Homeysue

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

      Most Recent Answer

      By ilovesophie 20 165 01/27/2012

      I got a used baby crib mattress and slipped it inside a sleeping bag. You could also used fitted crib sheets on it.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

      Question: Homemade Cooling Bed for Dog

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

      By Susan S.

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

      Question: Making a Dog Bed from Kitchen Chair Cushions

      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

      AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


      Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

      Archive: Homemade Dog Bed

      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

      RE: 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. (07/18/2008)

      By Michelle

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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)

      RE: 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

      RE: 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)

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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

      RE: 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! (07/25/2008)

      By ROBYN

      RE: 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). (09/06/2008)

      By Sue