Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
By Gloria Z from Hoffman Estates, IL
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
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
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
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.
So I took a old pillow case and stuffed all the socks in it and sewed the top up. Now she has a pillow to curl up on and when it is dirty, I just throw it in the wash.
By Valerie from Rockdale, TX
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.
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.
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.
My older dog started having bladder issues. She was having accidents in the house, on dog beds and on our bed!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Make your dog this cozy dog bed with a built in pocket for extra snuggly warmth. This is a guide about making a DIY pocket dog bed.
Old worn out socks and clothing can find new purpose when making a bed for you dog or cat. This is a guide about recycled clothing 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.
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.
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.
How do you make a dog bed?
Julie from Indianapolis, IN
I would add some cedar chips to the stuffing. It is a natural way to repel fleas, and it smells good.
My mom uses a pillow with a blanket on top for her dogs to snuggle in. I don't think dogs want anything fancy, only comfy!
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.
Go to a thrift store and buy a fom rubber mattress pad. Cut out a size a little larger than your dog when he is reclined. If he is the right size, a good pillow cover or sham will do for a cover. Velcro the end closed. You can wash the cover, and the foam rubber won't flatten out. This is what I use for my dogs, and it makes a good orthopaedic bed for them.
Does anyone have a pattern for a simple and fast doggie bed?
Nelwyn from Bunkie, LA
I make dog beds out of comforters that I buy and then cut in to 4 pieces. I can buy a queen size comforter at a thrift or discount store for $15. All 4 beds fit in the washing machine so I wash them once a week.
I took two old pillows, loosely stitched them together, and as above an old comforter folded over the pillows, I used velco on the bottom to keep the comforter on as our little lady likes to find "just the right spot". Easy to come apart to wash the comforter & air dry in the dryer/hang on the line pillows.
I found that the one of our dogs who chooses not to sleep on the bed likes an old towel on the floor next to the bed. I alternate two, one in the wash and the other for Buttons to sleep on.
Not a bed, but she really likes it.
We use baby blankets for our 5 chi's. They're easy to keep washed up. It would be really easy to take 2 quilted baby blankets (baby comforters), sew them together, and stuff, like a big pillow. Depending on the size of your dog. We like finding baby blankets at yardsales. Cheap, cute, comfortable bed.
I also use the comforters cut into pieces, folded and stitched. Very easy to maintain. But the fastest and easiest dog bed is an old pillow case that you stuff with a blanket or an old pillow. Sew in the stuffing, or put velcro on the ends to remove the pillow when needed. Just stuff and stitch.
I used old jeans to make Biggie's bed. I cut the legs off the jeans & sewed them together after squaring everything. I used a hvy duty zipper I had & took 2 old seat cushions from a sofa that I was getting rid of. It took me all of 2 hours maybe. That has been the best dog bed I have. He loves it & is beside himself when I wash it. For Biggie being a big dog it has worked out great.
If you go to www.simplicity.com you can order design 3960 which is for no-sew dog beds. HTH!
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.
Could I have a few suggestions on how to make homemade dog beds that are durable for a large breed of dog?
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.
Any suggestion on making a cooling bed for a 60lb dog?
By Susan S.
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.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
I've used foam padding found at a thrift store, cut to size and covered with a pillow case. (07/18/2008)
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
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)
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)
A friend of mine with three dogs buys crib mattresses at garage sales. Her dogs love them. (07/21/2008)
By Lynn Beth
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)
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)
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!
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).