19 Ingeniously Upcycled Pet Beds

Photo (cc) by Etsy Ketsy

Annamarie Bevacqua supplements her income by selling pet beds.

She handcrafts them out of vintage suitcases her sister scopes out at thrift stores, using woodworking tools her father passed down to her, Bevacqua told The Dallas Morning News. Then she sells them for $50 to $200 apiece.

Perhaps it’s no wonder that pet owners are buying the beds. Americans spent an estimated record-breaking $58.5 billion on their pets last year, according to the American Pet Products Association.

But if you are just not ready to spend $200 on a custom pet bed, try making one yourself at a fraction of the cost. We’ve rounded up free tutorials for fashioning pet beds out of everything from tires to TVs to tables.

You can get an idea of a tutorial’s difficultly level from the tools and materials it requires.

Odds and ends

Photo courtesy of Ashlee Park / MySoCalledCraftyLife.com
Photo courtesy of Ashlee Park / MySoCalledCraftyLife.com

1. Suitcase

  • Ruche‘s simple tutorial calls for a suitcase, foam, fabric and scissors.
  • Mox & Fodder‘s requires a suitcase, pillow, pillow sham, hammer, screwdriver and “extreme muscle strength.”
  • Ashlee Park of My So Called Crafty Life literally steps it up a notch by adding feet as pictured above. Her tutorial requires a suitcase, pillow, pillowcase, wood ball feet or furniture feet, wood screws, drill, ruler and pencil.

2. Tire

  • Crafts & DIY Projects‘ video tutorial calls for a used tire, blanket, paint, paint supplies (for painting the tire) and cleaning supplies (for washing, drying and cleaning the tire).

3. Cardboard

  • Evil Mad Scientist‘s cardboard cat chaise lounge chair calls for big sheets of cardboard, downloadable PDF pattern, hot glue gun, markers, scissors or hobby knife, and a cutting mat or surface that could serve as a cutting mat.

4. Wooden shipping pallet

  • HGTV‘s tutorial requires a pallet, tape measure, nail puller, hammer, 1 1/2-inch finish screws, stainless steel finish nails, chop saw, carpenter’s pencil and drill. It does not include step-by-step directions for the bed pillow, but most of these other tutorials do.

5. Wine barrel

  • The Australian Owner-Builder Network‘s tutorial requires a wine barrel, bolts, nuts, sealer, plastic dip, wood stain, drill with bits, jigsaw with blades, hammer, pliers, chisel, Sharpie marker or pencil, and palm and belt sanders (both optional). Again, directions for the bed pillow are not included but can be found in other tutorials.

6. Fleece blanket

  • Dog Under My Desk‘s tutorial requires pillow stuffing, 1 1/4 yards to 1 1/3 yards of fleece fabric, sewing machine, thread and scissors. This bed is essentially a bean bag chair for pets.


zelda - lhasa apso

7. iMac

  • Inspire Wild Ideas has a tutorial is written by Amy Wexler, who used to make and sell iMac cat beds. To hollow out the computer, you’ll also need a high-voltage probe, multimeter and crocodile clip, all of which Wexler says can be found at Radio Shack. To convert it into a cat bed, you’ll need any type of covered pillow that’s about 10 inches by 10 inches.

8. Monitor

  • Instructables‘ tutorial is written by someone who used to make and sell monitor cat beds. To hollow out the monitor, you’ll need gloves, a box for the parts that will be removed, and wire or alligator clips. You also will need cleaning supplies and painting supplies. For the bed pillow, you’ll need fabric, newspaper, tape, scissors and a pencil.

9. TV

  • Haus Panther‘s photos of someone’s finished DIY TV cat bed don’t come with step-by-step instructions or a materials list, but Instructables’ monitor tutorial applies to TVs. For more DIY inspiration, photos of TV cat beds for sale can be found at Houzz ($124) and The Alternative Consumer ($129).


Photo courtesy of Ki Nassauer / KiNassauerStyle.com
Photo courtesy of Ki Nassauer / KiNassauerStyle.com

10. Side table

  • 86 Lemons‘ tutorial calls for a round or hexagonal side table, cleaning supplies, tools (to remove doors and hinge hardware), wood filler (to fill in the screw holes), sandpaper (to sand after using the wood filler), Zinsser shellac (which forms a seal to block bleed-through) and chalk paint. For the pillow, the blog defers to Better Homes and Gardens‘ round pet pillow tutorial, which requires 1 1/2 yards of print fabric, 1 1/2 yards of lining fabric, 1/2 yard of contrasting fabric for piping cord, 2 1/2 yards piping cord, a 22-inch zipper and shredded foam for pet beds

11. Upside down side table

  • Ki Nassauer made the four-poster pet bed pictured above with a side table with legs, scrap wood (for the headboard and feet), four finials or knobs, sanding materials, primer, paint, paint marker, foam and pillow fabric.
  • My So Called Crafty Life‘s simpler, no-sew version uses a side table with legs, primer, paint, sealer (optional), finials (can be screwed in or glued on), pillow and pillowcase.

12. Dresser

  • DIY Network‘s tutorial converts a dresser into a pet bed that doubles as a nightstand. It requires a wooden dresser, sanding materials, HVLP paint sprayer, primer, lacquer, reciprocating saw, drill, screwdriver, drop cloth, 3/4 sheet of plywood, tape measure, batting, beadboard, circular saw, drawer hardware, and nail gun and nails.

13. Cabinet

  • The Necessary Basics converted a long cabinet into a large pet bed (that can be hidden by closing the cabinet) with the addition of peg board and handles.

14. TV console

  • Recycled Rover‘s three-part tutorial calls for a gutted old-fashioned wood TV console (first part); tools to remove any hardware before painting, fine-grit sandpaper, damp or tack cloth, and spray or brush paint (second part); and foam, fabric, thread, 1/4-inch elastic, batting and a safety pin — or just foam and a pillowcase (third part).
  • ArtFire‘s tutorial requires the same style of TV console, as well as sandpaper, primer, painting supplies, house paint, bedding, stencil, sponge, glue gun and accessories (optional).

15. Drawer

  • Yankee Magazine‘s tutorial calls for a cast-off drawer with knobs, sandpaper, primer, wood glue, four knobs (for feet), black latex paint, ruler, pencil, letter stencil, brown and gold acrylic paints, pattern paper, 1/2 yard dark-brown fleece, 1/2 yard light-brown fleece, 1/4 yard black wool fabric, 3/4 pound of buckwheat hulls and quilting fiberfill.
  • DIY Show Off‘s simpler yet bigger version requires an old dresser drawer, paint, FrogTape, four furniture feet, and a pillow or DIY cushion. For outdoor use, include an umbrella or parasol and hardware to attach it to the drawer.


Small Blanket :Autumn colors

16. Sweater

  • One Good Thing‘s tutorial calls for an extra-large men’s cable knit sweater as well as a square or round pillow that’s about 16 inches by 16 inches, quilt batting or loose fill, yarn and a yarn needle.
  • Wonderful DIY‘s tutorial requires an old sweater, polyester filling, pins, needles, thread and scissors.

17. Sweater scraps

  • Apartment Therapy‘s patchwork pet bed tutorial requires an assortment of old sweaters as well as an old pillow, scrap paper, tape, ruler, scissors or rotary cutter, pins, a washer and dryer, and a sewing machine.

18. T-shirt

  • Freckle and Fair‘s T-shirt cat tent tutorial requires no sewing and no power tools. All you need is an old T-shirt, a piece of cardboard that’s about 15 inches by 15 inches, scissors, two wire hangers, tape, pliers and safety pins.

19. Jeans

  • Xan Rubey’s Lap of Luxury pet beds are made with a pair of jeans that’s stuffed and crossed into the shape of a human lap. There’s no tutorial — Rubey sells them for $175, and that’s just for a ready-made one — but there are plenty of photos that could serve as a guide for anyone who’s handy with thread.

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