Monday, 27 June 2016
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DIY Stylish Pet Beds (Inexpensive and Repurposed Supplies!)

(Part 1 of 4) Our dogs have MANY beds, but as any pet owner will tell you, there is no such thing as too many beds.  Just look what happened when I put these three new beds on the floor while getting ready to set up a blog picture! I don't think I could have planned it better myself:

Dalmatian dog lying on top of a stack of homemade dog beds

Our DIY Dog Bed and Custom Bed Covers:

Update: These water resistant dog bed covers were fantastic, but after several years of hard wear under paws and claws, shuffling around indoors/outdoors, and ferrying through our move, they were rather worn. See our new (and slightly improved) DIY fitted envelope-style rear closure dog bed covers for details on the new beds. 

Pre-Fab Favourites

The boys have had MANY beds over the years, indoors and out, hammock and filled.  Our current favourite pre-made beds are the Molly Mutt dog duvet beds, which come in multiple sizes and styles as a pretty zippered cover that goes over a stuffable sack, with a waterproof liner option.  With the Molly Mutts is that you can stuff the inner sacks with whatever you wish, which has allowed use to repurpose comfy fillings like old fabric, pillows, and blankets into "free" filling. We love these beds and would definitely recommend them to anyone not up for a full DIY. We have two, they are several years old, well used, well washed, and still look great!  

The Big Boy Bed

When Humphrey joined the family, the two dogs wanted to snuggle together (well, the puppy wanted to snuggle with his big brother...not quite reciprocated but tolerated!). As Humphrey grew, they outgrew sharing their Molly Mutt duvets. We went looking for a giant dog bed, but couldn't find one. After a spate of jealously at some of the overseas options, we decided to make our own. In a lighbulb moment, we bought a basic foam single mattress (NZ$59 from a furniture shop) cased it in a single duvet cover ($NZ10 on clearance) and voila! A GIANT dog bed for a very small price! (NZ$69 is just shy of US$50 at current exchange rates).  I also picked up a top-of-the-line mattress protector (a mere NZ$20 on clearance), which will be a perfect addition in case Oli's occasional LBL leakage increases with age.

The foam is light for moving around, the cover(s) can be removed for washing, and the dogs LOVE their giant bed.  I'm not going to lie to is also great for humans hopping onto their bed for a snuggle.  The downside?  It is a BIG bed, so takes up a lot of floor space; however, we have space and it can slide under a "real" bed or be stood on its end/side against a wall out of the way when needed.  If you have one dog or smaller pet(s), doing something similar with a crib mattress or even a euro pillow would be smaller options for a similar quick and easy DIY bed.  These also share the advantage of fitting pre-fab covers.

DIY Custom-Sized Dog Beds

Even with all of these beds, we needed more and for very specific places, which made pre-fab options difficult. Our old house has a bay window seat  finished in native hardwood. Tiger (the cat) had a very well-worn old bed on the seat which was flatten with age, badly faded, and then the zipper broke. Time for an upgrade, but it needed to fit the space. Tiger and occasionally Humphrey (!) had also taken to hopping up onto a wooden trunk by our back windows to look out over the garden - not very cosy and scratchy claws on a special piece of furniture that was made by my Dad.

Over the next few days, I'm going to share the scoop with you on how to make your own easy, inexpensive, stylish, and super comfy customised pet beds I'll share what I used to do it, what it cost (bargain!), and how I made it all.  I am not an exceptional seamstress, so if I can do it, you can do it! All you need are a few basic sewing supplies and some time.  Stay tuned for the full mini-series (links at the start of post).

As a bonus, Creativity Unmasked will be sharing a DIY for sewing simple envelope-style pillow cases in coordination with our bed mini-series. Pet beds can be cute, complimentary, contrasting, or any style you please; however, if you are placing it in a dominant position, coordinating with decorative pillows is an easy way to keep things feeling cohesive. You can make one in minutes and use up some of your remnants/offcuts in the process.

Fluffy white cat sitting on a tapestry window seat cushion


  1. Great idea to buy and mattress and mattress protector! Thank you! I don't know why we didn't think to do it sooner! It works so well! I've been trying to find something for our two senior labradors who also like to share and everything is so expensive for something that can fit two big dogs, and most are terrible for keeping clean and dry. I have two mattress protectors so I can wash one while using the other and a friend helped me make two soft covers with fleece. Thanks again!

    1. Hooray! I'm so glad that it helped you and your dogs! :) My two are snoozing together on their giant bed right at this very moment.

      I love that you made some fleecy covers. We like to have a blanket or two ontop of the boys beds at any given time - easy to swap for washing and great for snuggling into, of course.

  2. Great ideas! How do you keep the stuffing in the Molly Mutt beds from flattening out in the middle and lumping around the edges?

    1. Ahhh...the infamous doggy divit! :) It will happen with most loose-filling beds eventually if not refluffed and bigger dogs (like mine!) can also eventually wear/crush them into solid/foam beds.

      There are a few and/or things that work for us and our Molly Mutts (ours have been in use for YEARS):

      - refluffing the stuffing periodically (air/wash is a great opportunity)
      - adding additional fill to if old filling starts to loose fluffability
      - combining fill with full-bed folded items like old quilts that shift less
      - combining fill with foam so that the middle never fully flattens

      Readers, if you have other tips, please add them in the comments. :) We'd love to hear!


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