DIY Stylish Pet Beds (Inexpensive and Repurposed Supplies!)

Dalmatian dog resting on a stack of homemade dog beds

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. Cheeky devil. These pet bed cushions are part of our mini-series on making your own DIY stylish pet beds. We’ll be sharing tips, instructions, and money saving ideas to make your own easy, inexpensive, stylish, comfy customised pet beds.

Pre-Fab Pet Bed Favourites

The boys have had a lot of different 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, you can stuff the inner sacks with whatever you wish. This has allowed us 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 both several years old, well used, well washed, and still sturdy. 

The Doggy Divet

When this was first published, we had a reader question about keeping the Molly Mutt beds from flattening out in the middle and lumping up around the edges. I thought I’d add our tips here for others with similar beds and doggy divet issues. 

It will happen with most loose-filling beds eventually, especially if not refluffed. Bigger dogs (like mine) can also eventually wear or crush them into solid or foamy beds as well. There are a few things that work for us, our Molly Mutts, and similar beds: 

  • 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.

Ours have been in use for around ten years now (wow!) and are still going strong, although they’re very faded and now relegated to road trips and car use.

Using a Full Sized Child's Bed for Dogs

Double Dog Bed Dilemmas

This is not so much a DIY as it is a different approach to dog beds by using other readily  available products in a slightly different way.  When Humphrey joined the family, the two dogs wanted to snuggle together. Well, the puppy wanted to snuggle with his big brother. At first it was not quite reciprocated, but tolerated! As Humphrey grew, they outgrew sharing the 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 (and some sticker shock, too), we decided to make our own.

The Big Boy Bed for Big Boys

In a light bulb 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 you. It 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. It can slide under a real bed or be stood on its end/side against a wall out of the way, if needed, though.

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 not-quite-DIY bed. These also share the advantage of fitting pre-fab covers. I’ll be showing you how to make custom sized foam inserts and covers later on in the mini-series.

DIY Custom Sized Pet Beds

Customising Pet Bed Shapes and Sizes

Even with all of these beds, we needed more and for very specific places. This made pre-fab options difficult. For example, our current old house has a bay window seat finished in native hardwood.  Both dogs and the cat spend time watching the world on the window seat. Tiger and occasionally Humphrey (!) have 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 made by my Dad. It definitely needed a cushion.

Making Your Own Pet Beds (and More)

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!

As a bonus, there will also be 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. If you are using them in a dominant position, coordinating is an easy way to keep things feeling cohesive. You can make a throw pillow cover in minutes and use up some of your remnants or offcuts in the process. Win win, snuggle in!

Our DIY Dog Bed and Custom Bed Cover Mini Series

Update: There’s been a lot of nesting and resting since these posts were written may years ago. We’ve also moved homes and changed our needs in some spaces. There are a number of new pet beds in different shapes and styles here on the blog, including fitted window seat cushionscustom basket cushions, and more! You can find all of our DIY dog bed and blanket posts using the archive tag or sniff around for something specific using the internal search function. Woofs!

Stylish and inexpensive DIY pet beds

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