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DIY Dog Beds: Cozy Canine Beds You Can Make Yourself

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Dog DIY By Ben Team 15 min read September 24, 2020

DIY Dog Bed

Most dogs will benefit from the comfort and support provided by a high-quality dog bed.

In fact, a comfy dog bed won’t just benefit your dog — it will make your life easier too. If nothing else, it’ll likely help put an end to the daily battle for space on your couch or bed.

But while commercially manufactured dog beds are typically the best option, you can also make a DIY dog bed on your own.

Building your dog’s bed yourself will usually help you save a bit of cash, and it’ll allow you to customize the bed in a number of ways to suit your pet.

We’ll share 16 of the best DIY dog bed plans we could find below! Just give the list a look and try to pick out the plans you think will best suit you and your pooch.

1. DIY Dog Bed No Sew

This DIY No Sew Dog Bed from Miss Frugal Mommy is a great choice for dog owners who aren’t especially crafty. In fact, this bed is so simple that you can probably put it together while watching your favorite Netflix show and enjoying a cold adult beverage.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

Materials

  • Two fleece choices cut to 1 1/2 yards each
  • 30-50 oz polyfill
DIY No Sew Dog Bed
No Sew DIY Dog Bed

You can see a similar version of the no-sew dog bed in the video below. Note that in the video, they use egg carton rather than polyfill. Either material will work, as would memory foam or just about any other soft material you can think of. 

2. Vintage Suitcase Dog Bed

This vintage suitcase dog bed from Mox & Fodder is ideal for small and stylish pups who deserve something unique. You’ll need an old suitcase to make this bed, but you can probably grab a nifty old model from a second-hand store if you don’t have one laying around.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Tools

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Anything else necessary to remove one side of the suitcase

Materials

  • Pillow
  • Pillow sham
Diy Suitcase Dog Bed
Suitcase Dog Bed

Check out the video below to see a similar approach to making a DIY suitcase dog bed.

3. DIY Modern Dog Bed

If your dog demands a fancier bed than all of his buddies have, you’ll want to check out this modern dog bed from Centsational Style. This bed will definitely require a little more time and money to construct than some of the other beds here, but once you look at it, you’ll see that it’s well worth the additional resources and effort required.

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Tools

  • Circular saw or jigsaw
  • Brad nailer
  • Cordless drill
  • Tape measure
  • Paintbrush

Materials

  • 5/8” plywood sheet cut to size of the base
  • ¾” x 5.5” poplar planks for sides
  • 1½” x 4’ poplar hobby boards for decorative trim
  • Furniture feet
  • Wood glue
  • 1¼” wood screws
  • Painter’s tape
  • Primer
  • Exterior paint
Modern DIY dog Bed
DIY Dog Bed Modern Style
Modern DIY Dog Bed 2
Dog Bed Modern DIY

We couldn’t find a video demonstrating how to make this type of bed, but the instructions provided are pretty thorough. Just take your time, and you shouldn’t have any trouble putting this DIY dog bed together.

4. DIY Mid-Century Dog Bed

If you love vintage or throwback styling, this mid-century dog bed from Our Nerd Home may be perfect for your four-footer. This bed looks great and seems to be relatively easy to build. The author’s don’t provide a lot of details regarding measurements, as you’ll have to tweak the design to fit the pillow you choose, but that shouldn’t be a huge problem.

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Circular saw or jigsaw
  • Cordless drill
  • Paintbrush

Materials

  • Pillow or pad
  • One sheet of plywood (thickness unspecified, but ½-inch plywood should suffice)
  • One 1″ x 12″ pine plank
  • Four furniture legs
  • Wood screws
  • Paint
DIY Mid Century Pet Bed
Mid Century DIY Dog Bed
DIY Dog Bed Mid Century

The bed in the video below is a bit different from the one described by Our Nerd Home, but it is pretty similar and should help you figure things out.

5. Firehose Dog Bed

Looking for something different? This firehose dog bed from Ana White may interest you.

Unfortunately, these plans aren’t very detailed at all, so you’ll have to figure a lot of it out for yourself. Nevertheless, it’s a cool-looking dog bed that looks to be very tough – it may be perfect for dogs who’ve chewed up their previous beds.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Tools

  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw or jigsaw
  • Cordless drill
  • Paintbrush
  • Exacto blade

Materials

  • Unspecified, but it looks like a combination of 1” x 2” boards and a 4” x 4” post
  • A firehose (a quick Google search will turn up places that sell them)
Firehose Dog Bed

If you like this idea, be sure to check out the video below. It explains how to make a similar bed in greater detail.

6. DIY Dog Bed from Pallets

In case you haven’t noticed, a number of crafty people have spent the last few years turning old wooden pallets into just about everything imaginable. There’s even an entire Reddit subforum dedicated to stuff people have made from pallets.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising to find that Total Survivor offers some photos of a dog bed made from a pallet. They don’t provide a lot of explicit instruction, but the project looks pretty simple and easy to figure out. 

Safety Note: While pallets are certainly a good source of cheap/free materials, it’s important to understand that some pallets may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals while in use.

And because pallets are often passed from one business to the next, it can be impossible to determine if a given pallet was once used to support a drum of mercury, pesticide, or some other harmful substance.

Consequently, we’d recommend using care when selecting your pallets, and try to pick the newest-looking ones you can find.

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult

Tools

  • Circular saw or jigsaw
  • Tape measure
  • Cordless drill
  • Paintbrush

Materials

  • Pallet
  • 1” x 6” plank
  • Wood screws
  • Paint
  • A cushion of some kind
Pallet Dog Bed 1
Pallet Dog Bed 2
Pallet Dog Bed 3

There are scads of YouTube videos that show you how to convert a pallet into a dog bed, but we thought this is one of the better ones (plus, there’s a cute dog in the video):

7. DIY Side Table Dog Bed

If you want to make a custom dog bed, but you aren’t exactly Bob Villa, you may want to consider repurposing an old side table. 86Lemons provides a great example of this approach, and they show you how to convert an old end table into a dog bed.

The final result looks great, and it doesn’t require a bunch of tools, materials, or skill to pull off. Give it a try and let us know how it works out!

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Tools

  • It’ll vary depending on the table you start with. That said, some combination of a jigsaw, cordless drill, pliers, and a mallet should suffice in most cases.
  • Paintbrush

Materials

  • Cushion for your dog
  • Paint or stain
End Table Dog Bed
DIY End Table Dog Bed

The exact procedure for converting a side table to a dog bed will depend almost entirely on the specifics of the project, so you’ll need to put on your problem-solving hat for these types of projects.

Be sure to watch the video below, as it may help give you some more ideas.

8. DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed

Sticking with the repurposing theme, the next DIY pet bed idea we’d like to share shows you how to convert an old wine barrel into a dog bed. These plans – which come courtesy of The Owner Builder Network – provide step-by-step instructions for the entire project.

This project requires a bit more work than some of the other ones we’ve shared in this article, but the results are stunning.

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Tools

  • Cordless drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Chisel
  • Palm Sander (Optional)
  • Belt Sander (Optional)
  • Sharpie or pencil

Materials

  • Old wine barrel
  • Bolts 
  • Nuts
  • Sealer 
  • Plastic Dip (Optional)
  • Wood Stain (Optional)
Wine Barrel Dog Bed
Whisky Barrel Dog Bed
DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed

Here’s a video that shows a similar project, only this one is made from an old whiskey barrel (to be honest, I’m not really sure there’s a difference between the two).

9. DIY Dog Bed From PVC

I’ll admit it – I’m a huge fan of PVC. I’ve used it to build a wide variety of projects over the years, ranging from expo display booths to perches for reptile habitats to fishing rod holders. Plus, my brother and I used to beat the crap out of each other with improvised PVC ninja weapons for most of our childhood.

Consequently, we had to include this super-awesome, yet easy-to-make PVC dog bed in our list. This bed features an elevated design, so it’s ideal for keeping your pet cool during the summer.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Tools

  • Power Drill
  • PVC Pipe Cutting Tool (cutter or saw)
  • Tape Measure

Materials

  • 11.5 feet of 1-1/4” PVC pipe
  • Four 1-1/4” 3-Way PVC fittings
  • Four 1-1/4” PVC flat caps
  • Thirty-two ½” round washer head screws
  • Outdoor fabric (42” x 32”)
PVC DIY Dog Bed
DIY PVC Dog Bed
PVC Dog Bed DIY
PVC Dog Bed

Be sure to check out the accompanying project video too:

10. DIY Dog Bed Cover

Not all dogs need a bed with a frame – some are just as happy laying on a glorified pillow. If that sounds like your dog, you may want to check out this DIY dog bed cover from Sarah Hearts. This cover would also make an excellent replacement for your dog’s existing bed.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Tools

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Pins

Materials

  • About 2 yards of fabric
  • Zipper
  • Thread
Dog Bed Cover
DIY Bed Cover for Dogs
DIY Dog Bed Cover

The video below isn’t exactly the same as the plans discussed above, but it shows you how to make a somewhat-similar pet bed, and it may help you figure things out.

11. Leather & Canvas DIY Dog Bed

This cushion-style bed from Always Rooney is made from leather and canvas, which means it should be pretty durable and hold up pretty well over time. It does require a fair bit of sewing, so it isn’t a great option for all owners, but if you know your way around a sewing machine, you should give it a try!

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Tools

  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Cloth marker

Materials

  • Drop cloth
  • Leather straps
  • Thread
  • Cushion or stuffing
DIY Leather Dog Bed
Leather and Canvas Dog Bed

We couldn’t find a video demonstrating how to make a bed in this style, but the instructions provided in the link above are pretty thorough.

12. DIY Memory Foam Dog Bed

If your pup is getting up there in age or has achy joints, you may want to consider a memory foam dog bed (they’re also commonly called “orthopedic” dog beds). Most owners simply purchase a memory foam dog bed, but you can make one yourself if you’d prefer.

These plans from Dog Guide explain everything you need to know and walk you through the entire process. This project relies on buying the primary components, so it’s super easy to slap together.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Tools

  • Sharp knife
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • Large memory foam sheet
  • Washable pet bed cover
DIY Memory Foam Dog Bed
Memory Foam DIY Dog Bed
Do It Yourself Memory Foam Dog Bed

You can check out the video below to see a similar project. But honestly, this concept is pretty simple, and most owners should be able to figure it out easily enough.

13. DIY Dog Bed Sweatshirt

This DIY dog bed from Sniff Design is one of the more creative ideas we came across, and as a bonus, it looks pretty easy to put together. You should have several of the necessary materials on hand, and those you don’t shouldn’t cost you very much money either.

This type of bed is obviously best-suited for smaller floofs, but you could probably make a larger version if you found a really big sweater.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle

Materials

  • Old sweater
  • Pillow or cushion
  • Strip of fabric
  • Thread
Sweater DIY dog Bed
Sweater Style DIY Dog Bed
Sweater Style Dog Bed 2

You can check out the following video to see another DIYer’s take on the project. But if you ask me, the most compelling reason to watch is for the cute pups that star in it.

14. DIY Wooden Dog Bed

Most of the pet beds we’ve discussed thus far are relatively simple and intended for owners that are interested in solving their dog’s comfort needs as quickly and easily as possible.

But this bed from Prodigal Pieces is entirely different – it will require a fair bit of effort to pull off, but the final product looks fantastic. You can also see another version of this project (written by the same author) on BuildSomething.com.

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Tools

  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Round foam brush
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • 1 yard of 60″ wide fabric (or equivalent), PLUS 4 – 4″ x 15″ strips for ties.
  • White thread
  • 2 standard bed pillows
  • Fabric paint (optional)  
  • Masking tape (optional)
DIY Wooden Dog Bed
Wooden DIY Dog Bed

We couldn’t find a video of a similar project, so you’ll just need to dig in, take your time, and follow the directions carefully.

15. Simple Wooden Dog Bed

First of all, I recommend checking out these plans from My Frugal Adventures solely to see the uber-cute chocolate Lab in the photos.

That said, this is another great-looking DIY dog bed that you may want to consider building. It’ll require a few more tools and supplies than some of the easier projects we’ve listed here, but it is certainly doable for owners who are willing to roll up their sleeves and give it a shot.

This is more of a bed frame than an actual bed, so you’ll need to already have a doggie mattress or be willing to buy one to complete this project.

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Tools

  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw or jigsaw
  • Cordless drill
  • Paintbrush

Materials

  • 1” x 5” pine planks (length determined by the size of the mattress you use)
  • 1” x 3” pine planks (again, you’ll have to figure out the project dimensions first)
  • Dog mattress
  • Wood screws
  • Paint
DIY Dog Bed from Wood
Dog Bed DIY Wood
DIY Wooden Vintage Dog Bed

We couldn’t find a good video for this project, but the directions above are pretty thorough. Just take your time, and you should be able to figure it out.

16. Recycled Tire Dog Bed

As you may or may not already know, it’s actually illegal to throw old tires in the trash. You can always take them to the local tire store or repair shop, but they’ll charge you to take them off your hands.

But these plans from Practically Functional will show you how to turn an old tire into an adorable pet bed. By making this type of bed, you’ll not only be able to put an old tire to good use, but you’ll also be able to give your pooch a comfy place to sleep.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Tools

  • Scrub brush to clean the tire

Materials

  • Old tire
  • Felt furniture feet
  • Spray paint
  • A round pet bed or cushion
Tire Dog Bed
DIY Tire Dog Bed
DIY Pink Tire Dog Bed

This is such a simple project that you shouldn’t really need to watch a video about it. But we’ve included one anyway, just in case.

Things to Think About When Making a DIY Pet Bed

Making a DIY dog bed is often a fairly simple endeavor, but you’ll want to keep a few key things in mind when picking a set of plans and starting the construction process.

We’ll talk about a few of the most important things to consider below.

  • Measure the space you intend to use for the bed before you get started. No matter what type of bed design you choose, you’ll need to ensure the finished product will fit in the intended space. You can often make adjustments to the plans you choose, but you’ll want to be mindful of this from the very beginning.
  • Give your dog plenty of “elbow room.” Some dogs like to curl up into a tight little ball when they sleep, but others prefer to sprawl out and take up as much space as possible. In either case, you’ll want to be sure that the bed you make is roomy enough to accommodate your pooch.  
  • Don’t skimp on the cushion materials if your dog has joint problems. If your dog is young, healthy, and spry, you can use just about any soft and safe filler material you’d like. However, if your dog suffers from joint problems (or is likely to experience them in the future), you’ll want to spring for some memory foam or a similar material.
  • Consider padding the bed corners. Most dogs are pretty careful about where they put their paws, but we can’t say the same thing for owners! Stubbing your toe on your dog’s bed will surely sting, so you may want to put a little padding on the corners.
  • Use a spray-on fabric protectant on the mattress cover. Help protect the mattress cover material from drool, urine, dirt, and dampness by coating it with a water-repelling fabric protectant. Just be sure to let the mattress air-out thoroughly before letting your pet use the bed.
  • Consider sealing the fill material in a plastic bag. Any dog can have an accident, but some are definitely more likely to experience bladder issues than others. If your dog has a hard time holding it (or you’ve yet to complete the house-training process), consider stuffing the fill material inside a big garbage bag or some other type of plastic bag before putting it inside the mattress cover.  

***

Even if you allow your dog to sleep on the furniture, he deserves a good bed. As you can see, you needn’t spend a fortune to give him one – simply look through the plans listed above and pick out the project that looks most appropriate for you both.

I made a version of the no-sew bed discussed above a few years ago (I even used a material that showed off my pup’s favorite football team). It eventually developed a few holes, but it worked reasonably well for a while and was pretty easy to build.

And if you ever decide building your own bed is just too tough, make sure to check out our review of the best dog beds on the market!

Have you ever made a bed for your dog? Do you know of any good DIY dog bed plans we missed? Don’t be shy! Let us know all about your DIY dog bed solutions in the comments below.

Before you go, be sure to check out these other DIY project roundups we’ve put together:

DIY Dog Harness
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Written by

Ben Team



Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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