How to Make a Dog Bed – Step-by-Step With Photos

My sweet dog has been using the same dog bed since her birthday a year and a half ago. Needless to say, despite many washings and oxy-cleanings and such, it was gross-looking. Also, some holes had worn through the seams that attached the base to the “bumper.”

Zora deserved a new bed, and so did we (the old one did nothing for our decor!) so I set about to make her a super-comfortable one that would look nice in our living room.

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The inside is made of two pillows that we already had. I just overlapped them a bit like this…

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Maybe 4-6 inches of overlap.

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And sewed the pillows together along that overlap. I just did it by hand because I didn’t want to wrestle with the puffiness near my sewing machine… Repeat this on the other side.

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Then, just for kicks, I stitched a little bit in the center too, to help the two pillows stay attached to each other.

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I did that on both sides, so the whole thing became like one big happy pillow.IMG_0904

Then I got my fabric, which in this case is one of our faded living room curtains we are replacing.

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What you want is a piece of fabric long enough to wrap around the pillow with several inches of overlap.

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I trimmed the fabric so that the curtain-tabs were removed and the excess width was also removed. Then it was time to start crafting the pillow case.

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Fold up the un-hemmed overlapping edge (if you bought fabric, this will be BOTH edges… but since I was using a curtain, one was already hemmed for me) twice and pin it every couple inches. If you’re really good, you’ll iron this too, but I was okay with just pinning.

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Then sew.

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Lay it out again, wrapping tightly around the pillow, and overlapping the edges roughly in the middle. Exact measurements not necessary. At this point you want everything “inside out” so make sure the ugly side of your hems are facing up/out.

Pin one side closed, then slide the pillow out…

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… and pin the other side closed. Then when you sew along the two long edges you just pinned, you’ll be able to turn the entire thing right-side-out.

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Like this!

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Close-up of the overlap. It’s like making a giant sandwich baggie. Or you may already have some pillow shams for your bed that have similar construction.

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Stuff the pillow into the cover.

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And flip it over.

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And enjoy the way the new bed actually complements your decor instead of clashing with it.

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While your sweet dog can enjoy the soft fluffiness of her new bed!

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Note: That bone she has is the SAME bone in her birthday post from a year and a half ago. She still LOVES it. We put her to bed with it and in the morning the first thing she does when she comes out of her crate is go back in her crate to grab her bone. I don’t know why she loves it so much, but there it is.

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54 Comments

  1. Moira
    Apr 30, 2014 @ 13:15:27

    Great! Your dog looks exactly like mine… What kind of dog is yours? Mine is Golden X Bullmastif. But looks like yours… :)

    Reply

    • Emily Chapelle
      May 01, 2014 @ 21:07:11

      We think she’s border collie + cocker spaniel. Best guess anyway. When we cut her hair she looks like a lab puppy.

      Reply

  2. Jane de Bat
    Apr 12, 2014 @ 14:57:08

    I want to make a couple dozen dog beds for the local SPCA. I needed something economical and easy which your dog bed is. The problem I found was that if I wanted to make it economical, it wouldn’t be soft and fluffy. Your dog bed is the perfect solution. Thank you for sharing!

    You will have an indirect but important part, in making dogs at the pound more comfortable.

    Reply

    • Emily Chapelle
      Apr 16, 2014 @ 09:07:21

      Awwww that’s so awesome! Thanks for sharing that with me. :) And it’s great that you’re helping all those dogs!

      Reply

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  4. Joy
    Sep 18, 2013 @ 08:39:48

    Thanks for the tutorial. I made one for my furbabies and they love it.

    Reply

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  6. Ashley
    Jun 06, 2013 @ 08:09:27

    I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful tutorial! I followed it step by step and now my dog LOVES his new bed! I just bought a new house and I was dreading bringing his old torn up bed with us. Now I can make different colors to match the decor of the room! Thanks again!

    Reply

  7. Anna
    Apr 20, 2013 @ 15:56:32

    I love this idea. My dog has been sleeping on the glider chair (she knows to stay off all furniture except the glider. Now that I am having a baby, I want my glider back. Going to run to the thrift shop and see if I can find a good piece of fabric and make one for her.

    Reply

  8. Merlin! | What Antonia Thinks About
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 14:02:58

    [...] making perfect sense in my head, but maybe I should just share the website that gave me this idea: http://www.joyfulabode.com/2010/06/06/how-to-make-a-dog-bed-step-by-step-with-photos/. The tutorial is great! I glanced at it for the pillow case idea. I knew that using actual pillows [...]

    Reply

  9. Sewing a Dog Bed «
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 23:38:19

    [...] wondered what to do with old pillows?  This dog bed project from Joyful Abode seemed to be the perfect solution to my desire to recycle old pillows and provide comfort to my fur [...]

    Reply

  10. Bernice
    Jan 12, 2013 @ 16:41:15

    A great, easy project ! I have two dogs so I will definately make another one. The one I made turned out perfect.Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  11. DIY Dog Bed Frame & Pillow for $50 or less « Ramble on Rose
    Nov 25, 2012 @ 18:01:20

    [...] for the pillows…overlap them a little bit and stitch them together. This website can walk you through that. I chose to do the zipper instead of the pocket method for no real reason [...]

    Reply

  12. 25 Pet Solutions You Never Knew You Needed « My Home Life | Decor, Design and DIY
    Nov 08, 2012 @ 10:39:14

    [...] From Joyful Abode – having a removable cover makes cleaning a breeze when Fido forces a certain odor upon his [...]

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  13. Sewing a Dog Bed |
    Sep 04, 2012 @ 18:53:25

    [...] wondered what to do with old pillows?  This dog bed project from Joyful Abode seemed to be the perfect solution to my desire to recycle old pillows and provide comfort to my fur [...]

    Reply

  14. Sandra Gielczewski
    Aug 26, 2012 @ 19:45:45

    Thank you so much for this REALLY IN-EXPENSIVE IDEA!!! I have a Great Dane with lots of pillows laying around.

    Reply

  15. Rhonda
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 18:44:59

    I went looking for stuffing fo our foster dogs bed. It was expensive! So I went in to Big Lots store,they had pillows for $3.00 each. But I wasnt sure how I would “stick” them together. Thanx!

    Reply

  16. amy
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 15:43:01

    awesome! great idea. I’ll definitely be making one for my dog Lyla

    Reply

  17. saral75
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 08:00:56

    I love this idea! i am definently going to make this for my boxor!

    Reply

  18. Jujununny
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 10:39:57

    I really enjoy this dog bed and so does my dog. Thank you for such a good inspiration. My pup says thanks too!

    Reply

    • Fluffynutter
      Mar 10, 2012 @ 10:41:24

      That is a very nice thing to say. So i’ll say it too. thank you! :)

      Reply

  19. Fluffynutter
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 10:38:35

    this sounds like a good idea, i’ll have to try it.

    Reply

  20. pet snuggy
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 02:04:34

    Zora deserved a new bed, and I set about to make her a super-comfortable one that would look nice in our living room.

    Reply

  21. Becky
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 13:53:30

    I love these. Great idea I have been wanting to make pet beds to donate to my local humane society and this is a great cost effective way to do so.

    Reply

  22. Becky
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 23:52:50

    Great bed for a precious doggie. She looks like a cross between our Maggie and her son Spot, both gone now.

    Reply

    • Crazypizza
      Mar 10, 2012 @ 10:42:41

      Gee, I’m sorry. I know what it feels like to lose pets. :(

      Reply

  23. Melissa Anna Shaye
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 19:33:25

    Thank you SOOOO much! I love this idea because I volunteer at the Randolph County Humane Society and I wanted an easy cheap way to make dog/cat beds. I am very pleased with this idea. I love it!!!😍😜😝😄

    Reply

  24. The Countdown Begins « Newfie Bones's Diary
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 14:32:53

    [...] was fairly easy actually… we got the instructions from http://www.joyfulabode.com/2010/06/06/how-to-make-a-dog-bed-step-by-step-with-photos/ and then added a few twists of our own, such as sewing on the decorative top. [...]

    Reply

  25. Carole Coons
    Oct 02, 2011 @ 12:33:31

    Thank you soooo much!!!! This is a perfect idea as I have toooo many pillows and my BIG dogs need a new bed too. What a wonderful idea!!!!!

    Reply

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  27. Manuel | psicologos en df
    Jun 19, 2011 @ 17:25:27

    woww! you have brought up a very wonderful points ,thank you for the post. I love dogs

    Reply

  28. asnnette
    Jan 08, 2011 @ 12:42:06

    I am a little concerned about dust mites setting up shop in those bed pillows. Is dust mite proof fabric sole in sewing stores that could be sewn into a cover before the final fabric cover is put on the dog’s pillow?

    Reply

  29. mais
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 16:41:19

    What if you didn’t want that dip where the two pillows meet? How could you make it seem like one big pillow? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Joyful Abode
      Nov 26, 2010 @ 16:58:19

      If you overlap the pillows more, there won’t be as much of a dip. But then of course the final bed would be smaller, so you might want to use 3 pillows if you do that.

      That said, my dog doesn’t seem to mind – she LOVES her bed still, 6 months later. :)

      Reply

  30. Crystal
    Nov 14, 2010 @ 12:26:17

    This is exactly what I was looking for. My pup chews so much, I figure I’m not going to invest in a nice bed for her yet. I figure a dog bed cover will be a great use for the multiple Snuggies I received last year for Xmas that are still in the box.

    Reply

  31. JLS
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 08:04:37

    This is a great idea! All the beds we buy have cedar chips and some sort of batting. However, my dog REALLY loves to snuggle on the pillows on the couch. What an awesome alternative to keep him off the couch and still let him snuggle in pillow land!!! T

    Reply

  32. Craft Corner » Link Love-Dog Bed
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 07:33:00

    [...] Emily presents How To Make A Dog Bed [...]

    Reply

  33. Jill
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 08:18:37

    That does look very nice, just needs to be somewhere warmer and your dog will be in heaven!

    Reply

  34. Cindy
    Sep 14, 2010 @ 20:28:22

    Love the bed. My dog, Shadow, looks very similar to Zora. I sewed a bed for Shadow but she was still such a puppy that she tore it apart. I think I’ll have to use your instructions above and sew her a new one. She 8 months now but pretty mellow for a puppy and I think the chewing phase is over.

    Busy Mom’s Tips

    Reply

  35. Welcome to my Living Room
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 23:23:12

    [...] pillows: Ikea inserts, Ikea fabric. I made the cases in the same manner as the dog bed cover. Except that instead of tri-folding the fabric, I actually cut 3 separate pieces (one for the [...]

    Reply

  36. snowbunny324
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 22:35:11

    I made one for my dog today as a small Sunday project. It turned out great and most importantly, she loves it! :) Thanks for sharing the tutorial!!

    Reply

  37. Mrs Geordie
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 01:20:11

    This is great- I am going to adapt the idea a little to make big outdoor cushions for the back yard for the morrocan hareem look! If your dog is comfy then my husband will be too!!

    Reply

  38. JoyfulAbode
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 16:05:02

    well thanks for stopping by!
    Hope your pets like their new beds if you decide to make some!

    Reply

  39. JoyfulAbode
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 16:02:56

    You're so welcome, and I'm glad you left me a comment to let me know you
    liked this idea!

    Reply

  40. JoyfulAbode
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 09:05:02

    well thanks for stopping by!
    Hope your pets like their new beds if you decide to make some!

    Reply

  41. JoyfulAbode
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 09:04:41

    Oh great! That's basically what we did – used older pillows we had already “upgraded from”… They're plenty fluffy and the dog seems to like them though!

    Reply

  42. JoyfulAbode
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 09:04:41

    Oh great! That's basically what we did – used older pillows we had already “upgraded from”… They're plenty fluffy and the dog seems to like them though!

    Reply

  43. JoyfulAbode
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 09:03:55

    I'm glad you liked the idea! And thank you so much for the link. :)

    Reply

  44. JoyfulAbode
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 09:03:55

    I'm glad you liked the idea! And thank you so much for the link. :)

    Reply

  45. Mariposaflying
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 07:38:58

    This is one of the best ideas I have seen so far on making a dog bed economically. Thank you so much, I really like your blog.

    Reply

  46. Sissym Mascarenhas
    Jun 18, 2010 @ 15:34:29

    Hello, I met you through Twitter. Very good tip to make this a comfortable bed for our pets.

    Reply

  47. Jenny
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 16:47:59

    I've been looking for a dog bed tutorial, and this couldn't come at a better time. This is absolutely genius! I'll be making for both of my boxers with old pillows, and getting new pillows for me and hubby. Recycle, reuse… Thanks so much!

    Reply

  48. anne
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 13:03:59

    Brilliant!!! The two-pillow stuffing is a great idea for making a larger sized bed! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-make-a-l
    –Anne

    Reply

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