How to Build a Cool Dog Bedby Deborah Stephenson
In addition to being good for the planet, repurposing old things into new is a good way to save money and make some cool stuff for your home and pets at the same time. You can't get much cooler than this cute four-poster dog bed made from a discarded wooden table. Make one for your canine princess and with a snazzy coat of bright, new paint color, she will be the envy of all the other dogs in her kingdom.
Measure your dog from the tip of her nose to the base of her tail, then from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet while she stands straight upright. Add 4 to 6 inches to each measurement.
Find a sturdy wooden table sized as closely to those measurements as possible without going smaller than your dog's actual size plus at least a couple of inches extra in both directions.
Remove or replace any screws, nails or other sharp bits and excess hardware that protrude from the underside of the table or legs. The space formed by the table bottom and sides will serve as the frame for your dog's mattress, so be sure it is safe from anything sharp.
Clean the table all over with soapy water to remove grime and oils. Rinse it and let it dry.
Turn the table upright and screw on the four short legs or furniture casters -- one to each corner -- to raise the table 4 inches or so off the floor when it is turned over.
Sand the table to remove any flaking paint and splinters that could hurt your dog, then wipe off the wood and paint dust with a tack cloth to finish.
Apply at least two layers of non-toxic, water-based enamel paint to the entire table -- including the underside and the added short legs -- following the manufacturer's recommendations for application and drying times. Use your imagination here to personalize your pup's bed in whatever colors and patterns you prefer.
Use the same measurements as the tabletop to cut out two identical pieces of heavy fabric. Canvas, denim or upholstery fabrics hold up best.
Fasten the right sides (pattern side) of the fabric together with straight pins.
Put a No. 16 heavy-duty sewing needle in your sewing machine and set it to make a close, straight stitch with heavy polyester or nylon thread matching the chosen fabric.
Sew all the way around all four sides of the fabric approximately 1/2 inch from the edge, leaving a small opening in one side for adding fill material later. Sew a zigzag stitch along the edges to reinforce the seams and prevent unraveling.
Turn the fabric pillow right side out and press all the seams flat with an iron.
Stuff the interior of the bed with polyester fiberfill or other loose fill, then hand stitch the remaining hole shut with a needle and matching thread.
Set the bed into the framework on the underside of the table and adjust it to fit.
Give your little princess a test fit and see how much she loves her cool, new four-poster bed.
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- Measuring tape
- Old table with top the size of your dog's usual bed
- Cleaning rags
- Mild detergent
- Tack cloth
- Non-toxic, water-based enamel paint
- 4 short, screw in-style decorative table legs or optional swivel-type furniture casters
- Heavy cloth like canvas, denim or upholstery fabric
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- No. 16 denim needle
- Matching, heavy polyester or nylon thread
- Polyester fill or other loose fill material
- Needle and matching thread
- If you don't sew, merely skip the stitching and put the mattress together by snipping strips 2 inches deep all the way around the edges of the fabric with the right sides facing out. Tie the pairs of strips together to close. Stuff as usual.
- Cover the bed with a fitted crib sheet to make laundering easy. Buy two and always have a spare to use while the other is being washed.