Your dog may enjoy lounging in the dirt all day, but when it comes to settling down for the night, your bed is the one he really wants. Neither the hard ground nor a rug indoors is a satisfying substitute for a warm, cozy chaise up off the floor. If sharing your bed's not an option, build an above-the-floor dog bed so everyone can sleep happily.
Easy Upcycled Small or Medium Dog Bed
Measure your dog's length and height while he sleeps stretched out on the floor or your bed to determine how big a space he occupies. Add a few inches. As a general guideline, the standard bed size for most miniature dogs is 19 inches by 21 inches; for small breeds, it's 21 by 36 inches; for medium-size dogs, 24 inches by 42 inches.
Find a solidly built wooden wine crate, dresser drawer or similar wooden box that closely matches your dog's measurements.
Turn it over and screw a short, commercial furniture leg on each corner -- following instructions on the package. The legs should be low enough for your dog to easily jump into his bed. If the bottom seems too thin, attach a same-size piece of plywood to the bottom first to make it sturdier, but make sure screws or nails do not poke through the inside of the box.
Paint or decorate the box as desired; let it dry, then fit a pillow or cushion into the space.
Platform Bed for Larger Dogs
Measure and mark two 10-foot-long two-by-fours into six pieces -- using a carpenter's square for straightline accuracy -- to get one 54-inch and two 33-inch pieces from each board. Cut at the marks. These form the 36-by-54-inch bed frame that will suit medium-large to extra-large breeds, German shepherd dogs and larger.
Lay out a frame, ladder-style, on a flat surface with the four short boards between the two long boards -- one 33-inch board between the 54-inch boards at each end, and the other two spaced 17 inches apart between those.
Fasten the short boards to the long ones from the outside face of the long boards screwing three 3-inch wood screws into each juncture with a powered device.
Place fitted plywood on top the frame and fasten it down with 1½-inch wood screws, spaced at 6-inch intervals, keeping the sides straight and corners square as you work.
Go over the entire platform with increasingly finer sandpaper until it's smooth and splinter-free. Use a tack cloth to remove dust.
Paint the platform according to instructions on the can with a nontoxic, washable enamel. When it's dry, top it with a 36-by-54-inch commercial dog bed or make your own.
A Custom Cushion
Fold over double 4 yards of 60-inch-wide heavy fabric. Mark and cut a rectangle 50-inches-by-68-inches from that. Put matching thread and a #16 denim needle on your sewing machine.
Align the right sides of the fabric together and stitch all the way around the rectangle, 1 inch from the edges. Leave about 6 inches open on one side for adding filler later.
Turn the fabric right-side-out, press the seams flat with an iron, and stuff the pocket with foam or polyester fiber fill until firm. Hand-stitch the opening using a blind stitch and matching thread to close.
Add locking casters to the bottom of the platform bed to promote portability; remember to lock the casters each time you finish moving the bed so it'll stay put when Bowser jumps in.
Drilling a few holes through the plywood will allow better air circulation under the mattress.
Items You Will Need
- Measuring tape
- Wooden crate, drawer or box
- 4 short commercial furniture legs
- Plywood, optional
- Screws or nails, optional
- Paint or other decorations
- Cushion or pillow
- 2 2-by-4s, 10 feet long
- Carpenter's square
- 24 wood screws, 3 inches long
- Screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bit
- 3/4-inch-thick plywood, 36 by 54 inches
- 1½-inch wood screws
- Sandpaper, assorted
- Tack cloth
- Nontoxic washable enamel paint
- Commercial dog bed, 36 by 54 inches (optional)
- 4 yards heavy fabric, 60 inches wide
- Sewing machine
- Heavy nylon or polyester matching thread
- #16 denim needle
- Polyester fiberfill or foam filler
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