How to Make a Dog Bed from a Canvas Tarp

A waterproofed canvas dog bed offers a cozy sleeping place outside.
Jupiterimages/ Images

Whether you are looking for a waterproof dog bed for outside or one that is slightly more durable for those dogs who like to chew, a homemade dog bed from a canvas tarp may be your answer. With just a few easy steps and supplies, you can make your dog his very own custom bed.

Step 1

Measure your dog when he is lying down, from front leg to back leg, to determine the best length for your dog bed. Measure him from head to toe to determine the width of your dog bed. Add an additional inch to each measurement to allow for sewing. Cut two pieces of the canvas tarp to match your measurements.

Step 2

Sew the two pieces of material together with a large sewing needle and heavy-duty thread. You may choose to use a sewing machine, though canvas is a thick, strong material and may damage a smaller sewing machine not designed for this type of fabric. Sew three sides together, leaving a half-inch hem. Sew half of the fourth side, leaving an opening to place the filling. If desired, you may choose to add a zipper to this opening so you can easily remove the canvas cover and wash.

Step 3

Turn the bed inside out so that the hem is inside. Fill the bed with your desired filling material. Sew or zip the opening closed to complete the bed.


  • Not all canvas is waterproof. When choosing your canvas material, look for waterproofed material if desired. If you are unable to find waterproofed material, you may purchase canvas waterproofing spray and apply to the canvas tarp before constructing the bed.

Items You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Canvas tarp
  • Scissors
  • Large sewing needle
  • Heavy-duty thread
  • Zipper (optional)
  • Filler material (foam, polyfill or cedar chips)