How to Make a Suitcase Dog Bed

A suitcase that's past its prime makes a cozy pet bed.
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Many dogs love to curl up in their own cozy bed. Dogs generally are not picky or fashion conscious, so Fido probably would be just as happy with an old towel tossed in the corner as an expensive, custom dog bed. You, however, might prefer something a little more attractive. If your dog is small enough to fit into a suitcase, you love to repurpose old items, enjoy DIY projects and like vintage style, why not provide Fido with his own suitcase dog bed? The materials are inexpensive, and if you start in the afternoon, Fido can curl up in his new bed by night.

Step 1

Choose a hard-shelled suitcase that is in good condition. Minor scuffs or marks are OK, large cracks are not. The shell of the suitcase must be wood, plastic or metal, not fabric.

Step 2

Separate the two halves of the suitcase. If the suitcase has screws, use a screwdriver to remove them. If the hinges are welded in place, break them apart by wedging a screwdriver into the hinge, then tapping with a hammer to break the metal, or use a metal cutting blade on a small craft saw. Some suitcases have a long, thin strip of metal running between two sets of teeth. Use pliers to pull out the strip of metal and separate the suitcase halves. Discard the upper portion of the suitcase.

Step 3

Use a foam cleaning sponge to remove smudges, scuffs and fingerprints from the suitcase bottom. Shine hardware with metal polish.

Step 4

Determine how you want the bed's legs positioned. For stability, the legs should be no less than 1 inch away from the edges of the suitcase, and no more than 2 inches from the edges. Measure the position of each leg, and use a pencil to mark the spot on the inside of the suitcase.

Step 5

Paint or stain your furniture legs if desired. Let the legs dry. Drill a screw through each spot on the suitcase you've marked for a leg. Screw the furniture legs into place.

Step 6

Measure your suitcase for pillow size. Most suitcases will fit either a standard or a queen size pillow. You can use an old pillow, or purchase an inexpensive new one for your bed.

Step 7

Cover the pillow with a pillowcase in a pattern that complements your decor. Flannel is cozy and warm. If you want cotton or a fabric blend, pick a lower thread count. High thread count fabrics tear too easily for a pet bed.

Step 8

Position the pillow in the bed, tucking the edges of the pillowcase underneath the pillow.

Step 9

Set your suitcase bed where you want Fido to sleep, and invite him to curl up in his cozy new bed.


  • You can skip adding legs to the bed if you prefer.

Items You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers (optional)
  • Hammer (optional)
  • Craft saw (optional)
  • Foam cleaning sponge
  • Metal polish (optional)
  • Threaded furniture legs with screws
  • Pencil
  • Paint or wood stain (optional)
  • Drill
  • Pillow
  • Pillowcase