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The Easy Way to Make a No-Sew Dog Bed

A few basic materials and a few minutes of your time can result in a beautiful diy dog bed.

May 20, 2024 4 min read
The Easy Way to Make a No-Sew Dog Bed

Nothing communicates cozy domesticity quite like the image of a happy dog curled comfortably into its own little bed. While some canines are able to sleep just about anywhere -- including their masters' beds -- both dogs and dog owners can benefit greatly when a pet has its own dedicated bed.

You don't have to spend money on manufactured dog beds - nor do you need to resort to pillows that just look like pillows! Even if you don't have any sewing skills whatsoever, you can create your own no-sew dog bed quickly and easily with just a few basic craft materials. Read on for an easy tutorial on creating your own DIY dog bed.

Why Does Your Dog Need Its Own Bed?

You might wonder why your dog needs its own separate bed at all. For one thing, if you've ever tried sleeping on the bare floor, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Dogs with musculoskeletal pain conditions such as hip dysplasia or arthritis need a well-padded place to sleep. A bed that includes a washable cover also gives your dog a more hygienic sleeping environment, no matter how frequently you might sweep your floors or vacuum your carpets.

If your dog has developed a habit of sleeping in your bed, you're probably better off breaking that habit. Dogs can carry pests and parasites which may find their way into your bedding. Additionally, dogs benefit from having a "home base" that they can call their own. Once your dog understands that you've made a bed just for it, you can expect to see it snoozing there in short order.

How to Make a DIY Dog Bed

While you may get as fancy as you please in building a dog bed, the only materials and tools you really need are a pair of fabric scissors, some soft fabric to serve as a washable outer covering, and enough soft materials to fill the interior. The inner filling can consist of ordinary pillow stuffing, foam rubber, cotton batting, or even a small, ready-made pillow. You may have a lot of fun selecting fabric that flatters your decor and/or expresses your dog's personality. But even an old T-shirt can suffice, as you'll see below.

Step 1: Cut your fabric

Once you've chosen the right size for your pillow or other filler material, cut two pieces of cover fabric so that they're around four inches larger in diameter than your desired size. Next, cut straight lines into this four inch section, at one-inch intervals, until you've created tassels that run all the way around the edges of the material. 

If you're using a T-shirt, cut the sleeves, neck, and bottom hem into a diamond shape, then fold the diamond in half (so that the neck area touches the bottom hem area) before cutting your tassels.

Step 2: Tie most of the tassels

Place one piece of cover fabric directly over the other so that their respective tassels line up. Cut off the corner pieces, then start tying each top tassel to its matching bottom tassel until you've created an open-ended bag. 

If you're using a T-shirt, cut these flaps only on the angled side of the folded diamond, leaving the long end intact. Don't tie off the open end of the bag just yet.

Step 3: Stuff and close

Stuff your open-ended bag with your pillow or other filler material of choice. When you've got the filler material evenly distributed inside the bag, tie the final set of loose tassels together. you now have a self-contained DIY dog bed that should offer both comfort and good looks. Since you've only tied the bed together instead of sealing it shut, you can wash the cover easily. Just untie the tassels on one end, remove the filler, and toss the cover into the washing machine.

One More Optional Step: The "Dog in a Box"

If you've always appreciated the aesthetic appeal of a handsome headboard or other bed accessories, you may want to enhance your dog's bed by framing it in a decorated box. Any open-topped cardboard box of the appropriate size will do nicely. Simply cut out one of the sides so your dog can get into and out of it easily, then place your completed dog bed inside. You can leave the box as it is, paint it in festive colors, or cover its surfaces in colorful wrapping paper for a beautiful final result.

Your Vet's Advice May Prove Helpful

Even after constructing a beautiful no-sew dog bed for your beloved pooch, you may have lingering questions and concerns. For instance, what if your dog develops a skin rash or other allergic reactions to the bed's materials? If you would occasionally like to let your dog sleep in your bed, how can you minimize the risks of pest infestations and other potential health issues? Your veterinarian can provide many helpful solutions, from allergy treatments and hypoallergenic bedding to a regular pest/parasite control program for your pet -- so don't hesitate to ask!

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