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Make a dog bed from a cardboard box

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Here is how I made some dog beds and washable covers using things I already had around the house. You can of course use a plain box and just put some folded towels inside, but this makes a cozy custom bed that is easily cleaned.

I will try to some more photos of the sewing process next time I make one. It is 4 short seams, 1 long seam and an elastic casing and goes together easily.

Here is the finished bed:

Make a dog bed from a cardboard box

1. Find a cardboard box that your dog can comfortably lie down inside. I used an apple box.

2. Find or make a pad for inside. I used an old bed pillow inside my box, but you can also fold up towels etc.

3. Cut off any flaps from the edges of the box. Cut down the front of the box for an entrance. Mark the center point at the bottom of the side chosen to be the front. Draw a straight line from each corner to the center point, creating a triangle. Draw a straight line across the triangle, making the opening wide enough for your dog to go through. Cut out the opening with a box cutter or xacto knife. You can also cut the other sides down lower if your box is too tall. I left mine as is.

4. Make a pattern of the outside of the box. Using newspaper and a marker, draw around each edge of your box. Start at one end and turn the box over as you complete each side, so all your pieces are all lined up in a row. Add about 4" to the lower edge so it will fold under the bottom of the box. Cut out this long pattern, adding 1/4" seam allowance to the outer edge.

5. Make a pattern of the inside of the box using the outside pattern. My pillow is thick so I made the inside liner go only part way down the inside of the box i.e. the outer cover sides are 12" tall (+ the 4" to fold under) and the inner liner sides are 7" tall so it sits on top of the pillow. You can also make the liner go all the way down and put the pad on top to hold it in place.

6. Cut out the pattern pieces. I used different fabrics for the inside and outside, but they could be the same fabric. If your fabric pieces are smaller than your long pattern piece, just cut out what you can and seam together to make one long piece. I made it so I had the fewest number of seams to sew.

7. Sew up the inner liner corners to make a box shape. These are the 4 inside corner seams.

8. Pin the liner to outer fabric, leaving the unsewn seam of the long outer piece on one of the back corners. Sew the liner to the outer, making one long seam that runs all around the top edge. This seam will be one the upper edge of the box.

9. Check the fit with your box and pad. Make any adjustments as needed. Pin and sew the last two edges of the outer fabric together. Turn under 1/2" on the lower edge of the outer fabric and sew around to make a casing. Thread 1/4" elastic through the casing. The elastic should fit over the box when fully stretched; if it is too tight it will be hard to get the cover on and off for washing. Sew or knot ends of elastic together and stitch casing closed.

10. Turn right side out and fit over the box. There you have it - a cheap dog bed that can be cleaned easily. Make a couple covers so you can swap them out if needed.

Notes on fabric: I have used both stretchy knit and woven fabric to make these. I like to use a fluffy fabric like fleece or sherpa for the liner at least. The bed shown is all cotton for summer: stretchy nantucket fleece inside and print woven cotton outside. I made an open ended pillowcase of waterproof fabric to put the pillow/pad inside.
post #2 of 9
Wow! This is incredible! Great job!
post #3 of 9
How clever! I would have never thought of something like that for my dogs! In the past I bought one of the cedar filled dog beds, but they ended up getting trashed in time anyways and was a waste of money...I love that this has a washable cover and if the box itself gets damaged it is no big deal to replace. Great job! Thanks for posting!
post #4 of 9

This is one of those bang the head on the keyboard why didn't I think of it projects.
post #5 of 9
THANKS! This is too cool; exactly what i need to make. Thank you so much for taking the time to make the awesome tutorial, mama. Blessings to you for sharing!
post #6 of 9
Do you need to replace the cardboard box periodically because it gets mishapen from the dog lying against it?
post #7 of 9
Really cool!
post #8 of 9
LOVE IT! Great job!
post #9 of 9

Wow!  I just received a large package that would be perfect for a bed for my dog!  Too bad my sewing machine bit the dust :(  

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