One of my biggest shocks of dog ownership was just how much pet stores charge for simple things.
They wanted $65 for a flimsy little crate pad that looked like it was made with $2 worth of material!
We can do better than that.
I’ve gathered my favorite DIY dog beds into this handy list. Some require a little sewing skill, while others only require a little patience. It all depends how fancy you want to get.
But that’s the wonderful thing about making your own bed, you can design it perfectly to fit your kennel/crate, and to specifications of your dog.
Do they have lots of accidents? We’ll make a waterproof bed! Is your dog suffering from joint pain? Let’s use foam to relieve those achy bones.
You can make your crate pad big enough for your dog to stretch out and nap with only spending a few dollars on materials.
And when you’re done, you can check out our DIY Crate Cover guide.
9 DIY Crate Pads, Cushions, and Beds For Your Dog
1. Sew Pet Crate Bed
The first method is actually the one I personally used (and it’s perfect for my Dachshund).
This crate bed requires a little bit of sewing skill. And, of course, a sewing machine. If you have one within reach this is a perfectly good solution for a smaller dog. Otherwise keep scrolling as we have some other ideas that will help.
I’m not good at sewing. In fact I’m terrible. But I still managed to put this bed together.
That just goes to show that anyone can do this.
- Soft fabric
- Quilt Batting (stuffing)
- Sewing Machine / Thread
- Fabric Chalk
- Cutting mat and Rotary Cutter
- Iron and Ironing Board
Ready to give it a shot? Visit Sew Doggy Style for the full instructions.
2. Super Easy Dog Crate Pad
If the first one was a little beyond your skill then let’s make it even easier.
Essentially what you’re making here is a big pillow case. The Sassy Seamstress made this for her Doberman with bad elbows.
Yes, you’ll still need a sewing machine for this one. But all your need to do is sew around the edges. And it doesn’t even have to be perfect (because your dog won’t judge you for it).
- Rotary Cutter
- Sewing Machine / Thread
- Batting / Stuffing
- Measuring tape
Keep in mind you can re-use old fabric and stuffing from other projects. Or even hit the thrift store for some old fabric.
Head over to The Sassy Seamstress for the full tutorial
3. DIY Dog Bed – for $20 in 30 minutes
Like the title says – this is how you make a super comfy bed on a budget, and in about 30 minutes.
What I like about this DIY is how much more durable this bed is. Which is especially important if you’re on the road. You’ll want something that can take a beating while traveling.
Or if you intend to use the bed for an outdoor dog house. Or even better, out in the grass on a sunny day.
What You Need:
- Heavy-duty fabric – such as rip-stop, utility fabric, or outdoor furniture fabric
- Fusible interfacing
- Sewing machine
Check out the full instructions over at Tonya Staab
4. Waterproof No-Sew Puppy Bed
So far we’ve only touched on beds that require a sewing machine. And we haven’t seen anything waterproof yet. Then may I present the 5 minute dog bed.
It’s a shower curtain duct-taped to a foam pad.
Alright, that might sound silly, but it works! And I’ll tell you why this is so useful.
When you first get a brand new puppy, a lot of accidents happen. The first blankets and beds you use will most certainly end up in the garbage.
Having something comfy and water proof is a great temporary solution until they’re properly potty trained.
There’s a little bit of technique involved, so click here to see the full instructions.
5. Make a Sweater Bed
Well first off, that’s a funny looking dog in the picture above.
This method works great for all small pets (including bunnies). If you have a toy or miniature dog this method absolutely applies.
Unfortunately for big dogs this might not work (unless you have a really big sweater).
As you may have surmised, this uses one of your old sweaters to make a bed. Dogs are comforted by the smell of their owners, this is a clear winner.
- An old sweater
- A baby blanket
- Batting / Stuffing, or a decorative pillow the size of the sweater base
- Zipper, snaps, or Velcro so you can seal the bottom end.
- Sewing machine
Check out how to make your own Sweater Bed for Pets
6. How to sew a dog bed
We’ve already listed a few options on how to sew a dog bed. What I love about this particular one is how detailed the instructions are.
If you’re a visual learner (like me) then Heather really lays this out perfectly for us.
Also, I found thick foam is a clear winner with old dogs. My old Chocolate Labrador has arthritis and absolute loves his foam bed for nap time.
What you’ll need for this one:
- 2 inch foam (size and width depends on the size of your dog and crate)
- 2.5 yards of medium to heavy fabric
- 8 plastic snaps
- Sewing machine
- Sewing tools
Ready to get started? Visit HeatherHandMade to see exactly what to do next.
7. No Sew Bed from a Pillow
As I promise earlier, not all the projects here require sewing skills.
This is a perfect custom bed for a small dog, and will take about 15 minutes to make.
The secret sauce here is a yard of fleece stretched over a standard pillow. You simply cut strips all along the sides and then tie dozens of little knots. Essentially making a big pillow case.
Then you can customize it even further with a hand drawn decal on the side. Perfect for gifts during the holidays.
What you’ll need:
- 1 yard of fleece
- 2 standard bed pillows
- ruler, chalk
- fabric paint, stencils and sponge brush
Learn how to make the no-sew fleece pillow bed here
8. How To Sew Fuzzy Crate Pad + Cover
A picture is worth a thousand words, but an instructional video is worth… a trillion? I’m guessing?
While these DIY guides are great, when it comes to something technical nothing beats actually seeing the process.
You’ll see all the little tricks you might have missed.
And better yet, you’ll watch how Just Might DIY makes a crate cover at the same time. Everything you need to create a lovely safe space for your pup.
9. No Sew Dog Bed
Hallmark channel actually did a little piece on this. And they make this beautiful bed without a sewing machine (And in just 6 minutes!)
- Memory foam
- A fleece fabric or blanket
- A ruler or measure tape
- A foam cutter (optional)