Dog beds made from re-purposed suitcases have been popping up all over Pinterest. But most are glamour shots and don’t really give a clear tutorial on how to make one. They also use suitcases that are not your average thrift store finds.
So, I decided to take an ordinary Samsonite that I found at Savers and turned it into my own little doggy oasis.
My dog is a terrier/poodle/mutt mix and a feisty senior citizen. We had been letting him nap in his crate, but he was too territorial about it and would snap at anyone who threatened his sanctuary.
Since switching to the open bed, he is slowly coming to term with the fact that people want to pet him all the time because he’s just that cute. However, my little curmudgeon loves his new bed. In fact, I couldn’t seem to wake him up long enough to get a picture. It’s just that comfy.
To make the bed you’ll need:
- A thrifted suitcase
- 2 sturdy handles with a wide spread (try to find handles that are one solid piece and have at least 4 inches between the screw holes)
- Nuts and bolts for attaching the handles
- Pillow form that fits in your suitcase (I chose one that fits the width but not the length of the suitcase so that there is a place to store his toys at one end. He has a lot of toys)
- Fabric–enough to cover your pillow form + 1/4 yard for bunting
- Some matching ribbon for bunting
- Power drill and bits
- Optional: 4 legs if you want your pet bed off the ground
- Clean your suitcase thoroughly. Mine smelled musty when I opened it and Casper did not like the smell.
- Cover your pillow form with your fabric. My form was 24×24 inches, so I sewed two 24 inch squares together. Easy-Peezy.
- This next step is a two-person job. Have one person hold the suitcase open and place the handle on the inside so that the handle acts as a brace to keep the suitcase open at a 90 degree angle. Have the other person mark with a pen or Sharpie where the screws should go. Do only one side at a time.
- Drill holds in one side of suitcase where marked. Attach one handle.
- Now, mark the other side, drill and attach handle. Doing one side at a tim ensures that the suitcase doesn’t shift as you’re working on it and everything stays aligned.
- With your remaining fabric, cut pennant banner shapes and attach to your ribbon by sewing a zigzag stitch or with glue.
- Attach bunting and put the pillow form in the bottom of the suitcase.
- Optional: Before decorating the inside of your suitcase, you can attach legs if you want your pet bed off the ground. My dog is a senior citizen and doesn’t want to climb into a bed that’s high.
- Introduce your pet to its new bed!