How to Make a Perfectly Adequate Pet Bed

Instead of paying $50-100 for a new pet bed, why not just make one yourself?

If you’ve priced a pet bed lately, then you’ve probably gone away with sticker shock. We all love our fur-kids, but the pet stores seem to think we’ll pay just about any price for the cachet of a well-known brand name on Fluffy’s pillow.

That’s because many of us will. But let’s get real: your cat doesn’t care about brand names, or which former rock star supposedly designed her bed. That’s a human failing.

The Savvy Alternative

Here’s a cheaper way that works just fine, especially for indoor cats and small to mid-sized dogs. If you’ve got a Great Dane or Lab, you’ll probably have to put some thought into how to adapt this solution to the big guys, or come up with something else altogether.

All you need is a large cardboard box, a sharp knife, some clean old clothes, and an old pillow. If you don’t have any old pillows, this’ll give you an excuse to buy some new ones for your own bed… and they do tend to be cheap. You can get a nice, soft one for less than $10.

You can get the box from a market or grocery store and some old clothes from your local thrift store — assuming you don’t already have a few of both hiding out in the attic somewhere.


By now, you probably see where I’m going with this. Start with the cardboard box. Make sure it’s sturdy and dry, that it’s clean, and that it doesn’t have any metal staples in it that might injure your pet. For cats and dogs up to beagle-sized, the boxes that bananas are shipped in are perfect.

Using a sharp box knife, remove the top flaps of the box, if there are any. Many such boxes have what amounts to a second box that slides down over the top to cover the bottom part completely, so you can slide the top off and use it for something else — like another pet bed.

Next Up

Now, cut away most of one of the long sides of the box, leaving a two- or three-inch lip all the way around. Stuff the pillow into the bottom, then cover the pillow neatly with the old clothes (this is optional). Voila! A cheap, homemade pet bed.

Next, put your pet into their little bed, so they’ll know it’s their very own. If you have more than one pet, be careful here; one of the others may get jealous, and take it from the recipient! I know this for a fact, for my beagle recently evicted my cat from her brand new lodgings.

The little guys love these pet beds, because they know they’re made with love!