DIY Dog Bed from Upcycled Crib Mattress

We have big dogs. Combined, they take up over half our sectional sofa. Oh yes, we are *those* people who let the dogs sleep on the couches as puppies, and then they got too big for us to tell them otherwise.
So, in an attempt to free up some seating in the living room (and replace the hideous lumps of enormous pillows on our bedroom floor we call dog beds), we constructed something that looks a bit more like furniture for them, including a real mattress. Yup, this DIY Dog Bed is the perfect use for that crib mattress your toddler outgrew (or your neighbor’s toddler, or someone on Craigslist’s toddler… used crib mattresses are not hard to come by, and usually they’re free).
DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

Even if you don’t have large dogs, this is a great bed for a couple smaller dogs to share. I love that you can customize this to fit any decor!

Yes, you’ll need a drill and some basic carpentry skills for this. No, you do not have to be an actual carpenter to make it. This is a basic project that you can put together in a day, or at least a weekend. I enlisted the help of my handy husband Scott.

To start, you’ll need:

  • (1) sheet of 3/4″ plywood cut to 51″ x 28″
  • (2) 1x4s cut to 51″ long
  • (2) 1x4s cut to 28″ long
  • (2) 1x4s cut to 29 9/10″ long

*Tip: Ask your local home improvement store if they can make these cuts for you. Usually, they’ll do so for free or a small fee.

DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

  • (4) Outdoor decking knobs to use as the feet. These are found in the deck supply area. They are typically used as decoration at the top of deck posts.
DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress
  • You’ll also need some wood screws, wood glue, a drill, and a measuring tape or ruler.

Start by running some wood glue down each short side of the plywood, 4″ in from the edges.

DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

Place a 1x4x28 over each strip of glue, then drill it into the plywood, 4″ from each short edge.

DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

Flip the plywood over, then line up one 1x4x51″ piece along the front of the plywood, apply glue to the edge of the plywood to help adhere it, then drill the 1×4 into the plywood. This is creating the front edge of the dog bed.

DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

Repeat that last step for the back edge of the dog bed, then do the same thing for the sides, lining up the 1x4x29 9/10″ pieces and drilling them into the sides.

DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

Flip the bed back over (upside down), measure and mark on the support 1x4x28″ pieces where you’d like to place the knobs as feet. We put ours 3″ in from the front and back edge of the bed.

DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

Pre-drill holes, then screw in your knobs.

DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

The last step is to finish the bed however you’d like. We used pine wood, and chose to paint it black. If you’d like to stain it, that works, too. Just be sure you fill the screw holes with some wood putty and give it a good sand before you do.

For the mattress, you can let your imagination run wild when it comes to covering it. If you have basic sewing skills, it’s easy to make a sheet for it out of just about any material. This is a great tutorial for that: Crib Sheet Tutorial, Part 2.

I chose to just use a canvas drop cloth that I got in the paint department of our home improvement store, and tucked it in around and under the mattress. One day I plan to turn it into a sheet.

All that’s left is the addition of your doggie(s)!

DIY Dog Bed Upcycled Crib Mattress

By Jill Krause
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