How to Make a Large Dog Bed

Creating a comfortable sleeping space for your dog is crucial for their well-being and happiness. Just as humans value a cozy spot to rest, dogs benefit significantly from a designated area supporting their joints and providing warmth. This is particularly important for larger breeds, which often face challenges finding suitable beds that match their size and weight.

How to Make a Large Dog Bed

Learning how to make a large dog bed offers numerous advantages; not only can it be a cost-effective solution compared to store-bought options, but it also allows for customization to perfectly suit your dog’s needs and preferences. This guide aims to walk you through the process, step by step, ensuring you have all the knowledge and tools needed to create a comfortable, durable, and personalized bed that your furry friend will love.

Planning and Preparation

Before creating a large dog bed, it’s essential to invest time in meticulous planning and preparation. This foundational stage influences the project’s overall success and ensures the bed caters to your dog’s specific needs.

A. Assessing Dog’s Size

To ensure the bed fits your furry companion perfectly, measure your dog from snout to tail and shoulder to paw. Adding a few extra inches to these measurements will provide ample space for stretching and turning, accommodating various sleeping positions.

Measure Your Dog From Snout to Tail

A snugger fit might be more appropriate for dogs that prefer curling up, whereas larger dogs or those that like to stretch out will require more space. Note these measurements, as they will dictate the dimensions of the foam inserts and fabric.

B. Selecting Materials

Selecting the right materials is crucial for your DIY dog bed’s comfort, durability, and ease of maintenance. Opt for durable, washable fabrics that can withstand frequent washing and the rigors of dog use. Heavy-duty fabrics such as canvas, denim, or upholstery fabric are ideal for durability and easy cleaning. Additionally, consider your dog’s preferences—some dogs may prefer a softer, plusher fabric, while others might find comfort in firmer textures.

C. Gathering Supplies

After deciding on the size and materials, gather the necessary supplies. The core components include foam or cushion inserts for padding, the chosen fabric for the cover, and strong thread that can hold everything together. A sewing machine, although not mandatory (as hand-sewing is an option), can significantly expedite the process and ensure more durable seams.

Other supplies might include fabric adhesive, scissors, a measuring tape, and possibly zippers or Velcro for securing the cover. Ensure you have everything on hand before streamlining the process and avoiding unnecessary interruptions.

How to Make a Large Dog Bed: Creating the Bed Base

Creating a sturdy and comfortable bed base is vital for the overall quality of your DIY large dog bed. The base will provide the necessary support for your dog and dictate the bed’s durability over time. Following these steps will ensure that the bed base meets your and your dog’s needs for comfort and support.

Creating a Sturdy and Comfortable Bed

A. Cutting Foam Inserts

The first step in creating the base is to cut the foam inserts to the desired size and shape. Using the measurements you’ve already taken, mark the dimensions on the foam using a marker or chalk. Remember to factor in any additional space for the cover and its seams.

Carefully cut along your marks with a sharp utility knife or an electric carving knife, striving for as much precision as possible. A clean cut will make the next steps smoother and produce a more professional-looking end product.

B. Layering Foam

For enhanced comfort and support, especially important for larger breeds or older dogs with joint issues, consider stacking multiple layers of foam. This layering can help distribute your dog’s weight more evenly and prevent the foam from flattening out too quickly.

Depending on your dog’s size and the observed sleeping habits, you might combine different types of foam—firmer support foam at the bottom with a softer memory foam layer on top, for instance, to balance support with comfort seamlessly.

C. Securing Foam Layers

Once you’ve arranged the foam layers to your satisfaction, the next step is to secure them together to prevent any shifting or sliding. This can be achieved with fabric adhesive designed for foam, which provides a strong bond without compromising the foam’s integrity.

Alternatively, if you’re skilled with a needle and thread, you can stitch the layers together using large, loose stitches just to keep them in place. Whichever method you choose, ensure the layers are securely bonded to maintain the bed’s shape and provide uninterrupted support for your dog.

How to Make a Large Dog Bed: Sewing the Cover

Creating a custom cover for your DIY large dog bed adds a personal touch and enhances its functionality. The cover should be durable, washable, and fit perfectly over the foam inserts you’ve prepared. Here’s how to go about sewing the cover:

Creating a Custom Cover for Your Diy Large Dog Bed

A. Measuring Fabric

Begin by laying out your chosen fabric on a flat surface. Using the dimensions you noted, measure and mark the fabric to cover all sides of the foam inserts, adding at least an inch on each side for seams. This extra fabric is crucial for accommodating the thickness of the foam and ensuring that the cover can be easily taken on and off for washing. Once you’ve measured and marked your fabric, use scissors to cut the pieces to size.

B. Stitching Panels

Take the cut pieces of fabric and align them with their partners, right sides facing each other. Using strong thread and ensuring your sewing machine is set to a long stitch length for durability, begin sewing the panels together.

Remember to leave one side partially open; this will serve as the entry point for inserting the foam later. It’s helpful to reinforce the seams by sewing over them twice, preventing any tearing when the bed is in use.

C. Attaching Zippers or Velcro

Installing a zipper or Velcro at the open end is essential to make the cover easily removable for washing. If choosing a zipper, ensure it is long enough to span the entire opening and is sewn securely onto the fabric. For Velcro, a strip along the length of the opening will suffice. Ensure the Velcro is sewn firmly to avoid it detaching during use or in the wash.

D. Adding Handles (Optional)

Large Dog Beds That Can Be Cumbersome

For enhanced practicality, especially with large dog beds that can be cumbersome, consider sewing handles onto the sides of the cover. Use a sturdy fabric or webbing that can support the weight of the bed. Position the handles equidistantly on the longer sides of the bed for balance and sew them securely, reinforcing the stitching to ensure they can withstand the weight and frequency of moving the bed.

This comprehensive approach to sewing the cover will ensure your large dog bed is comfortable, supportive, practical, and tailored to your and your furry friend’s needs.

How to Make a Large Dog Bed: Assembly and Finishing Touches

The final assembly of your DIY large dog bed combines all the elements, transforming them into a cozy haven for your pet. Follow these steps to complete your project:

A. Inserting Foam

Carefully insert the foam inserts into the fabric cover through the opening. It’s helpful to compress or fold the foam slightly, making it easier to slip into the cover. Once inside, adjust the foam to ensure it fills out the corners and lies flat against all sides of the cover. This step might require patience and minor adjustments to get a snug, even fit that looks professional and feels comfortable for your dog.

B. Closing Opening

Once the foam is properly positioned within the cover, securing the opening is time. If you’ve opted for a zipper, pull it closed, making sure it runs smoothly and doesn’t catch on the fabric. Press firmly along the strip for those using Velcro to ensure a tight seal. This keeps the foam securely enclosed and allows easy removal of the cover for washing or replacing the foam in the future.

C. Final Stitching

Stitch around the cover’s perimeter with the foam securely inside and the opening closed. This final stitching reinforces the seams, providing added durability to withstand the wear and tear of daily dog life. Ensure your stitches are even and strong, particularly at the corners and along any sections of Velcro or around the zipper, to maintain the bed’s shape and structure over time.

Stitch Around the Cover's Perimeter

D. Embellishments (Optional)

For those looking to add a personal touch to their dog bed, consider embellishing the cover with decorative accents. Piping along the seams can introduce a pop of color and a professional finish. Appliques, such as paw prints or your dog’s name, add a charming element of customization.

Embroidery, whether it’s a simple design or something more intricate, gives the bed a unique signature that reflects your style and your pet’s personality. Remember to secure any decorations firmly to ensure they are safe and durable for pet use.

Completing these steps provides your dog with a comfortable place to rest and gives you the satisfaction of creating a personalized bed that’s both functional and stylish. Your effort embodies the love and care you hold for your furry friend, offering them a cozy retreat that’s tailor-made for their comfort.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Ensuring your DIY large dog bed remains clean and fresh is crucial for your pet’s health and comfort, as well as the bed’s longevity. Here’s how to keep everything tidy and well-maintained:

A. Removing Cover

Regular cleaning is essential, and that begins with removing the fabric cover. Depending on your chosen closure method—zipper or Velcro—it should be easy to remove the cover without disturbing the foam inserts. Depending on your dog’s usage and cleanliness, cleaning the cover regularly is recommended.

Regular Cleaning is Essential

B. Washing Instructions

Once removed, the fabric cover should be washed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most pet-friendly fabrics are machine washable. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent to preserve the fabric’s look and feel.

Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, which can deteriorate the fabric and reduce lifespan. If possible, line-dry the cover to prevent shrinkage, though some materials may be tumble-dried on a low setting if specified as safe by the fabric manufacturer.

C. Spot Cleaning

While the cover is washable, the foam inserts should not be machine-washed. Instead, spot-clean any soiled areas on the foam with mild soap and lukewarm water. Use a sponge or cloth to dab at the stains rather than soaking the foam, as excessive water can lead to prolonged drying times and potential mildew growth inside.

After spot cleaning, allow the foam to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area or outdoors, but not in direct sunlight, as this may degrade the foam. If any odors persist, sprinkling baking soda on the foam before spot cleaning can help neutralize them. Always ensure the foam is fully dry before placing it back into the cover to prevent any moisture-related issues.


Personalizing your DIY large dog bed adds a special touch that can make the bed not just a place for your dog to sleep but a cherished item that reflects your pet’s personality and your aesthetic preferences.

A. Choosing Fabrics

When selecting fabrics for your dog bed, consider both style and functionality. Fabrics in colors and patterns that complement your home decor can make the dog bed an attractive addition rather than just a necessity. If you’re crafting the bed with your furry friend in mind, think about what colors might best reflect their personality. Whether it’s a calm, soothing pastel for a gentle giant or vibrant, bold patterns for an energetic pup, the fabric you choose can significantly influence the overall look and feel of the bed.

B. Adding Name or Monogram (Optional)

Consider personalizing the dog bed with your dog’s name or initials for an added personal touch. This can be done through embroidery, appliques, or even fabric markers for a DIY approach. Not only does this make the bed uniquely theirs, but it also adds a level of detail that shows the thought and care put into creating it.

Personalizing the Dog Bed With Your Dog's Name

C. Tailoring to Preferences

Every dog has its unique sleeping preferences and needs. Some may enjoy curling up in a snug, smaller bed, while others might prefer stretching out on a larger platform. When crafting your dog bed, take these preferences into account.

The beauty of a DIY project is the ability to customize the size, shape, and even the bed’s firmness to best suit your dog’s comfort. Additionally, you can add features like raised edges for dogs that like to rest their head or incorporate cooling fabrics for pets that tend to overheat. This level of customization ensures your dog will love their new bed and provides a fun project that results in a one-of-a-kind creation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I use recycled materials for the dog bed cover? 

A1: Absolutely! Utilizing recycled materials is not only environmentally friendly but also cost-effective. Old blankets, sheets, or even gently used clothing can serve as excellent fabric sources for your dog bed cover. Just ensure the materials are clean and free from any harmful substances.

Q2: What if My Dog Chews on Their Bed? 

A2: If your dog tends to chew, consider choosing durable fabrics like denim or canvas and avoiding added embellishments that might tempt them. Additionally, providing plenty of chew toys can help redirect their gnawing tendencies away from their bed.

Q3: How Often Should I Wash the Dog Bed Cover? 

A3: Wash frequency can vary depending on your dog’s activity level and the bed’s exposure to dirt and odors. A good rule of thumb is to wash the cover at least once a month or more frequently if needed.

Q4: Is Foam the Best Choice for All Dogs? 

A4: Foam provides excellent support, especially for larger dogs or those with joint issues. However, the best choice depends on your dog’s health, age, and preferences. Some may prefer softer fillings like polyester fiberfill or even a combination of materials.

Q5: Can I Make Multiple Covers for The Dog Bed? 

A5: Creating multiple covers is a great idea for convenience and style. You can switch covers during washings or simply to give your space a new look. Just follow the same instructions for each cover you create.


In this guide, we’ve walked through the detailed steps on how to make a large dog bed, tailored specifically to the comfort and style that best suits your furry friend.

Starting with gathering materials, cutting and sewing the fabric, and finishing with cleaning and maintenance tips, each phase creates a durable and comfortable bed. The process underscores the deep satisfaction of crafting a snug and attractive resting place for your pet. It provides them with a cozy corner to relax and sleep, and it also becomes a testament to your care and affection for them.

This DIY project offers a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the bond with your pet as you invest time and creativity into enhancing their daily comfort and happiness. Cherish the experience of making a large dog bed, reveling in the joy it brings to both you and your companion.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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