How to Make a Pet Bed from a Cardboard Box

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How to Make a Pet Bed from a Cardboard Box

Need to get a bed for your pet, but don't have a lot of money? Don't fret. Make your own from a cardboard box and items around your home.

Depending on the size of your pet, find a nice, sturdy box to create the pet bed. For larger pets, look for large boxes. You can pick up free cardboard boxes at grocery, big box and warehouse stores. Just make sure the box did not contain any toxic items that could potentially be harmful to your pet.

For example, look for food related boxes, such as ones that stored bags, boxes or jars of fruit, cereal or pasta. Stay clear of any boxes that once contained cleaning products, paint or food that could be potentially harmful to pets, such as onions or garlic.

To transform the cardboard box into a pet bed, look around your home for the following items:

  • non-toxic paint
  • paint brushes and/or foam brushes
  • colored or decorative paper
  • fabric
  • craft glue
  • old pillows
  • old linens
  • old waterproof mattress cover
  • box cutter
  • scissors

You don't need all of these items, but try to find items that you can use to decorate the box and to create a pillow for your pet. If you don't have any or most of the items, make a trip to a local thrift store or rummage through the clearance and sale sections of a local craft store.

Depending on the size and shape of the box, cut it down to the size and shape for your pet to comfortably fit. For easier cutting, use a box cutter or a sharp kitchen knife, such as a bread knife. Be very careful while cutting cardboard. For extra precaution, wear thick gloves and work on a hard surface, such as work bench or table, to prevent any injury.

Decorate the box with a safe and non-toxic paint or cover with fabric and/or decorative paper.

If you paint the box, make sure you let it dry completely. This may take a few days. This will make sure the paint sets completely and to eliminate most of the paint fumes.

Make sure whatever you use to decorate the cardboard box is not dangerous for your pet, especially if they tend to chew on things.

Place an existing pet pillow inside the box or make your own. To create a free or inexpensive pet pillow for your pet, you can:
  1. grab an old pillow or pick up an inexpensive one at your local discount store. Make sure it's made of material and stuffing your dog will not be allergic to.

  2. create a removable pillow cover for the pet pillow for easy cleaning. You can create a pillow cover from old sheets, blankets or comforters, towels or scrap fabric. If your pet is prone to accidents or marking their territory, cover the pillow first with a waterproof pillow case or make one out of an old mattress pad.



  1. create a waterproof liner for the bed. This will help prevent any liquids from leaking onto the cardboard. Line the bottom of the bed with training pads for the best coverage and for quick and easy cleanup. If you don't have any training pads, a thick towel should be sufficient. Be sure to remove any soiled items so they do not leak onto the cardboard and ruin the bed.

Assemble the pet training pads and/or towel and place the pet pillow into the pet bed. Add some of your pet's favorite toys and let them become accustomed to their new bed.

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