how to make a dog bed out of a dropcloth

Our labradoodle, Atlas, needed a new bed.

He destroyed his first five so we took about a four month break before I decided to give him another try. A puppy needs a cozy place to rest, right?


Since he is a chewer, I didn’t want to invest much in this new dog bed so a painter’s drop cloth {cheap!} and some diy embellishment was the perfect combination.



canvas drop cloth / tape measure / scissors / pins /acrylic paint / paintbrush

{not shown: letter template, pencil, sandpaper, sewing machine, thread, dog bed insert}

STEP ONE // figure out your desired dimensions


I already had a dog bed insert {from the last bed he tore apart} so I based my measurements off of that. You’ll need four pieces total – one top piece, two bottom pieces that will overlap for an envelope closure, and one long strip for the sides.

STEP TWO // cut drop cloth to size


STEP THREE // embellish top with dog’s initial, name, stripes, etc.


I printed his name, cut out the letters and traced them onto the drop cloth.

STEP FOUR // paint and sand design


Just fill in the lettering with regular craft paint {or fabric paint for washable durability}. Lightly sand to give a slightly aged look.

STEP FIVE //  sew the bed together


Begin by overlapping the back for the envelope closure {this will allow you to insert the dog bed without having to sew a zipper}. If you cut your pieces using the pre-hemmed edge of the drop cloth, you won’t need to create your own hems.  Sew the overlapping pieces along the edge just to hold into place.


Next you’ll pin the side band right sides together to the bottom piece. Just line up the edges and pin around the diameter of the dog bed. At the corners, nicely fold the corners and pin.


Once you pin the side piece all the way around the dog bed bottom, just pin the end pieces of the side piece together and stitch right sides together. Then sew all the way around the diameter of the bed. It will look like this:


Next step is to add the top piece.


Put your top piece face down on the bottom {right sides together}. Pin along the edges.


Now sew it all together – going around twice for a reinforced stitch.


STEP SIX // turn right side out and stuff the dog bed





Our sweet/crazy puppy loves it.


So much, in fact, that he left his mark on day two.


Dumb dog.

Any tips for a chew-happy dog are greatly appreciated …

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65 Responses to how to make a dog bed out of a dropcloth

  1. May Bohon July 3, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    This is hilarious because it’s true! When I read the blog title, I said “not for OUR dog!” She has torn up every single bed I’ve bought her. Of course, I learned my lesson after bed #3 (it was only $10). Now she has a folded sheet in her crate and sleeps on our carpet. :)

  2. Bryan July 4, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    This is definitely a great article. My needs a new bed Pronto. He’s a chewer tough, but has reduced that by a lot. This is a article a based on.
    I’ll give a feedback soon as I’m done with this bed.

  3. barbara July 5, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    Our chocolate lab was a real chewer when he was a pup. We used Bitter Apple to spray on things we didn’t want him to chew. It seemed to work for us!

  4. Ange;a July 9, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    I run a dog daycare and have been making dog beds out of dropcloth for a while now. Mine aren’t nearly as cool as these! Thanks for the tutorial. I might make a suggestion to consider. I stuff mine with foam (like the kind you use for a mattress pad). I tear it into chunks. That way, when they chew a hole I can just pick up the foam pieces, make another shell and stuff them back into the new one. The polyfill is just TOO fun and makes a huge mess. :)

  5. Kris {Driven by Décor} July 12, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    I love your DIY dog bed – your heart must have sank when you saw what that adorable dog did to it! Our previous dog did that with every bed I ever bought her too :-)

  6. Rachel July 15, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    oooh yes! My dog has been sleeping on an old sofa cushion. I can’t wait to try this! I would also love to link to your tutorial if you didn’t mind.

    • emily July 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

      yes, of course! feel free to link to it.

  7. Melissa August 15, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    This is a great idea! My lab has been needing a new bed & this was perfect. Just finished it up & couldn’t be more excited! :)

    A couple of dog products I love & thought you might too…The Furminator really helps with shedding. Pricey for a dog brush, but totally worth it!! And I’ve found that a tired puppy is less apt to destroy things. When walking isn’t enough, we use the Walky Dog (an attachment so she can run alongside your bicycle). A great way to get the “crazy” out!

  8. Mary August 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    I have a chewer too!! She’s the worst because she also eats whatever she chews up and what’s inside, so stuffing is a no-go. We have recently turned to stuffing the bed with old t-shirts and cloths (no zippers or buttons or stuffing, of course), that way if she gets through it, she doesn’t eat what’s inside. I am now experimenting with making a taught bed with a metal frame inside, so she can’t get the corners between her paws, that’s how she likes to chew. Otherwise, another idea I had was to make a bed with a tough fabric, a thin liner of cloths or felt or fleece (ie. something that’s strong and doesn’t pull apart easily) doing a diamond stitch across the whole thing and then placing the cover tightly around a cut piece of clear acrylic… if it’s taught enough I figure they won’t be able to chew it as easily, going to try these ideas soon (of course only with supervision)! Love this DIY idea, hope my ideas are of help to you. :)

  9. Julie B. August 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    “He destroyed his first five.” Seriously, can’t stop laughing.

  10. Amber December 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Here is my advice for chewing dogs: After my dog chewed through about four beds, I bought him a K9 Ballistics original tuff bed. It’s been 2 years, and there is not one hole. It is made out of a tightly woven nylon, I think, like the kind they use for parachutes and military fabrics. Some dogs can supposedly chew through even this fabric; however, it did the trick for my cocker spaniel. Love your dog bed (especially the recycled fabric), and I think I will make one for my chihuahua, who does not chew her bed. It is super cute!

  11. Meghann December 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Oh yes…chewing!!!! We’ve had a couple dogs during our marriage and what works for us is “bitter apple”. It’s used to keep dogs from chewing themselves but is a great tool for keeping them from chewing your things. Whenever we saw the dog/puppy chewing something they shouldn’t we would say no then spray that area. We would also take a cotton ball and spray the cotton ball and then touch it to the dogs nose (which then they want to lick off) and they would get a taste of the nastiness. And we would then say no. Sometimes I would have to re-coat the place where they would chew and it kept them from going back. I would also always give what I wanted my dog to chew if I caught them chewing something they were not supposed to be chewing. Kinda like kids…. Just re-directing their behavior. Good luck!

  12. Bessie January 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    I really like this personalization and just recently got a Chihuahua. There were not many options for cute, frou frou beds so it will be fun to make one for her with her name. Thanks.

  13. Debora Cadene January 26, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Nice job on the dog bed, As for the chewing…some do and some don’t, and I agree on the boredom as a possible contributor. If you have to leave for any length of time, and you haven’t had as much time outdoors with poochy as you’d like to burn off that energy, mabey remove the bed so they don’t keep on eating it. Don’t worry about their comfort on a floor….they will be just fine. Sometimes they are their own worst enemy and will eat large portions of the fabric or what ever else may be inside and there’s a chance it could block their intestinal track. I have two chewers, and I’ve been lucky enough that the stomach didn’t like having fabric inside, and they tossed it back up,but if it makes it through, you could be in trouble. Now I”m off to make one of your doggie beds.

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