Build your own Dog Bed from a Suitcase

Now this is one of the most creative dog beds we have ever encountered.

And there is a good chance that you already have an old suitcase standing by.  (And you can even paint the suitcase if it doesn’t match your color scheme.)

We love the first version which maintains the suitcase backing and allows you store toys.  Any project that can serve two purposes is A+ in our book.

Project instructions from Gramkin Paper Studio:

You Need:

  • Vintage Suitcase or any hard shell suitcase
  • Tools (hammer, drill-ribbon or strap material)
  • 4 “feet” (wooden doll heads/these work well because the have a flat side
  • Gorilla glue or other heavy-duty glue
  • 2 large snaps
  • Pillow
  • Pillow Cover ( suggest a lovely pattern)


  1. Clean that suitcase! Febreeze any musty smell and repair any damage to the lining.

  2. Measure for pillow. Using a tape measure, measure the width plus the depth of bottom suitcase cavity x 2. This gives you the width of your pillow. Then measure the height (from front to back) plus the depth of the bottom suitcase cavity x 2. This gives you the height. You must add the depth of the suitcase x 2 or else your pillow will end up too small.

  3. Sew your pillow together. Put right sides of fabric together and sew around leaving about a ½ inch seam allowance. If your suitcase has rounded corners you might want to round the corners of your pillow. Leave an opening for stuffing. Turn pillow right side out and stuff. Sew up opening by hand.

  4. Attach a strap to the back of the suitcase so it will not close on your pet.Place a mark about 4 inches in from the back of the suitcase on the top and bottom of your suitcase. Open the suitcase and measure the distance between these marks, making sure your measuring tape is taut. Cut a strap using that length plus about 1 inch. Attach snap tops to both ends of the strap following manufacturers instructions. Now depending on your suitcase this part is tricky. Improvise if you need to, every suitcase is different. Choose a drill bit that will be just large enough for your snap shaft to fit through. Drill a hole on the top and bottom of the suitcase at the marks you made. Be careful of the suitcase lining. Attach the snap bottom to your suitcase following manufacturers instructions. Like I said this can be the tricky part, you might need to use a craft knife to clean up the hole and make it just right for the snap. Be creative. Once you finish this part, you should be able to snap on the strap and it should keep the bed open and not allow it to close on your pet.

  5. Attach feet. Once again, every suitcase is different; you may need to be creative with this step. The pic above are painted wooden dolls heads with gorilla glue at the bottom of the suitcase. Clean the area you are gluing very well and sand the area of the wooden dolls head and make sure it has no paint on the contact point. You may also be able to screw the feet on depending on what you are using.

There are also instructions for the beauty below without a back.  How elegant!

Suitcase dog bed no back

Images courtesy of Gramkin as well.


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