DIY Vintage Suitcase Dog Bed

Shellie Sutera
by Shellie Sutera
An easy do-it-yourself project, all it takes to make this vintage suitcase dog bed is some bargain hunting, a little elbow grease and a touch of flair!

Your dog’s personal bed is an essential part you his or her everyday life. They rest, sleep and play in their bed. It’s their own little sanctuary that helps them to feel safe, calm, secure and protected. Dog beds have come a long way from a dusty old blanket pet owners would throw on the floor. Today, dog beds range from basic to custom made. They range from a simple donut design to a luxurious set up that costs more than your bedroom suite!

If store-bought isn’t your thing and your décor requires a unique touch, why not make a dog bed yourself? A trend that we love is the vintage suitcase dog bed look, and we’ve seen them on sites like sell for a few hundred bucks. Here’s the good news – save your money and do it yourself!

Related: DIY Vintage Crate Dog And Cat Beds

Here’s what you need:

  • Old suitcase (we picked this one up from an antique market for $20! You can also find them for sale online, at yard sales or secondhand stores for huge discounts)
  • Pillow or soft foam
  • Pillowcase, blanket or throw
  • Toy/Personal items

Step 1: Clean the Suitcase. Dust it off, wipe it down and clean it up. If it’s faux leather, like the one above, give it a rubdown with a shoe polish or moisturizer that’s safe for the fabric. We even sprayed the inside with pet-friendly lavender spray for a relaxing scent.

Step 2: Open Suitcase against a Flat Surface. Place the suit case on a flat surface and rest the lid on a wall or sturdy piece of furniture, with the opening facing you. The position should be as if you were packing or unpacking.

Step 3: Insert the Bedding. Place a soft pillow or foam in the suitcase. Cover the padding with a pillowcase or a soft blanket for extra comfort and protect against stains. Place it in the largest part of the suit case so it fits snug. Make it as plush or thin as you like – just remember that your dog needs to climb in and out of it.

Step 4: Add Toys/Personal Items. Place your dog’s favorite toys in the exposed suit case pockets for storage purposes and easy access. You can even add a photo or two of his favorite human (that’s you!).

Step 5: Invite Your Dog to Try it Out: Introduce your dog to his new bed and encourage them to sit, play and rest in the bed – a treat or two may be needed to entice him into it. This is one time you can allow him to actually eat treats in bed.

Related: Top 10 Comfy Dog Beds

This quick and easy-to-make suitcase dog bed is durable and can last years with the occasional replacement of the pillow. You can add embellishments as you see fit. It’s easy to clean and care – just toss the pillow/case/blanket into the washer and wipe down the suit case as needed.

If you love to travel with your dog, this bed is great to bring along with you. For your next trip you can pack your dog’s essentials in the suitcase and just close it up and carry it to your next destination. It’s perfect for traveling on planes, since it is an actual suitcase that can be checked at baggage or used as your carry-on (depending on size).

To assure your dog is comfortable you’ll want to choose a suitcase that is large enough so he can stretch out without touching his head or legs to its edge. Before you go out shopping for your vintage find, take measurements of your dog from tip to tail.

If you love accessorizing your dog’s personal items, go with colorful fabrics to match your décor and reflect your dog’s personality. And don’t forget to add a few of your own personal touches – to make this bed truly comfortable, it should remind your pooch of you!

Shellie Sutera is a freelance writer from sunny Miami, Florida. When she’s not secretly smuggling her adorable dog Hercules into the local beaches for sun and surf, she’s a passionate writer that specializes in writing about dogs and all of their unique quirks. She spends her free time cooking Italian food, raft boating, volunteering and traveling to dog-friendly destinations.

Shellie Sutera
Shellie Sutera

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