Sunday, August 3, 2014

Easy Custom Dog Bed

This is Mischa...

Mischa is a holy terror. She's a German Shepherd/Border Collie mix officially, but we have our suspicious that she might be Australian Kelpie. Either way, she's full of energy, loves to herd us all, and gets herself in to a pile of trouble.

Including destroying my favorite pair of shoes...

Chewing on her ball prevents most destruction.

So she sleeps in a crate. She is not trusted. I will admit that she has mellowed significantly since we first got her and she is getting better at a year and a half old, but still...she is not trusted.

Before last weekend, she slept in this.
It had been lined with some towels, then we added an old pillow. She loved that. And then someone forgot to put her chew toy in the crate with her, she got bored, and she chewed a hole in it. Fluff EVERYWHERE. Dead pillow.

A few months ago, I bought her a new (used) crate from a local buy/sell/trade group. It was in okay shape, but needed some work. It was missing the floor tray, had some rust issues, and the prior owner had not cleaned it as well as I would have before selling it. (We bought it at night when it was dark other than their driveway porch lights so I had a little surprise by the light of day.)

I went to work scrubbing and cleaned off the junk crusted to the bars. It took me a couple of hours, my laundry scrub brush, and some white vinegar (along with some pretty good hose blasting). Once that was done, I gave it a good coating with black Rustoleum paint.

Other than a small dent in the door (and the missing floor tray) it was good as new.

Last Saturday, I gathered up four extra pillows from around the house and four pillowcases. The pillowcases were flannel ones from a set that, while soft, never quite fit the bed right so we never used them. Luckily, the set came with four. Perfect.

I attempted to iron the pillowcases flat so I could line up seams. That was a joke. Nice try. These cattywompus cases weren't having it. Since this was for a dog bed (for my own terribly destructive dog) I quickly got over the need for perfection. I sewed the pillowcases side by side in pairs and then sewed the bottom seams of the pairs together.

Weirdo fabric. Refuses to lay flat and smooth.

I stuffed a pillow in each case, finagled the whole thing into the crate, and folded the case ends under to try and keep devil dog from getting directly at the pillows.

That didn't really work, as she has already chewed holes at the edges of a pillow seam three times, requiring minor Frankenstein surgery. I'm still mulling options to make this habit stop. I contemplated adding buttons, but I'm afraid she'd swallow them. I'm not about to deal with the nightmare of four zippers. So for now, this is how it's staying. I'll keep patching pillow seams as needed.

She hasn't destroyed the cover yet, but we'll see.

So far, she's liking the extra space and her comfy new pillow. Now we'll just wait and see how long it takes for her to destroy it.


  1. Our dog has the same crate (or close) only with the bottom. She's destructive as well (if we give her stuff to destroy like stuffed animals). I'd love to put down a pillow, but I think she'd eat it up. She's a spoiled thing. We don't have much, in the way of our little place or belongings, but our dog has a love seat that is all of her own. She used to be allowed to stay up and sleep there during the night but she took to getting on OUR recliners, the butthead. So she's back in her crate at night and if I leave the house.

    1. Ours are pretty spoiled too. We used to have outdoor only dogs, but when Harley got sick a couple of years ago we let him and Piper start coming in. He has since passed on, but now all three girls get to come inside. Piper and Mischa sleep inside each night and Sadie sleeps on the bed when she chooses to come in. Spoiled, spoiled.

  2. Looks like a nice upgrade for her-hopefully the pillows survive, lol :)

    1. She's pretty spoiled. Too bad she's so destructive. As of today, I've already completed three Frankenstein repairs on the bed...and it needs a fourth. She's also not very photogenic. It seriously took me over 50 shots just to get the horrible ones I used in this post. At the same time I took a picture of Piper. One. It turned out perfect. The crackhead just doesn't sit still enough to get a shot that doesn't make her look like a lunatic. Probably appropriate now that I think about it.


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