My bedroom is small, I have back issues, and I'm not willing to buy pre-made steps at the prices I can find. So I made a set of steps that is lightweight, takes up as little space as possible, and is fairly inexpensive. Bonus: it was quite easy and perhaps it will help someone else with a not-so-mobile--
In Take 1 (http://www.instructables.com/id/Dog-stairs-for-bed-take-1), I made something very pretty but that my dog ultimately could not use.
In Take 2, we'll see something that she finds much more usable, if requiring slightly more in the way of expenditure and hardware.
Step 1: Disassembling the first attempt: a crash course in de-upholstering
I used a LOT of staples. Boy. Okay, taking apart an upholstered piece of furniture involves a number of tools. These are my favorites:
* really sturdy awl
* wire cutters
You find the staple, and stick the awl tip under it to pry it up. You may need to use the hammer to get the awl under the staple.
Once the staple is loosened, you can pull it off by hand, or you may need to use the wire cutters to slide under and grab it.
If the staple breaks, the wire cutters come in really handy for pulling the pieces out.
I removed, and removed, and removed staples. This involves not just repetitive motion that's rather hard on your wrists, but also hunching over to get at just the right spot; very bad body biomechanics. If you're trying to take something upholstered apart without destroying the underlying frame (and particularly without destroying the cloth, or in this case carpet), it takes a LOT of work.
(I really, really should have used a minimum of staples until was sure the project would work out. Ah, well, hindsight.)
Once the carpet was finally fully removed, it was simplicity itself to just remove the screws that secured the steps.
I left the bracing board on the back; I'll mention in in construction, though.
And now, ready to move into construction of the alternate version.