Introduction: Stylish & Simple Suitcase Pet Bed

This is a simple project that your cat (or other small pet) will enjoy and appreciate! This Instructable will show you how to create a stylish pet bed from a hard-shelled vintage suitcase. I personally have a small collection of vintage American Tourister suitcases, and love that I could put one of them to good use finally!

Materials Needed:
  • Vintage hard-shelled suitcase
  • Pliers & Hammer
  • Drill
  • Tape Measurer
  • 4 Table Legs (available at any hardware store)
  • 4 Top Plates - either angled or straight
  • Paint (Optional, if you decide to paint the legs)
Cost to Create:
The suitcase I used was only $1 at my local Salvation Army Thrift store. The table legs I purchased were from Menards, and they were $1.50/leg = $6.00 total. Finally, the Top Plates included 4 screws and were about $1.50 each, or $6.00 total. So, my total cost was $13.00 - but I think you may be able to get the materials much cheaper if you shop around. I think you could also buy a cheap round table and detach the legs to use them for this project.

Step 1: Pry the Suitcase in Half

This is the only difficult part of making the pet bed and requires some creativity and determination. These old suitcases are made to last - it seems - hundreds of years. So, good luck in prying it apart at the hinges! I tried to bend the metal that was covering the hinges to expose the long metal rod in between it, but it was not possible. I had to bend and contort the suitcase to loosen up the hinges enough so I could break them off. The old suitcase I had, is an American Tourister, and for some reason it already had four holes drilled into it. I just ignored them as I needed to take proper measurements and make new holes for the legs.

Step 2: Measure & Drill Holes for Top Plates

In this step, you will need to secure your furniture legs into the top plates. It's a good idea to secure them into the top plates first, so you can visually lay things out to see where you'll be drilling and putting the legs. When I did this, I measured an equal distance from the side of the suitcase to the top plate, and tried to make sure everything was lined up properly. I then used a pencil to mark where the holes would need to be drilled. I drilled the holes, then drilled in the screws to secure the top plate to the suitcase.

If you decide to paint the legs, you can easily unscrew them and do that at any time in the future.

Step 3: Set It Up & You're Done

Now checkout your new pet bed! Put a nice comfy pillow and/or blanket in it for your cat or small animal, and let them enjoy it! If you wanted to, you could create a pet "bunk bed" by buying four more furniture legs and top plates (straight, not angled) and attach them the same way. I wouldn't use very long furniture legs because you want it to be sturdy and secure. I may do this in the future as my other kitty would love to have her own bed also! For now, my cat Tommy is extremely happy and enjoying her comfy bed!

Comments

author
JFabor made it!(author)2013-03-11

Nice! Here's the one I made using your instructable. I painted mine with spray paint and attached some legs I swiped from a couch out behind the dumpster.

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HollyMann made it!(author)2016-10-02

So cute!!!

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gempje made it!(author)2012-04-10

thats awesome, but i'm affraid my cat won't like it... he never likes awesome stuf

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HollyMann made it!(author)2016-10-02

I understand that!

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VictorV14 made it!(author)2016-02-04

*Drop some catnip in it!!!! ;)

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HollyMann made it!(author)2012-04-10

Aww that's too bad :( they always like to lay everywhere but their cat beds it seems...but so far my one cat likes the new bed.

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Julie716 made it!(author)2016-02-10

Top half of suitcase is the bed. Bottom half is a toy box for the cat. ????

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HollyMann made it!(author)2016-10-02

Your cats are so cute! The toys for the cats are great too...they love playing underneath it!

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zabs made it!(author)2016-10-02

What a wonderful idea! My payday's tomorrow so I guess I'll be spending it hunting for cheaply-priced suitcases! May I ask what kind of cat your multi-colored beauty is? That cat could seriously have a career in feline-modeling! It's wide-eyed expressions are simply priceless.

author
HollyMann made it!(author)2016-10-02

Thanks so much zabs! You are so sweet! I hope you can find a cheap vintage suitcase to use! Honestly I'm not sure what type of cat she is! :( But, I have had people tell me she is likely a mix with of tortoiseshell. I haven't been on this Instructable in some time...and just realized the photos weren't even that high quality. I am going to upload a couple more recent pics of her. I definitely think she is a little model. She is the princess of our cats...she is just different than my other kitties...how many cats do you have? :) Feel free to share a pic! I've become a cat lady!

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author
Julie716 made it!(author)2016-02-10

Top half of suitcase is the bed. Bottom half is a toy box for the cat. ????

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HollyMann made it!(author)2012-04-17

Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate it! :)

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jessyratfink made it!(author)2012-04-09

Love this! It's so cute. I wish I hadn't donated the horrible pink suitcase I had when I moved. My girls would have loved it.

I'll have to go thrifting!

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HollyMann made it!(author)2012-04-12

Thanks for the comment! The pink suitcase sounds like it would have been so cute as a cat bed!

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hjjusa made it!(author)2012-04-10

My dogs have a stuffed bed they use regularly. Recently though, they have discovered how much fun it is to ripp out the stuffing and scatter it all over my yard. I began today to think up a wooden pet bed I could just line with carpet.
I have an old oversize suitcase no longer in use that is now going to get lined with carpet. Thank you.

author
HollyMann made it!(author)2012-04-12

You're welcome! I love the carpet idea - dogs and cats both seem to like the feel of it too and won't be able to rip it apart! :)

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omnibot made it!(author)2012-04-10

Awww, I am in love with this. But I think I'll keep the lid on the case propped up for extra cuteness (and just one kitteh)

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HollyMann made it!(author)2012-04-10

Good idea! :)

About This Instructable

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Bio: Army Vet. I love learning & being creative.
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