Introduction: Kitty Bunk Bed

I've been wanting a good comfortable bed for my cats for a long while. I have seen so many ideas, but none have been quite what I have been looking for. I am a young dad of four cats who are all very picky of where they will sleep. Then I noticed my dad was throwing away these perfectly good tires. Ah ha!

It was at that moment I came up with a plan to create a bed for our cats out of the things we have laying around my dad's garage. His trash...will be their treasure.

In this instructables I will explain how I took two different styles of tires, drilled giant plug holes in each of them, made supports out of PVC piping, wooden flooring inside the tires and enough cushion to keep my royal meows happy.


  • 1 Old car tire with a nail in it
  • 1 motorcycle tire that has been in the garage longer than I've been alive
  • 2 wooden shelves sitting by the trash can (later cut to size)
  • 2 pieces of 2x4 wood, not measured
  • 1 - 3/8" wooden dowel about 2' long
  • 1 spring I found in dad's tool box
  • navy blue, oxford blue & blue spray paint
  • 2 - 1/2" PVC pipe , 5' tall each (bought these)
  • 8 - 1/2" PVC caps (bought these)
  • Cat bed we had laying in the house
  • Old blankets and pillows
  • old cat toy

Step 1: Cleaning Up

The first step was to wash the dirty tires.

  1. I put some dawn dish soap in a large container with warm water and grabbed an old scrubber in the bathroom.
  2. I was sure to get the tires really bubbly so there was no dirt left on them.
  3. Then I rinsed them with the hose
  4. And let them dry while I put together the cat toy.

Step 2: Cat Toy

While the tires were drying, I went ahead and assembled the cat toy. This consisted of:

  • 3/8 " wooden dowel (2' long)
  • metal spring
  • old feather cat toy

  1. I pushed the wooden dowel into the spring, but it kept falling right out.
  2. So I realized I had to turn it while I pushed, so that it went in further and stayed in tighter.
  3. Once it had a good grip, and the spring was very springy, I found an old broken cat toy in the house
  4. I slid the chain from the cat toy into the spring. A brand new toy!

Step 3: PVC Pipes

Finally it was time to get to work on making this bunk bed stand tall. I needed to figure out just how tall I wanted the top bunk to sit.

  1. I measured the pipes to what 26".
  2. Set the 5' PVC pipe on the work bench,
  3. Measured 26"out and mark the exact spot
  4. Use a straight edge to make a straight line for where I would cut.
  5. I clamped the pipe to the workbench with a C-clamp
  6. I used a jigsaw to trace my straight line.
  7. I repeated this three more times.

Once I had four pipes, I set them aside and moved to the next step.

Step 4: Making Holes

The next step was to make holes in the tires for the PVC pipes, which were going to be the support system here. Obviously, the big tire is the bottom bunk so I started there.

  1. My dad taught me how to use the drill with a special kind of bit. I used a 7/8" Plug Cutter for the tires,
  2. I measured 10" apart between each hole and marked it
  3. I repeated this process until the big tire had 4 holes

Every time a hole was done being drilled, I had to get the rubber chunk out of the inside of the bit, which took the longest in this step. Once the bottom tire was done, I stood the PVC pipes in the holes, sat the small tire on top of the pipes and traced the pipes with a pencil. This way I knew exactly where to drill with the plug cutter and knew the holes would line up. I then repeated the previous steps for the small tire.

Step 5: Flooring

Now that the structure is standing, I needed to be sure the cat beds had a place to sit. Luckily, there were some old, broken shelving pieces sitting in the garage that were headed to the landfill. Perfect!

  1. I pulled any old nails and slivers from the shelves.
  2. I figured out what size they each needed to be. My dad was very helpful during this step, because I realized getting them into the tire was not going t be an easy task.
  3. We laid them over the top of the tire, measured the wood to fit what size would be the best support while still fitting into the hole of the opening of the tire.
  4. I laid the wood on the workbench, made a straight edge to follow when cutting
  5. Clamped it down nice and tight
  6. My dad guided me with the jigsaw since this was a lot different than cutting PVC. I quickly got the hang of it and was able to do it on my own!

Bottom wood piece: 18.5" ; Top wood piece: 16"

Step 6: Time to Paint

Now that the bunk beds were put together, it was time to take them apart. I needed to paint them, piece by piece. I painted the bottom tire navy blue, the top tire satin island and the pipes oxford blue.

  1. I wiped the tires down with a big dry towel to be sure there was no dirt on them
  2. I also swept my work area., which was a tarp
  3. I sprayed each tire slowly, with even sprays, back and forth.
  4. Once dried, i flipped it over and did the other side. (I did not spray the inside, only the outside of the tires)
  5. Once the tires were done, I also sprayed the pipes.

Step 7: Assembly

Now that all the pieces were dry, it was time to put them all back together.

  1. I brought it all inside of the house.
  2. I placed the fuzzy cat bed in the bottom bunk, and it was a perfect fit - but it sat to low!
  3. I found some random 2x4 chunks in the garage and laid them under the flooring to raise it up higher. Perfect!
  4. Then I stuck some tiny pillows in the top tire for extra squish
  5. I found some old blankets that my mom wouldn't notice were missing and tucked them in as well.

    Now this thing looked cozy enough for me to crawl into and take a nap!

Step 8: The Inspection

While technically, this was not a planned step in my process, it did become an important one. For hours that night, the cats would walk by and sniff their new beds with suspicion. No one entered it for quite some time..

I mean, I can't blame them. It did look way too good to be true.

Step 9: Treasure After All

After a long day of inspection, I passed the test and have been accepted with purrs and cuddles.

A pile of trash and junk turned into a piece of furniture that these kitties will treasure furever.

Trash to Treasure Contest

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest