Introduction: MCM Dog Bed With Washable Mattress!

About: My love of making things started young, with a mom who was always coming up with projects and a dad whose tool collection still gives me envy. I got my love of bright colors from mom and my love of working wi…

Oh my dog! This project *should* be a weekend project. But when there's a new doggo in your life...things take a little longer. We brought this energetic little nugget home in late April and started this project the first weekend of May. One month later, and we just got it done. Why you ask? We'll blame it on three things:

First, a new pup takes a lot of time and training to get him used to his new digs. Plus, we soaked up all of those puppy snuggles a few too many nights, which kept us out of the workshop.

Second, we started this project with the intention of finishing it in a day, as the original plan was to use a dog mattress that we had already purchased. However, when we realized that the bed wasn't going to work in the original spot (the living room), we had to make a new mattress (with removable cover) from scratch to make it fit the decor in the office. Let's just say that I'm better on a saw than a sewing machine, so that daunting task set us back quite a few weeks until I built up the courage to give it a try.

Third, once we realized that this project was going to take WAY longer than a day, we ended up having to shelve it further because we had a more urgent need: a way to organize all of the leashes and accouterment that comes with having a pup. We put this project on hold and build the Dog Butt Leash Hanger first out of necessity.

However, we have finally finished this project, and it was certainly worth the wait! It looks perfect in the office, and best of all: Roadie loves it!


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Wood (we used poplar and plywood)


Latex paint

Spray paint

Miter saw -

Circular saw -

Random orbital sander –

Pneumatic nail gun -

Air compressor -

Drill -

Sewing machine -

Wide painter's tape -

Wood glue -

Wood filler -

Paint supplies -

Angled leg brackets -

6" legs -

Foam (2” thick) -

Electric knife (ideal) or foam cutter -

Sharpie -

Cutting mat -

Rotary cutter -

Foam board -

Utility knife -

Straight pins -

Zipper -

Yard stick -

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Step 1: Make Frame for Dog Bed

Thanks to the clean lines of the mid-century modern (MCM) style, the frame for this dog bed is SUPER easy. You can easily create it in just a couple of hours--and with only a few tools. The exact size will depend on the size of bed you want to create for your dog. Ours was 22" wide x 15" deep x 7" tall

Gather the following materials: wood (we used poplar for the sides/back and plywood for the bottom), power saw, painter's tape, wood glue, wood filler, power sander, pneumatic nail gun, air compressor.

Follow these steps:

1. Cut two pieces of wood to create the sides. Ours were 7" tall x 15" wide.

Note: the end of the wood facing out should be a straight cut; the end that will attach to the back should be cut on a 45-degree angle.

2. Cut one piece of wood to create the back. Ours was 7" tall by 22" wide.

Note: Both ends of the back should be cut on 45-degree angles.

3. Cut a piece of wood for the bottom of the unit. This should fit inside of the frame created by the sides and back.

Note: As we were using plywood for the bottom board, we cut it 1/4" shy and created a strip of banding using poplar to cover the end grain of the plywood.

4. Sand all pieces of wood with a power sander until smooth.

5. Lay your pieces of wood out to prepare for the glue up.

Tip: We placed strips of painter's tape under the ends where the 45-degree cuts meet. this makes it easier to glue those together.

6. Apply wood glue to the sides and back, following the instructions on your glue.

7. Add glue to the bottom board and slide it into place.

8. Use a nail gun to tack the pieces together to aid in clamping.

9. Use wood filler to fill in any cracks. Sand flush once dry.

Step 2: Paint Bed Frame and Legs

Part of the fun in this design was painting it a bright color! We used latex paint in a fun, aqua color.

Gather the following materials: latex paint, spray paint, bed frame, foam brush, roller, legs, painter's tape.

Follow these steps:

1. Start on the underside of the unit and paint the underside and outside sides with a paint roller. Let dry.

2. Flip the unit over.

3. Use a foam brush to paint all of the corners in the unit.

4. Use a roller to paint the rest of the unit.

5. Once dry, apply a second coat.

6. Cover the tips of the legs with painter's tape.

7. Paint the legs using a foam brush.

8. Spray paint the hardware, if desired.

Step 3: Attach Legs

The legs are really what give this dog bed the ultimate MCM vibe. Placement of the legs, however, will make or break the look. To do this, the legs need to be on the right brackets, as well as pointed in the right direction when installed.

Gather the following materials: drill, screws, angled leg brackets, short (6" legs)

Follow these steps:

1. Measure and mark the placement of the brackets.

Tip: You want the legs to be angled toward the corners.

2. Pre-drill holes for the brackets.

3. Screw brackets into base of bed.

4. Screw legs into brackets.

5. Tilt the feed on the legs so they lay flat when the bed is turned onto its legs.

Step 4: Cut Foam for Mattress

There are many ways you can do the mattress for the dog bed. We wanted to keep with the squareness of the dog bed, and we also wanted the cover to be removable and washable. To get started, we first had to cut the foam to size.

Gather the following materials: Foam, serrated knife or foam cutter, sharpie

Follow these steps:

1. Place the foam in the dog bed and use a yardstick and sharpie to mark the outer most depth for the foam.

2. Subtract a 1/2" from the measurement, depending on the thickness of your fabric.

Note: We were using fleece and wanted a little lip to show on the bottom board once the fabric was in place, which is why we subtracted the half Inch.

3. Cut the foam to the desired size using a serrated knife/saw/foam cutter. Set aside.

Step 5: Sew Dog Bed Cover

To be honest, this is where the project went on a major pause. I'm just more comfortable on a saw than a sewing machine, and making a square cover with a zipper so it could be taken off can be quite daunting. However, it wasn't as hard as it was in my head, and after a few weeks, I finally got up the nerve to give it a go. With a few tricks to get around the things I struggle with the most, all listed below.

Gather the following materials: fabric (the snugglier the better), sewing machine + thread, cutting mat, rotary cutter, foam board, utility knife, straight pins, zipper, yard stick

Follow these steps:

1. Measure the foam (top, sides and height) to ensure you have the exact dimensions.

2. Add 1/2" to each measurement to account for your seam allowances (the space between where the seams are and the edges of the fabric). A half inch seam allowance in total will allow for a 1/4" seam on each side.

3. Create a template for the top/bottom, short sides and long sides out of project board.

4. Use project board templates and a rotary cutter to cut the fabric. You'll need 6 pieces in total:

Top, Bottom, 2 Short Sides, 2 Long Sides

5. Lay the fabric around the foam to ensure the pattern is facing the way you want it to.

6. Pin the short sides and front side to the top piece of fabric. Ensure that you are pinning the right sides together (front of the fabric should be facing each other).

7. Set the pinned fabric aside.

8. Lay the zipper face down on top of the long strip that goes in the back and pin with the edges meeting flush.

9. Sew the zipper to the long side of the fabric.

10. Lay the zipper face down on the bottom piece of fabric and pin with the edges meeting flush.

11. Sew the zipper to the bottom piece.

12. Pin the long back side to the top piece.

13. Sew all the way around the top piece, ensuring that you are leaving the 1/4" seam allowance.

14. Pin the bottom piece to all of the sizes, ensuring that all corners are allowed.

15. Sew all the way around the bottom piece, ensuring that you are leaving the 1/4" seam allowance.

16. Sew the corners together, ensuring that you are leaving the 1/4" seam allowance.

17. Turn the cover right side out and place over cushion.

Congrats! You did it.

Step 6: Just Add Dog and Enjoy!

Now all you have to do is introduce your pup to the bed. Now everyone can go take a nap. :)

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