Introduction: Pet Furniture From Scraps
Hello, and welcome to my first instructable!
In this project I'll be making a pet bed/pet couch with some old bed boards and paint stirrers. Everything came from scraps I had around the house, including old pillows, boards from under a bed, and an old curtain. Since I don't have a workshop, I always find it discouraging when I see instructables that require a plethora of tools and machines I don't have access to. Because of that, I made it my mission to keep this project as simple as possible, so all the cuttings aren't fully precise, but look nice. This whole project cost me no money at all, as I already had all the materials on hand, and took me about 4 hours to complete.
- Jigsaw (can use a hand saw or circular saw instead)
- Ruler or tape measure
- Screw driver (manual or electric)
- Wood glue or liquid nails
- Sanding paper
- 2 to 4 old pillows, depending on their size
- An old curtain
- 1 to 2 old bed boards or scrap wood - the pieces I used were 1 large wide board that was 8 by 48 inches and another bed board that was 5 by 50 inches.
- 5 large paint stirrers
- Corner brackets with screws
- (Optional) wood finish or paint
- (Optional) a sprig of catnip or your pet's favorite treat
Step 1: Measuring and Cutting the Boards
The first step for this project is to measure and cut the boards. I cut the boards to fit my cat Princess, so I cut both boards in half. The long and narrow 5 by 50 in boards I kept at 25 in for each piece, while the 8 by 48 in boards I cut down to about 13 in long.
For the feet of the bed I just hand drew a curve along the bottom, going more by what was visually appealing as opposed to something precisely drawn and measured. Using the appropriate protective equipment (gloves, protective glasses) I carefully guided the jigsaw along the lines I drew in pencil.
I'd recommend cutting just outside your lines, as you can always go back and cut off more material as needed, but can't add material back should you cut off too much.
If you would rather make a couch instead of a miniature human bed, I suggest cutting the backboard from the larger plank. Since I made a bed first and then turned it into a couch, I cut an additional board and attached it on top with more corner brackets. I'd also recommend making the larger boards/arm rests of the couch less deep in order to be proportional to a real couch. Since I originally made this to be a miniature bed, the frame is much more square.
Step 2: Sanding the Edges
Since your beloved furry family members will be sitting on this bed, and most likely you will be moving it around yourself, you want to sand down all sharp edges. While I used a Dremel tool with a sanding bit for this, sandpapering by hand is just as effective.
Step 3: Assembling the Frame
For both a bed and a couch, this step starts out the same. Using the corner brackets, secure all the frame boards with two brackets in each corner. This makes the frame super sturdy and prevents any unattractive nail or screw heads showing on the outside.
Following the base frame assembly, the bed boards should be added with wood glue or liquid nails, as using nails or screws may split the paint stirrers. I only used 5, as my cat is very light weight and that's all I had, but for more stability and strength, I'd recommend using 7 or 8 wood stirrers.
If you want to make a couch, then there is another step.
Place the backboard on top of the paint stirrers and draw where each one touches the board. With these measurements, take a sander or cutting tool and cut out little holes for the stirrers, so that the backboard still touches the base frame.
Adding liquid glue between the backboard and the stirrers is optional, as adding the two corner brackets to each corner will be stable enough.
Step 4: Making the Cushions
Now that the frame is all done, slap on some wood finish or paint and get to the sewing machine. If you are using a stain or similar finish for the wood, I would recommend using gloves and wearing old clothing, as it will also stain your skin and clothes.
With your own bed measurements, you can go out and buy some foam or a pillow that perfectly fits your bed or couch. Since I already had some old pillows that fit the frame perfectly, I went straight to the sewing machine and made an "envelope" and "slip" cover for each pillow.
For the long pillow I made an envelope shape - in other words, I wrapped the pillow like a present and clamped each corner. Then, I removed the pillow and sewed down both ends from clip to clip, leaving the center open like an envelope so I could add and remove the pillow to wash the cover.
For the square pillows I made a simple slip, sewing three edges and leaving the fourth open to add and remove the pillows.
Step 5: All Done!
Now that your paint or finish has dried and the cushions are made, all that is left is to get your furry friend on the bed!
If your pets are anything like mine, they will either be extremely curious of this new object or extremely scared. Either way, it helps to make them comfortable and want to lay on the cushion by putting their favorite treat or some catnip, if you made it for a cat, on the cushions.
They will be watching TV with you on their own couch in no time!
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