In case you sincerely couldn’t figure it out (that’s ok, don’t get down on yourself) Brett and I made a bed for our sweet pets from a vintage suitcase we used at our wedding!
My step-mom’s mom (Nanna!) found this adorable vintage Samsonite suitcase that we used for cards at the wedding. Brett and I loved it so much, we wanted to find a way to give it new life at our house. Since Fatty is drawn to a open suitcase like a moth to the light, we felt turning it into a bed was the perfect fit. Both Fatty and Stella are notorious snugglers, so we wanted to give them a cozy place of their own to enjoy . . . not that it will keep their furry butts off the couch or anything like that.
I decided to do a bit of a photo tour of how we made it, in case you are so inclined to make one of your own!
First, gather your materials and set them out like you’ve seen a bunch of other bloggers do. Then, once you’ve taken your photo, put it all away again and realize how inefficient blogging your projects truly is.
For the cushion, I opted for an inexpensive bed pillow from Walmart. I decided to sew a simple envelope style pillowcase so that the material would be easily washable, and the pillow would be easily replaceable. Pet butts are not clean things people.
I used this tutorial
for my pillowcase. I promise it’s a real cinch. I never could have finished this project if it wasn’t. First, cut your fabric. You’ll notice my crochet magazine which I am using like a carpenter’s square because I couldn’t cut a straight line even if you paid me to.
A rotary cutter makes this process a whole lot simpler. My step mom has this knack for getting me the best gifts that I didn’t even know I needed.
You’ll be cutting 3 pieces of fabric. One that is just a bit larger than the full face of the pillow and two smaller pieces for the envelope “flaps.” The tutorial is for a square pillow, but if you use the formula for the size of your pillow, it will work fine. You’ll want to sew a hem on one side of each of the smaller “flap” pieces. My hem was about 1 1/2″ because it looked nice.
Iron. Pin. Sew. My aunt Cheryl taught me that!
This is what sewing looks like.
Next, lay your pieces right side together and pin together your edges. Your two “flap” pieces should over lap one another, with the hemmed edges in the middle.
It’s at this point you will realize that your shape cutting skills have declined tremendously since kindergarten and the pieces don’t really match up and you’ll start to wonder if maybe you’ve gotten in a bit over your head here. You haven’t. Just keep pinning.
When you’re done pinning, start sewing. You’ll have cut your material with an extra inch on each side. This will give you a half inch seam allowance. Since you cut your pieces of fabric all wonky, you’ll need it.
This is also what sewing looks like. In case you didn’t know, always pull your pins just before you reach them with the needle. If you sew over your pins, you might break your needle and you’ll have a fit because you aren’t very confident in your ability to actually switch out a needle on your machine. You can, but it’s easier if you don’t have to.
Trim your corners, flip it right side out, and enjoy your handiwork. You didn’t screw it up!
Then, stuff your pillow in and see how it looks. You can stop here if you want. In fact, Fatty was more than willing to start enjoying the comfiness right away.
What a good looking guy. However, you’ll notice that I’ve covered the back panel with fabric. We used hot glue to attach letters that said “CARDS” for the wedding and some residue was left behind. I just wrapped some of the extra fabric around the panel and used liquid stitch to secure it. Honestly, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have bothered.
We also decided to add some legs! Kimberly was practically beside herself as I painted these because she thinks I’m bonkers. I prefer creative genius.
Once your short little legs are painted and dried, you’ll want to attach the hardware with your handy, dandy drill. God bless the drill, I say.
I just screwed it right into the bottom of the suitcase. Simple. Then, screw in your legs. (Ok, just do it and don’t snicker.)
Flip the whole thing over, put it somewhere cute, and take your finished project photos !
Stella is quickly becoming that blog dog who poses for me whenever I ask and quite honestly, I couldn’t love her more for it!
Overall, this project probably cost under $40. The legs and hardware were about $2-2.50 each. The fabric was about $5 for a yard and a half. The pillow was less than $5. I also bought paint and foam brushes, but chances are you might have a color on hand that you like. The suitcase of course was free, but I’ve seen some really great options at thrift stores lately so keep your eyes open for a good deal!
This project was a lot of fun and the pets are already battling it out for territory rights. Maybe I should have made suitcase bunk beds!
A final, sleepy goodbye from Fatty: