DIY Projects

Easy DIY Cat Bed

I found the greatest way to create a DIY cat bed from an old piece of furniture. I’ve been remodeling my house slowly over the last two years, working on one room at a time, with breaks in between. It’s been a very trying process, and I’ve had to learn as I go. 

However it has been fun and rewarding as well. I’ve completely redone my walls, my floors, light fixtures, and I’m about ready to do faucets in the kitchen and bathroom. Working on remodeling my home has inspired me to give some old furniture a facelift, and upcycle it into something totally brand new. Those projects are my absolute favorite. Because it is my own creation, custom, and fits right into my home decor. 

I had this ugly old nightstand, that is probably as old as I am, no joke. I grew up with it in my home as a kid and it has followed me since. It was one of those things that as I was doing my remodel, I had decided to get rid of. My husband didn’t want me to. 

We agreed to keep it for 30 days and if neither of us could find a place for it or a use, it was going away. Side note, this is an excellent habit to get into when you aren’t sure what to do with something, or you want to get rid of it and your spouse doesn’t. Give yourself a month to either find a place and a purpose for something, or it’s time to say goodbye. This helps de-clutter a home pretty easily. 

The nightstand sat in my way and annoyed me for a good two weeks. Then as I was puttering on Facebook, I found my inspiration. It was a pet bed made out of an old dresser. It was meant for a dog, so it was much taller and far more open than what mine would be, but that was fine. I had an idea that I could run with! 

I don’t know about any other cats, but Tigger loves to hang out in my dresser drawers or go hide in the empty space if I pull one out. He’s always trying to get in them if they are open. I did a cleanout of an entire dresser recently, and I kept finding him inside, just hanging out or taking a quick nap, like that was suddenly his space and I had cleaned it out just for him to take over. Since he loves drawers, I figured this would be the perfect project to create a space for him to enjoy whenever he wanted. 

I sat down one night with a screwdriver, a pry bar, and a handsaw and I went to work on this old nightstand and tore it apart. After I took the two drawers out of it, I quite honestly had no real idea if this was something that would work or not, or if I needed bigger tools, or what would happen. I half expected it to just fall apart on me the minute I took the first of two drawers out. Nope, it was still sturdy. Ugly, but sturdy. 

So I kept going. I took the drawers out, and removed the support beam in the middle, where the top drawer sat. Tore out all of the support beams and then made sure the bottom drawer would go back in. It fit beautifully. I was beyond excited! I took apart my first piece of furniture! Score one for me. 

From there, I had to paint it. I had to sand it a bit first, then apply several coats of primer. It has been wet at one point, and it is made of press board. This caused it to puff up in a couple places and needed some help. From there, I put a little joint compound (that stuff is gold, I’m here to tell you!) in one place where the side had torn out when I removed the support beams and it was funky-looking. I needed to fill in the gap and make it look good. The primer was soaked right up by the press board, and that is why I applied several coats. I knew it would do that.

Primer is cheaper than paint, so I was happy to use more primer than paint. Plus when using primer before paint, the paint lays down with a nicer, more even coating. This gives a more finished look. 

Once I had it painted, I put the bottom drawer back in. Followed by the handle, and I was done! I’ve been looking at other ways to decorate and add to it, like a painted “T” somewhere on it. This would personalize it for my little munchkin. I’ve thought about adding some LED lighting in it, maybe a motion-sensored one. The last thing I needed to do was make a blanket for my little guy. 

Now, my cat is spoiled. I will admit that my husband and I spoil that cat rotten. Tigger loves, and I mean loves my blanket that I use on the couch. He’s always trying to steal it when I get up to run to the kitchen or bathroom. I come back and he’s sitting on it. 

Tigger literally waits for me to get up, just so he can try to take my blanket. I find this amusing given he’s a male cat and the blanket is bright pink. He isn’t a fan of the one I made for my husband, it is always mine he wants. 

When I was deciding to make this nightstand into a bed for him, I knew he needed a blanket. This would make it more comfortable for him. I went to the fabric store and painstakingly picked out the fabric for him. Making sure it was exactly the same as mine, simply in a different color.

I cut it to fit, along with a layer of batting and sewed it all together, turned it right side out and was done. Boom. Cat has a blanket he can call his own. I know I sound like a crazy cat lady, and that’s ok. 

When I decided where to put this nightstand turned cat bed, I went looking for a place that would suit him, as well as be out of my way. I picked a spot under a window, so he could sit on top of it as well as inside, if he wanted to and either look out or just take a nap. He has choices. 

I also painted it the same accent color I’ve used around my house, that way it fits right in with the decor, and it is now a functional piece of furniture, as well as aesthetically pleasing for me. I fell in love with this project because it was fun. Seriously fun for me. 

I took something incredibly old and falling apart, and turned it into something completely different, made it functional, and fit into my house far better than it ever did as a simple nightstand. It is easily my favorite upcycle project so far. 

Have you done any up-cycle projects like this? If so, tell me about it in the comments!


  • Scott DeNicola

    What a great way to use an old piece of furniture. I have seen this done by a friend with a new kitchen that was designed. They had a cabinet custom made to fit their kitchen and it contained a low drawer for the food dish and then above it was a drawer for the dogs bed. This is way better in my opinion as you still get to keep a piece of the “family history” and repurpose it for something useful. Great idea and most important Tigger is happy too! Very handy of you! Maybe a side business.

    • The Prepping Wife

      Tigger is definitely happy with his bed! His bed is in my office, right next to my desk. I must admit that I love working and hearing him snoring happily beside me, without being in the way. Your friend’s idea was a great one too! I love when you can do custom work like that to fit so perfectly into a house. There is something very satisfying about that, like it was meant to happen kind of feeling.

  • Trish Veltman

    Looks fab, Erica. I love recycling old furniture. Had an old chest of drawers that collapsed recently and have managed to salvage the drawers for garage storage, but might have to reserve one for a cat bed for when we get a cat soon.

  • Lindsay Brown

    This is awesome! I would have never thought of using this kind of a ‘fur’niture piece for a kitty bed! I love it! And um, you are awesome with all of your home renovations! I’ve been trying to get up the gumption to begin with renos in my house. There is so much that needs to be done it just feels crazy overwhelming. Your posts are always so inspiring to me!!!! 🙂

  • Elizabeth | Tiredmom Supermom

    So clever! I never would have thought of this. It looks pretty simple to make too. Thanks for sharing!

    • The Prepping Wife

      You can easily do this with a taller dresser, Lyosha! That is where I got the inspiration from, was a much taller dresser that was used and then made a full bed as well, not just a blanket for their dog. If you make one, please send me the pictures! I would love to see what you create from this idea.

  • Subhashish Roy

    This is creativity Erica. Using old furniture to create something new. I am sure the bed will be very comfy for the little one.

  • Thuy

    I love when people upcycle furniture! This is such a practical way to do it! I don’t have a cat, but if I did I’d totally have my in-home carpenter make one of these with me

  • Casey

    This is an awesome idea! I have two cats and they are always trying to make new beds anywhere they can fit. I am definitely going to have to suggests trying to make something like this with my boyfriend. We have so much extra furniture and junk that we should be able to come up with something! Not to mention he loves picking up free furniture on the side of the road and we have nothing to do with it lol

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Britt K

    This is such an adorable cat bed and a great way to reuse a piece of old furniture. My cats also love climbing into our drawers if we accidentally leave them open, so I’m sure that they would love this! Plus, it works in any room as a functional yet pretty piece of decor, right?

  • Kat

    What a wonderful idea, and the end product looks totally amazing. I also love the 30-day idea, that’s a great way to decide what to do with things that don’t currently have a purpose. I will be using that during my next clear-out.

  • Kelly Martin

    This is a great DIY cat bed and fairly easy to make too. Tigger looks really happy with it. I love the idea of upcycling old furniture rather than throwing it away. My cats would love something like this.

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