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!