Sunday, September 4, 2016

Our DIY Doggy Bed Is Done. Proud Moment.

I don't normally post the "after" photo first, but today I'm making an exception. The DIY doggy platform bed is done! This is the DIY bed I envisioned in my head, we purchased supplies for and wanted to make around the 4th of July weekend. That didn't exactly happen. Life got busy. I took on a temporary, month-long freelance project that sucked up a lot of my time. In addition, we've been making changes on the Bodacious Biscuit Love end of things and we decided to enjoy the summer season a bit.

I'm finally back on track. And, I canceled the plans for this long weekend because as of Thursday, after an emergency visit with her doctor, Lisa is being treated for Lyme. In addition to taking care of her, I've managed to get caught up on a lot of stuff.

To back up a bit, earlier this summer, I wanted to make a mini version of a human bed for Lobo. He only has one hind leg. His other hind leg doesn't have full mobility. Lobo is unable to jump on furniture and he can't climb stairs. We tried building him a ramp to get up and down the sofa last November. Sadly, he wasn't able to walk up the incline. About halfway up, his back leg gave out.

Throughout the day and evening, we lift him onto the bed, sofa, love seat or living room chair. He loves to be on our bed. It's the favorite sleeping spot for all of our kids. Even though he lets us know when he wants to be on the furniture, that doesn't give him the same independence as his brother and sister.

I wanted to do something about that. 

For about a week, I sketched out various designs for DIY doggy beds. I kept a few things in mind during the planning process. I wanted it to look like a real "human" bed. The height couldn't be more than 6 inches. It had to be big enough for all of our kids because we knew they'd all want to eventually try it out. And last, the goal was to utilize as many already-on-hand materials so we could keep the cost of making the DIY bed around $20-$25.

I priced doggy canopy style platform beds online and the prices ranged from $50 all the way up to over $1,000!

We made a trip to Home Depot and only purchased what we didn't have on hand. The total cost was right around $25.

On Friday, I sanded the pieces and started the process of painting. Yesterday I put on the final coat of paint and began constructing the DIY doggy bed. Lisa assisted with this process. I used wood glue on the bottom, to make the platform secure, and wanted to allow enough dry time.

Once the bed was all put together, the next big project was making the mattress, blanket, and pillow. As of now, I don't have a sewing machine.

Last year, 2 people donated a sewing a machine. Neither one worked. In the next few weeks, we're going to invest in a new one. 

I used a sturdy corduroy fabric for the mattress. Originally, I was going to use fleece, but fleece loses shape and has too much stretch.

For the blanket, I wanted to make a gorgeous patchwork quilt. However, with having to sew everything by hand, I decided to wait. Instead, I cut up a dog print Snuggie I had received a few years ago for my birthday. I've worn it once. The kids love it. It's thick and soft. For the back of the blanket, I used a plain fleece material.

I had quite a bit of material left over from the Snuggie and fleece fabric so I whipped up a matching pillow. I found several bags of pillow stuffing in the closet.

Total time to hand stitch everything was about 4 hours. I sat at the table and worked my fingers off. I was determined to get everything done.

By dinnertime, the bed was complete! It was definitely a proud moment. The bed turned out exactly the way I had envisioned it.

I put the bed in the living room for the time being. The real test was seeing if Lobo could get up on the bed with ease. This 10 second video captures his first time getting up on the bed...effortlessly.

Later in the evening, Coco tried out the bed too. He approved. Tomorrow, I'll move the bed into the office. It's too big for the living room. I'm hoping to snap a photo or two of Sophie enjoying the bed as well.

I am so proud of this DIY doggy bed. Really, really proud. I had several moments this evening when I looked at it and thought, "We made this! How cool is that?!?!" We stayed within our budget and utilized stuff we already had.

I'll admit, it didn't turn out to be a simple DIY Dog Mom project. We also ran into a couple of issues and had to improvise.

I lost track of how many F-Bombs I dropped. 

It's also not a project that can be done in a single day.

Well, at least not for us. 

Sewing the mattress, blanket, and pillow was a huge time suck, but to be expected when it was all done by hand. Once I have a sewing machine, I want to make a patchwork quilt and matching throw pillows to add to the existing blanket and pillow.

All in all, we love our DIY doggy bed. More importantly, the kids love it. Lobo kept getting off the bed and getting back on. Each time, he'd look at us as if to say, "Look, Moms! I got on the bed all by myself."

I have no shame in admitting I got a little teary eyed the first few times this happened.

The time spent on this DIY Dog Mom project was worth every minute.

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