DIY Dog Bed Basket: Functional & Beautiful Decor

Hello everyone! I have a wonderful project to share with all of my animal loving friends today. A few months ago during one of our monthly Sustainable Pinterest Challenges I upcycled a large thrift store basket into a lovely throw blanket holder. Well, my sweet little Bella had other ideas. She decided that I had created the perfect dog bed for her! No longer would she sleep in her own bed, so we moved it into my son’s room, and I found padding to line the basket forming a beautifully functional DIY dog bed basket.

Dog bed basket 1000x1000 pinnable image

Supplies for a DIY dog bed basket:

  • large thrift store basket with low sides and a tall handle- Each end of my basket dips to about 5.5″ from the ground and the middle where the handle attaches rises to about 8″ high. It’s 20″ long and 15″ wide. If you can’t find a suitable one at a thrift store or yard sale, you could buy a new one if you’d like.
  • chalk paint or chalk spray paint
  • sandpaper
  • cleaning rags
  • blankets
Thrift store basket upcycle: brown wood basket and Rust-oleum Chalked spray paint in white.
Large farmhouse style basket painted white with a tall handle, filled with padding & a blanket to form a DIY dog bed basket.

Clean & Sand the Basket

Thrift store finds are usually pretty dirty and dusty. I wiped mine down with a Clorox wipe because of my health, but you can get away with water and a towel. You want a fabric that won’t leave lint behind.

I first intended to stain my basket, but the stain I bought was too light for this basket. It would’ve worked had I been able to remove all of the dark stain by sanding. However, the basket wasn’t in the best condition to take a deep sanding, so I sanded off the glossy surfaces so the matte chalk spray paint could adhere more easily.

Sanding the basket before painting it.

Wipe down it to remove any dust from the sanding.

Paint the Basket

Chalk spray paint is one of the best purchases I’ve made recently. It’s so quick and easy to use. Rust-oleum’s Chalked spray paint gives good, even coverage and it dries looking just like regular chalk paint. I used linen white, but it’s available in many different colors. If you already have traditional chalk paint on hand, that will work for your DIY dog bed. Just be sure to get in all of the crooks and crannies.

Thrift store upcycle supplies: brown wood basket and Rust-oleum Chalked spray paint in white.

You will probably need to give your basket two coats of the spray paint to cover dark surfaces. The photo below is my basket after only one.

Dog bed basket spray painted with one coat of white chalk paint.

Allow the paint to dry.

Distress the DIY Dog Bed

Once my basket was dry, I felt like it was a little too perfect. In order for it to fit in with my farmhouse decor better, I decided to distress it a little.

Sand parts of the basket with a low to medium grit sandpaper. I went over the higher spots. No need to do it perfectly or in the same spot on every side. You want a naturally distressed look.

Sanding spots on the dog bed basket to distress it.
Large farmhouse style basket painted white with a tall handle, filled with padding & a blanket to form a DIY dog bed basket. Our little black and white morkie Bella is laying inside the basket.
Miss lady needs a haircut! She hates when I come near her eyes with the scissors though!

Line the Basket

I had a dark blue throw blanket that fell apart soon after I bought it, strangely ripping in straight lines in the middle like there were invisible seams. It matched my decor, so I kept it folded and displayed on the bottom shelf of our end table then placed it in the bottom of the basket when I did the first thrift store basket upcycle. Lucky for me, it was the perfect fit to fold and line the bottom and sides of the basket.

You’ll want to be sure that blankets, or even a small dog bed, completely line the basket. You don’t want any sharp pieces sticking out and poking your pup. If you have any really long pieces that have come unwoven, you could clip them off with scissors or wire cutters. I should mention that my do does not dig or move items unless she knows they’re specifically her toys and she’s allowed to move them. If your dog does and you’re worried about them tearing up the basket, you could find a way to permanently attach the blanket inside the basket. Perhaps using E6000 or another glue that holds well, just be sure your dog can’t eat it.

I placed another folded blanket on top of the blue one because Bella is very tiny. She’s only about 3.5lbs at almost six years old! If you have a bigger dog, one blanket will work with the type of basket I bought. It’s one that you’d use to clip and gather long-stemmed flowers in. You know the kind that you see in the movies, on the arm of a woman out gathering flowers in her garden that she’ll use later to grace her home during a fancy dinner. Actually, it just occurred to me that it’s the exact basket Aurora carries to gather berries in the forest on Sleeping Beauty! I’d guess that up to a 15lb dog would fit in the size basket that I bought. You can always look for bigger ones that will accommodate you dog’s size.

That’s it! Now you can let your little one hop into her new DIY dog bed basket for a nice nap!

I hope that your little guy or gal loves their dog bed as much as mine does. She took over my throw blanket basket, so I guess you have her to thank for this idea! Here are a few pics of her enjoying her new lounging spot:

I’d love to see the DIY dog beds that you make or have made in the past! Tag me on FB or IG: @LifeasaLEOWife. Our readers love to see all of your furry friends!

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    9 thoughts on “DIY Dog Bed Basket: Functional & Beautiful Decor

    1. I love this Niki! Such a pretty upgrade and something our furry friends need! Thanks for sharing. Pinned!

    I'd love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment below!