This is a simple project that your cat (or other small pet) will enjoy and appreciate! This Instructable will show you how to create a stylish pet bed from a hard-shelled vintage suitcase. I personally have a small collection of vintage American Tourister suitcases, and love that I could put one of them to good use finally!
- Vintage hard-shelled suitcase
- Pliers & Hammer
- Tape Measurer
- 4 Table Legs (available at any hardware store)
- 4 Top Plates - either angled or straight
- Paint (Optional, if you decide to paint the legs)
Cost to Create:
The suitcase I used was only $1 at my local Salvation Army Thrift store. The table legs I purchased were from Menards, and they were $1.50/leg = $6.00 total. Finally, the Top Plates included 4 screws and were about $1.50 each, or $6.00 total. So, my total cost was $13.00 - but I think you may be able to get the materials much cheaper if you shop around. I think you could also buy a cheap round table and detach the legs to use them for this project.
Step 1: Pry the Suitcase in Half
This is the only difficult part of making the pet bed and requires some creativity and determination. These old suitcases are made to last - it seems - hundreds of years. So, good luck in prying it apart at the hinges! I tried to bend the metal that was covering the hinges to expose the long metal rod in between it, but it was not possible. I had to bend and contort the suitcase to loosen up the hinges enough so I could break them off. The old suitcase I had, is an American Tourister, and for some reason it already had four holes drilled into it. I just ignored them as I needed to take proper measurements and make new holes for the legs.
Step 2: Measure & Drill Holes for Top Plates
In this step, you will need to secure your furniture legs into the top plates. It's a good idea to secure them into the top plates first, so you can visually lay things out to see where you'll be drilling and putting the legs. When I did this, I measured an equal distance from the side of the suitcase to the top plate, and tried to make sure everything was lined up properly. I then used a pencil to mark where the holes would need to be drilled. I drilled the holes, then drilled in the screws to secure the top plate to the suitcase.
If you decide to paint the legs, you can easily unscrew them and do that at any time in the future.
Step 3: Set It Up & You're Done
Now checkout your new pet bed! Put a nice comfy pillow and/or blanket in it for your cat or small animal, and let them enjoy it! If you wanted to, you could create a pet "bunk bed" by buying four more furniture legs and top plates (straight, not angled) and attach them the same way. I wouldn't use very long furniture legs because you want it to be sturdy and secure. I may do this in the future as my other kitty would love to have her own bed also! For now, my cat Tommy is extremely happy and enjoying her comfy bed!