How to Convert a Bookshelf Into a Dog Bed

Just because your apartment or small house doesn't have ample room for a dog bed doesn't mean Trixie can't have a comfortable spot of her own. The bottom shelf of a bookcase, freestanding or built-in, is the ideal location to create a place for your pooch to rest her weary paws.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 2-by-4-inch piece of wood
  • Saw
  • Paint or stain to match the bookshelf
  • Wood glue
  • Old pillow
  • Pillowcase

Step 1

Measure the length, left to right, of the bookshelf with the tape measure. Don't measure from the outside; you need the measurement of the opening from inside the left side to inside the right side.

Step 2

Mark the 2-by-4 with the tape measure and pencil to the length of the bookshelf measurement.

Step 3

Cut the 2-by-4 with the saw at the pencil mark.

Step 4

Paint or stain the 2-by-4 to match the bookshelf. Allow it to dry completely.

Step 5

Apply the wood glue to the ends of the 2-by-4 and along one of the narrow (2-inch) sides.

Step 6

Position the 2-by-4 at the open edge of the bookshelf so that the glued ends and side make contact with the sides and outer edge of the shelf. Allow the glue to dry entirely.

Step 7

Put the pillow into the pillowcase and place it inside the dog bed.


  • Ask a sales associate at the lumberyard or home improvement store to cut your 2-by-4 to the right length to save you the task of cutting it yourself.
  • The 2-by-4 doesn't have to match the bookcase. Paint it a contrasting color before installing it and add decorative decals or paint on doggy designs.
  • An old pillow probably won't custom fit your bookshelf. If this is an issue for you or Trixie, you can cut a piece of foam to the exact size you need and cover it with the pillowcase or whatever material you'd like. The cover doesn't even need to be sewn. Just wrap the material around the foam piece and secure it on the bottom with fabric glue. Allow it to dry completely before placing it -- glued side down -- in the bookshelf.

About the Author

Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.