Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Chic on the Cheap: Pet Bed Step by Step

Maybe it was all the adorable puppies on other peoples blogs? Maybe I just didn't want to tackle a drugery project like closet cleaning? Whatever it was, I spent the better part of Sunday on a pet bed for Brooklyn Limestone's very own mascot, Big Cat.

I started off with this vintage suitcase I bought for $3.
Cat Bed Step A

Our cat seems to just love to sleep in our suitcases, so I figured it would make a perfect place to sleep. Since Big Cat has discriminating tastes, some upgrades were in order. First off, he needed a cushion.

Cat Bed Step C

I used some fabric pieces I bought at Micheals. I just happened to be shopping there for another project so these jumped right out of me. For a more wallet friendly alternative, use leftover fabric or old clothing.

Cat Bed Step B

I cut a template of the interior shape and size out of newspaper.

Cat Bed Step D
Cut to size. Washed, dried and ironed.

Cat Bed Step E
I didn't have a pattern but using my experience making a box pin cushion, I winged it. Its essentially the same concept but larger.

Cat Bed Step F
Sew. Sew. Sew. (Don't forget pin, iron, futz with machine, iron, pin, etc..)

Cat Bed Step G
I made the pillow using three different fabrics but you could easily make it out of one or two.

Cat Bed Step H
Thats right, its reversible!! For a cat of many moods.

Cat Bed Step K
I handed the empty pillow to Mr. L to stuff and fluff while I worked on other embelishments.

I've often mentioned how I love photo gallery walls but I don't have the cajones to make so many holes in my plaster. So who better to give one to than our feline friend?

Cat Bed Step L

If you are pressed for time, try to resist the urge from spending way too much time pouring over cat photos and retelling cat history with your husband.

Cat Bed Step Lc

I clearly violated this tip. Do you see its dark out in the next photo?

Cat Bed Step M

Here is where I really blew the budget by committing a mortal sin of cheap chic projects. I paid retail for 4 squat wooden legs at Home Depot. At nearly $6 each, they were a splurge. Rest assured, you can find these for much less by scavenging furniture or improvising with other bits that work just as well.

Cat Bed Step N

I glued my legs to the bottom with gorilla glue because thats what I had on hand.

Finally, it was time for the unveiling.

catbedreversiblepillow_www.brooklynlimestone.com

Yea, thats right. You see a tiny reversible pillow there. I had the fabric and the machine was already warm - who can you blame me?

I was so pleased with how it turned out. If I could fit, I would have curled in there myself. Down it went on the living floor for his majesty's inspection. Turns out, Mr. Cat wasn't so happy with my upgrades. Do you see what is missing?

catbedsuitcase_www.brooklynlimestone.com
Thats right - the cushy pillow I spent most of my time on!

Surely if that suitcase would have been fitted with a black sweater that he wasn't supposed to lay on, he would be rolling around on it happily. All I can do is shake my fist as the pet gods and confirm that we have the world's most ingrateful cat. At least he liked the itty bitty pillow I made.

In the expectation you have more appreciative characters in your house, hope you found this tutorial helpful.

127 comments:

  1. this is the cutest thing i've ever seen. i'm going to have to find a very large suitcase for my chubby chocolate lab! amazing work stefanie!

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  2. Anonymous11:14 AM

    I remember when this cat was missing. Boy am I glad it came back.

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  3. Anonymous11:21 AM

    What an adorable project! Thanks so much for sharing. I have to say, Big Cat's distaste for the pillow doesn't surprise me. I'm convinced that cats feel like they need to sleep down inside of something - mine prefers a drawer, weird, I know. But you're right, had your nicest black cashmere been lining the suitcase, he would've been all over it.

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  4. This is the cutest thing! The fabric is very pretty.

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  5. that is hilarious!!! Love the photo wall and the itty bitty pillow

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  6. Too cute! Maybe if you took out a little of the stuffing, the pillow would sink down more and become more cat pleasing?

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  7. Anonymous12:02 PM

    This is too funny! Doesn't this just typify a cat's personality.

    As I type this, I'm looking at one of my cats (I only have 2; I'm not some crazy cat lady!) that insists on sleeping on a stack of hanging files that I pulled out of my desk drawer during my office clean-up. I don't have the heart to move them, thus removing the perch. (Or at least that's my story and I'm stickin' with it!)

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  8. So creative and cute!!! I may have to give this a try!

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  9. Ungrateful cat is right! :) But it sure is darn cute. Love the Ode to Big Cat gallery wall! And you did a fab job on the (unused) cushion itself. If only I had a pet to make a pet bed for!

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  10. That is so adorable! I wonder if my cat would leave his windowsill if I made him a lovely suitcase bed. I especially love the photos you framed in there!

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  11. HIlarious. Maybe the kitty would like the pillow if it were less fluffy...I think it's all about having the walls of the suitcase to hold them in. At least that's how it was with my old cat. He'd even wedge himself into shoe boxes and homeboy was a major fatty!

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  12. I love this! The suitcase bed is so cute! And your cat is presh too! I should do something like this for our kitten -- he is outgrowing his little bed and his little foot hangs over the edge.

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  13. What a sweet baby you have there. He looks so fluffy and soft!

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  14. My cats would adore this! I cannot wait to go thrift store shopping for a suitcase to duplicate your idea - I LOVE IT!

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  15. That is SO cute...but not as cute as the cat! :)

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  16. oh my gosh, that is just the sweetest bed ever! I love that it is made out of a vintage suitcase- what a great idea!!

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  17. This made me smile, thank you!!

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  18. HA! That cracks me up. I so need to make one for Mak-the-cat over here. What a great project!!

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  19. CA-UTE!!!! What a splendid idea!!!

    suzanne

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  20. That is the cutest thing i have ever seen, what a clever idea. I wish i had more time to be more crafty...Love all the ideas you have thought!

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  21. Thanks everyone.

    Just for the record, the pillow does flatten down a bit. Its just my cat refuses to even give it a try so he doesn't know that. Oh the humanity!

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  22. That is so cute. I recently made a bed for my dog from a plan I found in a Lowes magazine, to get her to stop jumping on the bed.

    She usually lays on the floor next to it or sneaks onto my bed when I am sleeping, lol.

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  23. Anonymous2:18 PM

    This is adorable! Love it!! Can I ask where you got the snazzy gold frames for your gallery?

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  24. Wow! What a great idea! I thought it was adorable enough with just the suitcase and the cushion but when you added the pictures I could not contain myself!

    Isn't it just like a cat to not even consider all the time and effort that went into a project for them! :) I have had plenty of pets who would do the same thing as your cat, so don't feel bad.

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  25. Fantastic! As a cat owner, not only do I see the need to create a project for kitty, but also understand the frustration at spending money and time on something they just don't appreciate! The pillow is so cute and I love the old suitcase. When I left for work, my furry friend was sleeping in an empty Piperlime box. :)

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  26. This is so cute! And I love how your cat modeled it too ;) My cat also loves to climb into my suitcase....as well as other random boxes.

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  27. What an excellent idea and execution. This is really fantastic. My cats, especially Iki (the youngest at 15 months old) loves to sleep in boxes or bags, under our covers wherever he can find a hiding place.
    You are right though, they prefer to be in something that is meant for YOU, not them.
    Great post, and thanks for sharing.

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  28. Anon - I printed the gold frames and the photos on card stock and then cut out. Only took a few minutes.

    I guess I shouldnt' complain. He does like it overall, he just snubs the pillow. Im going to see if I can trick him into laying on it though. We'll see if I can defeat his pea sized brain with my own slightly larger one :)

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  29. This is so perfect! I went on a studio tour of Creative Suitcase in Austin, TX and they had a pet bed made out of a suitcase too and I thought it was such a clever idea. I LOVE the way you added legs and the frames are perfection. I'm going to have to do this!

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  30. There is a store called Creative Suitcase???

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  31. This is such a cute idea! I'd make one but I am almost positive Augustus (my wonderful yet often ungrateful cat) would have nothing to do with it and still sleep on every nice throw I own. Maybe with a little catnip persuasion though...

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  32. I love it! How creative you are - and how did you ever find a suitcase for $3? I guess those things are slim-pickins here in the South because they're at least 10 times that in trash piles.

    As for ungrateful furry children, I made a dog bed for our den and NEITHER sleeps in it! Make that 2 snubs! I think I've caught my little one in it twice in the past 8 months. One day I'll coax them into it...one day!

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  33. Big Cat is a cutie. Adorable!

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  34. This is so cute! I would have never thought of this!

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  35. Ha...too funny. Perhaps you'll find a use for the cushion elsewhere...Janell

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  36. What a fantastic project! I absolutely love it.

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  37. Oops - let me clarify - Creative Suitcase is a design studio. They've branded their little agency with suitcases. I have a few photos (but none of the pet bed) on my Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/26427663@N06/3658526332/in/set-72157620327581549/

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  38. Anonymous6:19 PM

    How creative and cute! For some reason I thought Big Cat is, er, plus sized but he looks just perfect from the photos. This projects makes me want to get a cat.

    Doris (yes the one you know IRL.)

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  39. I remember when Big Cat was missing, too! Adorable, ungrateful little bugger. =]

    He can have my black cashmere sweater if I can have his awesome bed you made.

    P.S. I don't own a cashmere sweater....it's actually a black synthetic blend sweater. Shhhh don't tell him that.

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  40. I love Big Cat! What a great project, you inspirational blogger you!

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  41. this is such a cute idea~~~
    love it!

    chasity

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  42. Too funny! My diva princess Cavalli probably would do the same thing if I tried making this fantastic project. You know your cat used the tiny pillow just to humor you too! :) Cats are a riot!

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  43. Oh, I love that! And I love that you can close it up if the cat is off hiding when company comes over! What a great project!

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  44. Too funny! I love it! You did a fantastic job, now can you make a king size bed for me.

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  45. Huh. I have an old suitcase almost exactly like that, and the most creative thing I've used it for is lugging The Kid's transformers back and forth to his dad's place. I guess it's serving a purpose, but I'm sure it'd prefer to be serving a more fabulous one. ;)

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  46. Adorable and sadly my cat would have knocked the little pillow off, sniffed the bed, turned his nose up and gone to find my nicest suit jacket to lay on.

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  47. How adorable is that?!!! The art gallery in back definitely ramped up its canine couture factor. Love it!

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  48. So cute! (both kitty and the cat bed)
    Cats are just like kids, aren't they? Buy them a fun toy and they have more fun playing with the box it came in. Go figure. Great job and so creative. Martha should be coming to you for ideas, Mrs. Limestone. ; )

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  49. this may be the cutest thing i have ever seen!

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  50. A woman after my own heart. Spoiled fuzzy babies are the best! Well done!

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  51. As one of my friends sons says, we provide a home and nourishment for our cat, in return he leaves presents in the form of you know what. Teenagers.

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  52. Typical cat love. Fantastic idea on the suitcase, though. Could you use the cushion as a travel pillow? Just a thought????

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  53. That is adorable! We have a HUGE floor pillow for our dogs (think a dining room table size) and 99% of the time only their heads are on it. Oh well :)

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  54. Are cats ever grateful? You can always use the suitcase as an ottoman.

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  55. You're amazing! You can even make a pet's bed look fabulous!

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  56. I love, love, love the pictures on the bed!!
    How genius!!

    I just became a follower and will definitely be back!

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  57. Absolutely adorable!!

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  58. Too cute for words!

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  59. Oh...mah...gawd. That is so fantastic. I wish my dog were smaller...I'd need a full on Samsonite deluxe to contain her! :-) Great job...right down to the teeny kitty pillow. You totally need to send to design*sponge.

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  60. I think that is so cute! I love the gallery, too funny :) I'm sure someone mentioned this but how about a safety latch so that it doesn't accidentally close on your sweet kitty? Sorry to be such a poop!

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  61. Aww the cushion is lovely (as is the kitty!). Maybe if you put a little catnip in it he would like it more (or, um, attack it...)?

    Cats are the best. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  62. Aren't you sweet to spend that much time customizing a bed for your cat! I would too if I had any skill at all when it comes to sewing.

    Your cat is just being a cat. One of my cats always sleeps on hard surfaces. She sleeps on top of her carrier!

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  63. I love this!!!! I want to make one for my boys! All I need to do is learn how to sew :)

    http://lindsaypompey.blogspot.com/2009/08/snuggles.html

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  64. what about some catnip to peak his interest?? =) cute cute!

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  65. What a cute idea! I wish I was a bit better executing the DIY projects I dream up...

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  66. Oh my gosh! This is absolutely ADORABLE!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Lindsay
    www.passengerseatkindofgirl.com

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  67. You are so crazy brilliant with that idea. I would never have thought of that in 100 years. Now pet lovers all across tis nation will be rethinking their old luggage. Amazing.

    And I know what you mean about being foiled in the end ... why is it the detail you spend the most time on turns out to be the one ignored?

    At least your kitty cat is happy. And I just love love love love the idea. I'll be thinking about this one for days !

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  68. Hilarious that he doesn't like the cushion! Awesome job though, what a great project.

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  69. this is too cute. I'm thinking my cat would still prefer my almost-packed suitcase full of black shirts though :) little stinker.

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  70. Cute overload!!!! Why oh why do cats love freshly washed laundry, black sweaters, and (in my case in particular) a white sofa when there are plenty of other cat friendly lounging options in the house? Gotta love 'em.

    Ah, this totally makes me think of my cat...everytime we pack our bags to head out of town, sure enough, Cleo has to go and sit in the suitcase as if she's thinking "go ahead leave, but you're taking me with you this time".

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  71. awww what a great idea. I would have never though of using an old suitcase as a bed. My border collie would destroy it though i'm sure unless it was a super industrial steel suitcase of some sort.

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  72. Rediculously cute. If I didn't have two HUGE dogs, I'd be wanting something like this for sure! :-)

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  73. Argh! That is fabulous! I love the photos of Big Cat! I'll be linking.

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  74. That is the cutest pet bed ever!!

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  75. I giggled when I saw this--I so want to make this for our family pet! He looks just like your cat--they're so cute! Maybe a Christmas present for the little fella. :)

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  76. this is absolutely adorable! cute kitty...

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  77. I LOVE this project! One question though--did you do something to the lid of the suitcase to prevent it from closing?

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  78. CC - The suitcase doesn't close unless you push on it hard and specifically snap each lock. Not to mention that if my cat were in it, it would never close anyway. In other words, its a not an issue unless you are using a really big suitcase or one that just happens to lock without effort (which I've never seen before).

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  79. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Cute story. My worry [ I like to worry about things ], is that the suit case top would close on a smaller cat and they wouldn't be able to get out.

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  80. That's the cutest thing! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

    :)

    Roeshel

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  81. That has to be the most brilliant thing ever!

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  82. Anonymous4:55 AM

    From the South:

    Lovely work, can't wait to make one. Any suggestions as to how to hold the lid of the case safely open while pet inside? Another pet might accidentaly knock the lid into closed position while pussy slept! Obviously it's useful to be able to close the lid for moving the empty case/bed around.

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  83. I have just finished mine! Brilliant idea, thank you.

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  84. Wow! Yours looks great! I made one close to yours a few months ago: http://www.thepurplepea.net/2009/07/how-to-make-pet-bed-out-of-suitcase.html

    GMTA!

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  85. That is a really creative and cheap way to make a pet bed.

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  86. This is tooooooo cute, I will definitely have to make one for my cat b/c I just saw some cheap suitcases at my fave antuque store. And the little legs on it are a good call since cats like to be elevated! I am thinking that I will create a thin little pillow/surface of fabric covered platic bags or newspaper since my cat likes that material... Thanks for the idea!!

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  87. Absolutely adorable! I'm going to include this in a suitcase post, if that's okay. Happy Monday...

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  88. ES GENIAL , CUANDO TENGA UN POCO DE TIEMPO SE LA HAGO A MI GATITA. FELICIDADES POR LA CAMA.

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  89. You are so creative! this so cute

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  90. Nice cat, I ♥ the pillow that you made, beautiful fabric!

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  91. This is one of my FAVORITE projects EVER!!!! H0w do you stop the top from accidentally closing? We have 2 boxers and this would suit our DIVALICIOUS little female to perfection but, being a rescue she's skittish and I'd worry the top would collapse and she'd never go near it again with a ten foot pole. I CAN NOT tell you how much I'm in LOVE with this project, thanks for sharing!

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  92. BTW, the Kitty Photo SHRINE is the CHERRY on top of this entire project! I think my Ms. Macy Mae would especially enjoy admiring herself while lounging in her diva-bed.

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  93. This is absolutely adorable! I collect vintage suitcases, wonder if my kitties would enjoy a bed such as this? Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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  94. Achei uma ótima ideia, parabens.

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  95. I Just Love !!! My Dog And 3 Cats Would Fight Big Time Over It.

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  96. Donna9:47 PM

    Brilliant idea! I have four cats and they all love cozy spaces. I'll be searching for old luggage now. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  97. So cute! Seriously lol, regarding the black sweater. My kitties love laying of fresh laundry and seem to always find the darkest item first!

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  98. mypricelesscreations.etsy.com9:40 AM

    Goodmorning,
    Just found your site and I love it!! Put it on FB and I've trying to encourage the Younger Folks to make lovely things for their homes. I make Jewelry and have a blog and Etsy shop so the Creative juices are flowing and especially after seeing your Cat Bed I think I'm on to the Thrift store next. The best to you am now Following YOU!
    Doris

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  99. Michel Diaz10:20 PM

    Thats so cool .

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  100. Michel Diaz10:21 PM

    Thats so cool!

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  101. Greene238:28 PM

    How did you do the photos with the gold "frame?" I have the EXACT same suitcase in light blue for this very project- funny!

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  102. MrsLimestone8:57 PM

    They are just printed (with the frame) and cut out.

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  103. Emarald00711:35 PM

    So sweet! Love the idea:)

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  104. If you sold these on Etsy I WOULD BUY THEM!!!!!!

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  105. OMG If you sold these on Etsy I WOULD BUY THEM!!!!!

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  106. MrsLimestone12:36 PM

    Thanks Julie. I don't make them but I know other people do. You might find one on a search.

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  107. Mdmackey2:02 PM

    Knwoing how cats can be---Are you ever tempted to close the lid on him?

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  108. Jolene12:40 PM

    Those pictures made me LOL.  So darn cute.  I love cats and your project!!

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  109. Too funny!  I love the "gallery wall" and putting the whole thing on legs ... genius!  I'll have to try something similar for my pups. I'm pinning this post!

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  110. Gladys Olea Terry9:30 PM

    Muy original, me encantó. Tengo un par de gatos como mascotas y ya sé como hacerles su cama, especialmente para el invierno que se avecina. Por favor les pediria que traduzcan las instrucciones al español. Les envio las gracias anticipadas.
    GLADYS OLEA TERRY.  got1349@yahoo.es
    Lima-Perú

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  111. Thanks. I don't have a clue about translating this tutorial into Spanish but my guess is that the photos are self explanatory.

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  112. Chaver361:24 PM

    OMG!  I love this!  If I still had any cats, I would do this in a heartbeat (and I don't even know how to sew!)  You're a great Mom!

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  113. Lkarnicki9:57 PM

    How do you keep the back up?

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  114. What a great n sweet thought! I shared it on facebook!  You'll probably will make a bigger one for another room :) Beautifull photo idea.

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  115. What a great and sweet thought! the photos in place is just too cute, you will probably make a bigger one for another room :) this should be published in a MAGAZINE!!!

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  116. Janetmcormier2:18 PM

    I took your idea and made one for myself.. well not for me persay.. lol    we have 2 small Rat Terrior/Chichua mixed.  I had a blast finding the suitcase and findinig the right materials to use and get in there.. thanks for sharing yours... I have found more hard case suitcases so I have more to make now lol 

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  117. Anonymous7:52 PM

    What a great idea, I can see my cats taking the fluffy bed out because they would feel too exposed, if I make it with a pillow 1/4 as high I think it would work. I also may venture to remove the top from the bottom and make two beds, we have 13 cats so if we can get two out of one suitcase that would work. I have suitcases from when I was a teen, those old hard ones lke in your picutre. Have one even more antique also LOL that one would fit my fattest cat. I think I would add some cat nip to the inside of the pillow to make him more inquisitive, I know they love every box that comes in the house, one of my cats puts holes all away around the entire box within one day.

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  118. Absolutely love you sense of humor. Great idea and right on time in my quest for vintage suitcases. Thanks for the post.

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  119. Rhonda Powell553:33 PM

    I just so love this, especially the all too true comments about cat behavior! I have never once packed for a trip that I didn't have at least one cat who climbed in for a nap. Adorable.

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  120. Welllie6:33 PM

    Love this project! but I knew your cat would rather do without the pillow which I thought was wonderful nonetheless. I have found my cat sleeping in a bathroom sink! a salad bowl! and a fabric bun warmer...you know, the kind that has the corners tied up..very small. I watched him settle in, it was a riot but he managed to snuggle in and go to sleep. Same cat would seek my cashmere sweater and nurse it to the point of putting a small hole in the sleeve. Perhaps they all want to go back to the womb!

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  121. the cutest thing ever !!!!!

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  122. I absolutely love this! Better than a throne for a cat, I am sure. You are brilliant.

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  123. Awesome! I have to admit, as I was looking at the pillow sewing pics, I thought to myself that our cats would totally not appreciate that part and the suitcase itself would be the draw. Glad to see that they aren't the only ones! Beautiful pillow though, and a very charming cat bed!

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  124. There is a lady claiming she 'invented' this bed in 2012 and she now has a patent on it and is asking all pet bed makers to pay her royalties.

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  125. There is a lady claiming she 'invented' this bed in 2012 and she now has a patent on it and is asking all pet bed makers to pay her royalties.

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