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IKEA Hack- Doll Bed or Cat Bed?

This week I made a cat bed using the popular IKEA doll bed hack instead of doing my usual Monday mending. IKEA is one of my favorite places in Portland… I’m a complete fan of their products, business philanthropy and FREE COFFEE. Our family often meets there for a meal or just coffee & a snack; then we walk around the upper and downstairs circuits. It’s a great place for inspiration, people watching and/or just stretching our legs together on rainy days.

Last summer I bought a wooden doll bed for my granddaughter’s dolls but after I had it painted and assembled one of our cats took it over. That’s okay; Meow’s a sweet little old lady rescue cat and is very happy with her own bed by the deck door where she can look outside at birds & squirrels. But I have 2 cats and they both want to sleep in the bed; sharing it is NOT an option.

Winston Churchill is about 16 years old and, after a busy life of hunting and exploring our large yard, is having a hard time climbing onto chairs or laps for his snoozes. He needs a cat bed too so I’m about to do a 2nd bed for him. This is Winston modeling the first bed.

The beds as sold are light-color raw wood so it took the Plaid Folkart pink milk paint well. But I wanted a more rustic look for the next bed. Of course that took a trip to the local craft store for some paint- I bought Antique Wax Paint by Craft Smart to try and match some antique wood decals I found at an estate sale 5+ years ago.

Once I had all my supplies together all I had to do was make time to get started. I cleared room on the kitchen table (cause where else would you paint a doll bed?) and began. The whole project didn’t take as long as I expected. While I waited for the decal’s glue to dry I painted the rest of the pieces. The paint turned out to be a good choice; it was a close-enough match for the old brown wood decals AND it dried fast.

Since I was working in our dining room I used 2 cookbooks to apply pressure to the glued decal. It worked like a charm- that decal’s goin’ nowhere.

Sewing the blanket was easy too; it helps that my sewing room is stuffed with crafty treasures like zillions of spools of thread and a few rolls of jute twine. The whipstitch around the edge took forever because the jute resisted when I pulled it thru the fabric. I broke my rule this time and didn’t preshrink any of my materials… fingers crossed it doesn’t get all wonky when I wash it.

I had to wait until today with better light to get pictures of the cats in their beds.

Of course they’re not in the beds I intended for each; my cat Meow decided to pose in Winston’s bed… you know about herding cats, right?! But they’re comfy and warm now- 2 of the luckiest cats around! This was seriously EASY to make and I really, really recommend you setting one up for your fur babies too!

Meow is ‘well fed’ weighing about 15 pounds. The fiberboard that comes with the bed works for her but if you have a heavier cat you may need to use a firmer board or add supports to the base.

I went back to IKEA this afternoon for a couple of pix (well, maybe a cup of coffee too) and Tandy Leather for project supplies. Next Monday’s Mend Day will feature my attempt to repair/replace the rotted-away leather stitching on a beautiful but damaged vintage tooled leather purse.


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