I made a dog bed for our black lab last night, and it was easier than you might think. I had some extra fabric that was very heavy and durable (like denim used for jeans, only in a dark green print). And I had several bags of poly-fil (white puffy stuff) left over from a school project that were just sitting in my basement. I wanted to make a soft puffy bed he could just nestle down in to stay warm on our porch at night. Here's how I did it:
I folded the material so the print sides were together and the back sides facing out. I cut it so I had about a four foot square of doubled material. Then with my sewing machine, I stitched the two pieces together, sewing around the edges about half an inch from the edge. I left one end open, so it was sort of a big pillow case. Then I re-stitched about an eighth of an inch away from my first row of stitches, so the seam will last longer and the threads won't break.
Then I turned the "large pillowcase" right side out, so that the print was on the outside. I put three large bags of the poly-fill stuffing inside. Then I folded the open end edges in (so the frayed ends folded back inside), used pins to secure the two folded edges together, and stitched down that side about a fourth inch from the folded edges. Then I made another seam about an eighth inch over, so again I had two rows of stitching to make the seam more durable.
I put the dog bed on the floor and puffed it around a little to even it out. Then I put it on our porch and told our dog that it was his. He LOVED it! He wallowed around on it and even chewed at it to get it into the shape he wanted. And then curled up and laid down. I've looked out and checked on him two or three times, and he is always laying on the bed, looking very happy.
Just thought I'd share this with you all, since a new dog bed can be expensive if you have a very hairy, stinky-outdoor dog like we do. This one can be washed in a washing machine, and if it does wear out, I can toss it and make a new one. Fabric is a couple dollars a yard, and the poly-fill is inexpensive as well. And our dog is very happy with it!