I got inspired by this project http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/vintage_suitcase_pet_bed, except I have three cats and needed a bed that they could all share. So I decided to take a suitcase (given to me by my friend Virgina who recommended I make them a bunk bed), an old chair I took apart and make my cats a bunk bed. They LOVE it...I think the cat nip helped entice them to use it :)
First thing you will need to do is take the legs off of the chair. Keep all the hardware. I reused the hardware when putting the bunk bed together. You might want to Febreeze the suitcase if it has that old musty smell. My cat Elphaba was supervising, to make sure the bed was being made to her specifications!
If the suitcase has those fabric dividers in it, remove them and throw them away. I removed them with scissors and had no problems.
Remove the two parts of the suitcase. This is the hardest step. If you do not have a Dremel you can use a saw to try to remove the hinges from the suitcase.
If Step 3 didn't work well, it is time to call in the Boy to help! I got out my Dremel and my friend came over and helped me. Sparks were flying it was awesome, so make sure to wear safety glasses!
After he got the rivets off the hinges he used a screwdriver to pry the rivets and hinges off.
Since I had a boy over I decided to put him to work!! I asked him to help pry the little knobs off the ends of the chair legs for me. He used a screwdriver to do this. You can throw those away, or save them to use on something else.
We went outside and I had my boy drill pilot holes for the chair legs in the suitcase. You will also want to drill pilot holes in the chair legs if they don't already have holes in them. This is very important! You might want to make a template so that every hole is in the same position in every corner. Drill holes in both parts of the suitcase and make sure that your drill bit matches the screws you are going to use.
Now it is time to attached the legs. I attached the legs to the top part of the bunk bed first. It does not matter which side of the suitcase you use for the top or bottom. I wanted to use the side with the handle as the bottom. I used the hardware from the old chair to attach the leg to the top bunk. If you did not save the hardware or there was not hardware to save, you will need to get some bolts for the screws to screw into. Don't worry about the screws poking your cats, there will be pillows on top of them!
Looks pretty good so far. You could leave it like this and just throw a cat bed underneath and a pillow on top, or you could use it as a cool TV dinner table. Ohhhh the possibilities of one part of a suitcase with legs on it are endless!
Next attach the other part of the suitcase to the bottom of the legs. The legs might bow out a little bit. I had to squeeze them in to get them to fit. I first did one corner, then the corner diagonal from it. Use the washers if the screws won't screw in all the way. If you don't want your nice floors to get scratched by the screws simply cut a few circles of felt and glue them on top of the screws.
WAA LAA!! Now at this point you can embellish your cat's bed. You can add lace or pompom trim. You could paint it or write your cat's names on it. I decided not to embellish my cat's bed because I knew they would destroy anything I put on it, so why bother.
Now it is time to add pillows. I went out and bought some new pillows at Target for my feline children. You can use old pillows if you don't want to buy new ones. I used old pillowcases that I don't use anymore though you can make your own to coordinate with your room or other furniture.
I needed to somehow entice my cats onto their new slumber spot, so I took some home grown cat nip and sprinkled it onto the two pillows.
It didn't take long for the cats to rush over to inspect and approve of their new sleeping quarters!
As I type this Madame Houdini and Baby BambooBoo are enjoying their new Feline Bunk Bed! Next time I will try to make one with three beds so that Elphaba isn't left out!!