Making a dog bed out of an IKEA side table

I know I spoil my dogs. My reasoning is that, before we got them, they both had difficult lives living homeless on the streets and then doing time in the shelter, so I love to pamper them now that they’re in their forever home. Plus, they’re really cute. 

In the spirit of anthropomorphizing, I decided to make them a dog bed that is something special — you know, not the kind you’d pick up at Costco. On top of that, I also wanted it to be an artsy piece of furniture that would match my creative home décor. 

So, here’s my canopy dog bed made with an upside-down IKEA Lack side table and a sonotube. If you’re not familiar with the Lack table, it is the ubiquitous parsons-style table that sells for $7.99. No doubt you know someone who owns one. And a sonotube is a cylindrical cardboard tube builders use as a mold for pouring concrete to make support columns. They’re sold at home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. 

The simplest way to make the bed would have been just to attach the sonotube canopy to the table and paint it, but because I’m obsessed with Pantone colors, I gave my dog bed a “Panbone” theme and decoupaged it with paint chips, also known as paint swatches. My directions here explain how I put my bed together. For your own version, you can make it as simple or as “ruff” as you’d like.

What you’ll need:

  • IKEA Lack side table, white
  • 20-inch diameter sonotube
  • Mod Podge decoupage glue
  • Foam brush
  • Permanent spray adhesive
  • Acrylic polyurethane
  • Colored paper
  • Paint chips
  • Box cutter
  • Screws and screwdriver
  • White plastic chain
  • Seat cushion

Step 1: Decoupage the tabletop

Step 2: Decoupage the table legs and apron

Step 3: Decoupage the sonotube

Step 4: Attach the canopy

Step 5: Add the rails and cushion

Is an IKEA Sofa for You?

I have a confession to make. I own an IKEA sofa. 

When I disclose this little tidbit of information, people think I’m kidding. IKEA is great for bookcases and office furniture, but there is still a stigma attached to IKEA’s more substantial furniture pieces, like beds and sofas. So when I was in the market for a new sofa sectional a few months ago, I initially did not consider anything from IKEA. 

The new sofa I was buying was replacing an old sofa from Z Gallerie that was on its last legs. The upholstery was shot. And because the cushion was attached to the frame, I couldn’t just replace the cushion; the entire sofa needed to be reupholstered. 

From my experience with the Z Gallerie sofa, I knew the one most important feature I wanted in my new sofa — removable covers. Reupholstering a sofa often costs more than buying a new one. Slipcovered sofas made sense for me, but I did not like the style of traditional slipcovered sofas I was seeing in stores. I’m just not a shabby chic kind of person. If only I could find a modern sofa with removable, replaceable slipcovers.

That’s when a nagging voice in my head kept telling me (in a Swedish accent) to think about IKEA. Because IKEA offers its sofas in a variety of colors, yet aims to keep inventory and its signature “flatpacking” manageable, most of its sofas come with removable covers. Eureka! But how’s the quality? The comfort? The style?

Knowing you can’t judge a sofa by an online photo, I ventured to the IKEA store in Carson to give it the old Goldilocks, trying every sofa to see which one — if any — felt just right.

At the top of my list was the Friheten. It is a thoughtfully designed, compact sectional that folds out into a bed, and best of all, is available in hot pink. Hot pink, people! There’s even a hidden storage compartment under one of the cushions. I was ready to buy it … until I sat on it. The cushions are so stiff I could not imagine lounging on the Friheten for more than a few minutes. In a way, it would be ideal for out-of-town guests because it would make them want to leave.

Next, I tried the Ektorp, which was actually quite comfortable. I could picture it in a cozy Scandinavian farmhouse. But comfortable as it was, the traditional style did not go with my modern décor. 

Then I sat on the Karlstad. Now this was more like it. Here was a sofa that had clean, contemporary lines. The cushions had just the right amount of give. And it had a wide selection of cushion-cover fabrics. I really loved that these cushion covers were form-fitting and did not look at all like slipcovers. The one minus of the Karlstad was the ugly legs. They are rectangular light-wood blocks that scream “cheap.” Fortunately, IKEA sells modern aluminum legs that go with the Karlstad for only $20 per set of four. 

So, after more bouncing up and down on the showroom pieces, I purchased my first IKEA sofa — the Karlstad chaise/loveseat combination. I selected the Isunda Gray fabric, which is a beautiful tweed that seemed very durable. And the retail price of my configuration was just $829.

I was warned that assembly was required on the sofa, but I figured that meant I would just have to screw in the legs and put on the cushion covers. Oh no, was I mistaken. When the delivery people dropped off the multiple boxes in my house (I recall there were at least seven different boxes I had to take apart), I realized I would have to basically assemble the whole frame, connecting the seat, back and arms. Fun.

But you know what? It wasn’t that hard to put together. It did take me almost three hours, because we’re talking four separate assembly manuals totaling 64 pages, but each individual step was easy. And I’m not that handy.

So how is the sofa holding up? Sofa, so good. The cushions are holding their shape quite nicely, and the fabric still looks new. It has not pilled, even with the dogs’ occasional scratching. I am actually not that worried, because worst-case scenario, if the upholstery is destroyed, I can buy replacement covers at IKEA for about $200. 

Is an IKEA sofa for everyone? Of course not. But if you keep an open mind, there are several benefits to an IKEA sofa that you won’t find with other brands. I find it interesting that while there is a perception that IKEA furniture does not last, the ability to change out the upholstery in many of its sofas actually gives the furniture a longevity lacking in more expensive options. 

And one more nugget of information: I wrote this column sitting on the Karlstad, using one of the sofa arms as my laptop table. Like I said before, IKEA’s always been great for office furniture. 

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” ”Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects on

IKEA may be opening in Ramallah

IKEA is considering opening a branch in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Two IKEA executives visited Ramallah last month and met with the Palestinian Authority economics minister, Jawad al-Naji, according to the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot.

Israel has IKEA megastores in Netanya and Rishon Lezion. A third IKEA megastore is scheduled to open next year in Kiryat Ata.

IKEA plans to have the Ramallah employees train at the Netanya store, which has an employee training center, according to the newspaper.

Matthew Bronfman, the franchisee for IKEA in Israel, was updated by company executives on the talks with the Palestinian Authority.

“If asked, we’ll be happy to help establish the store,” Bronfman told Yediot.

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