Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cozy Fleece Dog (Cat) Bed

Updated: Pet Bed 2.0

I don't know how long store bought dog beds typically last, but the one I got for Puppy Winston lasted a week before it started getting chewed up and the stuffing started getting pulled out. I figured I could probably make a better quality bed for much less than I could buy them. Then, I had an even better idea. If the bed for Winston turned out well, I would make a bunch in a variety of sizes to donate to a local shelter. I set out to make the best bed I could.

I had been using a large piece of fleece for Winston's bedding since I got him 4 weeks ago and noticed the durability and water resistance of fleece. It hadn't been damaged in anyway despite his constant chewing and tugging. Bingo, I needed to make him a fleece bed! :o It took me a while to find a dog bed tutorial that fit what I was looking for and had clear instructions. I ended up using this tutorial with minor modifications: Super King Cat (or Dog) Bed. My bed ended up measuring 30x20x4.5" from edge to edge. I purchased a bunch of fleece and 10 lbs of poly-fill and am pumped to make beds AND chew toys for animals at a shelter. Project of the month!

  • fleece - bottom (Decide the dimensions you want. Cut on the fold instead of separate pieces like the tutorial suggested. Fold on a long side. Allow for 1/2" seams on all pieces.)
  • fleece - boundary/wall (Follow the diagram below from Super King Cat (or Dog) Bed. Since you are cutting the bottom piece on the fold, there will no seam allowances for the folded side. Be sure to not include them when you measure your boundary piece.)
  • Poly fill (I purchased a 2lbs bag and barely used 1lb)
  • needle/thread for hand-sewing

  • bottom fleece ~ $2.75/yd (Joann)
  • boundary fleece ~ $2.50/yd (Joann)
  • Mountain Mist poly fill ~ $3.50/2lbs (Joann)

  • Use this diagram from the tutorial to cut your pieces:
*You may need to cut two separate pieces for the boundary and sew to make one piece like I did.

  • Fold the fabric in half with right sides together. Sew the three sides together but leave a 4" gap on the long side.
  • Turn the piece right side out.

  • If you need to join two boundary pieces, place the two pieces right sides 
  • together and sew one side together to form a single boundary piece. Hem the long sides.
  • Fold the boundary piece together right sides together. Sew the ends together to form a band.
  • Fold the band from the center so that the hemmed sides meet and right sides are facing out.

  • Pick a spot on the boundary band and sew a seam from the top of the band to the bottom. This will be your first corner seam. Match up this seam to one of the corners of the bottom piece. Position the band about 1/8" away from the edge of the bottom piece and sew together to the next corner. Leave a 3-4" gap in the middle.
  • Once you have stopped at the corner, sew your next corner seam. The easiest way to do this is to flip the sewn part of the band down and see where the top of the band hits the side of the bottom piece. Hold this position with your finger, flip the band back up, and sew a straight line from the spot you are holding down to the corner.
  • Repeat for the remaining sides.
*You can sew the corner seams ahead of time like the tutorial suggests, but I felt like it was better to sew them as I went ahead. This way, I knew that the corner seams would be perfectly placed.

This is what it should look like when you are done:

  • Stuff the bottom and boundary as desired. Be sure to get the corners well.  Consider your dog's weigh and make sure you have enough "cush" to support your dog/or cat.
  • Sew up the gaps by hand.

You can stop at this point, but I found the sharper corners undesirable. To create a more rounded corner, fold the corners down and sew in place.

The bed in use in Winston's play pen. I plan to make another one to leave in the living room. I also made a pillow case of the same paw print for his crate pillow. The bed is slightly bigger than he needs at this time, but he's growing so fast!

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