A fun and easy way to make a soft and machine washable bed for your best friend (I made one for my Dogs, but there isn't any reason the same principle couldn't be applied to make a bed for a very small dog or cat). Materials are all easily found, very basic sewing skills required, faster and easier if done with a sewing machine but can be done by hand!
NB: this is my first instructable, so if you think I missed anything or need to change something, please let me know!
Step 1: Source and Gather Materials!
Things you will need: most of these can be recycled, upcycled or found in and around your home, otherwise you will most likely be able to source them from a local charity store or second hand shop or the local craft store.
- Mattress protector or pillow case (old and smelly is great as it is likely to be familiar and encourage your pet to sit/sleep on it)
- Pillow or Hobby Stuffing (how much you will need depends on the size bed)
- Fabric to Cover the bed (Polar Fleece for something warm and soft for the gentle pets, or a canvas/drill for the tougher types, or an old blanket, doona/quilt cover)
- Thread, any colour you like to match your fabric, go for an upholstery thread if you can as its a bit stronger.
- Scissors, sharp enough to cut the fabric doubled over.
- Soft Sewing tape measure and or Ruler.
- Pen or Pencil or Tailors Chalk for marking.
- Sewing Pins to secure your fabric.
- Patience and a little creativity.
Step 2: Sizing!
Measure your Pet! Try and get a few rough measurements while they are asleep so you know roughly what size to make the bed so that they are comfortable. My Measurements were between 60cm and 120cm depending on whether Chess was sleeping in a ball or stretched out.
Decide what size to make the bed, I went with 90cm by 80cm as that was the rough size of my single mattress protector when folded in half. I also measured by Boyfriends dog Daisy, who is tiny and came is between 25cm and 40cm, so a pillow case will be perfect for her. (no pics for this step as I had enough trouble sneaking up to measure her).
If your sizing is bigger than the pillow case but smaller than the mattress protector measure the size you need and quickly run a zipzag stitch or if you have it over locker/surger around it to stop the little bit of stuffing escaping then cut if you didn't use an over locker/surger.
Step 3: Sew Pockets for Stuffing!
First picture shows the measurements, the second picture shows the stitching (white on white sorry).
Step 4: Stuff and Seal!
Pics show stuffed and sealed bed.
Step 5: Test!
Step 6: Draw up a Design for the Cover!
Work out how much material you will need after measuring the size of your finished bed insert, I added 2-3cm in each direction after measuring loosely, then added a cm seam allowance when I drew it up.
Step 7: Choose a Fabric!!!
Step 8: Measure and Cut your Fabric!
Step 9: Fold, Pin and Hem!
Step 10: Line Up, Pin and Join!
Stitch around the 3 sides that were pinned. I opted for a zigzag 7 and a straight 4, so that the fabric was safely secured together but still had a straight edge when turned right side out. Remember to back stitch the beginning, end and all your corners between.
If you are using a heavy fabric you may need to clip the corners so that it sits flat once the right way around, otherwise just clip all loose threads.