Introduction: How to Make a Simple Cat Bed in an Old Basket
Okay, so I'm highly against the whole giving-every-last-cent-to-make-your-cat-feel-like-family movement. I think they're simple creatures and shouldn't be forced into living our type of lifestyle. They need a few basic essentials and none of these should have a price tag of $40 at Target. Who are they kidding? Cats don't notice these things :3
So, I set out to make a cheapo cat bed that wouldn't look cheap in my living room.
I had these things just lying around, but you might actually have to shop :O
Step 1: Supplies
You'll need just a few supplies.
1 basket - Round or oval work fine.It just needs to be low enough for your cat not to hate getting in and out of it.The one I used was a dollar at a thrift store.(YAY thrift!)
1 piece of soft fabric slightly larger than your basket
1 piece of tougher fabric slightly larger than your basket.
A pen or marker
A sewing machine
An iron and an ironing board
Stuffing.I used Morning Glory Fiberfil. Cat's don't care if you don't use memory foam :) You're not going to use a lot of this stuff, so unless you knit stuffed animals or anything like that, don't bother buying the giant bag. I bought the 20 oz and made a ton of toys already....it still looks new.
Optional: cutting mat and rotary cutting tool.
Step 2: Cutting the Fabric
Ok.So you might think you'll need a pattern and what not. No worries. We can trace :)
First of all, you're going to need to iron out both pieces of fabric.Mine looks giant, don't worry- I just happen to have stashes of fabric lying around; You didn't get too little.
Now, just put your basket upside down (don't use the bottom to trace, it will turn out too small) and trace with a marker or pen. You only need to do this once, preferably on the lighter colored fabric, and on the wrong side.
Cut out the general shape. It's easier to cut it when it's not attached to a giant chunk of fabric.
If you have a rotary cutter and mat,go ahead and cut it out more exact on there, or use your regular scissors.
Lay the newly cut piece of fabric down on the softer fabric( wrong sides together), smooth it out, and pin it together. Cut out the other fabric, using your first completely cut piece of fabric as a template. When you're done, you won't need to unpin it. Laziness,completely achieved.
Step 3: Sewing the Circles Together
With both sides pinned together, wrong sides together (which hopefully you already did while cutting, right?) sew around, about 1/4 inch away from the edge. I just used straight stitch, and a regular sewing foot. I didn't have black thread so I used navy, but no one can tell if it's inside out :) BUT WAIT.Don't sew yet.
Remember to mark about 3 inches that won't be sewn so you can turn it inside out later.I used two pins on each side so I wouldn't just pull them out by accident when I got to them and sew the entire thing shut.You can also just use a marker. Also, reinforce the beginning and end by stitching in reverse for three stitches, then going back forward to create a "knot".
Ok, NOW you can sew it together. Remove all your pins as you get to them so you don't break a needle. Clip the ends of the strings left over when you're done.
Before you turn it inside out, Press that 3 inch gap open at the same measurement you used for your seam allowance on the rest of it. So, for this one, it would be a 1/4 inch. You can pin it down to help you iron it, just don't burn yourself when you take them out after ironing D:
Now you can just stick your hand (or as much of what you can fit) in side the gap to pull the entire thing inside out.
*elevator music for your entertainment as you wrestle the thing inside out*
I like the Go-Gos....don't you judge me <: (
Step 4: Stuffing
Take your fiberfil and spread it apart with your fingers. It's highly compacted when they package it, so it needs to be fluffed. It will be more comfortable this way and last you an eternity, like mine has.
Shove the fiberfil inside the gap.
It might be helpful to use a pencil or a chopstick, maybe a knitting needle to help you get it in evenly. You don't want it to be all lumpy.
Don't over stuff it, it will be too firm and not too comfortable. Because it's fluffed (to stuff evenly), I just grabbed my opened portion, holding it shut, and shook it a bit to force some of the fiberfil to the other end. Not too violent, you just don't want it to be over or under stuffed. I then filled the now unfilled half to the same fullness of the other half.
If you're fluffing the fiberfil correctly, this part will feel like forever.
Step 5: Finishing
I don't have a picture of this part cause my camera guy ran off *ahem* MATT.
Well, pin the opening closed now. You can sew it shut by hand. If you're really not comfortable with that, you can use your machine to sew as close as possible to the edge, but it will be noticeable.
I forget what the stitch I used is called *embarrassed look*... I learned it in 8th grade Home Ec! You can't expect me to remember >_>. Well, it is very similar to the Mattress Stitch in knitting. The only difference is that instead of sewing in the Vs, you sew riiiight on the crease you pressed. When you pull it tight,it will look like you sewed that part by machine. It took me a while to find it again when I was finished. That's how you know it came out right, lol.
Here is an example of the mattress stitch:
http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/howto/archive/2009/04/10/mattress-stitch-tutorial-horizontal-seams.aspx If this link no longer works, let me know so I can find another one to jack.
Optional: You may want to create a little dip in the center of the cushion by taking embroidery floss or doubling your thread on a regular hand sewing needle, inserting the thread, and bringing it back up to the same side, then pulling tight and tying a knot like I did :)
Note: If you want something with a sturdier round edge (so the ends don't pucker in because it's a round cushion) you may choose to put piping into the seams. I'm sure you can find piping tutorials somewhere on this site >_> I, however, chose not to use any.
You can also sew two buttons on each side of the cushion as well (like regular pillows) , but I think that might not be as comfortable.
Well, you're all done. All you have to do now is put the cushion in the basket and vacuum off the leftover fiberfil that should be all over the place. Obviously, I didn't do that yet >_> *points to white specks on everything* Do this before you hand it over to your cat so he/she doesn't end up licking it all up or something.