Weekend Project: DIY Dog Bed

Photo: shopdowntowndogs
Photo: shopdowntowndogs

Most people who have a dog will have some type of dog bed. Unfortunately, many of the dog beds on the market aren’t fully washable (because dog drool only stays on the first layer…I don’t think so), are expensive or just don’t last.

But if you have a sewing machine you can easily make a dog bed for less than half the price of the high end ones…even if you’re not great at sewing.

You will need:

  • Micro-suede – This is a human-made material that is designed to mimic suede (sort of anyway); furniture is often upholstered in this material. Although it is more expensive than materials such as cotton, it’s significantly more durable. High end dog beds are often made from it. It’s best to buy it at a discount fabric store or online where you can buy it for around $20-25 a meter (chain fabric stores often sell it for alot more). Depending on the size of the dog bed you will need 1-2 meters (1 meter = 1.09 yards for you imperial folks) of the fabric. I discuss how to determine how much material you need in the next section
  • Quilt Batting – Just like the name implies, this type of batting is used to make quilts. It’s thinner than batting used to fill pillows. 1 bag is usually sufficient.
  • High Loft Batting – This batting is commonly used to stuff toys or pillows. You will need at least two bags, possibly more depending on the size of the bed you are making.
  • High Quality Thread – We used Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread made by Coats but any quality heavy duty thread will do.
  • 1 Invisible Zipper (optional)
  1.  Start by measuring the crate or an old dog bed to determine the finished size the bed will be. Give yourself a generous seam allowance, about 1/2″ or 1.2 cm and add another .5-.75″ or 1.2-2 cm to account for the effect of the batting. For example, if you were making a dog bed that is 28″ wide and 35″ long. You would cut two pieces of fabric that were. 29.5″ wide and 36.7″ long. Do the same with the quilt batting.
  2. Place the fabric pieces so that the “good” sides are together and the back of the fabric is facing you. Sew along all three sides of the bed, using a .5″ or 1.2 cm seam allowance (for those of you that don’t sew that just means how far away from the edge of the fabric you should sew).
  3. For the final side of the dog bed you have two options. You can either use an invisible zipper (here are some great instructions on how to sew zippers) or you can continue to sew, leaving a 4″ section in the center not sewn. This will be closed up once the bed is stuffed but it will have to be sewn on the “good side”, meaning the stitches will show. Although it won’t look as pretty, it is easier.
  4. Next make the pillow that will fit inside the fabric by sewing the quilt batting along all three sides just like you did with the fabric; careful the batting doesn’t get caught on the foot.
  5. Now take the high loft batting and stuff it into the pillow you just made. Sew the final edge of the pillow.
  6. Here’s the fun part….stuffing the finished pillow inside the fabric case. Once you manage to do that zip up the pillow or sew the final portion of the fabric (depending on the option you picked in step 3).
  7. Finally, you may wish to hand sew some small circles in the center of the pillow; this will really prevent any shifting of the batting. You can also skip this step if you want.

Ta da! Your dog bed is done!

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