A pet bed is the simplest sewing project you may ever put together. You can make it for either cats or dogs. In my case, it is for cats and dogs because I have both. It is easy and quick to make with very few supplies.
Firstly, you have to choose the right material. Because cats and dogs love to scratch their beds, for whatever reason, a thin cloth would not last very long. So pick a fabric that is sturdy and thick.
I recommend denim, flannel, a sweater you no longer want to use or sheeting material. I used sheeting material, it is summertime now, and flannel would be too warm for all my long-haired animals.
Now that you know which cloth to use, you need to find the right filling. You could use the filling from an old IKEA seat cushion, and if I had to use something else, I would have used an old pillow filling. The scraps from the IKEA cushion were my first choice because when I have chosen ball fibre filling (the synthetic filling from most pillows these days) over the sponge, it always becomes flat after washing. Sponge scraps become fluffy after every wash, and they do not clump together like cotton.
What you will need to make this quick pet bed
Time: 30 minutes.
- 1 1/2 yards of cloth
- matching thread
- cotton stuffing or sponge scraps from an IKEA seat cushion
How to get your stuffing for the pet bed ready
You might look at this seat cushion and wonder why I’m using the filling of an existing cushion. I did this because my dog is a little too big for the cushion to be comfortable. It would have been easier to make a cover for the cushion had this Pomeranian been smaller.
I never was curious about the contents of the IKEA seat cushions, but one fine day my dog chewed a hole in the cushion. The stuffing came spilling out, and I understood how/why these cushions were always nice and fluffy after a run in the washing machine. In the image below the cushion has already been opened and the contents are being removed. With the help of an opener, you could carefully open the cushion as I attempted with this cushion. It was taking too long so I just cut it open with a scissor. I strongly suggest you do the same.
How to cut your cloth for the pet bed
Cut two pieces of cloth that are a length of 20 inches-51 cm and a width of 14 inches-36 cm. Now cut a strip of cloth with a width of 6 inches-15 cm and a length of 68 inches-173 cm. Note: don’t worry if your cloth is not long enough for the entire length. You can always cut two strips and join them together to meet the required length.
How to sew your cloth for the pet bed
Take one rectangle piece of cloth and put the strip on top of it, making sure that the right side of both cloths is on the inside. Join the cloth and sew the strip all the way around. Now sew the two strips closed where they meet.
Here is where your two strips meet, and all you have to do is make them aligned and sew them leaving half an inch of cloth from the place you sew on.
As shown below the strip is completely sewn around the first rectangle.
The picture below is a close up of the the two joined strips that make the edge.
Take your second rectangle piece of cloth and place it on top of your sewn material. Join the corner of your second rectangle on the corner where the seam of the strip is. Make sure that the width and length of the cloth are alined before you start to sew. In this way, you will not have to worry about getting your cloth sewn in the wrong direction or slightly of centre. Start sewing from the seam and sew the cloth all the way around, leaving just 6 inches unsewn.
As shown in the picture below I have aligned the last piece of cloth with the semi sewn bag.
Turn the bag inside out and start to fill it with the filling you have chosen. For this project, one cushion filling was more than enough. The pet bed was not too stuffed, and it was nice and fluffy. A regular pillow may have too much cotton for this small bed, so if you use a pillow’s stuffing, you will have to make your own assessment.
Once you have stuffed your pet bed/mattress with all the stuffing, you will have to fold the cloth on the opening inwards and sew it shut. Take a few pins to keep the opening shut, and then remove them while you sew. This helps keep everything in place because, with the stuffing inside, you could have some difficulty sewing it shut.
I sewed it as close to the edge as possible, but you can leave more space from the edge. Do not worry because it will not make any big difference. You must repeatedly sew on this line so that it is sealed properly. Just three lines of sewing should do the trick.
Here is the the finished product
Above are three examples for you to judge the thickness and overall size of this mattress/pet bed. I did make it as a stand-alone bed for my little one, but coincidentally it also fits into the dog basket almost perfectly. You can always adjust the measurements and make a bigger bed. The strips going around would be the same width, and you would only have to lengthen them. The two rectangles would also have to be enlarged.
If you are not confident about enlarging this design with your own measurements, here is a simple way you can do it yourself.
Measure your desired width and length of the bed you want. Add an inch to the length and width you measured, cut your cloth according to your measurement. Both sides should be equal in length and width. Measure the surrounding sides of your cloth and cut a 6-inch wide cloth of the same length. If your cloth is not long enough to go all the way around, you can divide the length and cut two strips.
Join them together and sew them at the width. You can repeat this process two or three times depending on your cloth and requirements.
I hope you are now fully able to make your own pet bed for your furry friend. This is super easy to put together, and you can play around with the cloth by using two different solid colours. Put a dark colour on the outside and a lighter one on the inside, because the outside will be directly on the floor and thus it would get dirty faster. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, and I will be happy to answer anything.