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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thrifty dog beds DIY

I recently started working on call. When I work, I could be here in town, or thirty minutes away. So if the weather gets bad while I'm away, my poor pooch is stuck outside. We thought about a doggy door, but that would let people waltz right into our house (he is a really big dog, so a really big door would be needed). Plus there are rattle snakes here, so we wouldn't want just any ole' doggy door, and those electronic ones are so expensive (and an intruder could use the dog's receiver to gain entry). So a doggie door is out of the question.

Giving him free roam of the house while we are gone, also not a great option. Locking him with baby gates on the porch, not the greatest option, what if he has to go potty and we are gone all day?

So we got our dog one of those insulated dog houses that looks like it is an igloo (but it's not the igloo brand). But the floor is of course hard and cold. So, we needed a dog bed. Have you SEEN the prices of dog beds?

Well, I decided I would make him one. I have scrap fabric laying around everywhere, and I did make their last doggie bed. But to get a bag of fiber fill big enough to fill a pillow, again, that's a huge chunk of change.

But we have a closet full of old pillows (ok, I'm exaggerating, but we have at least 6 in the closet that are no longer being used). Truthfully, I don't know why we haven't thrown them away. Probably because I'm one of those people that is always scared that one day I'm going to need one because my pillow has somehow magically become flatter than all the old spares.

My original thought was to open the pillows, and use the stuffing. But my husband put a stop to that and said just shove the pillows in. And it actually worked quite well. So here's what I did.

I realized I had an old flat sheet lying around that I had purchased for a quilt back (*runs from the quilt police*). I really have had great luck doing this. But I have no quilts in need of a back right now, and it's been sitting in the drawers for over a year (you could also just use old sheets or blankets for this).

I'm going for simplicity here, this is a dog bed that will get trampled on by a wet dirty dog. It doesn't need to be beautiful. It needs to be soft and warm. So I'm not even going to iron this sheet.

I laid it out, folded it in half (side to side) and cut in the center (top is on the left, bottom is on the right, and I split it in the middle). I have enough for two very large dog beds now.

Now of course, because of the fold, I only have 3 sides to stitch. I serged two of the sides with my serger, and then flipped inside out, so no seams are showing.

Fill the pouch with pillows, we fit in three pillows each.

Now the tricky part is managing to sew the last end shut. The weight of the pillows drags down and makes everything not feed properly through the machine, so my husband and I wrestled it together. At this point, you could turn in the edges and sew and make it look nice. Or you could opt for a serged edge (which is what I did, again, this was just a quick thrifty project). Or, even better, you could sew some velcro in the opening, so you can open it, remove the pillows and clean it like a cover. 

For being stuffed with whole pillows, it turned out great. And our dog is in love with it and is always laying on them. We have one inside and one in his house outside. He wouldn't go in his dog house before, but as soon as he saw the pillow, he dove right in and layed down!

Don't have a dog but have extra pillows and sheets/blankets running around? Consider throwing some together and donating to the local animal rescue! How awesome would it be for a puppy to have a bed while he waits for a new home?

'Til next time


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