Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Eco-Friendly Cozy Dog Bed How-To

After we got our Christmas tree up and our home decorated for the holidays, our pup's bright orange and blue tie-dyed blanket seemed to clash with our red and green decor. I decided to make a pillow cover that was a little more in tune with a winter mood, and stuff it with our puppy's old blanket I was trying to hide. You can try the same thing for your home with items just laying around the house.

You will need:

an old blanket or two (try a thriftstore like Goodwill if you don't have one in your possession, or ask around)
tape measure

needle or sewing machine
straight edge
padding (I used my dog's old fleece blanket that I was trying to disguise. You can use memory foam, a bag of fabric scraps, an old pillow or two, or anything else that is soft and cozy.)
Chalk or fabric marker

First I determine the dimensions of the final product. I decide on a 24" x 30" pillow/bed. I measure and chalke the outline of the top on my blanket.

If you are working with very specific diminsions, remember to add a seam allowance. In my case, I'm working with a more general size so it doesn't matter too much.

Next, I cut out the shape.

Now I have the top of my dog pillow. I could add the bottom pieces right now, but this is a homemade project - you've got to personalize it at least a little bit! I have another old blanket in a contrasting color that I use to cut out lettering for my dog's name. After the letters are cut out, I arrange them how I want them, being careful to leave a little room on the edges for the seam.
Before sewing the letters on, I pin them to make sure they're secure and stay where I want them.
I machine sew the letters on, but you can hand sew them as well.

For another embellishment, I cut out the pocket of an old flannel shirt and sew it into the corner. Now onto the bottom of the pillow. The bottom will consist of two overlapping panels, like a pillow sham. Each panel will be 24 inches wide and 18 inches long (half of the pillow length + 3 inches so the sides will overlap). I want to make the pillow a little thicker so I can fit an extra foam pad in it at some point. So I add 1 1/4" seam allowance to three sides of each back panel to give me about and inch thickness to the final pillow and cut out the corners. Now I'm ready to sew the pieces together. Each panel has two corners like the one pictured above. First I sew each corner together. Then I sew both back panels to the front panel.

Voila, your pillow is finished - all in one afternoon!

Now all that's left to do is stuff your dog bed with something soft and snuggly! It's a cost effective, sustainable, easy project!

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