Monday, November 2, 2009

DIY eco friendly dog bed

(photo by alyssa schukar)

I did a little piece for the Omaha World-Herald's 25 days of crafts that I wanted to share with you. It is a how-to on making dog beds out of re-purposed fabric and old towels. I think they turned out great, and I had a fun time at the Nebraska Humane Society helping with the photo shoot.

Here are the instructions for the smaller bed (but I tell you how to adjust the size for your dog).

Eco-friendly Dog Bed


½ yard of fabric

Sewing machine


Pencil or pen



All purpose Velcro

Iron and ironing board

Rags or stuffing for inside padding


Using old clothing, towels or cushions as padding in a handmade dog bed keeps them from ending up in landfills, while giving your pup a cool and clean place to sleep. To determine the size of bed your dog needs, measure the length of his body when he is lying down and add 4 inches. These instructions are for a 19-inch diameter bed.

Cut two 19-inch circles out of fabric. One will be the top of the bed, and the other will be the bottom. Iron out wrinkles.

Cut out 4-inch wide strips of fabric that will be the sides of the bed. To determine how long the fabric should be, find the circumference of your circle by multiplying the diameter times 3.14. For a 19-inch circle, you will need a 4-inch wide strip that is 59.7 inches long.

Sew together the side fabric and iron flat.

Pin the side fabric around the edge of the base circle with the wrong sides facing out.

Sew the side fabric to the base fabric, removing the pins as you go. Iron flat.

Use scissors to snip small cuts into the seam allowances. This allows the circle shape to lie smoother.

On the side wall of the bed, determine where the Velcro-secured opening will be and make two ½-inch-deep cuts 12 inches apart. Fold down and stitch to wrong side of fabric. Attach one side of Velcro to the folded-down lip.

Cut a 13-inch by 6-inch strip of fabric. This will be the top lip of the Velcro-secured opening. Fold in half lengthwise with the wrong side facing out. Sew the two short ends. Flip the fabric so the right side is facing out. Iron flat.

Line up the upper and lower lip and attach Velcro in the same place on top piece.

With the wrong side facing up, pin the edge of the top circle to the top of the side fabric. This will close the form of the dog bed. Be sure to pin the top lip into place over the bottom lip, with the Velcro lined up.

Sew around the circumference of the top circle, removing the pins as you go. Iron seams.

Pull the material through the opening so now the right sides of the fabrics are facing out. Fill the bed with old blankets, clothes or cushions.

Close the opening and seal with the Velcro. Let your dog enjoy his new bed.

— Staff writer Ananda Spadt

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