DIY: How to Make a No-Sew Fleece Pet Bed
Fast and Easy DIY Pet Bed for Dogs and Cats
I am going to teach you how to make a no-sew pet bed for your furry companion using only some fleece material, polyester stuffing, a ruler, a pair of sewing scissors and 30 minutes of your time. You can make one of these for your cat or dog in any size or design you choose. This project is so simple that even children can help out or make their own.
Create an Inexpensive Gift
These beds make great budget-friendly homemade gifts for pets and their owners. There are lots of cute dog- and cat-themed fleece materials available from sewing and craft shops or online at Amazon. Of course, you don't have to stick with just animal prints.
For the bed pictured below, I was lucky enough to pick up two small fleece blankets made for puppies (the perfect size for my 6-pound pooch) at the dollar store for a buck apiece, and I had a bag of polyester filling hiding in the corner of my closet. The total cost was $2.24.
Follow along with my step-by-step instructions and photo demonstrations as I make a no-sew pet bed for Gizmo, my long-haired Chihuahua dog, and learn how to make your very own DIY pet bed in just 30 minutes.
- Fleece material
- Polyester stuffing (or you can use old t-shirts or towels)
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making a No-Sew Pet Bed
1. Measure the fleece.
First, you need to decide how big of a bed you would like to make. It can be any size you wish. You will need to measure two pieces of fleece: one for the top and one for the bottom. When measuring, add an extra 3 inches to each side for the border. For example, for a 20 x 20-inch bed, we would need to cut the material to a 26 x 26-inch size.
2. Align the fleece and start cutting the strips.
Place the two sheets of fleece material on top of one another, lining the edges up evenly. Beginning at the bottom left-hand corner, start cutting 3-inch strips about 1 1/2 inches apart through both sheets of material. Continue cutting strips until you reach the bottom right-hand corner.
3. Cut out the corners and finish cutting the strips.
Cut and remove three strips from each of the bottom corners. Rotate the fleece material and continue cutting 3-inch strips along the rest of the sides, cutting out the corners as you go. You should end up with a fringed border with the corners missing. It should look something like the picture above.
4. Knot the strips together until only a 6-inch opening remains.
Now it is time to assemble the no-sew pet bed, and we are going to do that by knotting the pre-cut strips together. Again, start at the bottom right-hand corner. Grab the top and bottom piece of a cut strip and—very gently—tie a double knot.
This part takes some care, as fleece is very elastic and can be stretched out of shape easily. If the knots are tied too loosely, they will leave gaping holes; if the knots are tied too tightly, they will bunch. Continue knotting the strips on all four sides, taking care not to leave any gaps, until you are left with a 6-inch opening.
5. Stuff the bed.
Grab some polyester fill and stuff it into the bed until it reaches the desired thickness. You may have to reach in and rearrange the stuffing with your hand to even it out and remove any bulky areas.
6. Finish knotting the strips.
When you are happy with the arrangement of the polyester stuffing, close up the bed by knotting together the rest of the strips.
7. Give the bed to your pet!
The only thing left to do is to introduce your furry friend to his or her brand-new, no-sew pet bed, made with heaps of love.
Can I Put This Bed in the Washer and Dryer?
Yes! The first time I wanted to wash Gizmo's pet bed, I was a bit wary about putting it in the washer. I considered removing the stuffing beforehand, but I decided to go ahead and put my workmanship to the test. The bed remained intact and kept its shape and puffiness after being run through both the washer and dryer. Even after his bed was washed over a dozen times, it still looked like new.
No-Sew Pet Beds Make Great Charity Donations
This is a great project for families, club organizations like the Girl Guides and Scouts, schools and youth groups. You can make and donate the beds to an animal shelter or veterinarian clinic.
To make this project even more inexpensive, you can stuff the beds with old t-shirts from your drawers or the thrift shop.
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Meet Gizmo, My Long-Haired Chihuahua
Gizmo is a long-haired Chihuahua who was born on July 17, 2009. We welcomed him to his forever home when he was eight weeks old, and he has been an amazing dog and member of our family ever since.
The No-Sew Pet Bed Is a Hit
Gizmo LOVES his blue no-sew fleece pet bed, and he will often 'bury' his bones in the soft plush folds of the cushion while he has a nice and dreamy snooze. We keep his bed by the living room heater, and as soon as he hears the click of the heater turning on, he gets up from wherever he is lying (usually the couch) and settles onto his bed for a cozy and warm siesta.
Little Dog, Big Attitude
Gizmo weighs only six pounds, but you would never know it with his BIG attitude. He likes to think he is the boss of our house, and (truth be told) he is, most of the time. He hides his bones and treats all over the house and then spends the better part of the day defending them. If you happen to walk by one of his hidden bones, he will bark at you, nip at your feet, and then run back to reclaim his post. I find this very humorous, and I will often just wiggle my toes to get a rise out of him for my own amusement.
For a Chihuahua, he is amazingly quiet and calm, with no anxieties. He very rarely barks, unless he is greeting visitors at the door or defending his hoard of treats. He loves meeting pint-sized puppies on our walks, but he turns into a tiny furball of terror when we meet a much larger dog.
He is a very friendly towards people and absolutely adores children. He loves all the attention and belly rubs he gets from the endless parade of kids through our house. If the kids are not paying him enough attention, he will use one of his paws to pull their hands toward him, reminding them to keep rubbing his belly.
Update: It is with sadness and a heavy heart that I announce that my little Gizmo passed away on November 27, 2013 at the young age of four years old. He developed a few bladder stones, and he was just not strong enough to recover from the surgery.
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Corrinna Johnson