I made this pet bed for my own dog, and he adored it! I'm happy to share the instructions for this fun and easy DIY project.
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 each, 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
In just seven simple steps, you'll have a homemade bed for your pet.
Step 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.
Step 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.
Step 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.
Step 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.
Step 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.
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Step 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.
Step 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.
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.
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 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.
© 2013 Corrinna Johnson
Thank you for stopping by, and I would love to hear what you think of this no-sew pet bed.
Julie on January 03, 2015:
I made one of these for one pooch and all of them wanted it!
Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on December 06, 2014:
Thank you! Happy Holidays :)
Corrinna Johnson (author) from BC, Canada on December 06, 2014:
Thank you @favored! These make wonderful gifts for pet owners :)
marva clay on December 04, 2014:
I make these scarves this time of year to Give to the homless and less fortunate on Christmas I'm home all day I make a few each day until the 23rd of Dec. you cqan join in if you like you can find me on facebook very simple project no sewing required I got a pet cat so i'm gonna try the pet bed also cause i do the blankets also love it a great past time HAPPY HOLIDAYS
Fay Favored from USA on November 11, 2014:
What a great idea. I can even do this :) My sisters have small dogs and this would be perfect for them. Pinning it to my pet board. Gizmo is beautiful!
Dawn Romine from Nebraska on March 06, 2014:
So need to make these for my dogs!! Another great idea!! I need to get away from here and go to PINTEREST! Where it's safe LOL
Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on November 21, 2013:
That is awesome! I'm going to make one for my doggie this weekend. Ingenious!
Laura Hofman from Naperville, IL on October 28, 2013:
I would like to make one of these! Great gift idea as well. Love your darling photos of 'lil Gizmo!
Erin Mellor from Europe on June 17, 2013:
My cousin has a new rescue dog who ripped up and ate her bed the first time she was left alone. Maybe if she saw the bed being made for her, she'd feel more comforted. I'll suggest it, thanks.
DebMartin on June 03, 2013:
I love no-sew projects. This one is perfect for a pet. Especially an older dog who needs extra stuffing. I had trouble finding something full and soft enough for my older guy who developed joint and hip issues. These would make great projects for a class that wanted to contribute to their local humane society.
Linda Jo Martin from Post Falls, Idaho, USA on June 01, 2013:
Nice idea and an adorable dog!
Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on May 31, 2013:
What a lucky little dog you have -- so cute. Great idea for people with no sewing skills.
AllenLim on May 31, 2013:
I'll make for my kittens. =)
RedShoesGirl on May 14, 2013:
Awesome idea for a pet bed. Your Gizmo resembles a little to my Bella :) He is so cute.
Bexley on April 23, 2013:
My daughter made me a fleece blanket using this method. They are so soft and cuddly. Your little Gizmo looks like he really enjoys his new pet bed. Thanks for sharing!
Vikk Simmons from Houston on April 14, 2013:
Very cool. I want to make a huge one for my Great Pyrenees. I am amazed that they make it through the was/dry cycles.
Diane Cass from New York on April 08, 2013:
This is brilliant! I've got to make one of these for my cats. My son just made a cat tower and we need some cushions for it. Thanks for this wonderful idea.
hovirag on April 08, 2013:
this is fantastic for dog or cat owners! so easy to do and have it cleaned!
anonymous on April 08, 2013:
What a terrific idea especially for the people that cannot sew. And for us lazy crafters.
MaggiePowell on April 02, 2013:
What a coincidence! My daughter and I used this technique to make a soccer blanket today! Great idea to stuff it for a pet bed
Tracey Boyer from Michigan on April 02, 2013:
This is really cute, and easy to make. Thanks for sharing.
Aunt-Mollie on April 01, 2013:
I love the "no-sew" idea. This is a great craft project for children!
timetoact on April 01, 2013:
I think our two cats would enjoy one of these. Thanks!
anonymous on April 01, 2013:
That's so cute! I never thought about doing a no-sew pet bed. Great idea! Lovely dog. It definitely changes my view of a chihuahua, in looks and character!
Stuwaha on April 01, 2013:
Great instructions and fabulous pictures! The washing and drying tip is also a really nice touch :)
Darcie French from Abbotsford, BC on March 31, 2013:
What a great idea! Even I could make one of these adorable pet beds :D
SimplyHolly on March 31, 2013:
Great Idea! I am definitely going to make this one for my dog!
anitabreeze on March 31, 2013:
So cute, I'll have to do this as well. I also have a long haired chi, her name is Pippi!
Frischy from Kentucky, USA on March 31, 2013:
Aw! Gizmo is so cute!! I love your no-sew beds! Sharing on facebook. It would be a great charity craft to make for pet rescues and shelters.
ismeedee on March 31, 2013:
gottaloveit2 on March 31, 2013:
What a great idea! Really something to be proud of! And, let me tell you, I think your Gizmo beats my Gizmo (although my Gizmo is cute, your's is WAY cute). Great lens. Blessed!
ChristyZ on March 30, 2013:
What a fantastic idea, I had to pin this one because I'm going to try it out one day. Perfect for cats too! Terrific lens and Gizmo is super adorable!
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on March 30, 2013:
Oh this is marvelous! What a great way to make a pet bed! I also love the photos, as you show exactly what to do and how it should look. But of course, the star of the page is Gizmo himself....such a cutie pie, and I'm sure he's brought love to your entire family. Beautiful page!