Make your bed! (Literally)

As a final send-off for The Daily Toki greatest hits, I thought I’d feature one post that seems to be popular among the search engine crowd.  “DIY dog bed” is one of those search terms that shows up in my top search stats almost every week.

One of my proudest moments as a dog parent was when I pulled off the feat of making (or maybe the more accurate term is commissioning?) Toki’s cool new dog bed.  One of my lowest moments was when Toki got bored and decided to shred afrementioned dog bed. But, well, that’s a different story . . .

DIY: Stylish Dog Bed! (February 4, 2011)

Toki’s new bed

Toki destroyed her old dog bed while we were in Antarctica.  I think she just needed to vent.

So we looked into some replacement options, and just couldn’t settle on a brand.  Inspired by Toki’s DIY Cookie Jar gift, and maybe because we had a good tailor in the neighborhood, I decided to try a DIY dog bed project.

First, let me say up front that (1) I don’t know how to sew, and (2) I don’t have a detailed pattern for you to follow.  But if you have some experience with sewing, or have a friend who does, this shouldn’t be too difficult to pull off.

First, think about the shape you want.  We loved Toki’s old dog bed, which was a rectangle, with flat sides.  A website called doggystylish.com compiled a wide array of dog bed patterns from the web if you need some guidance.

Second, consider the size of your dog.  The Make and Build Dog Stuff website recommends the following guidelines:

  • Measure dog’s length, head to tail, while he or she is stretched out
  • Measure your dog’s width at the widest point while she is curled up
  • Add 2 inches (50mm) to the length and the same to the width
  • These will be the minimum rectangular dimensions for your dog bed
  • For a circular bed, use the dog’s stretched out length for the diameter unless otherwise specified

Perfectly measured for cozy sleeping

Third, decide on the stuffing.  I liked the polyfill stuffing of Toki’s original bed.  The stuffing is available from any well-stocked craft store.  Instead of creating a new bed pillow, we salvaged and restuffed (and patched) the interior cushion of Toki’s original bed.  I suggest creating an interior pillow so you can remove the outer cover for washing.  Toki’s pillow was made from a white mesh fabric stuffed with the polyfill.

Fourth, decide on your bed cover materials!  This is the fun part.  Look for heavy upholstery weight fabric.  We found a beautiful blue houndstooth upholstery fabric in the clearance section of our craft store.  Besides being a nice pattern, I liked that the underside of the fabric had a kind of waxy/water-resistant backing.  I chose a light blue fabric with a velvet finish for the top of the bed (or in a pinch, to flip over to serve as a non-slip bottom), which we backed with a second layer of scrap fabric for durability.  Finally, I chose a cute pink fabric (also fuzzy) and some piping cord that the tailor used to make into piping.  For Toki’s large bed, the tailor asked for 2 yards of the houndstooth cloth, 1 yard of the top fuzzy cloth, 1 yard of the piping cover, and 2 yards of piping cord (not too thin).

Detail of piping, fabric and shape

Last step: sew, or convince someone to sew it for you!  Our tailor added a zipper so we could easily remove and wash the cover.

Proud owner of a new dog bed

Good luck, and if you decide to give it a try, let me know how it turns out!

This entry was posted in Crafty, Do It Yourself, Photo Post and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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