These crazy boys, that’s who.
Have you seen how crazy expensive the cute colorful dog beds are? Our boys, Cooper & Ombre are spoiled, but I think I will keep my $200 thankyouverymuch. The most baffling thing to me is most of those expensive beds don’t even have a removable cover. If you have a furry baby, you know they need removable covers on their bed. Or at least our bad boys do…;) Especially Cooper, the golden retriever that thinks that his week is not complete without running through our invisible fence as fast as his little legs can take him. This dog DOES NOT run unless he gets out of our yard. Little stinker. He ‘ran away’ this week and a neighbor down another street found him and called. When I went to pick him up, his head was covered in slobber (from running his lil heart out) and he was completely out of breath. I got out of the car (mortified…because I had not showered, brushed my hair, teeth…I’m not even sure I was wearing a bra) and the conversation went something like this:
Sweet neighbor: Oh your dog is so smart! He knows how to sit and everything!
Me: Well, he is almost 8 years old…& he may know how to sit, but clearly he does not know how to stay in our yard…seriously thank you so much for grabbing him and calling me.
Sweet neighbor: He’s 8!?! He acts like a puppy!
Me: Yep…we got the pick of the litter with him…I thought the hyperactive one was sooo cute. If you think he acts like a puppy now, you should have seen him when he was 2.
Sweet neighbor: oh my?! (seriously…she was speechless)
That’s always a great way to start your day, too, by the way. But, it’s impossible to stay mad at these furry boys…they totally have me wrapped around their little paws. Just look at Ombre…wrinkles and all. I’d make them a bed everyday if I had to…I’m such a sucker.
It really is a quick and easy project despite the lengthy and intimidating description below. If you can sew a straight line, you can make a dog bed or any kind of pet bed for that matter. To sew these beds, I followed the same approach that I use to make pillow covers. Easy peasy, I tell ya.
Items you will need:
Pillow form: Get your pillow forms according to your animal’s size. Our boys are 65 & 95 lb. bundles of love so I had to buy the jumbo pillow form (35×44) from Hobby Lobby. With my 40% off coupon, they were $18 each.
Fabric: I used two fabrics in this project…1 for the actual bed and the other for the cording or piping around the bed. You can determine how much fabric you need based off the measurements of your bed. I like to make pillow covers that fit snugly around the forms so I knew that I needed two fabric cutouts of 35×44 (same size as my form…one being the top and the other the bottom) which equaled two yards of fabric for each bed. If you need help figuring out how much fabric for your particular bed/pillow, ask the person cutting your fabric. I guarantee they sew and will be able to help you. If not, get friendly and ask another fabric shopper. In my opinion, people that sew are some of the nicest people and would probably be happy to help! (if they are not, then you met the only mean one out there) 😉 You will need a lot less of the cording fabric. See below to figure out the amount you need. For most pillows, you will be able to get by with 1/2-1 yard of fabric since you are cutting it into strips.
Cording: To determine how much cording you need, add all the sides of your bed together and then divide it by 36. (inches in a yard). For example, on mine, I added 35 + 35 + 44 + 44 = 158. Then I took 158/36 = 4.38 So, I just bought 4.5 yards of 1/2 inch cording. I went with the 1/2 inch cording because I wanted my piping to pop. Ya boy. You know you want your piping to pop, too. It is sold in varying widths so if you would rather not have a popping piping, then feel free to go smaller.
Zipper: If you would like to take the cover off and on for easy washing, you will want to get a zipper. Since this was a rather large bed, I needed a 30 inch zipper. I bought mine in navy to match my cording fabric. The important part to remember is to get a zipper long enough to make removing the pillow form easy, but shorter than one of your sides of your pillow. Kapeesh?
Other essentials in this tutorial:
- a sewing machine
- scissors, a rotary cutter and a cutting mat
- zipper foot
- all purpose thread
- iron and ironing board
- see through ruler for cutting
- straight pins
Step #1: Cut out fabric for the top and bottom parts of the bed
Again, my bed was 35×44, so I needed to cut out two 35×44 inch rectangles.
Step #2: Cut out your strips of fabric for your piping/cording
Are you wondering how you know how wide to cut your strips? The formula is double the width of your cord plus double the width of your seam allowance. No, I am not speaking Spanish and to prevent any confusion, it is 2 inches wide. 1/2 inch cording with 1/2 inch seam allowance. Throw those into the equation and you get 2. So, I cut 5 2×36 inch strips so I had enough to go all the way around the bed. (158 inches). ***Normally, this is cut on the bias, but because I was sewing along mostly straight sides, I did not do that. I just cut normal strips***
Step #3: Sew your strips together
As you can see below, you are going to take two of your strips and place them right sides together forming a right angle to each other. Then, you are going to sew a diagonal line from point 1 to point 2.
And look you don’t even have to be perfect…
Then, you can trim the seam and open and iron it flat.
Did you happen to notice that huge iron mark on my ironing board? Seriously, if I can do this, you can too. Sew all your strips together until you have enough to go around all of your cording. (remember, mine called for 4.5 yards of it).
Step #4 Make your cording
Take your incredibly long 2 x 158 inch strip and place it right side down. Place your cording in the center of your strip and bring sides together making sure to match your raw edges. You can use straight pins to hold in the cording in place which makes it ten times easier to sew. Using your zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew along the edge of the cording (the zipper foot makes sewing close to the cording easy). I highly recommend using it. I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance, but you should be good as long as you stitch close to the cord enclosing it inside the fabric. Go slow if you need to and remember the first rule in sewing…never sew over your pins, always remove them. (I actually don’t know if that’s the REAL first rule of sewing…I just made it up, but I know it’s a big no no).
Step #5 Attach the cording
First, take one of your 35×44 rectangles for the top and bottom of the bed and place it right side up. Starting in the middle on one of the longer sides pin it down to the fabric matching the pipings raw edge with the raw edge of the top/bottom of the bed. To do the corners, cut out a square on the piping up to, but not through, the piping’s line of stitching. Once everything is pinned, you can start sewing. You will have a tail leftover at the end…just pin it down and sew all the way around the edge of the bed, again, using your zipper foot to get as close as you can to the cording.
As you can see in the middle row, you are going to need to finish the cording. Cut the excess cording, leaving about a 1 inch tail. Using a seam ripper or scissors, peel back the cording fabric to reveal the cord. Trim this fresh end of cording so it butts up right next to the end of the sewn-down cording. Pull the fabric back over the cord and fold it under creating a clean edge. Then, take this folded under clean edge and slightly overlap the other edge (the beginning of the cording). Then, stitch this all in place matching your seam line.
Step #6 Add your zipper
For this step, I’m going to refer you to my previous tutorial where I explain the EASIEST way to sew a zipper into a pillow cover. The reason I am referring you to this tutorial instead of just showing you with pretty pictures is because my camera battery died right as I was completing this step. And this is probably the one time in history that I didn’t have my cell phone on me (!?!?, I know???) and I was just too lazy to go all the way upstairs to get a new battery. Sorry! You want me to keep it real, right? All you have to do is take the rectangle with the cording that you just sewed on and place it right side up. Then, take your other 35×44 second rectangle and place it right side down on top of the one with the cording making sure to match up the corners. **If you happen to be using a patterned fabric, make sure they are facing the same direction.** Then, just follow the same steps as in the tutorial and you will have your doggy bed.
Place the cover on the pillow form and present your hard work to your furry loved one. They will love you forever, but unfortunately, I cannot guarantee that they will not continue to chew up your favorite shoes, run out of your invisible fence, or jump up on the counter to snatch up that batch of cookies that you just baked. :/ One can hope, right? 😉