I have a dog named Ella. She’s a rescue dog— I adopted her on the day she was scheduled to be put down at an area pet shelter and she is one of my BEST friends on earth.
She is a brindle pitbull mix… at least that’s what my vet said when I brought her in. Now, I know that pits have a bad wrap- but listen up… ANY dog can be aggressive or violent if given the wrong incentive. Ella is my soulmate in dog form- she is happy, gentle with babies and hilarious. I adore her.
This past weekend I had to drop my fiance off in Atlanta- 600 miles away from me. His new job will be a great, fresh start for us and I am so happy for him and proud of him— but I am already lonely. And I am finding that yet again, I am relying on this silly little dog to be my emotional life-preserver. When I went through my divorce, she helped hold my sanity together and now, she is my cuddle buddy, my safety, my reason to come home… Man! I love this dog!
Which brings me to my project! She has a crate which she spends a lot of time in- but doesn’t have a ton of padding. I always make sure there is a blanket or two in there, but I wanted to make her something that looked nice and was a little fun and girly!
Making a Dog Bed for Ella ❤
For this project, you will need:– 1 or 2 fleece blankets – thread -nylon cording -stuffing/batting (mine was from a few old pillows) -pins -sewing machine (you can do it by hand if you don’t have a machine) – Optional: Cookie Dough. It’s not required, but it makes every craft more fun… trust me.
Ella is not the most “girly” dog out there… Although, she DOES let me paint her claws every now and then- and she has a pink collar, since everyone calls her a boy
This is her, laying on my supplies… *sigh*
I have a typical medium dog crate- I washed it down and measured the inside liner, adding 2 inches total to the length and the width (example- if actual measurements are 34″ x 20″, then I cut out fabric 36″ x 22″ )
I am ALL about recycling and repurposing— I didn’t buy anything new for this project. The red fabric is an OOOOLD red blanket that has been a dog blanket for years- and the zebra fabric is an AWFUL Snuggie. I knoooooow… it’s so bad. I bought it as a joke, a few years ago, because I had a friend who hated Snuggies. Turns out I kind of hate them too. But they have a lot of material, so I kept it in my fabric tote for a few years 🙂
After measuring the liner of the crate (and adding 2 inches) I cut out 2 squares to make my dog bed “case”- I intentionally cut the zebra fabric a little bigger, so more of the zebra print would show than the red, once it is filled with stuffing. If you have fabric that has a print on one side and not the other, make sure that you put the prints facing each other. You will be sewing the edges and turning it inside out for the final product 🙂
The next step is to make the cording ties for the bed. If you are just making a bed to toss on the ground, skip this step. But I know my dog gets in her bed and then “nests”— which is the nice way of saying she tears the heck out of whatever she is laying on! So I added these little ties to the corners, to keep it in place!
Simply cut 4 strands of cording- I cut mine about 16 inches long- fold it in half and then stick it in the corner, as seen in the picture above. Then pin it in place, so your sewing holds it in place. The goal is to have the loop sticking out of the corner a bit, while the long strands are INSIDE the 2 layers— once you sew it and turn it rightways, you will have 2 strands of cording coming from the corners, ready to tie your pillow in place!
Now pin all of the edges together. Trust me, it helps. I like to freehand sew and have done a few projects without pinning- but I don’t recommend it. 🙂
Once it is ALLLLL pinned, you are ready to SEW! Sew along all 4 sides, with a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch margin- making sure to leave a gap of at least 6 inches to turn it right-ways and stuff it.
Personal note- don’t make your gap on a corner… do it somewhere on a long stretch that will be easy to whipstitch shut!
Halfway through my sewing, Ella decided she needed to supervise from a better location. Right behind me… Look at those guilty eyes 🙂
She is seriously cute, but SERIOUSLY a couch hog…
Once you are done sewing your sides, turn it right-side out, pushing it through the little hole you left, as if you are birthing the bed.
Too graphic? That’s the best way I describe it— I’m not a writer. Hopefully that makes sense 🙂
At this point, this is your last chance to add any embellishments you might want on the bed- I found a little hole in the red fabric that I patched up (not pictured) and also decided to add a little patch on the zebra fabric, with Ella’s name. I wrote “Ella” with black Sharpie on a scrap of red fabric, folded in all of the edges to ensure it doesn’t fray and pinned it in place (see picture above).
I whipstitched the patch onto the zebra fabric by hand- really easy and gives it a hand-made, personalized touch!
The next step is STUFFING!! You can easily go out and buy a bag of batting, but like I said earlier, I love to reuse stuff- and I had an UUUUUGLY pillow a few weeks ago that I couldn’t wait to destroy! I pulled out my fabric tote and grabbed as much stuffing as I could get my grubby little hands on!
This batting was old and kind of tough, so I needed to “ease” it a bit. Which is just my way of saying “IT’S TIME FOR FLUFFIN’ THE STUFFIN’!!!” *cue disco beat*
It wasn’t THAT exciting, but it’s easy and mindless- if you have kids, this would be the part of the project to pawn off on them! Just pull off chunks and continue to pull it apart until you have a have a handful of fluff that looks like it should be in a Katy Perry video. Which in turn makes me hungry…
HA! Riiiiight… if cookie dough is not for eating raw, then why does it taste so delicious?? Hmmmmm??? Nomnomnomnom….
Once you have a good handful of fluff, stuff it in the furthest corners of the case… continue doing this until it’s full! Alternate bites of cookie dough with handfuls of fluff. Don’t try to do both at once— you do NOT want this stuff in your mouth!
Once your case is full, add one more handful of fluff, just to be safe, and the blindstitch or whipstitch that bad boy closed!!!!
Et… VOILA!!!! You have a super cute, super easy and perfectly customized dog bed case!!!!
I eagerly tossed mine in the crate and tied it in place! It fits great and looks so cute!!! AWW!!! 🙂
Here’s an up-close shot the side ties- as you can see, my crate is actually repurposed too! A friend of mine nabbed it for me from a dump heap— and let’s be honest, FREE is the BEST price! 🙂
And after ALL that work, Ella refused to get in and ignored my siren calls of treats and love for a photo- op. What a fink!
Here are a few parting shots of me and my girl… Hope you get a chance to a project like this for an animal friend who makes your life complete too! If you do, I’d love to see! Make sure to add a comment, send a picture or send me a message!
Thanks for stopping by and as aways, have a repurposeful day!
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