The Nifty Cowgirl

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DIY No Sew Orthopedic Dog Bed

Posted on January 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Dog beds can be expensive, especially when you're looking for something nicer than an oversize pillow. Those oversize pillow beds are great for outdoor dogs, because most of them have a zipper that can be opened and re-stuffed with cedar, therefore eliminating odors.The nice orthopedic beds for our older friends are expensive, and make you cringe. I have 2 tutorials in one on this post, first, sewing a basic dog bed. Second, I will explain how to make an orthopedic dog bed with no sewing involved.

Basic Bed

To sew a basic, pillow style dog bed, make your measurements for how large you want it. Purchase materials of your choice at a fabric store. Keep in mind you will need 2 sheets of the dimensions you want, one for top, one for bottom. So if you want a bed that is 1 yard square, you need to buy 2 peices that are 1 yard square each. I would recommend canvas or cotton casing, because they will have better durability than fleece. If you wish, spray Scotch Guard Fabric Protector on it to keep it water and dirt resistant (find in aisle with upholstery cleaners and household cleaners). Add at least 1 inch to your measurements, to allow 1/2 inch seams all around.You can choose synthetic fiber fill, or cedar shavings, or a mix of both.

*Hint: if it is a smaller size dog bed, you can cheat by using an old pillow case, and just install a zipper on it*

--Click on this video to learn how to install a zipper on the dog bed. This video has a few extra steps compared to what I normally do, but the method results in a better looking finish.

--After installing your zipper, unzip the zipper so it is open.

--Turn your fabric so wrong sides face out, and right sides face eachother. Pin the fabric so it stays aligned, and sew all the way around it, but don't sew where the zipper is installed. The zipper is unzipped so you have a hole to pull your fabric back trhough and turn it right-side out, kind of like a pillow case.

--Once you have turned your fabric right-side out, you can stuff it as you please with your materials. Keep in mind the materials will compress, so push in some extra to account for it. Any time it needs freshened or filled, just unzip and add more. So easy!

--The cost of these beds will vary with cost of fabric and filler. Typically I can make a  36x36 bed with canvas for $20 ($5 per yard of canvas, 1 yard on top, 1 yard on bottom, + $8 cedar shavings + $2  zipper)  or I can find cotton on clearance for $2 a yard, which makes the final product $13. If you don't care about a custom dog bed, you can keep an eye out at Tractor Supply stores and get a large basic dog bed on sale for $10, which is just as well.

No Sew Orthopedic Bed

This style bed can actually be cheaper to make for larger dogs, and even easier.  It actually uses a cheap foam mattress pad, which is cut in half and stacked. Twin beds yield a 34x36, and cost only $10. If you have a Great Dane, St. Bernard, or Mastiff, you may want to get a full or queen to fit your oversize pet.

--Next, pick your fabric!  You will need fabric in measurements 8 inches large in each direction (4 inches each side of the bed), This excess is your key assembling the bed. Fleece throws can be found for $3 each, and you will need 2 for a twin size pad. You could also buy cotton farbic or canvas to use, which will vary in price. If you wish, use Scotch Guard Fabric Protector, found in the upholstery and househould cleaning aisle. It will make the material water/drool/dirt/mud resistant, and clean easier.

--Cut your mattress pad in half, and stack the two halves. This gives it more cushion and generates the orthopedic quality.

--Lay out one side of your fabric on the floor, right side down.

--Center your stack of foam on top of it.

--Then center your second side of fabric over that, with right side facing you. You now have a bed sandwich.

-- Cut your fringe 3 1/2 inches long, you want 1/2 inch still intact from the side of your foam. This will help cover the foam. Make sure you evenly space it and have the same number of cuts on top and bottom.

-- Start tying your fringe together! I just use a plain, square knot. I started with a few knots in the middle of each side to keep the foam centered, then continued to finish each side.

All done! I made mine for $16, and the dog loves it :)

Categories: DIY Projects, Dogs