Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Easy & Cute Pet Bed Tutorial

I'm getting a new cat tomorrow and I'm super excited, so to help keep me busy until she arrives, I decided to make a cat pillow out of some spare fabric I had. Turns out the cats love it, and its really easy to do if you have a sewing machine. (of course if you have one already, you probably don't even need this tutorial, you're surely a lot better than me. haha) I love this idea because you can make it one of a kind, in any color or design you want, to match the rest of your decor or taste preferences, and it's cheaper than buying pre-made beds too. You could do it all in one color, or have the top and bottom be different as it is reversible. I'll try to explain as best as I can because I know how frustrating too-vague sewing tutorials can be.. (we're not all experts, guys.)

1. To start, find yourself some cute fabric on sale somewhere because fabric is crazy expensive. I got mine from because I never leave the house. Figure out how big you want your pet bed to be. For my cats, I used 22x22 inches of fabric. So in whichever size you want for yours, cut 2 matching sized pieces out a couple inches bigger than the size you're wanting, (to leave room for seams, and because once the pillow is stuffed it puffs up a bit).

2. Lay the two pieces of fabric together, with the good sides of the fabric facing each other, so it looks like it's inside out. Stick a few pins in around the edges of the fabric to keep it in place, and sew along all the edges, but stop leaving a gap big enough to fit your hand through. I like to mark that gap off ahead of time with a little chalk because otherwise it's easy to forget about and sew too far. (Don't forget to knot your seams with the sewing machine by back-stitching a couple times every time you begin and end a seam.)
I grabbed a random piece of fabric and marked it off so I could show you in a photo what I mean, with stitch marks where you would sew, and where to leave the gap. I actually just had one big piece folded in half, so one edge didn't even have to be sewn.

3. Then turn it inside out, so the good sides are on the outside as they should be. Sew a small X or something similar right in the center of your pillow (maybe about an inch wide?) That way once the pillow is stuffed, there will be an indent in the middle, making it extra cozy for your pet.

To find the center quickly, I just folded my fabric corner to corner twice and held my finger where the middle was to mark it with chalk once unfolded. otherwise you could just use a ruler to find the center too. (Also if you want to get fancy here you could maybe add a cute button, or a little bow, but I don't know how long it would last around your pet's nails.. just a thought though.) Also if you're making a different shape than mine, like a longer rectangle, you could do this multiple times, like 2 or 3 X's spaced out across the center instead of just the one like I did for my square bed.

4. Next you'll want to stuff it with something plush, I used polyester fiberfill because it's cheap. (If you run out of it before finishing like I did you can always use fabric scraps, cut up old t-shirts, or re-use stuffing from an old pillow.) Try to really pack the stuffing in there tightly, adding as much as you can. It's a common newbie mistake to not use enough stuffing.

5. Now all you have to do is sew that last gap up. Ideally you would want to use a hidden stitch like the Ladder Stitch. It's pretty simple to learn, and pretty necessary too for many sewing projects. I'm not fantastic at it but it doesn't have to be perfect because I really don't think your pets are going to mind. (and you can always just have that side face towards to wall too.) ;) Here's someone's tutorial on how to do the ladder stitch:

And that's all there is to it! Later guys!