Earlier this year I got a golden retriever, which, subsequently, dramatically changed the life of Grace, my seven year old shih tzu. For seven years, she had been my only pet and thus was quite spoiled–until Ben came along and ruined everything for her.
Her basket of toys were quickly shredded and with all of her toys went her cozy little dog bed. In looking for a new bed for Grace, I thought it would be cool to make her an engineered dog bed. After toying with a few ideas, I decided on to run with the idea of a doughnut!
Designing your fabric:
For designing your fabric, we will use a few simple tools in Adobe Illustrator. Once you have the hang of these tools, you’ll be able to create digital designs out of any of your sketches! The tools we’ll be working with are:
- Image Trace
- Selection Tool
- Fill and Stroke Color
- Copy and Paste
To get started, I sketched out a doughnut and sprinkles using a pencil and then traced over it with a black pen to create even, thick black lines. This will make scanning your image easier.
Once I was happy with my design, I scanned it in to my computer. Since I was working with Illustrator and planned to turn each element into a vector image, I didn’t worry about sizing here and just used the default settings. If you are working in a raster program, like Photoshop, you’ll want to scan your image at a high DPI to increase the size and quality of your file. Once scanned, simply open the file in your graphics program of choice by navigating to File –> Open.
If you’re using Illustrator, you can use the image trace tool to create vector outlines of your design. This allows you to increase the size and edit your design more easily.
I chose Black and White Logo, but depending on if there is any variation of color in your file, you may want to play around with the other options. Using Ctrl + Z (Windows) or Cmd + Z (Mac) you can undo the image trace and try another option if you’re unhappy with the results.
Next click expand in the top toolbar and right click on your design and right click and choose ungroup to enable editing of each piece.
While using the Selection Tool (V) found at the top left in the toolbar, I selected the sprinkles and pieces of my design that I did not want to keep and deleted them using the Delete key. I am left with my doughnut and icing.
At this point I decided what colors I wanted to use for my doughnut and icing. I decided to go with a cake doughnut and pink strawberry frosting. To change the colors of each element, use the Selection Tool (V) to highlight what you want to edit by clicking on it, and then update the fill and stroke colors using the color palette on the bottom of your tool bar.
Your lines and fill of your design element will be separate, so you will have to edit them individually.
Once I had my doughnut base and frosting the colors I wanted, I started to work on the sprinkles.
Using the same technique as used for the doughnut sketch, I created individual sprinkles that I could add to my doughnut design and edit the colors. Using Cut (Ctrl + X (Windows) or Cmd + X (Mac)) and Paste (Ctrl + V (Windows) or Cmd + V (Mac)) I added the sprinkles to the same file as my doughnut.
Using Copy (Ctrl + C (Windows) or Cmd + C (Mac)) and Paste (Ctrl + V (Windows) or Cmd + V (Mac)) I added sprinkles to my whole doughnut. Some of them I was able to copy and paste in a group, others I had to do individually. With one selected using the Selection Tool (V), you can use the arrow keys to nudge your element around to a better spot, or hover by the corner and use the arched arrows to rotate. If resizing while selected, be sure to hold the shift key so you don’t distort your design element.
Once I filled the frosting with sprinkles, I used the same technique for changing the color of the doughnut base and icing to update the fill of the sprinkles.
Once I was happy with how my doughnut and sprinkles looked, I created a matching back to the doughnut using Copy and Paste. After copying and pasting the sprinkle filled doughnut, I simply deleted the sprinkles and made the entire shape the color of the cake doughnut. And using the Rectangle Tool (M), I created a solid rectangle to use for the sides of the doughnut. In the extra empty space I made a couple small elements to stitch up as little dog toys.
To save, I navigated to File and selected Export. Then I named my file something descriptive and memorable, selected the Desktop as where I’d like my file to be saved, and chose PNG as the format. I also selected Use Artboards so my background would be white, not transparent.
Now I’m ready to upload to Spoonflower. Order the donut dog bed design here!
Sewing your dog bed:
- 1 yard of Eco Canvas
- Sewing Machine
Once the fabric arrives, it’s super simple to stitch up. Start by cutting out your pattern pieces.
The large rectangle piece is cut in half length wise to create two long skinny rectangles. I then sewed the two rectangles together to create one very long and skinny rectangle that becomes the side of the pet bed.
At this point you’ll want to start pinning your the side of your dog bed to your bed top with printed sides of your fabric together.
Once pinned all around, start sewing! I used a 1/4″ seam allowance. You’ll then repeat this step by pinning to the bottom of your dog bed and then sewing it all together leaving a hole so you can turn it right-side out.
Turn your dog bed right side out and get ready to stuff!
Using Poly-Fil, form, recycled fabrics or towels start filling your dog bed. Make sure you get it good and fluffy!
Now stitch up your open hole using your sewing machine or by hand for a cleaner finish. You could also insert a zipper or create an envelope style pillow case for easier laundering.
Now your pup has the cutest bed and is ready for cozy cuddles on their new custom dog bed! Have you created any custom Spoonflower projects for your pet? Share with us by commenting below or tagging your project with #Spoonflower on your favorite social media platform!