Ever see pet beds with really cool covers and $100+ price tags? So do we. But what if we told you that you could totally customize a removable cover and even save a few bucks in the process? All you’ll need is a few yards of your favorite (or your dog’s favorite) design, a pet bed insert, and basic sewing tools. So, if you’re ready to whip up a pet bed to please your pup, grab your materials and let’s get started!
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Here’s the written tutorial, if that’s more your cup of tea!
Materials – Here’s what you’ll need for this project
Prepping Your Fabric
Start by cutting out your fabric. Determine the size you want your bed to be and cut two pieces of fabric for the top and bottom of the bed and four pieces for the sides, being sure to add a 1″ measurement to each piece for seam allowance. In our example, we are making a rectangular bed (28″x36″x4″), so our sides are two different lengths. Your side pieces will need to be the same length as the sides of the top/bottom and in our example, about 5″ in height. One of our long side pieces will be 6″ in height to accommodate the zipper.
Pro tip: We’re making a rectangle, since that’s what our insert is shaped like, but you could follow the same process for a circle or square bed!
Here are our fabric piece measurements:
*The last piece is for the zipper. It needs to be slightly wider because you will use extra seam allowance in order to insert the zipper.
Inserting the Zipper
Choose a zipper a few inches shorter than the longest side of the dog bed. For our 36″ dog bed we will be using a 30″ zipper. This allows you to have room on either side of the zipper for ease of sewing and a nicer fit.
With the print side facing in, fold the 37″ x 6″ piece in half lengthwise, then cut along the fold line to create two pieces. Lay your zipper centered on the fabric so you have an equal amount of space on each end and mark where your zipper pull starts and stops. Set the zipper aside.
Sew the two cut pieces together with a 1/2″ seam, using a standard stitch length. When you get to the zipper mark, backstitch a few times, then change to a basting stitch to sew the area where your zipper will be inserted. At the second mark, backstitch again then finish the remainder with a normal stitch length.
Switch to a zipper foot, and insert the zipper facedown into the seam you just sewed.
Remove the basting stitch using a seam ripper, being careful not to rip out your back stitching.
You now have a centered zipper! On to the rest of the bed!
Assembling the Bed
Begin by placing two side pieces together with their short edges aligned (and right sides of the fabric facing in). With a ruler or tape measure, mark 1/2″ in from each corner and place a pin to mark those spots.
Sew the seam with a 1/2″ seam allowance, sewing only between the two pins. This means you’ll have a little 1/2″ flap at the beginning and end of the seam where the fabric isn’t sewn.
Finish sewing all around; you’ll end up with a circular loop of fabric. Now, iron all your seams open.
Next, grab the top piece and align one edge with one of the side piece edges. Pin the two edges together and sew them using the same 1/2″ seam allowance, being careful to start and end the seam a 1/2″ before the edge of the fabric. All three pieces (the top piece and two side pieces) should meet in the corner, with overlapping 1/2″ seam allowances. This way, when you turn it inside out, you’ll have a sharp corner.
When the top piece has been attached to the sides on all four edges, you’ll have a piece that looks like this!
Repeat the process to attach the bottom piece of your dog bed.
Sew all the way around the rest of the bed.
Clip the seam allowance from the corner to remove some extra weight and help your corners really pop!
Unzip your dog bed and turn it right-side out.
Push the corners out with a chopstick, bone tool or anything pointy.
Stuff the insert inside, zip it back up, and you’re all done. This pet bed is pup-approved!
Have a spoiled fur baby at home? Why not also make squeaky dog toys for extra happy pups!