My Shetland Sheepdog Nikki is the leading fluffy lady in my life, and now that she is almost 17 years old, I’m particularly conscientious of her comfort. Unfortunately, because of her bad hips, Nikki can no longer make the climb to her typical spot on my bed and so she needed a bed of her own.
In her senior years, I couldn’t help but notice how fond she has become of some of my old pillows (fond enough to pilfer them whenever she has the chance). One day when I caught her cuddling with a few I was struck with an idea. Since she loves to sneak away with my old pillows, I decided to re-purpose them, and with a little time and a touch of fleece, I was able to make Nikki a soft and travel-friendly bed that was still plush enough to provide comfort but not too tall or wide that it would bother her hips. Here’s how I did it without a single stitch!
4 yards of fleece
For Nikki’s bed, I used two different colors of fleece: a floral patterned material for the top and a solid pink for the bottom. This contrast of colors makes the process much easier, but we’ll get to that in a moment. This means that you will be buying 2 yards of one color and 2 yards of another.
1. Wash your new fabric.
2. Take 2 yards of your freshly laundered fabric and lay it out on an even surface. Place the pillow on top.
3. Cut the fabric around the pillow, making sure to leave at least a 5- to 6-inch margin between the edge of the fabric and the pillow. This is important because this space will become the fringe of your pet’s bed. If your dog loves to chew you can make a longer fringe for him to play with, or a shorter one if you know your pet is a destructive chewer. A word of caution: If you opt for the shorter trim, start by leaving yourself the 5- to 6-inch margin. This will keep things easier for you in the tying process and you can trim down after.
4. Next cut the second piece of fabric, which will become the bottom of the bed. To get the measurements for the bottom piece, I used the newly cut top piece as a guide and cut around it. Or you can repeat step one for the second piece using your pillow as a measuring guide.
5. Now that we have our top and bottom pieces of the bed, we need to make the strips that will become the fringe of the bed we tie together. Remember I mentioned using two different colors for the top and bottom? The contrast between two colors is much easier to keep track of when you’re cutting and tying the fringe. Place the fabric pieces on top of each other and cut strips along all four sides of the material. Keep your strips approximately 4 to 5 inches long and at least 2 inches wide.
6. Before we tie the edges of the bed together we need to address the corners. Now these can be tricky so proceed with caution! On each corner you will need to cut off two strips of fringe, one on each side of the corner. By doing so you will have created a square-like gap. Close the gap by tying the two opposite pieces of fringe together. Remember when you’re tying the pieces together to use both the top and bottom pieces at the same time.
7. Now that you’ve cut your corners, tie two sides of the bed together. To do so, simply double knot the top strip of fringe with the matching bottom strip.
8. Once you’ve tied two sides together, place the pillow inside and tie the rest of the strips together. When you come to the last side (and your pillow is tucked inside), do not double knot the edge. A single knot will hold just fine and is vital so that you will be able to remove the pillow for washing the fabric later.
These beds are great for keeping your pet comfy both at home and on the go. Now whenever I take Nikki out and about in the car, I always grab her bed so she can ride in comfort and style!