DIY Crate Cat Bed

IMG_4854IMG_4723Can we all agree that pet projects are the best projects? As soon as we knew we’d be adopting Oliver, I immediately knew he needed a bed (even though he’d probably prefer a cardboard box). I also took this as a great opportunity to try my hand at sewing with my new sewing machine!

My grandma passed her old sewing machine on to me a while back, but until recently I never had room for it. Now that I have an actual office space, I have room to sew – something I haven’t done since I was a kid. That’s how you know this is an easy project. Sewing the pillow for Oliver’s bed was the first time I’ve used a sewing machine since I was probably ten years old, so I promise anyone can do this.

I painted a crate, adding his name and sewed an envelop pillow case to add the pillow inside of his bed. Overall, this project can take as little as an hour.

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To make this crate cat bed (or small dog bed), you’ll need:

  • A crate (mine is x x x from Michael’s)
  • At least two different colors of paint
  • Small chipboard letters
  • Clear acrylic spray paint
  • Fabric
  • Pillow insert (mine is 16 x 20 in from IKEA)

Other supplies:

  • A sewing machine
  • Thread that matches your fabric
  • Fabric measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Paint brushes
  • Pencil

First, stand your crate right side up, with handles on each side. Using your hands, a crowbar or a hammer, pry off the top two slats of the crate. This lowers the front of the crate so your pet can step inside easier.

Then paint the entire crate one color – I chose grey for a mellow but still “manly” look that will blend in well with the apartment. A second coat made a huge difference because the first coat left it a bit streaky.

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Once dry, lay down chipboard letters on the front, top slate of the crate, spelling out your pet’s name. You could glue down chipboard letters instead of painting them, but I preferred the look of paint and decided to forgo the glittery letters because I was concerned they’d fall off too quickly and wouldn’t suit the boyish look I was going for. Use a pencil to trace the letters, and fill them in with your second paint color – I chose light blue. Then take it outside to spray it with a light coat of clear acrylic spray paint to give it a nice, finished shine.

Then go into that pile of scrap fabric we all have and dig out a large pieces of fabric to match your bed – I chose light yellow. For my 16 x 20 inch pillow insert, which I pulled out of one of my old IKEA pillows, I cut one piece that was 17 x 21 inches, leaving an extra inch around for the seam. Then, cut two more pieces that will create the envelope. Mine were 17 x 11 inches and 17 x 13 inches, allowing for a few inches of overlap. If using a different size pillow, make sure to allow for at least 2-4 inches of overlap, and one of your pieces will be smaller than the other.

Then iron them out as best you can. Take the edges of your envelop pieces that will be the envelop and fold over about 1/4 inch, then fold another 1/4 of an inch. Iron in place to hold the fold together.

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Place the full piece on the bottom, outside facing up. Place your smallest piece, outside facing down, on top of the larger pieces. Then place your medium-sized piece, outside facing down, on top of the other.

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First, sew across the folded area of your envelop pieces, reversing along the ends to hold your stitch. Lay them back down and pin around your pieces to hold them in place. Sew a 1/2 inch seam around the length of the pillow, reversing your seam at each end to hold. As you go around, turn your fabric, so you have a consistent seam going all the way around, pulling the pins out as your go. Once done, cut the corners off and trim your extra strings.

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Then pull the pillow outisde-out and iron down the edges. Put your pillow insert inside and ta-da! Then squeeze it inside the crate. It should be a somewhat tight fit.

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Now you have a comfy little bed for your little sidekick!

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