Small dog, big attitude

Small dog, big attitude. That’s true for my small dog, certainly. What’s also true is: small dog, big need for comfort and cwtshes. Which is where my latest project comes in: a sturdy, yet comfy dog bed for the sofa. So that said small dog can be close to his/her human – in comfort and style. Well, maybe more comfort than style. And it’s an upcycling project: no new things were used in the making of this dog bed.

There are quite a few videos on YouTube that show you how to make a dog bed. I based mine on a Sailrite video tutorial, but, as you’ll see, my dog bed is slightly different.


The adventure began with some jeans that had been donated to me. I cut off the legs, cut off excess fabric and sewed them together.


I thought that it would be fun to add some jeans pockets to the flap, as a container for TV remotes, or other random stuff. I appliquéd the pockets on using some free-motion stitchery – the edges are designed to fray.

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I then basically made a quilt sandwich – two layers of denim and bits of a fleece blanket inside them. The measurements for this dog bed were 60cm x 85 cm. My sofa is 60cm deep, and I figured that this would be the same for most sofas. One bit of the bed is a flap that hangs down the sofa, so the second side is a little longer than the first. (It’ll make sense when you see the pictures further down).


After that I cut off the edges of my quilt sandwich – and here the resemblance to making a quilt stops. Rather than attaching binding, I attached a tube of material, which would later be stuffed.


First I cut off the legs of stretchy skinny jeans, then straightened them out, making them all the same width. I then sewed them together to form a long piece of fabric, and then I sewed that long bit together at the side to form a tube. In hindsight, I may skip this last step next time around and just fold the fabric (back to back) and sew it to the top of the blanket as shown here.

Next I sewed the back of the blanket and the fleece lining to the top , making sure that the two denim blankets were facing and enclosing the tube. Rather than sew all the way around, it is important here to leave a small opening, through which the whole blanket can be turned inside out.

And then the stuffing! I used fabric scraps I had lying about (I can’t throw anything away!), which made the whole bed rather heavy. This may turn out to be a good thing, as dogs can’t just drag the bed off the sofa. On the other hand, it may make it more difficult to wash and dry. Experience will tell.


Next time round I might use polyester wadding instead, and sew the tube to the blanket as shown in the Sailrite video tutorial. My method provides a neater edge, but theirs is quicker and easier.


Here’s the finished dog bed. I’ve still got drawing pins in it because it still needs to be quilted, so that the layers of denim and fleece stick together.


I decided to keep this bit really simple. Given the weight of the dog bed, machine quilting wasn’t an option. Again, with hindsight, I should have quilted the blanket before adding the filler material – next time I’ll know. This time I went for a simple hand-quilted design.


Tadaaa – and here’s my boy Deri doing his best ‘sit’ on the new blanket. (Yes, I did have a treat in my hand.)






And here are the Cassie and Maxi enjoying their new bed – probably also enticed on it by the promise of treats. How very cute they are. I hope they’re going to enjoy their new bed…



About alycevr

Academic, translator & maker of things
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One Response to Small dog, big attitude

  1. Pingback: When is a pair of jeans not a pair of jeans? | Alyce macht Sachen

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