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Wayward Living Tip: Sew Your Own Dog Beds

Recently, I wrote about a wave of dog destruction that has been taking a toll on our home.

Chief among the carnage: dog beds.

Giant, expensive dog beds.

Although a certain power chewer of a foster dog was not the first dog in our house to sink his fangs into something meant to cushion him, Charlie Machete’s arrival ultimately led to the ruin of every dog bed in the house.

Ruptured edges spewed eruptions of blue and white foam. We tried to stuff it back in, but it’s springy. And he’s chewy.

We threw some of the foam away and tried to fill up the beds with clean rags, old blankets and rugs that had already been gnawed on.

But you can only live with this for so long.

Yet we shuddered at the thought of spending $25-$50 each on commercial dog beds someone might mistake for great big toys.

Luckily, I live with a problem solver who’s not afraid to sit down and sew.

Zach’s plan called for a 3-3/4 ft. x 14-3/4 ft. bolt of canvas drop cloth ($15) and a Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl ($20).

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With just those supplies, a pair of scissors, a tape measure and some old clothes, blankets, rags and rugs for stuffing, Zach made three brand new, so-far-durable dog beds.

Here’s how to do it yourself:

1. Divide and cut the bolt of fabric into three equal sections.
2. Fold one section in half and stitch around the perimeter, leaving one six-inch area open for stuffing.
3. Fill the bed with the stuffing of your choice. (We just transferred our makeshift stuffing from the old beds.)
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the next two beds.

Total time per bed: About one hour, depending on your stitching ability.

What we’ll do differently next time: Use totally untreated canvas. The stuff we chose this time has a coating that required a “flammable” sticker, which is a little disconcerting.

Also, I would like to learn how to install zippers so that we can stuff the beds with cedar chips, which are supposed to help deter fleas.

Other Notes:
The sewing awl may be optional for more experienced stitchers, but we don’t have a sewing machine, and the Speedy Stitcher is designed for use on heavy fabrics.

While I can’t claim any responsibility for the completion of this project, I can say that the Speedy Stitcher looked pretty easy to use, so I look forward to trying it on future projects.

For now, the beds remain unchewed but well-loved.

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Have you ever made something essential for your dog instead of buying it?

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