Sewing your own cat bed can be a cheaper option than buying one from a retail store. Cats enjoy lying on soft materials and in things with sides like cardboard boxes, so a doughnut-shaped bed that surrounds the cat in softness provides a way for your cat to have two in one. Sewing a doughnut shape can seem difficult because it can't be inverted like a traditional pillow, but it's definitely possible to do.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Straight pins
- Fabric marking pencil or soap
- Sewing machine, or needle and spool of thread
- Fleece or other soft material
- Bag of cotton or poly-blend stuffing
Wash all fabrics to prevent shrinking and warping after you have completed the project. Wash and dry all fabrics on the highest heat setting the material allows.
Measure your cat to decide what size bed you need before cutting any pieces. One way to do this is to measure the cat's diameter when it's curled up napping.
Mark and cut two pieces of fabric for the base of your cat bed. To do this, draw a line the length of the diameter of your cat with a marking pencil or a piece of bar soap. Add about an inch to the line for seam allowance. Draw a second line of the same length that crosses your first line in the middle, so that you end up with a plus sign shape. Connect each point on your plus sign with an arc so that you have a cat-size circle to cut out from the fabric. Mark and cut the second piece of fabric the same way.
Mark and cut a rectangle shape of fabric for the outside doughnut shape of your cat bed. Measure the circumference of your cat bed's base and add 5 inches to come up with the length of your rectangle. To calculate the width, double the measurement of how high you want the sides to be and add 1 inch. For example, if you want a 6-inch-high cat bed, make the width of your rectangle 13 inches. Mark your measurements for the rectangle and cut it out.
Fold your rectangle piece in half along its length so that the pattern is visible. Stack your circle pieces so that the pattern sides are facing away from each other. Pin the open edge of your rectangle piece to your round pieces around the outside edge of your circle, starting 3 inches from the end of your rectangle and pinning roughly 1/2 inch inward from the edge of the circle. You should have a very floppy shape that looks like a cylinder with a lip around the bottom edge. Your rectangle piece should have a few extra inches hanging off as well.
Sew around the circle where you have pinned. Use a straight stitch whether you are using a sewing machine or a needle and thread. Leave an opening large enough for your hand so you can put the stuffing in.
Unfold the end of your rectangle piece and sew the two ends together with the patterned sides facing together. You may need to adjust how far from the edge you will be sewing so that you don't end up with extra fabric when you go to finish the final seam.
Fold the rectangle piece back over so that the right side is out again and you have two layers of fabric for the outside edge of the bed. Your cat bed should now look even more like a cylinder.
Insert small handfuls of stuffing one at a time starting with the base of your cat bed and flattening it as you go. The amount you put in depends on how padded you want the base to be. An inch of stuffing all around will make a rather flat base, and 3 inches all around will be extra cushy. Level the stuffing all around the base after you've put in the desired amount.
Put enough stuffing into the outside edge of the bed so that it stays upright and has an even distribution of stuffing all around the bed. You should have a puffy doughnut shape.
Sew the opening together, ensuring that you have all four layers of fabric stacked flat on top of one another. This may be a little difficult because your cat bed is stuffed, so pin the pieces together before sewing to make it easier. Now you should have a cylinder shape with the raw edge on the bottom outside edge.
Turn your cat bed inside out so that the raw edge is on the inside of the bed, hidden by the doughnut shape around the outside.
Tips and warnings
- If you do not like raw edges, add binding tape to the seam before turning the cat bed inside out.
- For a personal touch, cut out shapes of contrasting fabric and sew them directly onto the outside portion of the bed using a whip stitch around the outside edge.
- Even if you are sewing with a machine, it may be easier to hand stitch the open edge closed at the end because the stuffing may make your cat bed too big to fit under the presser foot of your machine.
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