Backtrack to 2009 to me finding Cody gnawing on the guest room Urban Outfitters comforter. He left a sweet not-so-little and not-so-reparable hole in it, although I have to admit that maybe (and by maybe, I mean definitely) I was the one who originally screwed up the blanket to begin with by putting it through the washer and dryer instead of dry cleaning like the product tag instructed me to. That’s why the filling you see is wadded up like a used tissue and not fluffy like normal exposed quilt fill.
His fault or not, Cody still looks guilty two years later, right?
Aside from being tattered and full of holes, I still loved the fabric, which is why I hadn’t tossed the whole thing out yet. Or maybe because my hoarder tendencies were kicking in.
Fortunately, I think he chewed in the best possible spot, only destroying the corner of the inset section on the top of the quilt. I found this to be when I chopped apart the blanket to salvage the fabrics and figure out what I could make with the remaining materials.
The back panel of the quilt was that soft, lightweight cotton that I drool over routinely at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. It was in reasonably good condition still, and despite being washed roughly in the machine, it wasn’t pilled at all.
Because there was a 12″ trim that went all the way around the quilt in a more colorful fabric (bring on the pinks and oranges!), I also had salvaged as much of that as I could – it’s shown in the next photo. At this point, I decided that I might have enough fabric for a much-desired pouf or, if I could make it large enough, a nice-but-totally-not-masculine-for-my-masculine-dog dog bed. (Did you read that right?)
I was leaning towards the latter because the boy had been really good lately. And he’s been working his way up to a big-boy bed after spending a year napping on two layers of towel. Without chewing them. Atta boy.
Because of the hole in the large flowered piece of material I showed you earlier, I was limited to a diameter that maxed out at 36″, so I taped together a few pieces of newspaper and cut a perfectly round template using a DIY’ed protractor with a pen and a piece of wire that formed an 18″ radius.
With the round pieces of larger fabric cut into 36″ circles, it was easy to see how large this bed was going to be.
By measuring with a string around the entire circle, I learned of the true circumference, which translated to me knowing how long the piping for the top and bottom of the bed needed to be. (I know there’s a math equation for this, but you don’t really expect me to remember it, right?)
I sewed the piping myself (not made of traditional or DIY’ed bias tape like any seamstress would recommend); my strategy was to make a simple sleeve sewn shut lengthwise, looking a bit like a piece of sausage casing. The sausage-sized casing itself was then stuffed with (wait for it) old cut up t-shirts. That’s right, I sewed it right into place. The two sausage pipes (if I can call them that) were then sewn along the length of the more colorful fabric strips evenly and and in parallel form to become the center band of the dog bed slip cover that provides height to the whole thing. Yes, rolled out completely it extended the the length of the living room.
There weren’t many photos between the piping step and the finished piece step because I was madly attached to the sewing machine with a whole lot of dog bed jammed in my lap. There was nothing complicated about the whole ordeal, just a lot to hold onto and not a lot to be seen. The slip cover was sewn inside out as I carefully attached both 36″ round pieces to the piping strips, sewing in a circle. Once it was almost completely sewn together, I flipped it so that the exposed piping and colorful fabrics were on the outside, and I finished off the bed by stuffing it by hand.
I did use an old foam dog bed as the core means for filling, although it was smaller, thinner, and rectangular than the slip cover I had (and too small for Cody to use by itself) so I included extra rolled up and spread out bath towels and old beach towels to pad and round out the whole bed. Sneak peek inside?
I swear, the best part of it is that it’s almost entirely machine washable (only part that wouldn’t be is the foam cushion). And because I want to be able to wash it easily, I’m planning to button shut the opening in the side (just making sure he doesn’t try and eat it after a few more days).
Although, having been entirely made of recycled materials, it’s his to destroy and damage; if it lasts a year, that’ll be amazing. Every material used was free to me.
He sure looks comfy in this photo, and has been sleeping on it intermittently, for the record. It’s the kind of bed that you can just melt into.
If it lasts 2 weeks, at least I didn’t drop $100 on a nice one from L.L. Bean. Know what I’m sayin’?