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Message Board > Creative Sewing > Dog beds ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Dog beds
using old t-shirts for filling
croglodyte
croglodyte
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Date: 1/10/10 1:26 PM

Hello - This isn't really "Creative Sewing" but wasn't sure where to post my question.

I have a ton of old, not-so-attractive upholstery material, so I would like to make dog beds for our local Humane Society. I would like to use old t-shirts, underwear, socks, etc. for the filling along with fabric scraps.

What is the best way to use these items as filling? I'm thinking cut up into little strips or squares. Is there any certain size that is good? Probably the smaller the better.

Also, how thick should I fill each one?

And what about using vinyl on the outside? It isn't real thick, but still, may not be comfortable for the animal. BUT it could be wiped down and re-used if not soiled badly.

Thanks for your help!

Michelle T

Michelle T
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In reply to croglodyte


Date: 1/10/10 1:35 PM

I am not sure about using cotton knits as a filling. I have used fleece scraps which are resilient and if they get wet will dry quickly.

How ever if you put the filling in its own bad inside the outer cover and place a zipper on the outer cover, it can be removed for cleaning.

Also adding some cedar to the stuffing can help with fleas.

As far as size for the finished bed, I would make a variety of sizes but check if they have more larger or smaller dogs.

My dog would never have slept on vinyl or a plastic surface. Fleece was her favourite, followed by old blankets.

------
Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

frame
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frame
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Date: 1/10/10 2:01 PM

Very timely since I am washing my dog's new bed even as I type this.

It is a fleecy-type top and a washable suede on the bottom. It has a zipper so I can remove the cover to wash. Inside is another bag filled with foam bits and cedar chips. It also has a zipper so I guess I can replace the filling when necessary. It's really not thick enough so I am going to put another foam cushion inside the outer cover bag so it lays on the bottom with the foam bits and cedar chips bag on top. There is room to do this.

I would also make a variety of sizes. 2 ft x 3 ft, 3 ft x 4 ft, etc. Or you can go here and check out the bed sizes.

This is a nice thing to do. Thanks.


Edited to fix the link.
-- Edited on 1/10/10 2:43 PM --
-- Edited on 1/10/10 2:43 PM --

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"framed" was taken

mssewcrazy
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Date: 1/10/10 2:22 PM

If you use the vinyl use it on one side perhaps even without stuffing and a warm fabric on the other side. The vinyl will help shield the animal from the cold from lying on concrete or a cage. Kudos to you for helping out as the need is so great. One of my dog's beds has suede on one side and fabric on the other so I don't see why the vinyl would be any different used like that. The oversized large outdoor dog ( our climate is mild), has a doghouse on our back porch with carpet and a blanket inside and a bed nearby that is a wooden pallet covered by vinyl stapled to the pallet then memory foam mattress pad then blankets also stapled to the wooden pallet underneath to keep him from carrying the bedding elsewhere since he is one that is prone to do that. In past years with rescue dogs we have made beds filled with shavings used in horse stalls. Large thrift shop pillows make good cheap stuffing also for the dog beds if you run out. Good luck with your project.

croglodyte
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In reply to mssewcrazy


Date: 1/10/10 2:37 PM

What a great idea to use vinyl on one side!
I called and got dimensions: 2' x 2', 3' x 2' and 4' x 2.5' is what they suggested.
Good idea about thrift store too - thanks!
I thought this would be a good, easy way to get back into sewing while doing a good deed and re-cycle and re-use too.

Kim12469
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Date: 1/10/10 4:53 PM

Keep in mind that anything you make would need to be able to be thrown into a washing machine and dryer. I've volunteered at the local shelter and have had the fun duty of collecting the bedding to go into the washer. It's not pretty. They also need to be able to dry easily.

A local group got together and made beds for the shelter. They used old towels, tshirts, blankets etc and cut them up into the size they wanted, 2 by 3 is a good size. Then sewed them together in layers, instead of filling them. This was after my stint volunteerting there so I can't comment on how they did there, but I did make some for my dogs. I have 7 of my own. And truthfully, I don't like how they worked. They are too thick and take absolutely forever to dry. I can only imagine how they would be in the kennels.

My favorite ones for ease of use are just simple fleece with some batting between them. I sew the batting to one side of the fleece in a couple lines to keep it secure, then put the right sides of the fleeces together and sew around leaving about 6 inches in one side. I pull it through and sew up the hole. These wash and dry the best IMO. You could make them with tshirts or blankets in fact I do make them with old blankets at times.

Just some suggestions from someone who's been in the shelter and has many of her own. Whatever you do I'm sure it will be appreciated.

------
http://kimsewsilly.blogspot.com/

mssewcrazy
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In reply to Kim12469


Date: 1/10/10 7:50 PM

That is true about the washing problem. They would probably be thrown away when they were soiled and in lots of shelters that might be pretty fast with overcrowding. Last year I bought all the thin cheap fleece throws and baby blankets in the local dollar stores before a cold snap and took them to the shelter sort of playing like pet santa. They will wash these when soiled and they also are always begging for used towels and blankets. I check the bedding whenever I take items to the thrift store to donate. I think Kim's idea of stitching the squares onto recycled towels, blankets or fleece is a really good suggestion. They really need small comfy squares that can be easily washed when it is cold or following the spays. I really had not thought of stitching the towels to blankets. Thanks Kim.

goodworks1
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Date: 1/10/10 8:59 PM

For our outdoor dog I just chop up the old clothing into foot square (approximately) pieces and put it all into a pillowcase or larger type sack I make. I only do this for her for winter, so I make the filling fairly thick...about 3 or 4 inches.

I toss the whole thing into the burn barrel at the end of the winter. No way I'd bother to wash it and reuse it.

I made two different ones this year and was surprised that she picked the one with a rayon outer shell (it's a red Stewart plaid!) over the cotton knit one that had a distinct texture. So I put the textured one up against the wall next to the softer rayon one so she can cuddle up to the warmth of both.
-- Edited on 1/10/10 9:00 PM --

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blog: goodworks1.wordpress.com

stirwatersblue
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Date: 1/10/10 9:18 PM

If you're looking for something that's extremely washable and durable (which you would be, for an animal shelter), I've made crate cushions from acrylic blankets sewn over egg crate mattress pads. The ones I made my dogs have been washed probably scores of times over the last 6+ years, and they are still in nearly perfect shape. They wash and machine dry beautifully.

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~Gem in the prairie

threaddy
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Date: 10/19/12 2:38 PM

Bumping this up because I need HELP!!!!!
I decided if I am going to practice FMQ I might as well do something useful with my screw ups....(and boy am I BAD at it!!!! ) I thought I might make dog beds for the shelter. I went and asked and they said they could use anything for padding. The size needed is 3X2 1/2. If I make them as a quilt with batting it does not seem very thick to sleep on...but I suppose they could use 2 on top of each other so there is more softness.
I will pre wash the fabric and batting in HOT water and then put it in the dryer (so I know they can stand the washing and drying that they do in the shelter)... I'll put binding on them so I can practice my binding techniques as well. This will also use up some scrap cotton fabric I have...I could even cobble together pieces and make scrappy quilts...
Any thoughts?????? ANY HELP would be greatly appreciated!

------
"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." Theodore Rubin
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life's about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw
Dan 9:24-27

Bernina vintage and computerized, Bernina and BL sergers , BLcoverstitch (a stray Pfaff and Viking followed me home too)

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