Sew Your Own Cat / Small Dog Bed

Just before Christmas I’d finished all the gifts I planned to make and was looking for something to do. I have limited time for sewing so was really frustrated that I just couldn’t seem to come up with anything. The cats appeared and wouldn’t leave me alone… Ah! Cat beds!

We have four cat beds (only two cats), which we purchased over the last two years to try to get them to use at least one. No luck. Realising that they’re happier to lay on quilts I’m working on, I figured I’d try to cobble together a couple of beds, just on the off chance.

No pattern, and not really a plan either, just a quick scout around for something to fill them with.

I already knew which fabric I wanted to use as we’d taken delivery of the gorgeous William Morris fat quarters literally days before Christmas.

For the purpose of this tutorial however, I used the Kitty Garden fat quarter bundle as I didn’t document the making of the William Morris ones.

What You’ll Need

NOTES: I used 2oz wadding as that’s what I had to hand. If your wadding is thicker you may get away with one layer. The wadding for the sides of the bed is simply rolled and slid into place. So each will need to fit the length or width of the FQ. If you don’t have the correct size for the sides of the bed, you can always use more than one piece, but it may be a little bit fiddly to hold them in place. Additionally, if your cat or dog is larger, this is easy to upscale. Just use a metre of fabric and cut two pieces to your desired size. If you want the bolstered edged to be larger, just sew further in and add more wadding.

Lay your fat quarters right sides together.
Top with your wadding.
Flip over and pin all the layers together.
Sew all around using a quarter inch seam, removing the pins as you go. Leave a 4-5 inch opening on one of the shorter edges. Remembr to backstitch at the beginning and end. If you skip this, you’ll pull your stitches out as you continue following the steps. When you get to the corners, stop sewing with your needle still down, lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric.
Clip the corners.
Turn right sides out. If you stacked the fabric and wadding as suggested above, you should end up with the wadding between your two fat quarters.
Take the wadding you cut for the bottom bolster and roll it up.
Slide it into the bottom (short) side of the bed.
Sew from around 2 inches in from one side, to two inches in from the other.
Backstitch again at start and end.
Now take one of your wider pieces of wadding and roll it as before. Slip this inside the bed and hold it to one side. Start stitching where you stopped after placing the bottom wadding in place.
Sew all the way up until you are around 2 inches from the top (short) edge.
Repeat with the opposite side.
Now you should only have the top section to fill. Stitch across the top to complete the inner rectangle.
Now pop in the remaining wadding piece (nicely rolled as before).
Pull on either end of the opening. The fabric will automatically want to pull itself inside. You can either slip this under the sewing machine and top stitch close to the edge, or whip stitch this closed by hand. I just used the machine as it was quicker and I’m not a huge fan of hand sewing! I think I’m just too lazy for it!!

Hope your cats love them as much as ours do!! This of course, made my day! They refused all four of the beds we had bought for them, but quickly started using the ones I made! I call that a win 🙂

Our youngest, Sooty, comandeered the new bed as soon as it hit the floor.

If you use these instructions to make your own furbaby a new bed, please feel free to post a photograph! We’d love to see them (preferrably with the furbaby in it… because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good pet pic?

These are the two original beds I made before Christmas 2020 – Smudge and Sooty (@SmudgeandSooty on Insta) clearly approve!

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