Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pet Swap Gift

I want to share with you the gift that I made for Danielle of ZandDart for the Pet themed July swap in our Etsy Texas Crafters group.  When I finished it, I was so excited about it that I almost wanted to drive it to her house and give it to her.

I wanted to make a bed for her cat, Archimedes.  One of Danielle's favorite colors is blue and since Archimedes is a boy, I thought that would be a good color to use.  So, I went online and started looking up how to make pet beds.  I went through several ideas on how to do it and also several ideas for decorations that I wanted to attach to it.  For example, I wanted to make some of those corker bow ribbon thingys and attach bells to them, then attach them to the pet bed.  But when I found the instructions on how to make those, I found out you have to bake them.  I had no idea.  Bake them.  Huh.

Anyhoo, I didn't like any of the instructions or beds that I came across so I started thinking to myself that what I'd really like to make was a box pillow and use that minky fabric and stuff it with fiberfill so that it would be all squishy and squashy - and that's what I did!

I found instructions on how to make a box pillow here.  I didn't have Archimedes to measure so I just winged it.  I wanted the bed to be big for him so that he'd have plenty of room to squiggle around.  I ended up making it 24 x 16 inches.

The first one I made, I put buttons in for the closure.

I wanted Danielle to be able to remove/replace the fiberfill as needed and also to be able to wash the cover.  And as we all know, cats puke on everything - so it needed to be washable.  But once I got it finished, I realized that smart me had sewn the side band that goes all around the pillow, upside down.  I had even sewn the buttons on upside down.  It was really noticeable too because I used this cute cat and dog fabric.

Then, I realized that the 3 buttons I had put in wouldn't be enough because it left huge gaps on either end of the closure.  Ack! I said.  But hey, it was my very first time to make a box pillow and to use the minky fabric (which sews real well but tries to suffocate you when you cut it).

So, that was when I decided to just put in Velcro to close up the big gaps and give it to my cat.
Look, she likes it!

I then forced myself to return to Hobby Lobby (only kidding - it's my favorite store!) to get more cat/dog fabric so that I could remake the pillow.

This time, I was smart and looked up how to put in a zipper on youtube.com.  Isn't it great how you can find instructions on how to do almost anything online?  So this time I got the side band on right side up AND there are no gaps in the zipper closure.

The finished product turned out great.  I thought it looked very professional.  And Archimedes the cat looked happy in the pic Danielle sent me.  I learned 2 new skills - how to put in a zipper and how to make a box pillow.

The finished pillow is very lumpy and squishy looking.  That was intentional.  My cat and dog both like to wiggle/knead/squoosh and squash their beds until they get them just right.  I'm hoping Archimedes is the same.  I had some thick foam but I felt it would make the bed too ridgid and who wants that, right?

Let me know what you think!


  1. WOW! This is just adorable! (Hmmm... I wonder if our naughty cat, Pippi, needs one of these?) Congrats on learning the new skills, too! Can we predict a new HW product coming soon? ;)

  2. Lol Connie. That's what my hubby said.
    I'll think about it.


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