I got a bee in my bonnet to sew this weekend, and settled on making a new dog bed for Mibbit, our female Bichon. I was feeling bad for her because it’s been really cold for the first time this winter and our wood floors make for some chilly napping. Bibbits likes to crawl into my laundry basket and make a nest on the dirty clothes to keep warm. We used to have a dog pillow she was particularly fond of, but after she had her first litter of puppies on it, it had definitely seen better days.
It’s not all that hard to make a big, square pillow that’s sewn on all four sides, so instructions are kind of unnecessary. I will share the basics though. The fill is shredded foam and cedar chips. The cedar chips are a natural flea and tick repellent that you can buy at any farm or pet store for less than $10. They smell good and absorb odors. The remainder of the filling was a bag of shredded foam from JoAnn’s, which I got an amazing deal on today, paying less than $2 a bag.
I chose to use scrap fabric for this project. For the shell of the pillow, I had one large piece of white cotton eyelet that was the perfect size, about 23.5″ x 28.5″. when folded in half. I left the fold and serged two other sides, leaving one of the short ends open, yielding a 23″ x 28″ finished size when turned right side out. I used about a third of the brick of compressed cedar I bought, mixed with one full bag of shredded foam, to loosely stuff the shell. Then I stitched the remaining side closed on the sewing machine.
I made a pillow cover from a remnant of fabric that I don’t remember actually acquiring. It’s always been here, and I’m not sure where it came from. Considering we actually built this house, it could not have been left by a prior resident. It reminds me of kitchen curtains, and ugly ones at that, but it’s fairly heavy weight and should stand up to a bit of use. It wasn’t quite wide enough, so I grabbed a ridiculously small scrap brown corduroy that I’ve been saving for the last 25 years and made a border for the top of the cover. I could see I had cut a garment pattern of some sort out of the corduroy, but I can’t think of what it was, and whatever it was, it was many years and many sizes ago. The cover is about a half an inch overall bigger than the pillow when finished.
If you want to get really fancy, you can sew a zipper into one of the seams of your cover, or overlap the back like a pillow sham, both to make the cover easy to remove and launder. For this cover, after I inserted the pillow, I just sewed the opening closed on my sewing machine and called it a day.
Mibbit doesn’t have to be shown twice. I put her on her new pillow and she hasn’t gotten off it yet. Last I looked, our other Bichon, Marley, was also firmly planted on it. Priceless.