Making these cat beds has proved to be much more of a challenge than I thought it would be but at the same time I have rediscovered a long lost passion in sewing that I haven’t even attempted since I was a teenager.
All those years ago I did a GCSE in textiles, which at the time I loved but never thought about again. This was mainly due to a lack of a sewing machine and partly because I really wasn’t great at it. I made a dress that would never fit a real person and it was made of material so thick that, even if you had managed to get it on, would have left you sweating and unable to sit down…
With this in mind I thought I would try the most straightforward cat bed I could find on Pinterest (which you can find here) and opted for one made from an old hoodie. All the materials I used were recycled; the stuffing was Woolcool that we had left over from food delivery boxes, the material was an old hoodie that was about to be slung and the padding in the bottom was made up of foam offcuts from an old mattress we got rid of a few weeks ago.
After making the one from a hoodie I got a bit cocky with my newly reborn sewing skills and opted for something a bit harder (you can find the inspiration for it on Pinterest here). This one was again made from the recycled Woolcool and had the mattress foam bottom but the fabric was taken from old Ikea curtains we used in the flat we moved out of recently and an old knitted dress that was also headed for the bin (we were getting rid of loads of clothes because of this move, I swear we might be closet hoarders T_T).
I was pretty pleased that I could use all of these materials we had in the house and save them from landfill so if you are looking for a frugal, crafty Christmas pressie for your fellow cat lovers then this might just be perfect for you.
MAKING THE HOODIE BED.
Starting out I took an old hoodie and cut the hood off then stitched the hole closed. I then drew a chalk line from armpit to armpit across the front and stitched along this line which created an unbroken U of material to stuff with the recycled wool.
Once the arms were full of wool I pulled one sleeve over the other and hand stitched them together. This made a big poofy doughnut that would be the sides of the bed.
I then got the length of foam cut from the old mattress and used the already stuffed circle as a template and cut an oval shape for the base (I did this twice to give an extra padded bottom for this bed).
The foam was then inserted in to the empty body of the hoodie and I hand stitched this shut against the bottom of the stuffed arms. Et Voila!
MAKING THE CURTAIN BED.
Starting out I cut a 100cm x 90cm rectangle from one of the old curtains and then cut the corners off as per the instructions from Pinterest (link above). I quickly realised that the dimensions of this pattern did not add up to 100cm x 90cm and should have in fact been 105cm x 90cm and in a fit of frustration decided to throw those instructions out the window and just make it up as I went along.
I folded the sides of the bed in half and stitched 2 of the 3 open sides together. I then stuffed these little tunnels with the Woolcool and sewed them shut.
I then stitched the short edges of these padded tunnels to one another and the frame of the bed was born.
Using this “frame” as a template, the foam was then cut to fit the bottom of the bed.
An old knitted dress was then used as a covering for the foam but I didn’t bother stitching this shut and just tucked it in to the edges of the bed. The idea behind this was so that the dress can be removed for cleaning which was lucky since I had to do this almost immediately. I wanted to give both of these beds to members of my family (between 3 households we have 5 cats between us!) but no sooner had I put them down my cat was on them and fast asleep!
Since I had to do this I thought I would pap some photos of her with our fleecy pet blanket wrapped around the foam and realised that this would have been an awesome alternative to the recycled clothes (and I think it looked better too – my cat certainly liked it).
THE END RESULTS.
I have to say since my cat jumped on these straight away they most certainly are cat approved! They might not be the most professional looking cat beds but they were definitely a hit when I gave them as gifts, along with the added bonus of saving a whole heap of materials going in the bin.
I might have created a monster though because now I’m going to have to try out some more for my own moggies Christmas presents!