Making a dog bed cushion

I think I finally completed the last of my tasks to make my dining and sitting room renovations complete! That task was to make a new cushion for my dog’s awesome window bed (which I made myself). Since I made the bed, she (and the cats) have been sleeping on an old dog bed that I made in our other house. It is a fleece cover with two bed pillows inside, covered by a layer of eggshell foam. It does the job, but the cover is the wrong color now and it has a large indent in the center from use. I bought new gray fleece and nice thick green foam from Joann Fabrics quite some time ago. I kinda can’t believe I waited this long, as it took me less than an hour to make her the new cushion. What a bad dog parent I am.

I bought one section of green foam that was the thickest they had, when it was on sale for 50% off. To make the bed thicker, I also bought two chair cushions that were about the right size. The thick foam wasn’t the right size to fit in the dog bed, so I had to cut it to size. It was so thick I had to cut the top half first and then the bottom half with my scissors.

Measuring the foam to fit:

DogBedCushion-1 DogBedCushion-3

 

Molly lays on her old cushion watching me:

DogBedCushion-2

After cutting the foam to size, I basically sewed a large pillow case. I wasn’t too concerned with dimensions, just that it needed to be large enough to fit.

DogBedCushion-4 DogBedCushion-5

After sewing the fleece, I wrestled it over the foam and installed it in the dog bed. Here you can see the nice new cushion next to the old sad one:

DogBedCushion-6

And Molly agreed to model for me. She’s the cutest!

DogBedCushion-9 DogBedCushion-8 DogBedCushion-7

Advertisements

Making a rustic industrial dog bed

What exactly is a rustic industrial dog bed? Heck if I know. I just know that the furniture theme for my sitting and dining rooms is metal + dark or reclaimed wood. The sitting room has a low window that our dog will lay in front of, on one of her pillow style beds, and stare at the outside world. I wanted to make a dog bed that fit in with the furniture in that part of the house and that wouldn’t get pushed around by the pets or the roomba. After seeing a tutorial on a keen life where they made a set of shelves from some metal plumbing pipe and wood, I knew I found the perfect materials for my dog bed. It only took me a few months to finally get all the stars to align so I could finish it, and I’ve yet to make a new cushion for it, but at least the old dog bed cushion fits reasonably well. A preview of the finished product with my dog model:

Molly looking really sad, laying on her new bed in front of the window.

Molly looking really sad, laying on her new bed in front of the window.

After I got the idea in my head, I picked up 6″ pine boards, an assortment of brackets, spray paint, and the metal pipe and fittings necessary to make a rectangular frame for the dog bed. After bringing home the metal pipe and fittings, my husband and I assembled the rectangular frame with short legs. Because the fittings all have to screw together, and we were trying to screw a rectangle of parts together, we were constantly tightening one corner while loosening another corner. Eventually we got all the fittings to loosely screw together with the plan to glue the joints later for a firmer hold. After creating the rectangle, I measured the inside of it to determine what size wood boards I needed.

After refreshing my memory on exactly how to use the table saw, I got to work cutting my pine boards to size.

After refreshing my memory on exactly how to use the table saw, I got to work cutting my pine boards to size.

Laying out the boards in to a rectangle.

Laying out the boards in to a rectangle.

 

Spray painting the brackets and screws.

I put all the screws and brackets in a shallow box and spray painted them from all angles with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. It took multiple coats to get all of the angles done so that no shiny silver metal was left showing.

After measuring the same length from the end of both boards, and using the brackets as a guide to mark my holes, I drilled pilot holes and then screwed in the screws.

After measuring the same length from the end of both boards, and using the brackets as a guide to mark my holes, I drilled pilot holes and then screwed in the screws.

For the corners I used L shaped brackets and for the tall sides I used flat brackets.

For the corners I used L shaped brackets and for the tall sides I used flat brackets.

After the sides were assembled, I attached the bottom with L shaped brackets that had 2 or 3 screws in a horizontal line on each side.

After the sides were assembled, I attached the bottom with L shaped brackets that had 2 or 3 screws in a horizontal line on each side.

 

A close up of the bracket varieties used.

A close up of the bracket varieties used.

 

The next step was to stain the wood.

The next step was to stain the wood.

I used Timbersoy wood stain, color walnut, from EcoProCrete that was left over from a previous project. The stain goes on thin, so I used a sponge applicator and applied multiple coats until it was as dark as I wanted. To seal the wood, I used Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil Wood Finish, also purchased for a different project. The oil is applied by rubbing it in with an old cloth. I used two coats for now. It gives the wood just a bit of sheen, which worked well for the look I was trying to create.

Leveling the legs.

Leveling the legs.

After that was done, I put the metal frame around the bed and used that as a guide to help make sure the short legs were straight before I glued everything in place. I used gorilla glue and a toothpick to try to force some glue into each joint. Gorilla glue expands as it dries so after I was done I had to use a box cutter to remove the excess glue from the top of the frame where it would easily be seen. It took me three tries to get all of the joints adequately glued. The next step was to spray paint the frame.

Spray painting the frame.

Spray painting the frame.

After adding the gaskets to the bottom of the metal frame, it was time to attach the frame to the wood box. I used some scrap wood to set the wood box on so that it would not be flush with the floor while I attached the brackets.

Getting the bed ready for final assembly.

Getting the bed ready for final assembly.

I used brackets that are meant to go with this pipe to attach it to the wood box. The only trouble was that the pipe doesn’t sit flush with the box because of the T and corner junctions. I improvised by using some large nuts and washers as standoffs for the brackets.

Spray painted brackets, with the washers and nuts used as standoffs to attach the wood bed to the metal frame.

Spray painted brackets, with the washers and nuts used as standoffs to attach the wood bed to the metal frame.

I also used brackets on the four short legs in case the glue didn’t completely hold in places. I used sticky rubber furniture pads on the bottom of the frame feet to keep the floor from getting scratched.

New dog bed, old dog cushion.

New dog bed, old dog cushion.

Finally, completion! A few photos of the sitting room so you can see how the new bed fits in:

A view from the foyer into the sitting and dining room.

A view from the foyer into the sitting and dining room.

The relatively new couch, coffee table, and side table with the ancient Ikea chair. Still need to replace that chair. Oh, and the dog.

The relatively new couch, coffee table, and side table with the ancient Ikea chair. Still need to replace that chair. Oh, and the dog.

 

Molly forced to be a model on her new bed.

Molly forced to be a model on her new bed.

What a rough life.

What a rough life.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Making natural dog chews

Every dog needs chews. I like to give them to Molly as a treat or to keep her busy and out of my way. She follows me around like she’s my shadow after all.

At some point in a fancy pet store I came across sweet potato chews and bought them. Molly loves them. I love them, except for the price. Enter my food dehydrator, purchased specifically to make Molly sweet potato chews (spoiled, I know). I finally got around to trying this out.

First, I washed the potatoes. Leaving the skin on except for the green parts and eyes, I tried to slice them about 1/2″ thick. They were very hard to slice so usually one side was thicker than the other.

After slicing 4 potatoes, I arranged the slices in the food dehydrator so that they didn’t touch.

I then dried them in the food dehydrator for about 14 hours. Next time, I think I’ll get a Mandoline slicer to make them uniform thickness.

Molly certainly approved.

     

 What’s your dog’s favorite natural treat? Molly also loves bananas and apples. She must have a sweet tooth.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

How to heal dog paws / make your dog sad

How to heal dog paws / make your dog sad: Apply bag balm to affected areas of pads. Cover with a sock. Wrap tape around top of sock to hold it on. Watch as your dog gives you sad eyes.

Our 50 pound dog has little tiny paws. They are also very sensitive. When we go for long walks or runs on rough ground, she often ends up peeling parts of her pads off and then limps around for a week while they heal. I think it also happens when she runs for too long on hot concrete. In order to help them heal and to keep her from continuing to chew on them, I use the above method to protect her paws for a few days. It happens so often that I purchased little kids socks to use. I also use paw wax to help protect them so that this doesn’t happen, but often I can’t predict when they will become sore.

Making dog toys

Have you ever seen those fleece rope dog toys at the pet stores? Well, my dog loves them. In addition, they aren’t as messy as a typical knotted or hemp type rope where little strings can be left behind. I realized right away that I could make fleece ropes with all the left over fleece from other projects (the trendy term for this is upcycle). I’ve now made more ropes than I can count for my dog and all of her friends.

I just completed two new rope gifts for some doggies I’ll be visiting soon.

Instructions: cut 3 strips of fleece. The thicker the strip, the thicker the today. Knot at one end. Braid. Knot at the other end. Play tug with a happy dog!

Spoiling my dog

My dog has a ton of toys. She takes great care of them and never ruins them. She has enough that I have to swap out batches of toys because they don’t all fit in the toy basket. Eventually I donate them to the shelter. Despite that, I continue to make her this one type of toy that she likes: a braided fleece rope. I once bought a simple fleece rope at PetSmart and found out she really liked it.  After that, I collected fleece scraps when they were on sale and have made many, many fleece ropes for my dog and other dogs I fancy. She doesn’t play tug too much but she does like to carry around the fleece rope and slowly will chew on it (or it gets ruined when another dog comes to visit) so I have to make her new one.

Here’s how I make them:

  1. Cut three long strips of fleece (make them thicker for a thick braid)
  2. Tie one end in a tight knot
  3. Braid to the other end, tie in a knot
  4. Tie a knot in the middle
  5. Optional: tie extra small fleece scraps near the ends of the rope (I used to do this because the toy at PetSmart had them, but don’t do it any more)
  6. Give to your favorite spoiled dog. Seriously, it’s that easy.

A posed picture of Molly with a fleece toy on top of one of her new beds:

(This is her “window” bed that I felt the need to make after we removed the carpet from our house this winter. I didn’t want her to be cold while laying with her head on the windowsill! Also, the cats really enjoy it.)

Yesterday I made a dog bed cover.Instructions:Measure dog.

Yesterday I made a dog bed cover.

Instructions:

  1. Measure dog.
  2. Triple her size.
  3. Cut a giant piece of fleece, randomly adding inches for the seam allowance.
  4. Sew the fleece like it’s a pillow case, with the opening on the long side.
  5. Try to be smart by planning the placement of velcro to close the cover.
  6. Finish sewing velcro and find out you planned wrong (a usual occurrence in my sewing escapades).
  7. Give up because the dog doesn’t seem to mind.