Before you get rid those out-of-style sweaters you’ve been holding onto, consider making them into a snuggly bed for your pet. One way is to make a pet bed by crocheting strips of old sweaters. Pick colors that look good together—that awful 1980’s mustard yellow should probably be avoided. Visit a thrift store if you’re short on old sweaters. Or if you only have ones that are mustard yellow. No really.
After a little stutter of snow yesterday, it’s actually snowing with some conviction here in our corner of the Pacific NW. So here’s a clever project that recycles an old, wool women’s cardigan into a cute coat for a smallish dog. A large men’s sweater would work for at least a mid-sized dog. Make sure you use a wool sweater, otherwise it won’t felt. Don’t have an old sweater around? Get thee to your thrift store and find one for cheap. Be sure it’s larger than your pup, because it will shrink when you felt it.
Felted knits handle more like fabric and are more durable. (Here are a few tutorials on felting, in case you need them: this one covers both hand & machine felting, here is a printable one on machine felting, and another on hand felting.)
The tutorial has you fitting the sweater by pinning it while it’s on your dog. This seems like A Very Bad Idea. I think a better idea would be to mark the sweater where you have it pinched to take up the excess material. It might not be as precise, but you also won’t risk poking holes in your dog or yourself, which sounds much more pleasant to me. If you’re making one for a larger dog, I’d check the length of the sleeves before you cut them off.
So check out the tutorial and don’t miss the video that also shows how to make the cardigan dog coat. It can give you a better idea of how this project works.
I think this happens every Fall. The days start getting shorter and somehow my I’ve-Got-To-Make-Something! button gets pushed. Here’s the first DIY post in a long time—how to make a cardboard cat “tower” that hangs on your wall.
This is a great idea, since it doesn’t take up floor space, doubles as a cat scratcher, doesn’t cost much to make, can be customized, and can double as art. How cool is that?! You can use cardboard you have or you you can buy sheets of it. I would treat the “face” of the cardboard (the part that faces the room) so that it’s more aesthetically pleasing by painting it or by applying wallpaper, decorative paper, or fabric. This tutorial shows how to make your cat a happy camper!
- glue gun
- Corrugated cardboard pads measuring 36″×48″ (The tutorial notes these are available in bundles of 50 from http://www.uline.com/.) Or you can use what you have on hand as long as you have enough to make your piece 35 sheets thick. You may have to adjust the shapes you make depending on what you have.
- hand saw or reciprocating saw
- 3/8″ and 9/32″ wood drill bits, 6″ or longer
- power drill
- (4)–3/8″ washers, 2″ diameter
- ratchet with 1/2″ socket
- (4)–8″×3/8″ lag bolts
- carpenter’s glue
- paint brush
- wallpaper brush
- trim guide
- sharp utility/camping knife
- 48″ ruler
- heavy objects to weigh down glued boards
We can do more than just Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—we can help the environment and ourselves by “upcycling” things we can no longer reuse. Plastic grocery bags with too many holes become crinkly stuffing for cat toys. A sad, old pillow is transformed into a pet bed. A funky, old candy dish on a pedestal becomes a fancy, raised water bowl. Try using your imagination before you go out to buy new things for your pets. You might already have something around the house that will work as well or better than something new. Save money, help save the planet!
Some of my favorite DIY projects that Rethink, Repurpose, Recraft!
Beds & Furniture:
I love this pet bed made from an old side table! It reminds me of the suitcase beds I wrote about previously. More great repurposing of an old object. Depending on the size of the table, you can make one for a cat or a dog.
Ki Nassauer over at Junk Camp shows how it’s done. First you need an old side table—look for one with interesting leg details, flip that sucker over, add some touches (finials, a headboard made from trim, feet), paint, and add a cushion or an old pillow and you’ve got a clever new pet bed. Awesome!
Instructables also has a tutorial inspired by this project. An important tip—use primer before you paint. Your life will be happier! Also, you can make feet for the bed from wood scraps or you can buy feet at a building supply store.