How to Sew a Dog Bed

Here's how to make a dog bed that goes with your decor in one of three, made-for-your-pup sizes.

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Fashion a comfortable cushion from canine-theme fabrics. If desired, add piping for a stylish accent. The beds are made to stand up to daily use. Lined with muslin and filled with polyester fiberfill, they can be machine-washed. Fluff up the fiberfill after machine-drying and add more stuffing if needed.

Cool Dog Bed Ideas

Finished Dog Beds:

Small: 20 x 15 x 3"
Medium: 24 x 18 x 4"
Large: 36 x 27 x 5"

  • Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.
  • Measurements include 1/2" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
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Small Dog Bed

What You Need

For Small Dog Bed:

  • 5/8 yard brown-and-white print (sides)
  • 1 yard brown stripe (top and bottom)
  • 1 yard muslin (lining)
  • Polyester fiberfill

Cut Materials

Cut pieces in the following order:

From brown-and-white print, cut:

  • 2 – 4 x 21" A rectangles
  • 2 – 4 x 16" B rectangles

From brown stripe, cut:

  • 2 – 16 x 21" C rectangles

From muslin, cut:

  • 2 – 16 x 21" C rectangles
  • 2 – 4 x 21" A rectangles
  • 2 – 4 x 16" B rectangles

Small Dog Bed Assembly

Step 1

Lay a brown-and-white print A rectangle right side down on a flat surface. Aligning edges, place muslin A rectangle on top. Baste together around all sides, 1/4" from edges. Repeat with remaining brown-and-white print and muslin A rectangles.

Step 2

Repeat Step 1 to baste corresponding muslin rectangles to brown-and-white print and brown stripe B and C rectangles.

Step 3

Mark each corner on muslin side of C rectangles with a dot 1/2" from edges (Diagram 1).

Step 4

Beginning and ending seams 1/2" from edges, sew together short ends of A and B rectangles. Repeat, alternating A and B rectangles, to make a loop (Diagram 2). Press all seams open.

Step 5

Join one long edge of loop to a C rectangle, matching seams of loop to marked corner dots (Diagram 3).

Step 6

Repeat Step 5, joining remaining C rectangle to unsewn edge of loop and leaving a 6" opening for turning.

Step 7

Turn right side out through opening. Stuff as desired with fiberfill. Hand-sew opening closed to complete small dog bed.

Guide to Canine Comfort

Medium Dog Bed

What You Need

For Medium Dog Bed:

  • 5/8 yard green polka dot (sides)
  • 1 1/4 yards green print (top and bottom)
  • 3/4 yard green stripe (piping)
  • 1 7/8 yards muslin (lining)
  • 5 yards of 3/8"-diameter cotton cording
  • Polyester fiberfill

Cut Materials

Cut pieces in the following order:

From green polka dot, cut:

  • 2 – 5 x 25" A rectangles
  • 2 – 5 x 19" B rectangles

From green print, cut:

  • 2 – 19 x 25" C rectangles

From green stripe, cut: 

  • Enough 2 1/2"-wide bias strips to total 180" in length for piping

From muslin, cut:

  • 2 – 19 x 25" C rectangles
  • 2 – 5 x 25" A rectangles
  • 2 – 5 x 19" B rectangles

Medium Dog Bed Assembly

Step 1

Using pieces just cut, repeat Small Dog Bed Assembly, steps 1–4 (above).

Step 2

Sew together green stripe 2 1/2"-wide bias strips to make one long strip. Press seams open. Cover cording with strip to make piping.

Step 3

Aligning raw edges, baste piping around edges of each C rectangle. When attaching the piping to C rectangle, begin stitching 1 1/2" from piping's folded end. When you reach a marked dot at a corner of the C rectangle, clip seam allowance of piping almost up to stitching. Ease piping in place along next edge, rounding corner slightly, and continue stitching. Turn each corner in same manner.

When you are 2" to 3" from the starting point, end stitching. Remove 1" of stitching at each end of the piping and pull back the bias strip ends. Cut end of cording so it fits snugly into folded opening at beginning. The ends of cording should abut inside covering. Refold bias strip so it covers cording, lapping folded end over raw end. Finish stitching piping to C rectangle.

Step 4

Referring to Small Dog Bed Assembly, steps 5–7 (above), join loop to C pieces, turn right side out, stuff, and sew opening closed to complete medium dog bed.

Large Dog Bed

What You Need

For Large Dog Bed:

  • 7/8 yard brown paw print (sides)
  • 1 5/8 yards brown dog print (top and bottom)
  • 2 1/2 yards muslin (lining)
  • Polyester fiberfill

Cut Materials

Cut pieces in the following order:

From brown paw print, cut:

  • 2 – 6 x 37" A rectangles
  • 2 – 6 x 28" B rectangles

From brown dog print, cut:

  • 2 – 28 x 37" C rectangles

From muslin, cut:

  • 2 – 28 x 37" C rectangles
  • 2 – 6 x 37" A rectangles
  • 2 – 6 x 28" B rectangles

Large Dog Bed Assembly

Using pieces just cut, refer to Small Dog Bed Assembly, steps 1–7 (above), to make large dog bed.

Editor's Tips

  • For a removable outer cover for the dog bed, insert a zipper in a long seam that joins a bed side with the bed bottom. Construct a separate muslin pillow insert following basic assembly instructions.
  • When a "bird's nest" of thread appears on top of or under your fabric, the likely culprit is your upper thread tension. If loops appear on the underside, upper thread tension may be too loose; knots on the top mean upper tension may be too tight.

Cozy Quilted Pet Bed

Color Option

Pamper your kitty with a special napping pillow. Use feline-theme fabrics to make a cushy cat bed that's sure to delight.

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