How to Make a Pet Bed from Recycled Sweaters

comments (9) February 10th, 2009     

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CalPatch cal patch, contributor
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Gertie loves her new crocheted bed!
Heres the pile of sweater remnants Im going to reincarnate as a dog bed...
...and here they are after cutting into strips and rolling into balls.
Gertie loves her new crocheted bed!

Gertie loves her new crocheted bed!

Photo: Cal Patch
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Dog and cat beds can be very expensive at your local pet boutique, and they tend to look either too generic or too froufrou for my taste. My chihuahua, Gertie, needed a new one, and I was looking for something simple and handmade that wouldn't break the bank. So I looked around at the raw materials I had available, and my endless stash of thrifted wool sweaters called out to me. Perfect!

A few weeks ago I showed you all how to crochet rugs out of old T-shirts. You can use this same technique with wool sweaters to make a cushy bed for your favorite pet. I pulled a pile of leftover sweater scraps from other projects in a color assortment I liked and went to town with my scissors. Here's how:

Here's the pile of sweater remnants I'm going to reincarnate as a dog bed...

1. Cut your pieces into strips. Mine ranged from 1 inch to 2 inches depending on the thickness of the sweater (1 inch for thicker ones, 2 inches for thinner). You may want to make a test swatch before you cut up all of your strips to check the gauge and thickness of your fabric. Cutting thinner strips yields more square footage, but you'll want the bed to be nice and thick so it's comfortable. See what works best for you.

...and here they are after cutting into strips and rolling into balls.

1 | 2 | 3 > View all
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posted in: pets, cat, dog, bed

Comments (9)

debalperin writes: Hi,

I have a question. How do you cut the strips? Do you keep cutting round and round, spiraling around the sweater? If so don't the seems get in the way or make bumps? Or do you cut strips that are ultimately one straight strip each and then just do the overlapping thing when you change them up.

Posted: 5:16 pm on September 18th
dogtrainr writes: These look great, but I do have 1 concern, I have found that my dogs toenails get caught in knitted things, even though we trim them and keep them short, I think I might add in a lining, just to be safe!
Posted: 11:25 pm on December 3rd
stumptious writes: I was both delighted and disappointed to see your I've been making a VERY SIMILAR bed out of FLARN...leftover fleece strip yarn...and I thought I was being pretty unique. But, your tutorial really is AWESOME...and Gertie is a darling, so I can't stay peeved! Thanks for all the great inspiration on your blog...It's wonderful!
Posted: 10:54 pm on March 20th
Valorietx writes: I am still loving your idea with the t-shirt rugs and now this bed for our fur babies. These are two projects I am definitely tackling this fall/winter. I have been collecting t-shirts for my rug project. It has taken a little longer since I didn't want to use alot of white which are much easier to find that bright colorful shirts. But I have enough to at least get a good start.
You answered a question for me a while back about starting a rug to make it round. I'm still not sure I understand how to do it but with your instructions I think it will be self-explanatory once I get started. However I am wondering about the other shapes like oval, octagon, etc. How do you make those shapes?
I left a comment on the t-shirt article too and now here asking for comments on this and any other ideas for area rugs. I live in a rental with hideous carpet and they are not willing to replace it so I am desperate for ideas on area rugs. Or I would love to rip the carpet out of the whole place and literally paint the cement or something. It would be a million times better than what I have now. I have seen some done that are gorgeous.
Thanks for any help and suggestions.
Posted: 9:44 pm on September 16th
TaDaBoutique writes: Really neat idea. I think I will try it with some old t-shirts. My little dog will love it and may make one for my daughter's cat.
Posted: 12:28 am on March 6th
ShayMarWood writes: What a cool idea! It would be a perfect item to donate in an animal fundraiser auction or a no kill shelter. I will be making these.
Posted: 10:41 am on March 3rd
Beefancee writes: Awsome idea! Adorable dog too!
Posted: 8:13 pm on February 22nd
Jen1964 writes: I've been crocheting with old bedsheets & cotton shirting, but they give off lint & threads... contemplating braiding, but that takes too long, and you have the extra step of sewing. So far, I've done placemats, a potholder, and a craftbag with pockets (lined with fabric from a shortened dress. Pockets are same stuff. Except I threw in a zippered pocket from an old pair of cargo pants... just for fun.
SO, I like your method of joining sans thread... and will try it next project. And I bet the knitted cotton doesn't "shed" as much. Besides, it's another look.
I've found that the 1 inch material gives a neat larger size, but a 1/2 inch makes another weight of product just as nice. Must have strong hands for this, so I don't do it often or for long. Wouldn't want to aggravate tendon problems or RSI (repetitive strain injuries).
As for dog beds, my Westie is brutal on them, pawing and scratching. I think this type of yours might actually hold up! Oh, I'd have to use stronger materials, probably, but even if I used the softest stuff available, it would take her years to paw & claw through that crocheting.
Posted: 10:46 am on February 22nd
croqzine writes: Cool idea! I have been crocheting rag rugs lately, and LOVING it. I don't have any pets, but I have friends and family who do - this would be a great gift!
Posted: 3:05 pm on February 10th
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