I made one of these beds for Big Ben a few months ago and I couldn’t believe how easy it was! We had wanted to buy him a bed, but cat beds are kind of expensive, considering that they’re just shaped cushions. So, I figured that I would try to make him one instead.
And he actually likes it! We have one beside our bed in our room, and he sleeps on it next to us all the time. I’m mostly surprised by this because cats normally ignore anything you get especially for them, eschewing store-bought beds for shoe boxes and manufactured toys for tissue paper. Or electrical cords.
I recently did a massive purge of my closet, and figured that my newly-rejected clothes would make a fine second bed for Ben in the living room. He hasn’t quite warmed to this one yet, but he’s weirdly paranoid about stepping on unfamiliar soft surfaces (yoga mats terrify him) and will probably get over it.
This is a really simply project that you can make with things you already have laying around, and with very little skill. Seriously, scroll down and see my sewing skills. They’re not pretty, but it doesn’t really matter with this project because all of your sewing is hidden in the end. So just do it. Get to it and make a bed for your furry friend this afternoon.
What you’ll need:
- An old sweater or button-up cardigan (preferably large), to be used as the outside of the bed
- A pile of old clothes/fabric scraps OR 1 bag of cotton stuffing
- Yarn (for best results, the yarn should be the same colour as your sweater)
- A large hand sewing needle
- Fabric scissors
1. Select 2-3 shirts or sweaters that will form the base of the bed and fold them into rectangles. They should be the size and shape that you want the bottom of the bed to be, so make sure they are big enough for your animal friend to curl up on! Layer them on top of one another. You could also use folded old hand towels for the base.
2. Stitch three of the edges together with the yarn to keep the shirts/towels in place. This doesn’t have to be pretty, as they won’t be visible with the final product.
3. Cut up the remainder of the old clothes into scraps and set aside.
4. Stuff the base with a small amount of the fabric scraps. You don’t want the base to be too thick or your cat will probably fall off and hate you forever, so you just want enough to add some cushioning.
5. Insert the base into the body section of the sweater you have selected for the outside of the bed. Seal the bottom of the sweater by stitching with the yarn. Fold up the two bottom corners of the sweater and stitch in place, so that the base is held snugly inside the body of the sweater. These corners should be stitched to the side of the sweater that you will use as the bottom of the bed, so that they aren’t visible.
Ideally your yarn won’t show because you will match the colour to the sweater, but I used white yarn for illustrative purposes. If you don’t have matching yarn, don’t worry too much, because most of your stitching will be on areas of the bed that will be hidden from view when it’s finished and placed upright.
6. Stitch the two side of the sweater along the top of the base. Your base should now be fully encased in the body of the sweater, like so:
7. Sew the neck area of the sweater closed, stitching the sides of the opening together. You should now have a solid body connected to a single tube formed by the sleeves and stitched-up shoulder area. Stuff the remaining fabric scraps into the sleeves and shoulders, playing with the stuffing to make the sleeves even and smooth.
8. Stitch the ends of the two sleeves together so that they form a complete circle. Then, stitch the inside of the sleeves to the outside of the body to form an enclosed bed. Now your bed is ready for your feline friend to curl up in! Yay! You’re the craftiest cat parent ever!