Recycle Restyle: Pet Beds From Old Cushions
February 9, 2014
We got rid of a couch recently. It had been a second-hand freebie that took all kinds of abuse. By the time we were through with it, the arms were shredded and the seat supports weren't able to do their job anymore.
But I have a difficult time throwing things out if I think I can get some use out of them, and the cushions were still in pretty good shape. What to do with a bunch of free-range cushions? Pet beds, of course!
This is a pretty straightforward makeover -- you just need to be able to sew a box. I actually made two versions of this project. One is a little easier than the other, so you can decide how much time and energy you want to invest in your cushion makeover.
I went with Dr. Seuss fleece for my first bed. To start, you want to cut a piece of fleece that's several inches wider on each side than your cushion. When working with a stretch fabric like fleece, I like the stretch to run across the cushion as you view it from this angle, but this will also work with non-stretch fabrics.
Your fabric cut needs to be long enough that it can wrap all the way around the cushion with about 10 inches of overlap.
Finish the edge of each short edge of your fabric. (If your fabric has stretch, I recommend a stretch stitch here.) Then, wrap it around the cushion, right side in, and pin the side seams so they sit snugly against the cushion, being careful to catch all layers into your pinning.
Carefully remove the cushion from your pinned fabric, and sew along the lines you pinned. Then, create fitted corners by folding your slipcover so the side seam runs to the point of the corner, centered in the triangle you create in the process, and run a straight stitch perpendicular to the side seam.
Turn it right side out, and wiggle it onto your cushion. I barely got mine set onto the table before I had a cat sprawled on it.
The second pet bed is a little more involved, and requires some actual measuring.
First, you want to measure the height of your cushion. Mine was a little taller than 4.5 inches. Next, measure the entire outside edge of the cushion -- mine was 86 inches. So, I cut a piece 4.6 inches by 86 inches -- I don't add seam allowance! I cut the exact measurements and then use a quarter-inch seam allowance when assembling, and then I end up with a slipcover that's nice and snug. I cut this piece along the selvedge edge of my fabric, and ended up having to piece it a bit because I only had 2 yards of minky. Once I had my 4.6 by 86 inch piece assembled, I stitched the ends together to form a closed loop.
To cut the top of the slipcover, I placed the cushion directly on my fabric and traced the shape with a marker, then cut it out. (Again, skipping seam allowances.) As you can see, one of my corners has a rounded edge rather than a square one.
To create the bottom, I cut two pieces that would overlap, each about two-thirds of the length of the top piece I cut.
I finished one of the edges on each of my two bottom pieces. As with the fleece, I used a stretch stitch here. Then, I overlapped them to match the size of the top piece, and cut the matching rounded corner to accomodate for my cushion's asymmetric shape. I also pinned the two bottom pieces together and basted the overlapped sections.
Once my top and bottom were cut and prepared, I made trim by cutting bias strips out of twill and stitching it around cotton piping. I made about 6 yards of it, so I would have enough to edge the bed at both the top and bottom. (I had plenty left over.)
I trimmed the seam allowance on piping fabric down to about 1/4 inch, and then stitched it all around the edges of my top and bottom pieces. Then I sewed my side edge loop to both the top and bottom pieces. The only trick here is making sure your top and bottom line up when you're stitching the side piece. I aligned the seam that closed my loop with one of the corner edges and made sure I matched the top and bottom corners I was using and had no problem.
Once I slipped this one onto the cushion, I loved it -- and more importantly, so did my creatures.
And these beds are big enough for two! (At least, two cats or small dogs.)
I'm so glad we didn't toss those cushions! Now my kitties have new beds, and I can just pull the slipcovers off and throw them in the wash.
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