Homemade pet gifts are a great way to use up sewing supplies, and are also appreciated by pet owners when they see the time and trouble you have gone to personalize a gift for them.
If you have a friend on your gift list, who has everything, and you just can’t think of anything to buy them, but they have a beloved dog or cat, then consider making their pet a gift instead.
Most pet owners consider their pets as part of the family, so to receive something for them from you is a great idea.
Homemade Pet Bed - If you like to sew, and also recycle craft supplies, then this will make a great pet gift.
Pet beds need to be tough enough for the largest dog, and yet durable enough it can be washed over and over again. That is the beauty of these denim pet beds, they can be thrown in the washer over and over and they get softer but are still tough.
These make great portable beds too, as they can simply be rolled up, and thrown in the car, or used in the car, and taken to the cottage or anywhere a dog would like to perch.
This works best with old denim jeans rather than purchasing denim from the fabric store, so here is what you will need:
For the bed pictured it is 2.5 feet by 2 feet. You can make this bigger or smaller, it all depends on the dog you are creating this project for.
Cardboard template measuring 7 x 7 inches (for tracing and cutting out squares)
Old Denim jeans with the seams cut open so the denim is lying flat
Sewing needle for your machine that is designed for denim (you can get them at sewing supply stores)
Thick faux fur that measure same as finished piece will be
How to Make:
This bed is 4 x 5 squares, so you will need to cut out 20 squares of denim using your cardboard template, trace around it with a marker or fabric marker and then cut out.
Start sewing rows of 4 together with wrong sides facing (you are going to have frayed seams for this project not hidden ones) using a ½ inch seam allowance. (this makes the finished squares 6 x 6 inches)
Once you have 5 rows of 4 squares sewn together, start sewing the rows together. It can get a bit hectic at your machine, but if you have a good machine needle designed for denim it can do it.
Once you have your blanket made with the seams showing, you will now need to “clip” the seams with sharp scissors, to make a fringe. Approximately ¼ inch apart for the fringe. You could get help doing this, but it doesn’t take too long, but don’t go more than ¼ inch as you will end up with “curly ques” instead of fringe. Make sure to also clip around the edges of the finished piece as well.
Now throw the entire piece in the washing machine, this will help the fringe to become soft and fuzzy.
Then into the dryer. Once it is done you will see the seams are white and fuzzy. Make sure and empty your dryer lint trap as it will have denim bits in it.
Now lay your denim dog blanket on top of the faux fur with wrong sides together. Trim to make sure the faux fur fits the project, then pin and sew around the edge to complete the denim dog bed.
The dog bed is now done, and this makes a great pet gift. It is soft enough to get them off the hard floor and yet durable enough to simply throw in the washer again and again.
If you want to take this one step further you can embroider the dog’s name on one of the squares, or using fabric pens. Try to stay away from adding buttons or other things the dog might chew off.
Cat Bed – If your friend has a cat that they love dearly, you could make the cat a nice “catnip bed”. These are fun and it is fun to watch the cat have fun with this little bed.
What You will Need:
This particular cat bed is 1 foot by 1.5 feet but you can make it bigger.
Cardboard template measuring 7 x 7 inches (for cutting out denim)
Old worn denim jeans with seams cut open
Piece of fun cat fabric that is flannel and soft
Good quality cat nip (pet supply stores or home grown)
How to Make
In this particular project, you will make the denim seams look finished as cats prefer a flatter place to lay on.
With right sides together sew 2 ends of squares together then press seams open. Create 3 set of these pairs.
Sew the 3 sections together with right sides together and then press open the seams (I used a ½ inch seam allowance so that the squares end up 6 x 6 inches.
Then top stitch approx. ¼ inch from original seam on right side to keep the seams flat.
Once the piece is finished then cut out a piece of flannel colourful cat print fabric to match the size of the mat, then with right sides together sew around outside edges, but leave a 2 inch gap open for filling cat nip at one end.
Turn to right side and press all the seams. You can add a piece of Velcro to the little opening if you wish to keep it closed.
Simply sprinkle in some cat nip and then place the mat soft flannel side up, and see just what your cat does with it. They will lay on it as pictures, or they will roll around on it. The denim side makes it more durable and the whole thing can be thrown in the washer.
The above two are great homemade pet gift ideas for the pet lovers amongst your friends and family and are a great way to use up left over sewing supplies. They are an affordable gift, and they can be personalized with fabric pens.
Our cats love these better than the purchased pet beds, and you can turn the cat bed inside out again to get rid of old cat nip, throw it in the washer and fill again and watch them have fun.