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Turn An Old Sweater Into A New Bed For Your Pet!

Sweater Pet Bed

We all want our furry friends to have a fluffy bed to cuddle up on, but they can be PRICEY! Especially if  you’re having to replace them often due to pet-related destruction. So skip the expensive pet-store beds and make one yourself….by recycling an old sweater!

Britta writes……..

This craft is everything a good craft should be: simple, not too time-consuming, affordable, and useful!! In fact, if you have a spare sweater, small pillow, and some batting from a quilt or bed pillow lying around at home, you can make this pet bed right now for FREE! I think one of these pet beds would make such a great gift – especially if a friend or family member had just added a puppy or kitty to the family!

Sweater Pet Bed

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own sweater pet bed (in addition to access to a sewing machine):

  • an extra-large men’s cable knit sweater
  • a square or round pillow, 16×16″ or similar
  • quilt batting or loose fill (crib-size batting works perfectly!)
  • yarn
  • yarn needle

Sweater Pet Bed

Start by flipping your sweater inside out, and drawing a chalk line across the top from shoulder to shoulder. You’ll want to leave a half inch or so when you trim it, so you can draw your line a half inch below the front neckline. Draw another straight chalk line from armpit to armpit.

Sweater Pet Bed

Pin along the chalk lines, then sew them using a sewing machine.

Sweater Pet Bed

Trim the excess off along the top of the sweater, leaving a half inch or so. Trim the body of the sweater off, also leaving a half inch.

Sweater Pet Bed

Turn the tube right-side out and stuff with the batting or fill. If you’re using batting, cut it in half lengthwise and roll each section tightly, then stuff the batting rolls in the tube so they meet in the middle.

Sweater Pet Bed

Insert one of the sleeves into the other so the tube forms a ring, then pin the tube closed.

Sweater Pet Bed

Using your yarn and yarn needle, stitch the edge of the cuff to the other cuff. You’re halfway done already!

Sweater Pet Bed

Flip the body section of the sweater inside out. Insert the pillow you’ll be using up against one of the side seams of the sweater, then pin the sweater along the opposide edge of the pillow.

Sweater Pet Bed

Remove the pillow and sew along the line you just pinned. You’ll also need to sew the top and bottom of this section closed, while leaving an 8-10″ gap in the center of one of the sides (to insert the pillow through).

Sweater Pet Bed

Once the edges are sewn, flip the pillow cover right-side out and insert the pillow.

Sweater Pet Bed

Stitch the opening in the pillow cover closed using the yarn and yarn needle.

Sweater Pet Bed

Finally, put the ring section around the pillow, and stitch them together along the bottom edge using the yarn and yarn needle. Flip it over and voila, you just made a pet bed! How easy is that??

Sweater Pet Bed

This pet bed definitely has Katara’s stamp of approval, which is saying a lot because she can tends to be pretty lukewarm about most things. But she loooooves kneading on the outer ring of this bed with her claws. And that’s fine by me, because even if she ends up destroying it, there are plenty more sweaters at the thrift store! :-)

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • For those of us guinea pig lovers, we can use baby sweaters! Just be sure to carefully secure your strings to avoid your piggies getting strings around tiny toes, and keep an eye on anything becoming loose for the same reason.

    What a great idea – and a fantastic snow day project!

  • Great idea! When recycling thrift store finds why not pick something in your size and wear it around the house for awhile before making the pet bed? i would bet your furry friend would love having your scent surrounding them.

  • I have made a couple of these… one from a sweatshirt and one from a fuzzy super-soft bathrobe. Our cat and dog each have their own comfy beds and LOVE them! I just used poly fiber fill though, no pillows or batting. Great way to get a really nice pet bed for almost no money! (they are SO over-priced in stores!)

    I would love to see more sewing projects, Jillee! :) (just got a new sewing machine after my old faithful died after almost 20 years)

  • I actually saw this idea a few months ago in first magazine. This would have been just perfect when I still had my cat. Your kitty looks a lot like my old cat.

  • Great up cycle project! One of my students made a pet bed out of a fleece zippered hoodie, a thrift store find. He cut off the sleeves, cut off the hood and part of the shoulders, making a nice square. Then he sewed it closed. He filled it with cedar shavings. The zipper makes it easy to change the cedar shavings and is easily washable. I wish I took a photo of his project! : (

    • This sounds like a great idea, especially with a zipper for laundry. But i want to say that cedar shavings or chips can affect pets’ respiratory system. The oils that provide the wonderful scent are too strong. I recommend stuffing with fiberfill instead, with a lining or “pillowcase’ to allow easy removal at wash time.

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