- Upcycled Sweatshirt Bed
Got an old sweatshirt lying around? Turn it into a cuddly pet bed by stitching the neck closed and stuffing the arms and body. Stitch the bottom hem closed, then wrap the arms around the body and stitch together. Now your furry friend can cuddle up even when you’re not at home!
- Dog Sweater
They may be furry, but sometimes dogs need a little help to keep out the worst of the cold, especially short-haired or toy breeds. Whip up a quick sweater for them, using sturdy, easily washable fabrics like cotton and woollen flannel. Use easily removable fastenings, like hook-and-loop strips, so removed if necessary, and never leave it on your dog unsupervised.
- Leashes and Collars
Use several layers of fabric, or fabric and interfacing, to create your leash, especially if you’re going to piece together scraps of fabric. Reinforce with top-stitching, and, if you desire, rivets where the strap loops around to hold the swivel hook. For collars, keep your pets safe by adding breakaway sections, or a length of elastic that allows the collar to stretch and pull loose if it gets caught.
- Food Bowl Mats
Protect your floors from stains and spills with washable mats underneath their food and water bowls. Opt for easy to wash fabrics like canvas and denim, or spare yourself even that hassle and use vinyl, which will wipe clean with just a damp cloth.
- Pet Pockets
A pet pocket combines pillow and blanket into the ultimate snuggle spot! Cut three lengths of fabric the size of the bed you want to create. Cut one of them to be about two thirds the length of the other two, then hem one narrow edge. This will become the blanket portion of your pocket. Lay one of the full sized pieces and layer on the shorter piece, both right side up. The third layer goes on top, right side down. Stitch around the edges, leaving a gap to fill the pillow portion. Turn, stuff, stitch the gap closed, and you’re done!
- Crate Curtains
Crates give dogs a retreat for when they feel anxious or overwhelmed. Help keep out the noise and bustle with curtains draped over the crate. Add ties to allow them to be drawn back during warm weather, and be sure to match the curtains to your decor to turn that eyesore into a statement piece!
- Cage Mats
Animals in shelters, especially cats and kittens, don’t get a lot of comfort. Cages are small, with only hard surfaces to lie on. If you’ve got extra fabric lying around, whip up some small mats to donate to your local shelter. A couple layers of batting gives them extra loft, while washable fabrics mean they can easily be kept clean and safe for kitties and other small pets.
- Catnip Toys
Make your cat’s day with some fun new toys stuffed with catnip! These are easy to make from all kinds of scrap fabric. Felt works particularly well; it doesn’t need careful hemming, and holds up well to sharp teeth and claws. Whether you make mice, fish-shapes, or just simple pockets, these are sure to be a big hit.
- Dog Bandana
Let your pup make a stylish statement with a cute bandana! Simply hem a triangle of fabric and tie in place, or measure elastic to fit your dog’s neck and stitch it into a channel in the fabric for an easy on, easy off option.
- Seat Savers
Does your pet travel in the car? Does that mean a mess of hair, spilled food, or worse? Use your sewing skills to whip up a seat cover that you can hang from the head-rests and use to cover the entire seat. No more muddy paw prints to scrub away after a trip to the park!
Most dogs walk better on a harness than a collar, since it doesn’t tug at their necks or impede their breathing. Try several patterns to see what works for your dog, depending on their size and shape. Be sure to take good measurements, even if it means enlisting the help of a friend.
- Bow-Tie Collars
Is Fido ready for his closeup? If you’re heading to a special occasion and bringing your dog along, why not add a little something special to his outfit? A bow tie is super quick and easy to add to any collar, even a store-bought one, and can be made to match any ensemble.
- Pet Hammocks
Cats, ferrets, and chinchillas are just a few of the animals that enjoy lounging in a hammock. They can be hung inside cages, from the undersides of tables and chairs, or even attached to purpose-built stands. Fabric with a bit of stretch, such as polar fleece, is perfect for this project.
- Mud Mittens
Spare yourself the hassle of corralling muddy dogs and keep a couple mud mittens by the door. These are simply recycled towels cut and stitched into oversized mittens so you can easily slip one on and grab your dog’s feet to wipe them clean. Once you’re done, toss it in the wash!
- Tufted Pet Bed
Eor pets with highly discerning taste, why not make a bed with as much class as yours? Use upholstery foam as a base, and thick twine to form the tufted sections. If you use buttons to help form each tuft, make sure they’re secure, and remove or repair any that become loose, or they’ll be hard for chewing dogs to resist.
- Denim Chew Toys
And speaking of chewing dogs! These are toys they can definitely sink their teeth into. Use recycled denim strips and stitch one end firmly together. Braid the strips firmly, then stitch again the the opposite end. As with all toys, remove it if you see your dog trying to eat the fabric.
- Treat Pouch
Do you find yourself stashing treats in your pockets or purse? Avoid sending them through the wash by creating a little clip-on bag you can hook right to your pet’s leash, keeping treats close at hand to reward your good dog whenever they’re needed.
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