Friday, October 6, 2017

DIY Custom Box Cushion Pet Bed Covers (Basket Inserts)

Today's DIY shares our two new box-cushion style pet bed covers, created as a guest collaboration with our partner blog, Dalmatian DIY.  Dalmatian DIY has a detailed series of DIY posts on creating you own custom pet beds, including how to make covers, inserts, and tips for keeping things easy and economical.  These beds were made using their box cushion bed cover technique, but tweaked a little to suit use as basket bed inserts. Instead of having a rear velcro closure on the boxing, these covers both have an envelope-style bottom panel, like an envelope pillow cover - very easy to sew and doesn't require any zippers, velcro, or buttons.   

Tiger's new basket bed cushion replaces the well-worn patchwork T-shirt cushion cover created from scraps when I made T-shirt quilts.  This new cushion is plumper, containing his old cushion plus extra padding for a softer nesting place. Meow-vellous! It was made exactly like the rectangular Dalmatian DIY box cushion pet bed tutorial except using an envelope-style bottom instead of a rear velcro closure.

A custom-sized circular cover was created to fill a round basket bed. I'd been meaning to do this forever. The basket (a fab find from a local exotic decor shop) had been bought as a pet bed and I temporarily put some folded blankets into it as padding until I made a cushion, but it has shamefully taken me around a year of procrastination to finally sew a bed for the basket.  To adapt the rectangular Dalmatian DIY box cushion pet bed tutorial into a envelope-bottom circle, the top panel becomes a circle, the envelope-style bottom is made of two part circles (see tips below), and a single long strip of boxing is needed for the sides (circumference plus seam allowances).  Sewing boxing is pretty easy going since there are no corners, especially if its a nice big circle like this to soften the turning. Easy peasy!

Unfortunately, my circular bed was a little trickier than a simple round cushion as it needed to fit into a slightly tapered basket. Because it is quite big, I also needed to join two strips to have a piece long enough for the boxing. This actually played well with my efforts to work with the tricky taper. I created all of my finished external seams as extra wide double seams. I positioned my boxing strip for sewing from the joint, and sewed in both directions to a marked stopping point so that I could fold the raw edge inwards to sew in place and then closed with a matching extra wide double seam. I took advantage of the width to mask any slight mismatching from the taper. For style, the side seams were intentionally placed perpendicular to the bottom closure seam.  The verdict? Humphrey's only complaint is that he has yet to re-assert his nesting divet into the plump new cushion so he's a little cranky about the plushiness of the bed. Life is tough indeed.

 Tips for the adaptations shown in this post: 

  • If you don't have a template circle to trace, use a pin and measured string to draw a circle on your fabric. Double the check measurements in several places before cutting.
  • Leave extra fabric around the seam allowances on the bottom/flat edge of the part-circles cut for your bottom envelope panel. This allows you to fully finish the open-edge seam all the way to the side seams of the circle after folding. You can trim any excess after you join the panels.
  • How much envelope overlap is personal choice; however, I like to have ample overlap for a nice secure cover.
  • Sew your top-to-side before you sew the bottom-to-side.  If there are any minor misalignments, better they be on the less-visible bottom than on your cushion top. 

Want to make your own? Dalmatian DIY's detailed box cushion pet bed cover instructions are available here, including step-by-step instructions, pictures, and diagrams. You can also check out our envelope-style cushion covers here if you'd like more info on our adaptation of the bottom closures (it's super simple).

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