Simon and Pixel, my two wonderful kitties, are convinced that my worktable is the very best spot for napping. So, to give them a comfy place where they can still be close, yet well out of harm’s way, I designed this simple, compact 3-in-1 cat bed for my desk. Even my furry snobs—who prefer cardboard boxes and freshly washed laundry to plush cushions any day—couldn’t wait to snuggle in. Now, several days out, I can happily report that the kitties are still in love with their new bed, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
Since I know that finding a cat bed that persnickety kitties will actually use qualifies as a minor miracle, let’s get right down to the project. This tutorial will show you how to make a cat bed that can be used in three different ways, so you’ll always be ready to accommodate even the most finicky feline. (Hence the magic.) Check out step 12 to see all three options in action!
* 2 yards of 36” wide craft felt. (I used this craft felt from Jo-Ann Fabric in charcoal gray.)
* 10 to 12 decorative wool felt shapes, 2-3” in height (I cut star shapes out of one large sheet of wool felt.)
* 1 skein of embroidery floss in a color that matches the wool felt
* Sewing thread to match the craft felt
* Fabric glue (optional)
* Sewing machine
* Embroidery needle
* Fabric scissors
* Measuring tape or ruler
* Straight pins or fabric clips
* Compass or 13” round cooking pot
* Pen or pencil
* Tailor’s chalk (optional)
Using fabric scissors, cut out two 13” circles out of craft felt for the bottom of the cat bed. (You can make a quick circle pattern by using a compass and paper or by tracing a large stock pot directly onto the felt, which is what I did.)
With right sides facing out, stitch the two circles together with your sewing machine using a ¼” seam allowance. Leave an opening about 4” long so you can insert the padding.
Stuff the cushion evenly with fiberfill. Do not over-fill—there should still be plenty of give when you’re finished.
Once your cushion is stuffed, use your sewing machine to stitch the opening closed, then set the bottom of the cat bed aside.
Cut a large 42” x 36” craft felt rectangle for the sides of the cat bed. (See the diagram above.)
Fold the felt rectangle in half width-wise, then space the decorative felt shapes evenly below the fold on one side. (See the diagram above.)
Using straight pins or fabric glue, hold the felt shapes in place, then straight stitch around the edge of each shape with 3-ply embroidery floss to secure. (Make sure you stitch through only one layer of the felt fabric!)
Once the felt shapes are in place, fold the rectangle in half length-wise with right sides facing, then use your sewing machine to stitch the edges together with a ½” seam allowance. This will create a long felt tube, and your felt shapes will make a ring around the middle. (See the diagram above.)
Turn the felt tube right side out, then fold half of the length down inside the tube, bringing the top and bottom edges to meet. The seam you made in step 8 should now be hidden between the two layers of felt.
Before you go any further, take a moment to make sure that your felt shapes are on the inside of the new double layer tube.
Attach the bottom cushion to the unfinished edge of the folded tube using straight pins or fabric clips. (Since you stuffed the bottom, it my take some coaxing, tugging, and stretching to get everything to line up.)
To finish, whipstitch around the outside edge to connect the tube to the bottom cushion. For a more secure hold, you can also use your sewing machine to join the pieces, using the seam that’s already on the cushion as a guide.
You’re done! To set up the cat bed, choose one of three options:
1. The cave: Turn the bed inside out (so the decorative pattern is on the outside), then place it on its side.
2. The tall bed: Fold the sides over once, bringing the decorative edge down to meet the seam around the cushion.
3. Short bed: Start out just like the tall bed, but fold the top edge over one more time, so it falls just above the decorative shapes. (This is the favorite option around my house!)
Congratulations, you just made an awesome cat bed! You kitties will now love you almost as much as they love cat chow. (Almost.)
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