Recently I decided to make a dog bed for our dog, Lexie. She was quite the chewer when we got her. She destroyed stuffed animals within minutes. Now that she's older and doesn't appear to be chewing as much, I thought it was worth getting a bed for her, but dog beds are so expensive!
I did some looking around online and saw a lot of people do the no sew technique (aka tie blankets) and just stuff them with stuffing or foam for a dog bed. Well I know how to make a tie blanket so that seamed easy enough, but I was worried about her chewing up the ties, so then I found this braid technique. I liked the idea, but when I tried doing it, I worried stuffing would come out of the cracks in between, so I did something a little different.
First, I went to Hancock Fabrics and of course they were having a sale! I manged to get a 5lb box of stuffing for $13 and the fleece only cost me $7! Dog beds in the store cost around $30-$60!
Depending on how big your dog is or how big you want to make your bed will depend on how much fabric and stuffing you will need. (I ended up only using half the box, so I have enough to make her another one!). Our girl is medium size (she's a border collie/sheltie/aussie mix), around 45 pounds. I just needed 2 yards of fabric (1 yard of each print/color).
First you are going to lay your 2 separate sheets of fleece down, one on top of the other, make sure the ends match, trim off any extra or unwanted ends (the fox print came with a white strip along one of the sides which I cut off).
I used 2 different patterns/colors (I find it's easier to tell which strip is which and just overall looks better), If you just use one, you might have cut it in half or ask at the store to cut each yard separate.
Basically start as you would a tie blanket, cut a square out of each corner (I did a 5 inch square) and then cut around the edge, making 1 inch thick strips (I didn't bother to measure them out perfectly since it's just a dog bed), matching the length of your square you cut out (mine were 5 inches long).
Once you folded them all over, grab a pair of scissors and make a little snip in each one, big enough you can pull your strips through.
Once you have finished snipping cuts in your strips, you will start by grabbing the one on top (fox pattern for me) and pulling it through the one one on the bottom (brown fleece for me). You can start anywhere. I find it easier to begin at a corner and work my way around.
Once pulled through, take the first strip (fox pattern for me) and tie it with the new strip (brown strip for me). I just did a single knot at first and went back and double knotted the rest to secure it better and make the fringes smaller.
Continue this pattern till you near the end of the blanket, stop when you have a hole big enough to still fit your hand through and start stuffing! How much stuffing you use depends on how fluffy a bed you want, I used about 2.5 lbs (didn't weigh it, but it was around half of the 5 lb box I got so that's my best guess!).
Once stuffed to how you like, continue till you reach the end. At the end take your last strip and thread it through the first strip (the one you started with at the beginning that went through the bottom strip, in my case I started with a fox through the brown, so I take my end brown strip and put it through the first fox strip - in other words, it's the one strip that hasn't been threaded through yet).
Then take the two strips and tie them together. If you haven't double knotted your other ties, start here and work your way around. In some cased I triple knotted since I ended up with some longer fringes on some sides (this was a dog bed, so I didn't worry about everything being perfect).
Your end result should look something like this!
I think my pattern is a little more difficult and time consuming then others, but I found there wasn't as much opening space for the stuffing to come through and it just felt more secure. My goal wasn't pretty, but something sturdy and functional. It's for a dog after all, so depending how destructive your dog is, depends on what you can get away with. I didn't want her to be able to pull out stuffing or chew on the fringes (strips), so I came up with this and it is working great so far!
Also, sorry for the poor image* quality, we didn't have power due to a huge storm, so this was how I passed the time!
*All images in this post were taken by me