Sunday, 21 August 2011
How to make a soft and cosy dog kennel from a camping mattress
We've had a cold winter here in Perth and I thought my little fluffball needed an extra cosy place to sleep. This kennel was simple to make and created entirely from things that would (should) normally be thrown away. I say 'normally' as most people don't hoard clutter like I do, but you just never know when it might come in handy, right?
All you need is a thin foam mattress, which makes the roof, floor and sides, and some material for the front and back. I used a self inflating camping mattress, which was foam with a waterproof cover. You could probably use a yoga mat or similar as long as it holds its shape when rolled into a cylinder. I used an old Ikea bag for the front and back. Any sturdy fabric would work here.
As you can see, my mattress had seen better days and was coming apart at the seams - literally! I sewed the edges together again on my sewing machine. This was a hideous job and broke three needles. I guess you could do it by hand if you had to. Hopefully you won't have to!
Next, roll your mattress into a cylinder and hold the short edges together with bulldog clips or strong pegs. Then lay out your front and back fabric, the Ikea bag in this case, and bend your mattress into a kennel shape (a cylinder with a flat side). Trace the kennel shape on to the end piece. Cut two pieces from this to make the kennel front and back. I didn't take a picture of this as you kind of need both your hands and knees for this bit.
Here is what you end up with. I left the handles on the bag in case they were useful for carrying the kennel later. In retrospect, they probably won't be, but hey you never know. At this point I would recommend cutting out a hole for the door and sewing some sturdy fabric around it for added strength. I didn't do this but wish I had ;)
Sew the flat end of your front and back to one end of the long sides of the mattress. Everyone wanted to try out this project along the way!
Now thread a nice big needle with strong thread and get stitching - all around the front and back and along the remaining bottom edge.
Now it's starting to take shape.
You can see above that I marked out the door shape on the front. I would recommend doing this at an earlier stage as previously mentioned. Anyway, I cut it out and reinforced it with duct tape. I wish I'd sewn it before and added some nice writing applique but not to worry.
Pop an old pillow inside (with a washable pillowcase) and there you have it. Hang on, where's the dog??
Ah, here he comes...."What's this?"
"Do I go in?"
"oooh yes, I like it"