DIY pet beds should be cozy, safe

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LIFE - By Melissa Ray­worth

There are as many ideas for do-it-your­self pet beds as there are kinds of pets. Projects range from sim­ple sewing pat­terns to com­plex wood­work.

But the goal is a safe, cus­tom­ized bed that suits the pet, so that “your furry fam­ily mem­bers have a cozy plane to curl up,” says Camille Smith, web­site man­ag­ing ed­i­tor for the home de­sign chan­nel HGTV.

On the fancier side, some old vin­tage items lend them­selves to eye-catch­ing pet beds. Search your at­tic for a bulky old tele­vi­sion from the pre-flatscreen era, for in­stance, or a boxy com­puter mon­i­tor once used for ac­cess­ing MyS­pace. Re­move the screen and gut the in­side. Line the box with fab­ric and add a pil­low so your cat or small dog can snug­gle up in­side.

Most pet-bed projects, how­ever, don’t re­quire you to track down hard-to-get items.

Many on­line tu­to­ri­als sug­gest re­claim­ing a vin­tage dresser drawer and fill­ing it with a cush­ion. Wood­worker Scott Lav­i­gne came up with a plan to build a cus­tom drawer from scratch for his dog.

“I’m a builder just by na­ture,” says Lav­i­gne, founder of the blog saw­son­skates. com. Cre­at­ing a sleep space for his lhasa apso was a la­bor of love.

“It’s es­sen­tially just build­ing a sim­ple box,” he says; even those in­ex­pe­ri­enced at wood­work­ing could likely ac­com­plish it in a week­end. By chang­ing the size of the pieces of wood used, his drawer project can eas­ily be adapted for large dogs. De­tailed in­struc­tions are on his blog.

De­sign blog­ger Kelly Min­dell, cre­ator of Stu­dioDIY.com, cus­tom­ized and re­vi­tal­ized an old dog bed by iron­ing on emoji shapes that she cut out of iron-on fab­ric.

“A huge part of the DIY move­ment is the abil­ity to adapt and cus­tom­ize an idea to re­flect your own per­son­al­ity or needs,” Min­dell says.

“Since emo­jis are all made of sim­ple shapes like cir­cles, half-moons and hearts, it’s easy to take the con­cept and change it as de­sired.”

Home­made pet beds can be prac­ti­cal al­ter­na­tives to store-bought ones.

“Dog beds are not in­ex­pen­sive,” says Lav­i­gne, who de­signed his project to fit a stan­dard bed pil­low, which can be tossed in the wash­ing ma­chine when nec­es­sary.

JEFF MIN­DELL — STU­DIODIY.COM VIA AP

This un­dated photo pro­vided by Stu­dioDIY.com shows a dog next to a DIY pet bed project cre­ated by crafter Kelly Min­dell of Stu­dioDIY.com. Min­dell trans­formed a large, plain yel­low pil­low into the emoji face with the help of ironon fab­ric pieces cut into the shapes to makeup the emoji ex­pres­sion.

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