Step 1: How to Sew a Round Cat Bed & Bolster Pillow
Pet beds can be pricey at the pet stores. If you like to sew, this is a quick and easy pet bed and our cats just love it. My cat Tommy seems to know when I'm sewing something for her - as she plops down on the material as I'm trying to cut it! As soon as this one was completed, she made herself at home...you'll see from the photos that I hadn't even moved it off the cutting mat when she claimed it as her own! The bed wouldn't be complete without a pillow - so I also explain how to make your cat a bolster pillow for their new bed as well - that is the last step!
This is a fairly simple sewing project that shouldn't take more than an hour! I've recently made 3 pet beds for my 3 cats - and I'm happy to say they all use their own bed and love them - except my one cat claims them all as her own! This particular one I made I wanted it to be a simple and fast project that others could learn to make also. It's similar in style to this "Oval Donut Cat Bed" sold by Petco. I like mine better because it has a cool bolster pillow and cute fabric! If you have fabric remnants or unused fleece material - this is a great project to put it to good use!
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
Step 2: Preparation & Materials
- 1 yard of fleece material (or other soft, plush material)
- cutting materials - scissors or rotary cutter
- add an extra 1/2 yard for pillow and round insert (blanket)
- stuffing to fill it with
- sewing machine, pins, measuring tape
- cat or other pet to enjoy it
- *catnip - optional
Step 3: Cut & Sew Around
The first step is quite simple. You'll want to cut out a large circle that is 22 inches by 22 inches across at the widest part. To do so, make sure you have a piece that is at least 22 inches by 22 inches or larger. Make a point in the center - just be sure it is at least 11 inches from all edges of the material. Then take your measuring tape and hold it with one hand at the circle in the middle (or use a pin to secure it) - and at the 11 inch spot on the measuring tape, make marks along the fabric as you move the measuring tape around. Hold the beginning of the measuring tape in the middle, and continue with that until you have enough marks on your fabric to finish up the circle and cut it out. Make sure you cut two pieces out.
Once cut, you can pin it together along the edges if you like. Be sure to leave 2-3 inches of space as an opening - I placed two pins about 2 inches apart so I would remember to stop sewing there. This will be the opening needed so you can turn this thing right-side out after sewing this big round seam.
After sewing the seam, then trim off any excess material, without getting too close to the seam. You can see in my photos that I left had an opening for the turning and stuffing.
Step 4: Turn It & Pin Some More
Now, carefully turn this thing right-side out through the opening you left in the last step. Once this is done, really lay it out and flatten it so it's even. After that, you'll want to use your measuring tape or ruler and measure 4 inches in from the edge seam. Measure it and place a pin through both layers of material at the spot that is 4 inches in from the edge. Continue doing this all the way around but stop so you have a good 3-4 inches of space in the middle (the same area you have the opening). Use pins turned vertically to visually remind yourself of that.
Step 5: Sew the Middle Part of the Cat Bed
Now you'll want to sew the middle part of the cat bed - and you are sewing through both layers of material. As you sew, carefully remove pins along the way. Please see images to fully understand this step. Do not complete the circle - leave the 3-4 inches open like in the pictures.
Once that's done, you'll need to take out your stuffing and at this time you'll want to stuff the middle part of the cat bed. Fill it as much or as little as you like. To make it even, I pulled the stuffing apart a lot and put little bits in repeatedly until it was stuffed the way I liked it. I didn't want it filled too much as that would look odd, but I did enough for it to be really comfortable.
After that, you can place pins through the two layers again if you like and head on back to the sewing machine. Now you can slowly finish that seam you just made a few minutes back. After finishing the seam, the middle is completed. You can also stuff the rest of the cat bed while you're at it. This way you can see how the amount you use looks with the amount stuffed in the sides. Just be sure to leave the front area empty so you can sew your middle seam up.
Once the middle seam is done, you can then finish filling up the outside loop or edges.
Step 6: Final Stuffing & Seam
Finally you can totally finish stuffing the sides of the cat bed. I filled the sides to the max as I like how it looks that way. If it is understuffed, you will end up with weird creases. I then went to the opening and carefully folded the edges inward and pinned them. Then I did a top stitch over that to finish it off. And, it's hardly noticeable once the bed is done.
Great job if you're still with me here because you are done! Now, if you want to add some finishing touches - like the round blanket in the middle and the bolster pillow, please check out the last few steps!
Step 7: Cat Blanket & Bolster Pillow
The cat blanket or contrasting fleece material in the middle - is simply a piece of fleece material approximately 14 inches by 14 inches at its widest part. You'll need to cut this in the same way you cut the main pieces out. Just cut one of these and place on top of your cat bed for a cute contrast of material and it's nice and easy to take off and wash it.
Cat Bolster Pillow
- First sew the main piece of material which is folded down, wrong-side out, but at about 2 inches in from one side, leave a space of 2 inches as an opening so you can turn this thing right-side out later. Please see image.
- Then pin the round ends to it and sew the round pieces to the main body piece, turning and adjusting the sewing machine as you go along.
- Once that's done, turn this whole thing right-side out through the opening.
- Stuff it until it's as full as you want it to be.
- Then, fold the final opening inward and pin it. Then topstitch it and you're done!