How to upcycle your old winter sweaters into cute pet beds


Now that sweater weather is officially coming to a close — right as the urge to spring clean compels us to KonMari the heck out of our spaces — you may be eager to toss as many winter clothes as you can. But hold off on hauling away those warm knits just yet! Your cozy old sweaters could find new purpose as pet beds.

In a recent episode of Critter Crafts from The Pet Collective, I learned that instead of dropping off my old sweaters at the overflowing neighborhood thrift store, I can upcycle them into something useful for my four-legged friends.

This simple craft project only requires a few supplies. All you need to make your own dog bed is an old sweater, pillow stuffing, yarn or thread, scissors, a large needle and a pillow. You can follow along with the step-by-step video below!

Size It Up

Before you start in on any sewing, make sure the pillow will fit in the main torso portion of the sweater and that it roughly matches the size of your dog when they’re curled up in a ball. The size of your pet (and the size of the bed you’d like to make) is proportional to the size of the sweater you start with. So, if you have a larger dog, dig out an extra-large men’s sweater. Similarly, use smaller women’s sweaters, or even children’s sweaters, to make beds for smaller pups.

Flickr | Ivy Dawned

Sew Easy

Now you’re ready to make a cozy bed for your pet! Start by stitching up the neck, so it is completely closed. It doesn’t matter what kind of stitch you use.

Then, stitch a straight seam across the chest of the sweater from armpit to armpit. Next, you’ll stuff the top section by putting pillow stuffing into the arm holes. Make sure the top of the sweater and the arms are filled with stuffing. If you think your pet would prefer a firmer feel, you can add more stuffing.

After that, place the pillow in the lower half of the sweater. Secure it by sewing the bottom of the sweater shut. Don’t worry if there seems like a lot of excess material — you’ll deal with that later. Stuff one sleeve into the other to join the arms together. This forms the edge of the bed. Secure this together by sewing the sleeves around the cuff.

If you have any excess material at the bottom of the sweater that sticks out past the sleeves, you can flip the sweater over and sew up the corners.

sewing sweater photo

Cozy Corner

The final step is securing the sleeves to the base. Use the yarn to sew along the edge and voila! Your pooch has a new place to snuggle up. These beds are so cute and so easy to make, you might find yourself at the local shelter, adding another four-legged friend to your family!

MORE: How to make a DIY dog bed from pallets

About the Author
Jennifer Nied