Denim is a great fabric for strength and yet softness especially when worn down a bit. This is why used denim jeans make such great craft projects.
I got my denim jeans from a local thrift store. They had bags of jeans they were going to throw out because they had been donated but were too worn out for resale or even to give away. I took them home and washed them and created all kinds of crafts to sell from them. This doggy bed is a great project and makes a great portable bed for pets as well when travelling.
For this project I used 20 denim squares and I purchased a thick soft faux fur for the backing. You will need to make sure you have a "denim" needle for your sewing machine (these are tougher needles and less likely to break going through thick fabrics).
How to Make a Denim Dog Bed:
Step 1 - You can change the size, but I found this a good size for my dog and for selling. Create a template from heavy cardboard that measures 7 x 7 inches. (Your finished square will be 6 x 6 as you use a 1/2 inch seam allowance).
Step 2 - Cut open the legs of your jeans and then with fabric pen, trace the template onto the denim and then cut out your squares. As you can see by mine I even used the leg seam area. You can mix it up with different shades of denim jeans too.
Step 3 - Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, start to sew the squares together. I found it easier to make them into strips first. So in my dog mat, I sewed four strips of 5 squares. Then sew these strips together keeping the raw edges on the good side.
Step 4 - You can do it either way, like 5 strips of 4 squares. Once you have your strips created, then sew these strips together to create your mat.
Step 5 - Sew your strips together until you have created the mat. Now taking sharp scissors, start to create your fringe by clipping fringe close together at all the seams including the outer edge denim to keep it all uniform.
Step 6 - Cut as close together as you can for the fringe. The closer it is the more soft and fuzzy it will become. If you have the clips too far apart it will simply create curly qs. I prefer the fuzzy look myself.
Step 7 - Once you have finished the clipping throw the piece in the washer and then the dryer and the seams will become fuzzy. Don't forget to empty your machine filters as they will be full of fuzz.
Step 8 - Lay your piece on top of the faux fur and pin if necessary. (wrong sides together) and then sew around the edges. Trim the faux fur close to the outer seams. Now your dog bed is complete. These are perfect for travel or simply anywhere as they are thick and cozy and can be totally thrown in the washer and dryer when dirty.
Homemade Pet Gifts are Great Craft Show Sellers
I made these for my own dogs as well as a craft to sell. Denim crafts make great sellers as people love the idea of upcycling and also something useful. These denim doggy beds can be rolled up, you can make them any size you want. Don't forget to check the scrap bin for pieces of faux fur at the fabric shop or check online too.
If you love the idea of denim crafts for yourself or to sell as a business, then employ your kids or some help to precut lots of denim squares for your projects. Another purchase to consider is rotary scissors. I found it difficult after a while to keep cutting the squares out.
Using rotary scissors stops your hands from getting sore when it comes to cutting out many denim squares or pieces. I would open the jeans by cutting up the seams then layout my template and trace as many squares as I could. Then I would take my cutter and cut them out and have them ready for my next project. Just clock on the picture or the link to find out more about these cutters.
There are sewing machines that are more rugged and designed to handle fabrics such as denim and leather. If you want to invest in a good machine then this Singer has many great reviews. If you are not ready for that jump just yet then at least invest in the denim sewing machine needles for your own machine so as to not dull or break yours!
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