Hey there Thursday Readers
I found a great tutorial that I thought you might enjoy. It’s all about upcycling, but beware, it does use a little bit of hardware, though it’s quite simple and the full tutorial does a really great and thorough walkthrough for what you need to do to make it work. Here’s what I will be presenting you with today:
This can be made either into an ottoman or stool, or into a fur baby’s bed. I am really fond of using this idea for your pet, as if you travel with your dog, then you can fold this up and bring it with you to a hotel or friend’s house. Alternatively, it also provides you with a way to store your pet’s toys and tuck the bed away.
There are 2 ways you can do this. The tutorial for ottoman/chair is a little bit more detailed, and would turn into a very long blog post. You can find detailed instructions from See Kate Sew on her blog here. See Kate Sew offers a sturdier, slightly more complicated tutorial but there’s lots of photos and details on how to get it done, even if you aren’t the most craft-minded person. The pet bed is the tutorial I’ll be presenting to you, since I think being able to close it up and tuck it away (with toys inside) is just the coolest idea ever. The full tutorial can be found here, further down the page – Variation 1. This site has 2 variations on the original so please scroll through and find one that looks good for you! FYI, this tutorial is a little simpler, and will not be quite as sturdy as See Kate Sew, so please take a look at both of them and see which one would work for you.
Your materials are relatively simple: you will need any vintage (hard shell) suitcase, tools (hammer, drill, and ribbon or strap material), 4 feet (you can use a variety of things. You can buy proper feet at a hardware store. The article recomends using something round with a flat base) Gorilla glue, or another heavy duty glue, 2 large snaps, a pillow (or stuffing) and a pillow cover.
First thing’s first – clean that suitcase! And repair any torn lining. Measure for pillow. Using a tape measure, measure the width plus the depth of bottom suitcase cavity x 2. This gives you the width of your pillow. Then measure the height (from front to back) plus the depth of the bottom suitcase cavity x 2. This gives you the height. You must add the depth of the suitcase x 2 or else your pillow will end up too small. You want a nice fluffy bed for your fur baby. You will need to add an inch to your final measurement and use a 1/2 inch seam allowance when you sew. Use these measurements to sew your pillow cover, sewing right sides together with a small hole left for you to add stuffing. Turn your fabric right side out, add your stuffing and hand sew that small hole closed.
You can tuft your pillow at this point if you would like (see photo to the right). It’s not too difficult, and can be found on See Kate Sew’s tutorial with all kinds of photos. Your next step is to attach the strap of your suitcase. The instructions for this are a little difficult, but you can use ribbon or a thin belt or any other kind of strap that can attach or be tied together. Basically, you will need to attach one to the back of the bottom portion of the suitcase, and one to the top so that they tie together behind the lid. You can follow the guide in the tutorial on how to add straps with snaps, but I found this to be a little too complicated and involved than I would want to do.
You can, however, do the same thing with some strategically placed ribbon and some glue. Think of gluing two pieces – one on the inside front of each lip, where a lock would be, and then wrapping them around the lip, over the ouside of the case, and fastening at the back hinge. You can cut down a belt, you could even use a piece of fabric and some glued on velcro. You want to make something to hold the lid open so that the suitcase doesn’t close on your pet. That would be bad. Just be aware of what you’re using and if it will allow you to pack and fully close the suitcase afterwards. Alternatively… you can keep your eyes open for a suitcase with locking hinges and avoid this step altogether.
An example of wooden legs you can buy from a hardware store. You can buy any shape, and paint them any colour!
Your very last step is the legs. You can be creative this one or omit it, as you prefer. You can buy leg brackets and legs from a hardware store and screw those into the bottom (before you fasten your pillow down, if you’re going to do that), or you can find something appropriate to glue onto the bottom, if it isn’t going to be handled much. Or you can use no legs at all, it’s up to you. Again, there’s instructions on how to use the brackets (seen below) here. It really depends on how well you work with power tools. For me? I think I would find some short legs I like from the hardware store and glue them on. If you’re going to be travelling with your bed, then you may opt to leave them out.
Leg brackets that you can find at any hardware store.
I know that was a little more involved of a tutorial, but I think your end result is something that is just so super cool, and if you’re like me who has cats, then you know how much they would enjoy lounging in a bed that used to be a box.
I hope you enjoyed it!