Tutorial: Magical 3-in-1 Cat Bed

Tutorial: Magical 3-in-1 Cat Bed | The Zen of Making

Simon and Pixel, my two wonderful kitties, are convinced that my worktable is the very best spot for napping. So, to give them a comfy place where they can still be close, yet well out of harm’s way, I designed this simple, compact 3-in-1 cat bed for my desk. Even my furry snobs—who prefer cardboard boxes and freshly washed laundry to plush cushions any day—couldn’t wait to snuggle in. Now, several days out, I can happily report that the kitties are still in love with their new bed, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Since I know that finding a cat bed that persnickety kitties will actually use qualifies as a minor miracle, let’s get right down to the project. This tutorial will show you how to make a cat bed that can be used in three different ways, so you’ll always be ready to accommodate even the most finicky feline. (Hence the magic.) Check out step 12 to see all three options in action!

Supplies:
* 2 yards of 36” wide craft felt. (I used this craft felt from Jo-Ann Fabric in charcoal gray.)
* 10 to 12 decorative wool felt shapes, 2-3” in height (I cut star shapes out of one large sheet of wool felt.)
* 1 skein of embroidery floss in a color that matches the wool felt
* Sewing thread to match the craft felt
* Fiberfill
* Fabric glue (optional)

Tools:
* Sewing machine
* Embroidery needle
* Fabric scissors
* Measuring tape or ruler
* Straight pins or fabric clips
* Compass or 13” round cooking pot
* Paper
* Pen or pencil
* Tailor’s chalk (optional)

Step 1
Using fabric scissors, cut out two 13” circles out of craft felt for the bottom of the cat bed. (You can make a quick circle pattern by using a compass and paper or by tracing a large stock pot directly onto the felt, which is what I did.)

Step 2
With right sides facing out, stitch the two circles together with your sewing machine using a ¼” seam allowance. Leave an opening about 4” long so you can insert the padding.

Step 3
Stuff the cushion evenly with fiberfill. Do not over-fill—there should still be plenty of give when you’re finished.

Step 4
Once your cushion is stuffed, use your sewing machine to stitch the opening closed, then set the bottom of the cat bed aside.

Step 5
Cut a large 42” x 36” craft felt rectangle for the sides of the cat bed. (See the diagram above.)

Step 6
Fold the felt rectangle in half width-wise, then space the decorative felt shapes evenly below the fold on one side. (See the diagram above.)

Step 7
Using straight pins or fabric glue, hold the felt shapes in place, then straight stitch around the edge of each shape with 3-ply embroidery floss to secure. (Make sure you stitch through only one layer of the felt fabric!)

Step 8
Once the felt shapes are in place, fold the rectangle in half length-wise with right sides facing, then use your sewing machine to stitch the edges together with a ½” seam allowance. This will create a long felt tube, and your felt shapes will make a ring around the middle. (See the diagram above.)

Step 9
Turn the felt tube right side out, then fold half of the length down inside the tube, bringing the top and bottom edges to meet. The seam you made in step 8 should now be hidden between the two layers of felt.

Before you go any further, take a moment to make sure that your felt shapes are on the inside of the new double layer tube.

Step 10
Attach the bottom cushion to the unfinished edge of the folded tube using straight pins or fabric clips. (Since you stuffed the bottom, it my take some coaxing, tugging, and stretching to get everything to line up.)

Step 11
To finish, whipstitch around the outside edge to connect the tube to the bottom cushion. For a more secure hold, you can also use your sewing machine to join the pieces, using the seam that’s already on the cushion as a guide.

Step 12
You’re done! To set up the cat bed, choose one of three options:

1. The cave: Turn the bed inside out (so the decorative pattern is on the outside), then place it on its side.

2. The tall bed: Fold the sides over once, bringing the decorative edge down to meet the seam around the cushion.

3. Short bed: Start out just like the tall bed, but fold the top edge over one more time, so it falls just above the decorative shapes. (This is the favorite option around my house!)

Congratulations, you just made an awesome cat bed! You kitties will now love you almost as much as they love cat chow. (Almost.)

Shared on Skip to My Lou.

39 thoughts on “Tutorial: Magical 3-in-1 Cat Bed

  1. i'd like to make one for my dog. how did you come up with the 13 inch diameter? did you just measure a cat curled up and add a couple inches?

  2. I measured the curled up cat, then found the stock pot in my kitchen that was the closest match so I could trace it. To make the bed bigger, you'd just need to adjust the length of the fabric (the 42" measurement in step 5) to fit the diameter of the larger circle, then add the seam allowance.

  3. Great project – thanks for posting!!  I'm making several as soon as I carve out sewing space (recent move).  Hopefully my furry one will be as pleased as your three – she's a sucker for a paperbag  ;-)

  4. This is AWESOME! My cat is ALWAYS lying down on my pattern notebook or climbing in my lap when there's a skein of yarn I'm knitting from also in my lap. This is the perfect way to distract her from my own work!

  5. Oh, my kitties will totally <3 this bed!  I should probably make sure to have enough fabric and such on hand to make more than one since I have 4 kitties and a house rabbit to please… :D  Thanks for the great idea!

  6. Cute project! You're so lucky that your cats behave on your craft table. Mine like to play hockey with all the items laying about! I have to keep their kitty beds on the floor. :) 

  7. Adorable kitties! Cute idea too. Have the sides held up over time? I’m thinking of doing this for my kitties… I’m wondering if it may be a good idea to add a bit of rigid material to the base of the ring… What do you think?

  8. Thank you for the idea and pattern! I made mine a bit bigger ( fat cat ) and used an old towel ( more washable I thought ). I rolled under and sewed some .5″ rope around the trim to finish the edge because I didn’t have your delicate hand to do stars :)

  9. I just love your cat bed design. I will be trying this with a patchwork tube. Funnily I happened upon this as a pin while browsing Pinterest for needle books :)

  10. I can tell my crew would love this design! I think I will make mine out of fleece that I already have, and reinforce the sides a bit with a layer of polyester batting. This will wash & dry, which is how I control the spread of cat hair throughout the house! ;2)

  11. Pingback: » Obsessed with Cat Beds? Red Thread Sews

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the excellent tutorial!!!! I made 6 cat beds, using several of my leftover flannel fabrics, and brought them to our local No-kill animal shelter. They were THRILLED to receive them, and couldn’t wait to “introduce” them to the kitty’s. Thanks for the idea.

  13. I made this for my 2 4-month old kittens, and they LOVE it! They’re big fans of the cave style – one kitten will get inside, and the other will go nuts trying to pounce on her from the outside :) Thank you for the great tutorial!

  14. Hi! I found your tutorial on Pinterest and have just spent a couple of hours making two of your fantastic ‘Cat Sacks’ as I have nicknamed them! I used the off cuts from a pair of thermal curtain panels that I shortened and some thick fleece for the inside base. I stitched the base panels right side together and turned them right side out, stuffed then slip stitched closed, to avoid fraying, before attaching the ‘tube’ to the cushion with the machine, which wasn’t too difficult. Our two Bengals absolutely love them!

    Thanks for sharing a great tute!

    Izy in Halifax.

  15. Great idea!
    A local fabric store is holding class on making these from fleece. I decided to search for directions rather than take the class. I’m actually thinking of making a shorter version out of some old denim jeans. We’ll see how it works.

  16. Thanks for posting this :) I just whipped one up tonight with some polarfleece from my stash. Instead of wadding I used two layers of old wool blanket quilted roughly together and slipped inside the base. I just sat down to quilt the whole bottom together but no such luck. Ming, my five month old Tonkinese, came zooming down from the top of his cat tree and climbed straight in. He is in there now – usually he likes to sit on my knee when I’m on the computer. So I rate it as a great success! PS the polar fleece is soft and flowing, and works really well for a snuggle sack. You just don’t get the high sided option.

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