Dog Bed

I know that there are certain things that people are supposed to do before guests come to stay, but those types of social graces generally escape me. I’m the sort of person who forgets to ask about food preferences and figures the guest should be both willing and able to just forage for themselves, particularly while I oversleep and they creep quietly around the apartment trying to locate a fresh roll of toilet paper or a bottle of Valium. So when my sister came to town to stay with us this weekend, I made the effort to actually think for a second about what would make her stay more comfortable and enjoyable, so naturally I spent the day before her arrival making a proper bed. For my dogs.

Hear me out: Linus insists on sleeping in the bed, usually between us or on top of me, but Mekko likes her space. She’ll cuddle up with us until the actual moment when we’re definitely going to sleep, and then she’ll proudly stand up, shake off, and go sleep on the couch until morning. After her beauty sleep and only when she’s good and ready, she comes back to the bed for a morning cuddle session before our walk. It’s all very polite and ladylike. She’s a creature of habit, which is really adorable until a person needs to sleep on the sofa and she gets all sulky, hoping somebody will notice the injustice being dealt against her.

I knew she needed a proper bed of her own, the problem being that dog beds exist on two extremes: stupid expensive or ugly as shit. I don’t like either and I don’t stand for ugly things when it comes to my children. So I made my own, because I convince myself these things will be easy and fun, two delusions that pretty much fuel the entire existence of this blog.

This magical land that I like to call “Target” sells dog bed inserts for $9.99 a pop. They make a few different corresponding covers for them, but that would have been too easy, too common, and too unattractive for my perfect angels. Luckily, I am secretly a hoarder and have a whole overflowing enormous bin filled with fabrics that I either LOVE but haven’t used (yet), or fabrics that I have no use for but can’t get rid of because they’re perfectly good and might come in handy someday. I can feel your judgment through your computer monitor, by the way, and it totally stings so just cut it out.

(Yes, that’s some rad wool Pendleton you see at the bottom there that I bought 8 months ago in Portland for no other reason than because it was marked down and I loved it. HOARDER.)

The only problem with these dog bed inserts is that they’re pitifully under-stuffed and lack the necessary luxury that my faithful companions deserve. Luckily, the fancy polyester cases have a zipper, so I bought two so that I could just gut all the stuffing out of one and put it inside the other one, making one super-stuffed amazing bed that would convince my dogs that I am actually god.

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about, am I right? If you were a dog, you’d totally want to relax all day on that. You know you would.

Especially if it were covered with this. When Max and I were in Finland, we visited the Marimekko headquarters, which has its very own outlet store attached to it, inside of which is a magical remnant bin I sifted through like I was in the middle of a Survivor challenge. There were a lot of little scraps and bits and pieces of stuff, but then the heavens opened and my greedy paws landed on this big piece of hot pink and red Unikko, one of Marimekko’s most iconic textiles. Designed in 1964 by Maija Isola, the print was the first floral that Marimekko ever produced, after consciously avoiding floral patterns because they were too traditionally feminine, a precedent that the company sought to avoid with its bold, forward-thinking clothing and textiles.

Fun fact: originally, imperfections in Marimekko fabrics were considered a sign of quality, since they were evidence of the screen-printing process that produced them, but now most imperfections are weeded out by a worker who scans the entirety of each bolt for mistakes (I think they allow up to three imperfections per bolt, but I might be wrong about that). This piece didn’t make the cut for retail because it’s a mess (you can see where they dye is all runny and weird, particularly down the middle), but since the remnant bin charged some ridiculously low price by weight, I didn’t hesitate when throwing it into my basket. Along with some other little scraps I’m still hoarding for a rainy day.

Since there wasn’t enough Unikko to cover the whole thing, I wanted something a bit more heavy-duty for the back. Like most healthy, balanced people, turns out I kept my old shower curtain that shrunk too much in the wash but was still a nice thick cotton-bamboo blend.

I cut the Unikko fabric about the same size as the insert itself, when laid flat (I used the extra sans-stuffing cover as a guide). I do this when making pillowcases of any size, since the seam allowance actually makes the finished product smaller than the insert—meaning it will stay looking fluffy and sexy and awesome instead of loose and droopy.

Since I wanted the cover to be removable but am still avoiding learning how to properly sew a zipper, not that I have any zippers on hand anyway, I opted to make a simple envelope back. To do this, I added about 8-10 inches of width to the back and then cut it in half, giving me the necessary 3-4″ of overlap in the middle when the pillow is inserted.

Like so. Making sense? Ugh, sewing tutorials are difficult, particularly as I have no real idea how to sew and no real business giving advice.

Since I used a shower curtain, I used an existing seam for the outside of the pocket and sewed a new seam for the inside of the pocket, since that’s the one you’ll never really see anyway and I’m crappy at sewing even straight lines.

Then I just laid all the “right” sides of the fabric facing each other, and pinned the whole thing up on each side. When using a sewing machine, put the pins in perpendicular to the edge so that the needle can sew over them without breaking or causing catastrophe, mental breakdowns, or death. This is crafting, after all, and the risks are real.

The dogs, by the way—SUPER NOT HELPFUL. Here’s Linus being a little entitled jerk and demanding to literally sleep on top of my project.

Mekko, of course, sort of watched me judgmentally and with a palpable sense of pity before just falling asleep. “Look at this fucking putz,” she thought. “You can quit it with this bullshit right now, you’re embarrassing yourself.”

But I PERSEVERED. Little furry bullies will not drag down my crafting fervor. Nothing can extinguish the fire in my soul to make crap I should have just bought months ago. Except, like, death or something better to do.

Then it was just a matter of sewing all the outer edges together. I know there are fancier ways of doing this, but I don’t know what they are and I don’t really care because a single line of stitching is all I’m really capable of without feeling like I need to go somewhere and senselessly smash stuff for a while.

This is the part where you get to cut corners! Har-fucking-har.

Snip those corners off so when you turn the thing right-side-out, the extra fabric in the corners won’t make things wonky. Yes, in fact those are the best terms I can come up with to describe this.

Turn it right-side-out, and then from the inside, use a knitting needle or some other pointy object, like a chopstick or a fingernail if you’re a witch, to push the corner out. Basically it should look like a corner instead of a mess. I’m fading here.

I put a single big button in the middle of the back to keep the envelope closed. This helps keep the pillow shapely and nice, otherwise the insert will try to escape out the back and the cover will start to look weird.

I have no idea how to sew a button hole, so I just cut a slit a little smaller than the button and sewed a million stitches around the perimeter of it to keep the fabric from fraying around the hole. This is the part where I don’t really care what it looks like at all and just sit in front of the TV pretending to be talented, stitching and stitching for a while until it seems like the hole is never going to fall apart. You’ll know when you get to that point, then do some more stitches for good measure.

Then force your ungrateful diva of a dog to lie on it while you take pictures and try to entice her to do something—anything—to look even remotely excited or happy about the thing you just spent 3-4 hours making for her to enjoy and cherish.

Remind her that the whole internet will see these pictures and all of a sudden girl knows how to work her angles and model like a fucking pro. Jesus, I’m fucked.

Despite her initial hesitations, Mekko has warmed up to the idea and used it willingly several times over the course of the last few days, which I think means its a success?

Linus loves it, but that guy will sleep anywhere.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 9.10.12
    Cynthia said:

    You complete me.

  2. 9.10.12
    Erica W. said:

    Oh that face! The dog bed is nice, too. I thought at the end Mekko was going to judge it good enough for your sister and decline to relinquish the couch.

    • 9.10.12
      Laura said:

      That’s basically what happened! Last night I was there Mekko decided to join me on the couch. She started as a small curled up ball at the end so we weren’t in each other’s way but over the course of the night she took back her territory. I probably would have gotten more sleep on her bed. Oh well.

    • 11.2.12
      Miss T said:

      Haha Wawa! I can so see that.

  3. 9.10.12
    Mig said:

    Every little thing you do is magic!

  4. 9.10.12
    anne b. said:

    cute! I actually like the imperfections in the fabric. but I’m weird like that.

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      I do, too! It reminds me of seeing how it was made (we got to tour the whole factory at Marimekko!), and I like that it feels appropriately un-fancy for its purpose.

  5. 9.10.12
    Martha said:

    First you go and get me to paint my radiators… and now a teeny tiny part of my I-didnt-grow-up-with-pets self wants a dog, or perhaps a kitten.

  6. 9.10.12
    Margo said:

    Your dogs are lucky to have you as their person.

  7. 9.10.12
    Gabriela said:


    in Cranbury, NJ, there’s a Crate and Barrel outlet that not only sells cheap Crate and Barrel and CB2 furniture every once in awhile, it always has Merimekko fabric on sale for $4.95 a yard, and scraps that you can buy for $.95 a pound!

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      Oh dear, don’t tell me that!! But thank you for telling me that.

  8. 9.10.12
    Heidi said:

    I love your blog! You’re so funny and yes, highly talented. Oh, and the dog bed is super cute!

    • 9.10.12
      Heidi said:

      By the way, little Linus looks just like my Maltese. I’ll bet he’s a purebred….

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      Thank you!

      I don’t know about Linus…my money is on Malti-Poo!

  9. 9.10.12
    Sara said:

    I absolutely love reading your posts. That is all. Gorgeous dogs & dog beds too, btw.

  10. 9.10.12
    Cassie said:

    This made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside parts. (And how you sew a button is exactly how I sew a button. Expletives and all.)

  11. 9.10.12

    That is one spiffy dog bed! Don’t worry about the buttonhole- they require a special foot and a seam-ripper and are a pain to make.

  12. 9.10.12
    Adrienne said:

    LOL @ the first pic of Mekko looking ridiculously sad to be on her new luxury designer dog bed! As someone who knows a little about sewing…. you underestimate yourself! You’re basically doing it right. Does your machine have a buttonhole stitch? (It would look like a little rectangle with stitches all around the outside… you know, like a buttonhole!) Might save you some time & trouble if there’s a next time.

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      I don’t know! It’s a pretty decent machine…I bet it does, but I don’t know where it is or how to use it (it’s crammed in the top of my closet right now and I’m too lazy to go look!). I don’t really mind the hand-sewing part, or that it looks totally jacked and definitely homespun when I’m done!

  13. 9.10.12
    Krysta said:

    What nuggets! That is a seriously lovely pup bed- I am very jealous. But I’m a little afraid to invest the time into making one for our dogs- our older pup has peed on every single dog bed we have ever purchased that isn’t one of those non fluffy little crate liners. We bought the puppy a big fluffy bed to go in her crate, and the older pup went in there when no one was looking and peed all over it. So until she learns some manners it’s basic easy to wash beds in our house :(

    • 9.14.12
      Kelly said:

      THIS. I refuse to buy or make anymore dog beds for my guy. I put a towel or blanket on the floor or in his crate instead. He used to pee on them. He doesn’t anymore, but just rips them apart.

      I am also insane jealous of Mekko’s energy. Why does everyone else’s dog appear to be relaxed and sleeping?! What is wrong with my dog? He’s almost 2 and he doesn’t lay for crap.

  14. 9.10.12
    Mariane said:

    Oh Marimekko fabric for Mekko, I just love that! It is so pretty, but still does not steel Mekko’s thunder! Bravo!

  15. 9.10.12
    Kari said:

    Mucho mucho awesome, and much better than what I came up with.. which was basically two large pieces of fleece (with a cute pattern – natch), cut into a large oval shape, with 4″ x 1″ “tassels” cut all along the outside edges, stuffed with pillow stuffing and then tied the tassels together all the way around. Super easy to wash but definitely more JoAnn fabrics compared to your Marimekko For Dogs couture :)

    And yes, why are all retail dog beds in either cheetah print or fugly brown?

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      I don’t know why! Actually, in fairness, the Target covers weren’t THAT bad…just kind of…beige. I’ve seen some nicer looking ones in some of the smaller NYC boutique pet shop places, but I can’t afford those!

    • 9.12.12
      hannita said:

      I have a theory about the fugly. I think they are trying to make something that isn’t going to show pet hair. Oddly enough, cheetah print doesn’t show pet hair that much. Same with the beige. It just doesn’t show most colors of pet hair.

      I am super impressed with your pet bed. And a bit surprised by the bright color choice.

  16. 9.10.12
    furpants said:

    Hahahaha. So many truisms in here. Those dogs are priceless. I bought a cute baby blanket on Etsy to put over my Target dog bed. But I’m lazy like that. Your dogs are the cutest.

  17. 9.10.12
    Christine said:

    Oh my god. I have an ugly “cat bed” (actually an old blanket stuffed into a basket), plus some fabric I’ve been hoarding for a while. I’m totally going to do this. Thank you for the inspiration!

  18. 9.10.12
    Tara said:

    I sew…as in, used to sell clothes to boutiques…and zippers still scare the bejezzus outta me! :) Hate em! Buttonholes aren’t hard if you have the function on your machine. If not, you can make a loop to close the button as well.

    I adore that fabric. I was totally a fabric hoarder as well. Had to donate it all before our last move. :(

    You did great! Good job, Damiel!

  19. 9.10.12
    paige said:

    There is nothing better than to wake up and see that there is a new post! Love, love your writing!

  20. 9.10.12
    Michael said:

    You seem able to turn your hand to just about anything…You AMAZE me! x

    • 9.11.12
      Daniel said:

      Michael, YOUR HOUSE. My god. Gimme.

  21. 9.10.12
    Fabiola said:

    Hello Daniel, I found your blog last week and I absolutely love your writing! I think this dog bed is divine and you are hilarious. Thanks for the laughs this Monday morning!

  22. 9.10.12

    You are hilarious and your sewing tutorials kick my sewing tutorials’ ass(es).

    Not that it sounded like the three or four hours of making the dog bed were all that enjoyable for you, but I would say if you have any other slightly imperfect merimekko fabric, there might be a reader or two out there that would pay a few $$ for such an expensive looking and unique doggie bed. Etsy store, perhaps?

    Just saying. =)

    Also, your dog’s are perdy and always melt my heart a little.

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      I sometimes think about that, but then I remember my wonky seams and totally amateur skills! I think I’d have to get much better to feel comfortable selling anything to anyone for actual money…(there’s also the time + space considerations to think about…I don’t have much of either!)

  23. 9.10.12
    Heather said:

    I am a woman tragically born without the Sewing Comprehension Gene, and I actually understood that tutorial, so well done, sir. You also win the coveted award of Home Blogger I Find Most Entertaining, Male Division. (Morgan Satterfield wins the Female Division.) There is no prize, just my esteem, which is priceless.

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      That IS priceless, and in such good company! <3 Morgan.

  24. 9.10.12
    jeannette said:

    it is well known cats love to work on the computer and read the newspaper, and dogs love to sew and crochet.

    miss mekko and linus both look beautiful against the poppies, what a great score, and what a great upcycling. i didn’t know target had dog bed inserts, thanks for the tip.

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      Ha! Cute!

  25. 9.10.12
    jeannette said:

    p.s. i wonder how really ancient oriental rugs would look for dog beds? you can’t keep them as clean as washable cottons but they’d absorb lots of crud before you ran your little green clean machine over them.

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      They’d probably be great! If you could find one that was really wrecked and just begging to be cut up…or even a cheap vintage kilim…

  26. 9.10.12
    frances said:

    they broke the mold after they made you daniel… many posts lately, what have we done to deserve them? heck, i’d curl up on that bed with linus and mekko!

  27. 9.10.12
    Mary said:

    “I have no idea how to sew a button hole, so I just cut a slit a little smaller than the button and sewed a million stitches around the perimeter of it to keep the fabric from fraying around the hole.”

    hahha exactly my process when I needed to update a fraying buttonhole on a vest. But it seems to work…..So far, so good!

  28. 9.10.12
    The Shelving Store said:

    Kudos to you, as Mekko seems to be a well-mannered member of a bully breed. I wish they all had such adorable eyes, so they’d stop being scrutinized. Gah well….

    Guess I’ll make a bed for mine, instead of complaining :)

    Thanks for tips, as always!

  29. 9.10.12
    P&C said:

    I wish I had half the talent and a third of the drive to do something like this. I basically wandered around like a lost soul in the desert for a few months until I happened upon a dog bed that didn’t look like complete ass, and that’s what my dog has now. He loves it, but he’ll also sleep anywhere (especially my entire half of the bed, and he weighs 17 pounds).

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      Isn’t it amazing how huuuuuuuuugggeeee they can make themselves when they want?

  30. 9.10.12
    Tuesday M. said:

    Dude, I discovered your blog 2 weeks ago, devoured the archives, and am now driving my girlfriend crazy because you inspired me to do way too many renovations and crafts! Love your writing and designing styles, and your dogs lol.

  31. 9.10.12
    Ryan said:

    I have made several dog beds and really, all they want is something comfy that is the right size. Yoshi rejected one bed I made and it waited in the attic for 3+ years until we got a second dog who loves it. I have plans to make the ultimate dog bed with waterproof liner and memory foam stuffing all covered in vintage felted wool blankets…but it hasn’t happened yet.

    Don’t be too afraid of zippers, especially for something like a dog bed that required a chunky plastic zip. But I did use snap tape on the giant Yoshi bed (they don’t make zippers long enough).

    • 9.10.12
      Daniel said:

      Oh, snap tape, that’s smart! Maybe next time…I’ll probably make a few different covers so I can change things up every now and then!

  32. 9.10.12

    Love it. Great job, Daniel! You sew just as well as I do. Ha!

  33. 9.10.12
    Jenn said:

    I am cracking up, knowing that I’m not alone in keeping old shower curtains, because, you know…they’ll be useful for _something_, right? Also: Mekko and Linus are adorable. More posts about them, pretty please!!

    • 9.11.12
      Another Shower Curtain Hoarder said:

      I am currently hoarding three shower curtains from our last place that had a clawfoot tub with shower and you need three curtains to go all the way around it. I tell myself that these shower curtains might be good drop cloths for painting, but then when I paint I think, “hmm, I don’t want to ruin those shower curtains by getting paint on them…”

  34. 9.10.12
    kay* said:

    You. Are. A. Riot. In the best possible way. So so talented.
    That is all.

  35. 9.11.12
    Emily H said:

    This post was equal parts hilarious and instructive. Now I want to go make a cover for my pup’s ugly dog bed, even though I am unable to sew anything more than a button back on to clothing. Thanks for posting, your blog is awesome!

  36. 9.11.12

    Greetings, Daniel! I ended up at your blog through some link about Linus, who is a most lucky little fella. And then I read your entire archive, because your writing style is adorable, and then I subscribed to your RSS feed :)

    I am in the middle of making some dog beds, too. Our cocker spaniels (we assume they’re purebred, because they have docked tails, but both came from rescues) are not spoiled, no, not at all. Not at all. I will explain.

    A while ago the comforter on my bed just plain wore out; it was a pattern I couldn’t find anymore, I loved it, but it had become impossible to repair it any further. So I went out to find myself a blanket THAT DAY. I visited 5 stores, I think–incidentally, there is no Ikea within driving distance–and the only thing I could find that wasn’t horrible-clashing-colors-with-disgusting-patterns was a charcoal “satin” solid-colored comforter, a little thicker than I’d like. With pintucking. Charcoal is nice. Even the “satin” was nice. But oh, I hated the pintucking.

    About a year ago we got Yvaine, who was in the middle of a massive skin allergy flareup (the reason she was dumped at the humane society). She thought the pintucking was the most excellent thing ever; she drags her body across it to scratch her belly and rubs her face in it.

    The hateful comforter has finally torn; Galahad likes to nest vigorously before he lays down, and the satin pintucking just wasn’t up to years of him digging at it. His own flannel sheet, which he drags back and forth and balls up and flattens out and so on has lasted over a decade, but satin pintucking under the sheet didn’t last two years.

    I’ve cut it up and am making dog beds out of it. (Oh, yes, BOTH spaniels are fighting me every step of the way. As soon as I manage to get one off the piece I’m working on, the other comes and lays on it.)

    One bed is just a quarter of the (king-sized, fairly thick) comforter folded in half with the cut, raw edges tucked under, and hand-stitched around the sides (a whipstitch). Then I quilted it to keep the batting from moving around. I’m using the “put a stitch through it and tie it off, in regular patterns, across the whole thing” quilting method; very easy for hand stitching.

    The second one is a whole half of the blanket, folded in thirds and then in half, so a little smaller than the first but certainly still cocker-sized, and much thicker. I’m going to need to find something to cover the raw edge on that one; I’m thinking one of the original shams, which I had forgotten I even HAD until I started this. I’ll need to quilt it, too.

    The last one is another quarter of the comforter, folded in half. I’m rolling up the short sides a bit to make side bolsters for the dog bed, and then stitching them down. I’m going to stuff the other sham and roll it up to make a third bolster, and then stitch it in place so it covers the long raw edge of that one. Then, again with the quilting.

    Each of these ought to fit in a washing machine, and it’s good for the whole thing to be regularly washed when you’ve got not one, but two housecritters with allergies, so I am not making the insides removable :)

    But hey, there is a pretty easy way to use a sewing machine for making buttonholes, if yours can:
    * Adjust the needle left and right
    * Do a zigzag
    * Adjust the width of the stitch
    * Adjust the length of the stitch

    You start at the top of where you want the buttonhole. With zigzag at the widest setting and advance set to 0 (so it just makes a stitch in place over and over again), make a nice thick top to your buttonhole.

    Now set the needle to the farthest left position, and set the zigzag to its narrowest setting, and set advance to “satin stitch” (a teeny bit more than zero, so it leaves a narrow, smooth round line of stitches as it goes) and continue to the bottom of your buttonhole.

    Now set it back to the first settings: zigzag at the widest, advance to zero, and make a nice bottom of your buttonhole. Since you’ve got zigzag set to widest, you *should* be able to leave the needle set left, but you can set it back to center if you want.

    When the needle is in the fabric on the right, stop the machine, and leave the needle down.

    Pull up the foot and turn the fabric around 180 degrees so you’ll be stitching back up to the top of the buttonhole. Put the foot back down.

    Make sure you’ve got your needle in the left position; if you haven’t, pull it out of the fabric before you set it. Then set zigzag to narrowest and advance to satin stitch again. You should be stitching another narrow, smooth, round line of stitches right next to the first one. Go all the way back up to the top.

    When you’ve got the needle in the first part, the wide part, stop again with the needle in the material. Set advance to 0, and stitch about 5 times. This is just a final lock. Satin stitch shouldn’t need locking in, but I tend to overdo.

    Now all you have to do is find a nice sharp implement and cut between your two narrow lines. Voila! Buttonhole. This is, by the way, just what most buttonhole feet etc will do; without a buttonhole foot you have to determine manually how long to make it, make everything line up right, and change the settings for each step.

    Can you tell I hate handstitching?

    Having said all of that…

    Now that you’ve made a bed for Mekko, you know you’re going to feel guilty until you make one for Linus too, right? He may be willing to cuddle with you on the bed, but what about when Mekko is sprawled out on her Very Own bed, sticking out her tongue, going “Nyah, nyah, they made this for me and you don’t get one!”

    Nice to meet you!

    • 9.11.12
      Daniel said:

      Jeez, thanks! I’ll try it next time.

    • 9.11.12

      :) I just really, really hate handstitching, so hey, figuring out how not to have to handstitch is a high priority of mine.

      Naturally, all three of the awful-pintuck-comforter-that-Yvaine-loves dog beds have no way to machine sew any part of them. The batting is just too thick, and the angles too awkward. But you! You don’t have to suffer like that! >grin<

  37. 9.11.12
    Caro said:

    What I admire is that you actually used the Marimekko fabric. I still have some I bought, oh, let’s see…. a million years ago. I hang on to it because if I use it, it will be gone. (Hoarder tendencies?)

    BTW – re buttonholes. Here’s a little tip. If you put a little patch of iron-on mending tape behind the buttonhole before you cut it, it will make it much less likely to fray or tear open. You can just use a few stitches to finish the hole neatly. Or, probably, even skip the stitching, though it would still fray a little bit over time.

  38. 9.11.12
    Suzanne said:

    I’ve been reading your blog since just before you made the move from Manhattan. It keeps me sane, and drives my partner nuts because I start wandering the apartment looking for things to “improve.” (I’m in Berlin in one of those grand old apartments that survived the war.)
    The dog bed = Beautiful! I’ve often considered putting the fabric wherever the pet likes to nap, for a few days BEFORE making the bed so that it smells like the animal it is intended for. Nothing says home like the familiar smells of … eh, home.

  39. 9.11.12
    Joy said:

    One of my all-time favorite posts. Thanks for the laughs, cute dogs, and project inspiration!

  40. 9.12.12
    Florian said:

    This has nothing to do with the dog bed – BUT do you know “Entertaining is fun!” by Dorothy Draper? It’s a totally great and fun book about making your guests comfortable, written by a 1940s NY socialite. You know, it has tips like having the maid set up breakfast for your weekend guests in the upstairs hall, so they can have some privacy before they are ready to face the day…

    Well. Some of the advice actually is useful. Plus it has red polka dots on the cover.

    • 9.14.12
      Daniel said:

      I’ve seen that book, but never bought a copy!! Maybe I’ll eBay one…I love stuff like that.

  41. 9.12.12
    Simone said:

    Beautiful. When we get a new dog (the old one died) I am definitely making one of these (our old dog (JRT) had a sheeps-skin in her basket that she slept on, she looked pretty happy with that so I thought I would do that again). Gorgeous.
    But I do wonder after reading this, when do you knit? Or does Max knit? What do you knit? Anything worth blogging about or are you members of “knitters-anonimus”?
    Take care with storing wool, we just fought off a moth-plague (not so much fun).
    Have a wonderful day!!!

    • 9.14.12
      Daniel said:

      Max knits, occasionally! Just scarves so far. I don’t know how anymore, but sometimes my mom would let me do a line of her knitting when I was a kid. It’s nice, I should try to learn!

    • 9.14.12
      Simone said:

      Apparently knitting helps create connections between the right and left side of your brain that makes it easier to switch between them (they have different abilities in the thinking proces). And of course you “make” something when you do it as well. This website: is great if you need knitting inspiration.

  42. 9.12.12
    Jaime said:

    SO CUTE! WELL DONE! I got my dog bed “duvet” from Molly Mutt ( and stuffed it with old towels and linens. Some of their patterns are a bit too cutesy/feminine for some folks, but for the most part they don’t look like ass. :)

  43. 9.13.12
    CindyE said:

    Hi – good job sewing the dog bed – love that fabric, too. Last Christmas season, my daughter and niece spotted the Brother “Project Runway” sewing machine on sale for an amazing $58.00 – they each got one. They had me give it the first go and I must say – this machine sewed almost as good as my Necci which cost way, way more and it was also very easy to thread – very straightforward. It is good to know how to sew – just simple stuff – you can do so much with it. When I was young, I worked a summer for the “Curtain Lady” – I learned a lot but this is the best advice she gave me – THE CUT IS EVERYTHING. Really measure and start with a good straight cut of the fabric. .I like your blog and writing style – I always have to laugh – love your wicked humor – and your dogs are adorable.

    • 9.14.12
      Daniel said:

      That’s good advice…I should definitely cut more carefully in the future. I often make it a little sloppy and then figure it’ll magically look fine once I sew it…but it could probably be better if I put some more effort into the prep. What can I say, I just want it to be DONE. I’m no good for sewing.

      I have a brother, but I have no idea what model. It’s nice though, no complaints at all!

  44. 9.13.12
    CindyE said:

    Oh, and if someone just does not want to sew a dog bed Molly’s Mutts (online) has some good ones – she just sells the covers (many good fabrics) and then you stuff it with whatever you want. I have two and I like them!

  45. 9.13.12
    AliB said:

    I am one of your English readers and came across your blog by chance – your writing makes me laugh out loud – I write for a living (advertising, so doesn’t count really) but I just wanted to say thanks for making me laugh!! It is so hard to write like you do – you make it look very easy!
    As for your dog bed – loved it. I wish my two cats would be as compliant in sleeping where I want them to. I made them a bed once but they make a point of ignoring it, giving me that “If you think I’m going to set a paw on there, you must be out of your mind” look that only cats have.

    • 9.14.12
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, AliB!

      Yeah, cats are so opinionated! Dogs are easy and wonderfully compliant, haha.

  46. 9.13.12
    Tiifany said:

    Guys, Let me do it next time!!! I run an online pet boutique through Etsy making just that, affordable and chic pet beds. We’re having a big sale so Daniel you could pick up a few alternatives for Mekkos bed!

  47. 9.13.12

    I felt like I needed to stand up and applaud after reading this post! Great JOB! and Mekko looks so damn proud to be sitting on her new doggy bed—Linus on the other hand simply disappears into a puddle of fur—but he still looks cozy and sweet! ;-)

  48. 9.13.12
    Sinead said:

    Daniel you’re a funny man. Thank you for the laughs.

    First cutting the square table top into a circle, and now this …

    Fabulous! Fabulous!

    Greetings from my two doggies to your two doggies …

  49. 9.14.12
    Michelle said:

    Just found your blog via Pinterest and LOVE the tone you use in your blog. It’s exactly my style, nice and sarcastic. I enjoy a lady who isn’t afraid to use a good four letter word every once in a while. Plus, Mekko is BEAUTIFUL. Just wanted to say hello.. keep doing what you’re doing. You’re entertaining many.

    • 9.14.12
      Daniel said:

      Haha, thanks! (I like a lady like that, too…but I’m not a lady :-)

  50. 9.14.12
    Robin said:

    A woman after my own heart, have to buy fabric everywhere you go… Lovely bed, need to do this for my babies too… great job…

  51. 9.14.12
    JJ said:

    I was reading the comments from the bottom up – because I saw your tweet Daniel, and wanted to see who thought you were a girl. Then I saw that you said “I have a brother, but I have no idea what model.” It confused me for a moment because I’ve seen photographs of your brother and I assumed that he is the same model as you.

  52. 9.14.12
    Jenn said:

    You. Are. Awesome.

    And you know the girls will still fight over the couch, right?

  53. 9.16.12
    eileen marie said:

    Yeah, totally pined after a tote w/ the same print. Then bought it for $65 & never use it. Nice. I LOVE your dog bed! We are planning a move soon (condo to house -I am so nervous!), & one benefit of a bigger space is being able to have the crate and a lovely large dog bed for our “twins”. (We tried retiring the crate, but no-go -one dog treats it like his private quarters, while the other one treats it like a dungeon.) I now have a source list for materials and a great tutorial. Daniel to the rescue again! And btw, L’Shanah Tovah!

  54. 9.17.12
    Susan said:

    Once again, THANK YOU for making me laugh today. You are an absolute riot!

  55. 9.19.12
    kmkat said:

    Daniel, you are hilarious. Awesome dog bed, too. I did the same two-pillows-stuffed-into-one-cover thing for the pillows I sleep with — the 4 limp and droopy El Cheapo down pillows I bought make 2 great pillows. Great minds think alike ;-)

  56. 9.22.12
    Adrienne said:

    Absolutely stunning dog bed!! I love Marimekko’s Uniko, and it is perfect for Meko and your home!!
    I made one once and it took me forever, because I was searching for the perfect fabric. (I too believe that most dog beds I see for sale are either ugly or ridiculously expensive). So anyway I would visit our local thrift shops for really cool fabric that come in the forms of pre worn clothes…I looked at plus sized clothes because there is more fabric then to work with. There is so much crazy, fun cotton prints made into huge blouses, shirts and skirts, and so much cheaper than buying fabric in a fabric store. I did finish the dog bed eventually, it turned out OK, and very cheap due to thrift store price of just 3 bucks for the size XXL shirt I had used.
    I was wondering if you ever used thrift store clothing as fabric for various projects. It’s a pretty awesome resource, don’t ya think??

    • 9.22.12
      Daniel said:

      I have, once in a while! More often I just buy things & hoard and end up not using them, but I like the idea in theory, ha! I’ve also been known to save my own clothes that I don’t wear and would donate, but I like the fabrics. I’ll use them someday, right!

    • 9.22.12
      Adrienne said:

      Wow, I do that too. I sometimes save clothes that have been made of great menswear woolens. I keep thinking that I am going to create some really rad pillows made of herringbone, with wood buttoned closure, or at least design a Runway worthy dress with my haberdashery checked woolens. So I keep them ….yep, I guess I am a hoarder, as well…sigh!!

  57. 9.25.12

    Ugh, the dogs are too cute!

    Also, best sentence ever:

    “So I made my own, because I convince myself these things will be easy and fun, two delusions that pretty much fuel the entire existence of this blog.”

  58. 10.2.12
    Pennypup said:

    That is a totally cute dog bed! I think you did a wonderful job on it, and I wholeheartedly agree with you; those crappy, expensive dog beds at the store are really, really ugly.

    A great success I think. =D

  59. 10.8.12
    Rachael P said:

    First of all, if you’re not just the cutest thing on the entire internet, I don’t know who is. Almost makes me wish I was 35 years younger. And male. And gay. I am none of those things but I adore you just the same.

    Second, I love how much you love and indulge your dogs, which makes you my kinda people, for sure.

  60. 10.9.12
    Pittie Lover said:

    Apparantly Kelly Rippa said on her show today that she is educated on the subject and that ALL pits are dangerous and…”only gang bangers & thugs own them” Wow…I am shocked. I went on their wall and posted my two cents for what it is worth =)

    • 10.9.12
      Daniel said:

      Ugh, that’s terrible! Thank you for letting me know. Looks like she’s taking a lot of flack, deservedly.

  61. 10.29.12
    Deborah said:

    I have a dog much like your Mekko. He’s large and lovely with the hugest head you’ve ever seen. And a face that is hard to resist just like your dog.

    His problem? He has ripped and shredded every bed I’ve ever gotten him. His current bed is duct taped and covered in a hideous blanket (faux-dalmation fleece with the clever tied edges – very popular for a minute here in the midwest back in – oh – early 2000s?). I’d love him to have something attractive! He just wouldn’t have it.

    I love your doggies. And your apartment.

  62. 11.27.12

    Mekko looks just like our Libby, what a sweetie! We’ll be copying this DIY dogbed when our house is done, minus the awesomeness that is Unikko of course..

  63. 12.3.12
    Angie said:

    Ha. Just found you. Great project. You’re hilarious. Thanks for the entertainment!!! Will definitely be back for more!

  64. 1.12.13

    Merimekko by the pound?!

    I am green with envy. However, I did a Merimekko hack by taking a night light and replacing the ever-so-austere renaissance painting with a print of some Unikko fabric from the internet.

    It’s awesome and all it cost was the $1.99 for the Goodwill nightlight.


    BTW, awesome dog bed. Lucky dog.

  65. 2.19.13
    deana said:

    just found out blog threw The Non- Consumer Adovocates blog. I poster left a comment about your bed for your dog and just had to click on it. I had to chuckle each time you cussed when you made a mistake it sure sounds like me when I am trying to sew a quilt together and my dogs also tend to lay on them as I try and sew at the machine and the eccess is laying on the floor. I have 5 dogs in my house right now 3 are rescues that were dropped off at the house because the previous owners figured if we run a horse rescue then we would take the dogs. And we did, so now we are in the process of getting them adopted out.
    I really love the way you made your bed for your dogs. Another Idea for your buttons is sew a loop of elastic in your seem and them just sew the button just underneath the loop then loop the elastic over the button to close it or even Velcro would work this way you can take if off easier to wash it. I need to get my sewing machine back from my mom and start making me some new beds but this time I am going to try and find some old suitcases and turn the bottoms into beds. And when we go on trips we like to take our shitz zu and her treats and bed so she feels comfortable and she has something from home. Making it from an old suitcase I can put her things in there close it up and put it in the car and I do not have to worry about where all her things are. If I ever get it made I will send a pic to you.
    deana in Texas