Recycled DIY Dog Bed

| 4/27/2011 5:00:34 PM

Jaci KennisonJaclyn Kennison is a freelance writer living and playing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She owns and manages an art gallery and event venue between fits of shopping and redecorating. 

My sister and her partner run a zoo. Not literally, but with two large dogs, four cats, a turtle, a frog and a fish, it sure seems like it. The challenge of housing this many creatures in a two-bedroom home are great, but they love their animals, and so do I.

One of the greatest struggles is the ever-raging war on hair. The four-leggers, as they call them, shed perpetually, and despite constant sweeping and vacuuming, their clothing and furniture is often covered with a fur of its own.

In an effort to combat this situation, they have trained the animals to stay off of the furniture, but with wood floors, they find the animals gravitate toward rugs and carpeted areas, which simply increases the concentration of hair on those surfaces. Dog beds were employed to give the “kids” a place to lie down. These, however, must also be cleaned regularly and the pillows inside the zippered versions offered by pet stores were difficult to clean. Necessity is the seed of innovation and for them it led to sustainable dog beds.

This DIY project is a fairly simple one, though it must be repeated as the bed stuffing will have to be changed occasionally. My sister and her partner took a page from their youth spent cleaning out hampster cages and began a newspaper recycling program of their own.

A stack of thick newspapers got them started. Depending on the size of the bed you are working on, an old, small pillowcase could easily be hemmed to create the pillow. For larger beds, consider cutting up old sheets, or stitching old T-shirts together. Once you have your “pillow case,” cut a few of the newspapers into long strips. Leave a few of them whole and crunch them up to add cushion. Stuff the crunched pieces in intermingling the long strips as well. The idea here is to create plenty of air space to keep the cushioning warm.