Friday, July 10, 2015

Doggy Suitcase Bed

I saw this cute dog bed idea on Pinterest and just thought it was adorable so I'd give it a shot.  

My niece and I were out antique-ing and I came across this little "Tommy Traveller" suitcase for $17.00 and thought it would be perfect for one of these dog beds. 

The first thing I did was rip out the kelly green lining.  It smelled disgusting.  I left it outside in direct sun for days.  I also closed it up with a box of baking power too.  That helped.  The smell isn't completely gone but it's hugely improved. The cardboard underneath it also smelled so I tried to remove as much of that as I could too.  

The exterior needed a good cleaning too especially around the handle and lock areas.  

First thing I did was go to a local woodworking supply shop and look for legs.  I really liked the round bulbous ones in the Pinterst picture but they didn't have any legs at the shop.  I picked up an unfinished thing that I thought might work and asked the man what it was.  He said it was a pencil box for kids to paint and that it probably wouldn't work for me.  His wife then asked me how big the dog was and when I told her at the most 9 lbs., he changed his mind.   :)  

I painted the pencil boxes with a craft paint from Michaels.  The first coat was too I toned it down with a second coat of a brown paint.  Then my husband drilled small holes in the pencil boxes and screwed them to the four corners of the suit case.  

Then he cut out two pieces of very thin wood (maybe 1/8 to 1/4" thick) the size of interior bottom and the interior top.  I thought if I covered up as much of the interior as possible, it might contain the remaining "aroma".  

I used Sullivans spray baste to attach thin batting to one side of the each of the pieces of wood.  I left enough batting around it to wrap around the outer edges and pull toward the back.  You can find a spray baste at your local quilt shop or Joann's.  
Then I took a home decorator weight fabric I had in my stash and put it over the batting.  I firmly pulled the fabric toward the back and stapled it on the backside.  I did this for both the top and the bottom.

Then I estimated how deep I wanted the pocket for the toys.  I added approx. 5" to the depth. The width of the fabric I doubled.  I turned under a quarter inch on one of the wide sides of the fabric.  Then I turned under another approx. 1" and sewed down very closely near the folded edge.  This is where I ran a long length of elastic.  I stitched down the elastic on one side and then stapled one end of the fabric and one end of the elastic to the back of the wood.  Then I just started pulling the elastic until I had the fullness I liked for the pocket.  When I got it where I liked it, I stapled the other short end down at the back of the wood too.  Then I just played with the fullness and made it look pretty and stapled the bottom edge down on the back too.  

I made a rectangular pillow and stuffed it with Polyfill.  I set that aside.  

The sides of the suit case still looked gross.  The old glue used to keep the old lining in place was still looked dirty even though I cleaned it a couple of times....So I took some narrow pieces of the home dec fabric and turned under and ironed down a sharp edge.  Then I hot glued that to the edges of both the sides of the bottom and the sides of the top. After making it almost completely around the suitcase, I cut off the extra fabric and turned under a 1" edge and glued it down.   Problem solved.  

I didn't think my high maintenance pooch would use it with just the base pillow.  She likes to curl up n places and put her head on something.  So I measured the outer perimeter of the suitcase.  Mine was approx. 72".  I cut out a length of fabric approx. 10" by 80".  I folded it in half lengthwise and stiched one short end together (right sides in). Then I stiitched the long edge and started stuffing it.  It took a while to stuff.  If you do this with a bigger suit case, do yourself the favor and make this pillow big enough so that when it's stitched shut your arm can fit into it. I couldn't do that because my suit case is little and it would have taken up too much room inside the case.  Stuff it firmly but stuff it so that you can still turn the corners.  When I finished stuffing it the 72", I crammed the short stitched edge into the open hole.  Then I turned under approx. 2" and did an invisible stitch around the edges.  I did have to cut a little bit of extra length off but I'd rather have too much than too little to work with.  

I Gorilla glued the top insert into the interior lid.  I put the second wooden base into the bottom of the suit case.  Added the pillow and then inserted the round donut pillow around the edges (seam side down with the connecting seam n the back)

The only thing I need to do is to find a way to keep the lid from accidentally closing on the dog.  She's been jumping around in there and nothing has happened so far but why take a chance?  I'm going to get two small L brackets to attach to the back of the base and the bottom of the lid.    

She loves it :)  

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