Handkerchief Dog Bed

Categories: Bed, Christmas, Crafts, Dog Beds, Featured, PetsTags: , , , , , , Author:


One of our weekly rituals is taking the dogs to the groomers. Barney and Duff have long hair and being boys, they get dirty every time they’re outside. (Gertie, on the other hand, is a total gem [and short hair] and doesn’t need to go very often…we love girls!) Every time the boys return, they come home sporting adorable little handkerchiefs tied around their necks. We used to throw them away after a few days, but to us it always seemed a waste to throw away all of that fabric…and an idea was born!

Last Christmas, I thought about sewing them together into a dog bed and giving it back as a gift to our awesome groomers! So all throughout this year we made it a point to keep all of the handkerchief pieces of fabric and recycle them for a quilted dog bed. We’re planning on giving it to them in a couple of weeks…we hope they like it!

Here’s what we used to make the dog bed:

  • 20 x 40-inch foam pillow
  • 28-30 small handkerchiefs (or leftover fabric)
  • Batting
  • 1-yard of plain white fabric for the back of the quilt
  • 1-yard of striped fabric for the bottom
  • White thread and pins

This is what we needed to put it together:

  • Sewing machine
  • Paper, pen and a ruler

Let’s make a quilted dog bed!


  • Wash all of the handkerchiefs and fabrics. Not only does this clean the fabric, but it helps to ensure that the fabrics won’t shrink in future washings.
  • Measure a 3-inch line on the paper and a 5-inch line at a right angle to the previous line. Draw a line between the end of these two lines to finish out the triangle, and cut it out. This will be the pattern for the individual handkerchief pieces.
  • Next, take one of the handkerchiefs and fold it in half and place the 3-inch side of the paper on the fold of the fabric, and pin the paper to the fabric. Make sure that both sides of the fold encompass the paper.
  • Cut the fabric on the two sides other than the fold. Repeat for all of the other handkerchief pieces.
  • Once you have everything cut, lay out the pieces in diamonds to determine which pieces look best together.
  • Now, taking one diamond (or two pieces) at a time, sew them together with 1/4-inch seam along the longest edges. Be sure that the “outside of the fabric” on each piece is facing each other.
  • Once you’ve sewn all of the diamonds together, lay out everything again to make sure you know which diamonds go together. We did seven rows of 2 1/2 diamonds each.
  • Pick a diagonal, and sew the diamonds together in one line. Once you’re done, you should have one diagonal strip of diamonds.
  • Next, take those strips and sew them together. At this point, you should have a rectangle approximately 20-inches x 40-inches.

Pad, pad, pad away!


  • Start by measuring and cutting the plain white fabric backing and the batting to a 20-inch x 40-inch piece.
  • Sandwich the batting between the white fabric and the pieced top, and pin in place. Be sure the outside of the white fabric and the pieces top face away from the batting and sew everything in place by making a seam 1/4-inch on either side of the diagonal lines.


  • Cut two pieces of the striped fabric. One should be 20-inches x 17-inches, and the other should be 20-inches x 27-inches.
  • Next, sew a hem on both pieces, and add velcro. For these instructions, you can look at our Toile Dog Bed post. It’s the same concept.

Cocktail Break!


Obviously we’ve been working on this project for a while now, so instead of taking a break while doing the project, we took a break while writing the post! On our way back from Arkansas, we stopped in DC at St. Arnold’s pub to try their signature mussels and Delirium beer. It was fantastic!

And a bed was born!

  • To finish the project, attach the striped fabric together with the velcro to create “one piece” of fabric and place the striped fabric face up on a flat surface, and place the quilted top face down (with the diamonds facing the stripes) on top.
  • Pin in place, and sew a 1/2-inch seam around the edges of the rectangle.
  • Next, unpin the fabrics, turn the cover inside out and insert the pillow.

This dog bed came out so cute! Our groomers do so much for us, and we’re glad that we can make something for them. And we recycled a ton of fabric instead of throwing it out. Benefits all around!!!


6 Responses to Handkerchief Dog Bed

  1. newprairiestore says:

    What a nice dog bed…it looks like a great project. I know your groomers will love it. I think any dog or dog lover would enjoy something like this!

  2. Jennie Duncan says:

    This looks like a really cool idea! My daughter was just commenting on needing to get a dog bed for her dog. I’ve seen plenty of cute “doggy design” fabrics at the store. The only thing I don’t see being feasible about this bed [pictured here], is that the pillow form is to big & will not wash well. Is the covering removable for washing? Other than the batting, I also don’t see the “white” material you refer to. If I chose to make this bed for her, I would make the pieces just a bit bigger. Can you please advise if the covering is removable for washing? Thanks in advance. I read about your Thanksgiving holiday comments, so I’m sure you had a great one! Will be watching for your reply. Have a good weekend! :)

    • ourcraftyhome
      ourcraftyhome says:

      Thanks Jennie. Yes, the cover is removable, and it can be washed. You can also check out our posting on the Toile Dog Bed. The link is toward the bottom of this blog right before the cocktail break, or you can find it in our October 2010 archives. Send pics of your finished product!

  3. Jennie Duncan says:

    Hi guys! Even though my daughter may end up buying one from the store, I still like the idea of making one for her dog. I was actually checking out prices of fabric earlier today after I saw the price of the dog bed that I sent her a photo of from my cell phone. The dog bed that I saw has fleece on one side and a plush fabric on the other. “Pig” is a Boston Terrier mix and is just a bit larger than the regular size Boston Terrier. if and when I make my “dog” bed, it will have fleece on one side and a different material on the other. I was planning on using poly fiber fill batting that is used in making quilts. Or maybe I’ll make one that can be removed for washing, but just a smaller pillow. Definitely all will be machine washable. I’ll let you know when it gets done, then will ask about posting the photo.

  4. Susan says:

    As the partial owner (my husband’s dogs) of two dogs that shed more than labs (Australian cattle dogs)I’d advise against the fleece…it’s hard to get the pet hair out of, esp short hair. Actually easier to get the longer hair breed hair out of it. And as the part time employee of a mobile dog groomer, I will say that they’ll love it. Please let us know what they thought. We need to buy fabric and get them cut up for this year’s neckerchiefs….we do them for small, med, large and giant breed dogs, male and female and unisex….and there is nothing funnier than a newly groomer female St. Bernard with her pink neckerchief….she struts and preens….and is just hilarious. She’s really funnier than the little dogs.


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