Guest columnist Wendy Nan Rees offers a tip about how to make a great crate cover for your pet.
How to Make a Great Crate Cover
If you've brought home a new puppy or dog and you're using a crate, here is a wonderful way to help your new friend feel more secure and warmer on chilly nights. I like to call the crate "your dog's den". As you know, dogs are pack animals and live in a den in the wild, so creating a safe, den-like space for your pet is a wonderful way to help her quickly feel at home.
Please note that even if you do not know how to sew, I have made my crate covers using fabric glue and it works just as well. You cannot make a mistake as long as you cut your fabric to the right size for the crate.
- Fabric: You'll need approximately two to four yards of fabric. The best thing to do is measure your crate size, and then buy ½ yard extra fabric so you have some room for error. Corduroy or fleece is a good choice for winter, and cotton is a good fabric for summer.
- One roll of brown craft paper; I always use this to make my pattern.
- Fabric scissors
- Measuring tape
- Ribbon to match fabric: eight pieces, cut to ten-inch lengths
- Thread to match the fabric or fabric glue (can be purchased at any fabric store)
My yardage: 1-1/2 yards of 42-inch fabric for an 18-inch crate cover. Time to complete: One - two hours
Note: Be sure to pre-wash all your fabric before cutting or sewing. This way any shrinkage that may occur will have already taken place, and your cover will still fit after washing.
- Determine how close to the floor you would like the crate cover to come; usually an inch off the floor is a good place to start. This way, the crate cover will not drag on the floor or get in the way when you are cleaning.
- Now, make a pattern with the craft paper. Start at the front of the crate, and tape the craft paper at the lowest level you want the crate cover to hang.
- Next, run the paper up the front (door side) to the top, along the top to the back and down the back of the crate to the bottom measurement you have chosen. It is a good idea to make a dotted line on your pattern at the top of the door side where it meets the top of the crate and another dotted line at the back of the top where the top meets the back side. By doing this, it will be easier for you to attach the sides of your pattern in the right place. This is now the main body of your pattern, and should be a rectangular shape.
- Take another piece of craft paper and make a copy of each side of the crate.
- Tape these panels to each side of the main pattern body for the top of the crate (between the dotted lines). The finished pattern should look like a cross shape.
- Lay the pattern on your fabric, pin it and cut, adding a one-inch seam allowance for hems all around.
- Fold and press seam allowances or hems to wrong side of fabric. Secure with stitching, fusible hem tape or fabric glue, whichever you prefer working with.
- To finish your cover, attach a piece of ribbon on each of the eight corners (four top, four bottom). This will help secure your cover over the crate and tie it closed. You can chose to leave the door panel of the crate uncovered by simply leaving the bottom ribbons untied and folding the front fabric panel back over the top of the crate.
Crate covers like these can be used at home, but they also come in handy when traveling with your pet. I hope you find this tip fun and useful!