My cutemeter is on overload after a month full of cuddly cats and darling dogs on Design*Sponge, so when I started brainstorming this month’s Upholstery Basics project, I consulted my cutest and furriest friend for some inspiration (though the clown collar was not her idea). For years, Pixie’s kennel has been a focal point and an eyesore in the corner of my bedroom, but after a few modifications, one striped sheet set transformed her ugly metal cage into Big Top Pee-wee, I mean Big Top Pixie. Don’t have pets? Choose your fabric and follow along to make a dust ruffle for your bed. — Amanda
Read the full how-to after the jump . . .
- plastic funnel
- permanent marker
- wooden dowel
- measuring tape
- duct tape
- washable fabric
- white or yellow chalk
- hand plier stapler or t-pins
- sewing machine
- masking tape
- decorative trim (optional)
- curved needle
Don’t forget to check out Upholstery Basics: Tool Time to learn more about the tools we’re using today.
Tips and Tricks before You Get Started
- Pre-shrink fabric by washing and drying before you draw and cut out your pieces.
- Use a square and yardstick to keep corners square and stripes straight.
- Match the stripes from piece to piece as you draw.
3. Slip the kennel down and around the wires. If your funnel is not as tall as you’d like, insert a wooden dowel (cut to the desired tent top height — mine is 8.5″) into the funnel. To keep the dowel from slipping through the top of the kennel, duct tape the connection between the plastic funnel and wooden dowel.
5. The cover is made of one piece of fabric covering the sides and back of the kennel (main body), four triangles that make the tent top, a front flap and ties to keep the flap open. To determine the size of the main body, start by measuring the width, depth and height of the kennel.
6. On every sewn side, add 1/2″ for seam allowance (S.A.). We will fold the main body piece in half so the inside of the cover is fully lined, which is why the height of the fabric is twice the height of the kennel. The width of the main body is the distance around the right, back and left sides of the kennel, plus 1.5″ to wrap around each front corner of the kennel. I’ve also added an additional 4″ at every corner to make a boxed pleat.
8. For the tent top, use the measurement from step 4 and the width of every side to draw the triangles. To fully line the inside of the cover, we’ll need two sets of four triangles. If we were in geometry class, the measurements of these pieces would calculate to fractions of whole numbers, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll round up. With the angles of the triangles, we actually need 1″ instead of 1/2″ of seam allowance in the corners, so be sure you add enough extra fabric.
9. The fabric from the main body covers a total of 3″ of width on the front of the kennel. The rest of the front will be covered by the front flap. Draw out the front flap at twice the height of the kennel (so it’s fully lined) and to the width of the kennel minus 3″. Add 1/2″ of seam allowance on all edges.
10. We’ll make one long tie and cut it in half to make two ties for the front flap. The height will be the same as the front flap plus an extra 1″ for seam allowance, and the width will be 2″ (1″ of finished width, 1/2″ on both sides for seam allowance).
30. Turn the cover right side out through the opening in the front edge and iron.
31. Hand stitch the open edge at the front of the kennel with a curved needle and thread (see steps 1–24 on Upholstery Basics: Wall Upholstery, Part 2).
1. Follow steps 5–7, eliminating the 1.5″ wrap-around on the front corners.
2. Replace the tent top with two rectangular fabric pieces drawn to the width and depth of the kennel plus 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides.
3. Follow steps 11 and 12, 19 and 20, 22–25 and 30 and 31 (replace the top of the tent with the rectangular flat top in the step above).