Up-Cycling for Dogs
What is up-cycling?
The Oxford dictionary defines up-cycling as
Reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original
The word dates back to the 1990s.
Up-cycling for dogs?
Obviously the title up-cycling for dogs is slightly misleading.
Dogs are not up-cycling but rather people are to make products suitable for dogs, products which are essentially free as opposed to costing too much
An old scarf was perfect for our little rescue dog after he felt the cold weather post grooming
You can’t buy love
Do you have a pet dog? If you have do you love it to bits?
Well we have a little rescue dog and yes we love him to bits and this means at times we have paid over the odds for unnecessary extras.
Well let’s get real.
Up-cycling can provide dog toys and beds
A dog does not care if you make their bed out of old clothes or an old cardboard box. The dog only cares that it is warm, comfortable and safe and that he or she is living in a happy environment.
Necessity is the mother of inventionClick thumbnail to view full-size
From scarf to coat with a few stitches
Our little rescue dog Tinka is complicated. He is the smallest dog we have ever re-homed and the most complex and problematic. He can also be one of the sweetest at times.
He came to his forever home, ours, almost six years ago after his owner died and he had been traumatized. Little Tonka as he was called back then was a known biter and we knew the risks.
But for Tinka it was us or the rainbow bridge.
Thankfully he has improved in leaps and bounds with some peaks and some troughs but if he is unwell or stressed he may still become snappy.
This means putting a dog coat on him is never easy.
A short back and sides then the weather turned cold
As I watched him shivering after a trip to the groomers I wondered how to warm him up.
An old micro-fleece scarf with just a few stitches along the back worked very well.
It is easy to slip this over Tink’s head, it is not restrictive for him to wear and best of all it cost nothing.
It was a scarf that had seen better days and was destined for trash.
Tinka looks so different at times which explains why he feels the cold after a haircutClick thumbnail to view full-size
A sweater into a dog bed
One of the best up-cycling projects for dogs I have come across uses an unwanted sweater or jumper to create a dog bed.
You will need
- A long sleeved sweatshirt, sweater or jumper. Use one that will not catch easily on a dog’s nails
- Foam padding perhaps from an old pillow or cushions
- Wool or thick cotton for stitching
A crew or slit neck sweater works really well.
Creating the dog bed
- Simply sew a straight line across the bust line of the garment under the sleeves. Pull the stitching to gather
- Stuff the body of the sweater with the padding. This will form the base of the bed
- Turn a small hem in at the bottom and over stitch to seal pulling the thread a little to shape the base
- Stuff the sleeves and top of the garment with the padding
- Sew the neck to seal
- Bend the top of the garment up and pull the sleeves up and around the body of the garment which is now the bed’s base
- Tighten the cuff of one sleeve and push inside the other
- Attach the sleeves circle to the base to form a doughnut type of dog bed like the one shown below
Make sure there are no loose ends and definitely no pins and or needles left behind.
Always try to use non-flammable materials, those that will wash easily and efficiently and are non-toxic for your pet.
A standard shop bought doughnut dog bed
But there are so many dog beds you can create by up-cycling
A favourite toy
One of Tinka’s favourite toys, and trust me he has many, is a long piece of nylon come cotton rope my husband tied into knots.
This so-called toy has been washed in my washing machine and has stood the test of time.
Now and then my husband re-ties and tightens the knots and it is quickly good to go again.
Make sure if you create such a toy that the material used is safe for your dog to chew.
You can also tie an old T-shirt or towel to create this type of toy.
Fun toy from old ropeClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Up-cycled Tire Planters
Using old tires to make beautiful yard art with purpose. Tire planters are a fantastic way to use old tires.
- Up cycle Leather Belts
Several years back I was brainstorming on the subject of seating. I needed to redo the seat of a thrift shop chair. A bag of old leather belts, a staple gun and a bit later, viola! Enjoy these ideas!
- Five Fabulous Up-cycling Crafts
Five unique up-cycling crafts for all levels of skills. Turn your trash into treasure and be resourceful. A great way to craft on a tight budget.
- Make your own Kitchen Island from Up-cycled Furnitur...
Kitchen islands are really useful, but they can be very expensive to buy and you can't always find exactly the style, shape or size you want. Make your own easily with these ideas.
- How to Upcycle Crop Jeans Into a Tote
Upcycling, or giving old items new life, is becoming increasingly popular as a way to keep items out of landfills. Learn how to turn crop jeans into a tote to get started!
Tinka up-cycling by playing with an old curtain
All images (c) Eileen Kersey a.k.a Ethel Smith
© 2018 Ethel Smith