How to Make a Dog Bed From a Canvas Tarp

Use an inexpensive tarp to make a dog bed.
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Did you know canvas makes a durable dog bed, and you can use a tarp to make your dog a bed? Canvas is a sturdy fabric and most types of canvas easily wipe clean. Neatly cut the fabric and finish cut edges to make a durable bed for your dog.

Canvas Tarp Selection

The type of tarp you choose affects how well your new dog bed stands up to everyday use. Plain cotton canvas duck tarps absorb a lot of moisture and catch dirt particles. It is best to look for a tarp made of treated canvas. The canvas treatments to look for when you head to the store are stain resistant coating and waterproof coating. These coatings make your dog bed easy to clean and maintain.

Tarp Cutting

Use sharp scissors to cut off the borders of the tarp. Measure your dog's length and height, then add 4 inches to each dimension to get a final cutting size for the pieces of the dog bed. Use a fabric marking pen to mark the dimensions on the canvas tarp. Draw out two pieces. Cut out the pieces, being careful to cut neatly and avoid fraying the cut edges.

Dog Bed Sewing

Sewing is the main step that determines how long your canvas dog bed lasts. Finish the raw edges of both canvas pieces with a tight zigzag or serge stitch. With right sides together, use a straight stitch to sew the pieces together, leaving a 1 foot gap. Pull the fabric through the gap to turn the cover right side out. Stuff the bed with soft foam or old pillows. Top-stitch 1/4 inch in, all the way around the outer edge, to close the gap and make a smooth finish.

Dog Bed Cleaning

When the canvas dog bed gets dirty, pour about 1/4 cap of liquid laundry detergent in a bucket and add about a gallon of warm water. Grab a scrub brush and gently scrub the detergent into the woven canvas surface. Allow the detergent to soak in for about 15 minutes to remove embedded dog dirt. Scrub the surface again, then rinse the surface with clear water. Allow the dog bed to air dry.

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