DIY cat bed

Now that Tinycat is staying, I decided he needed a nicer bed than a folded up beach towel. To the folks wondering, “how do you get your cat to sleep on a designated bed in the first place?” the answer is, he sleeps locked in the bathroom off of our bedroom, so he basically sleeps on the softest thing in there.

I started looking at cat beds online, but they were all kind of boring, slightly ugly, and $20-$30.

I wanted something cuter, and with my rudimentary sewing skills, figured I could make something decent for less than $30. I went to Hobby Lobby and assembled the following supplies:

Foam square: $4.89 (on sale, regularly $6.99), 1 yard of fabric: $8.99, 1 spool of matching thread: $.99, zipper: $2.29. Grand total: $17.16.

Then I basically laid the foam down on the fabric and cut around it, leaving about half an inch on each side as a seam allowance. I did this for each side of the cushion. For one of the long sides, I cut double the seam allowance to allow for the zipper to be installed, because I wanted the cover to be removable so I can wash it. I installed a zipper in the middle of the long sides, sewed the sides together end to end, leaving one side unsewn, and then started attaching the sides to the top, working my way around until all the sides were sewn on, and then sewing the last corner. Then I sewed the bottom on, turned it right side out (thanks to the zipper, this was possible), and put it on the cushion. I made sure to finish all my seams nicely so that they won’t unravel in the wash.

This is the final result (related: it’s hard to photograph a cat on his cute new bed when all he wants to do is eat the bed):

Crazy cat in action.

View of the zipper side.

It’s not perfect at the corners, and the fit could be slightly tighter, but overall I’m pretty proud. Also, notice how it matches those pillows on our bed? When it’s not eleventy billion degrees, that’s also what our duvet cover looks like, so Tinycat’s bed looks like a mini version of ours. So cute I could die.

I could be convinced to make one of these again for someone I loved for compensation or a Christmas gift, and if that happens, I’ll try to take some step by step photos so this post is more helpful.

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i love lamp

One of my BFF’s (technically half of our BCFFL (Best Couple Friends 4 Lyfe)) is having a BABY GIRL!!!  We’re very excited for our friends, and I fully intend to be this kid’s Crazy Aunt Sarah.  My friend is a really awesome, creative, crafty, thrifting queen, so I knew I really had to step it up in the gift department.  You can check out her awesome Etsy shop of vintage treasures, if you want!

My friend and I looking cute on the Subway, sharing some tunes, on Jon's big 30th Birthday in NYC trip.

Ultimately inspiration struck in the form of this origami lamp from Sweet Sweet Life, which I think I originally found via Apartment Therapy’s Ohdeedoh.

image via Sweet Sweet Life.

That lamp was inspired by a lamp that costs over $210.  And I thought, I have origami skills! I could do that! $200+ is ridiculous! Though I’ve been into origami for a while, I really honed my skills when I got laid off in October of 2008 and decided to use my abundant free time crafting origami Christmas ornaments.

The great origami Christmas ornament project of 2008. I made garlands out of tiny boxes, ornaments out of cranes...

...and origami ball ornaments.

Of course, I wouldn’t just make a giant origami lamp for someone’s nursery without asking, but I remembered my friend liking the lamp when I posted about it on Facebook.  So I shot her a quick note and asked if she’d be interested in an origami lamp for the baby’s nursery, and she said sure! I inquired about the color scheme: “i’m planning on doing olive green, lime green, fuschia, light pink, lemon drop yellow and lots of wood grains, burlap and galvanized steel (like those buckets)… if that helps”

So I headed off to Hobby Lobby, where, to my luck, scrapbooking paper was on sale for half off! I selected a variety of large squares, which are normally $0.59 apiece, in the colors she had mentioned, supplementing with traditional origami paper in coordinating colors.  After that came the folding. Holy crap, what a lot of folding.  I’d say it takes about 250 cranes to cover a typical lamp shade.  Luckily, it’s an activity you can do in front of the TV, and luckily for me, Jon knows how to fold cranes, and he helped me with my folding load.  Still, I’d say it was about 12 hours of folding…so THAT’S why they cost over $200.  You can follow this tutorial video to learn how to fold an origami crane.

A big pile of cranes, ready to be hot-glued onto a lampshade from Target.

I applied the cranes to the lamp with a hot-glue gun, which took about 4 hours, during which time I watched “The West Wing” on my laptop– I’m newly hooked on the show, having missed it when it originally aired.

I'm going to let my friend choose whether to use this as a hanging lamp or on a standing lamp, so I put the shade on one of my lamps to show off the finished product.

Here's what it looks like with the light on.

Closeup of the cranes on the lamp. As you can see, I managed to find paper that actually looked like burlap and wood grain. I think I did a pretty good job coordinating with my friend's color scheme!

So, there you have it. The Coolest Lamp in the World. The World’s Most Ambitious Origami Lamp Project!  All you need is: a lamp shade, a glue gun, enough paper for around 250 cranes, and a crapload of free time.