It’s fun to create new accessories for your dog even if he’s not the type that enjoys being dressed up in doggie clothes. It’s easy to make costumes, head wear and similar items for a dog and you save a lot of money over purchasing the goods. In some cases, you don’t even have to spend any money to make something cool for your pet. Take a pillow, for example. It can be made into a nice backpack that can help your dog carry his own food while camping or items you need, like your cell phone, wallet and bottled water. Although I don’t suggest you snatch the good pillows off your couch and use them for your dog you can use an old pillow to make a fabulous backpack that would otherwise cost you considerable money. Dog backpacks aren’t cheap but you can make one for next to nothing if you already have the pillow.
A round or square pillow are perfect for creating the unique backpack. If you sew, you can easily make the backpack in no time, but even if you don’t sew you can make one that’s just as nice. Start by using scissors or even a single-sided razor blade to cut an opening in the pillow. If the pillow has welt, cut into the stitching on the welt to separate the two pillow pieces. If the pillow has no welt simply cut some stitches away to create an opening. Now remove all the stuffing from the pillow. You can save the stuffing to make something else later. If the stuffing was a single piece of foam it might not be necessary to launder the empty pillow. If the pillow was stuffed with cotton or foam chips, though, there could be pieces left clinging to the inside. It’s a good idea to launder the pillow before proceeding with the craft.
If the pillow is square cut enough stitches so that an entire side is open. However, leave the stitching near the corners intact. It’s easy to close a gaping hole, after you’re finished with the craft, but not so easy if you have to redo the corners. If the pillow is round simply cut an opening to be about a fourth of the circumference of the pillow. Now you’ll stitch the elastic pieces on which will hold the backpack to the dog.
Cut two pieces of wide elastic. Each piece should be long enough to reach from the side of the pillow to under the dog’s chest. Cut the pieces so that they are long enough to overlap. Now sew or glue the elastic pieces to the pillow. At the ends of the elastic place the velcro which will be used as the fastener for the new backpack. The velcro can be sewn on but don’t use the type that has adhesive if you’re going to sew it on. Adhesive velcro can gum up the needle of the machine and cause all sorts of problems. If you’ll be gluing the velcro on, you can use adhesive or non-adhesive velcro, but it’s recommended that you still use fabric glue to ensure the velcro will stay secure.
If you sew you can now install a zipper in the opening of the pillow. Whether you sew or not you can also opt for a velcro closure to the backpack. Simply stitch or glue the velcro into the opening to make a quick closure for the pillow backpack. After the closure is in place the backpack is basically finished. However, you can add other things to make the backpack even more useful. Sew on pockets or even lengths of elastic to hold various objects on the outside of the backpack. If you’ll be sewing these things on you’ll need to do so before adding the velcro or zipper closure. If you’re gluing on the pockets and such you can do so after the closure is in place.
If you don’t have an old pillow you can use for this project simply cut two identical squares or circles to make a pillow shape that can be easily made into the backpack. This works really well for small dogs since you may not be able to find a really small pillow for a little dog. As a matter of fact, the same technique can be used to create a backpack for child. Cut the pillow open, remove the stuffing, then add a zipper or velcro closure. For a child, hold the backpack up to his back so you can determine where to add the elastic pieces which will hold the backpack on the child’s back.
The finished doggie backpack can hold clothing, food and water, snacks for the owner, money, cell phone and more. Take the dog and backpack with you while jogging, walking, camping and more. You won’t have to worry about keeping up with everything and your dog will be more than happy to help you out by carrying light loads upon his back. It’s a beautiful thing!