Braided Doggy Bed

Luna on Doggy Bed 2

If your dog is anything like my sweet Luna, you have your hands full. With an overly excited dog, it’s inevitable that she’ll get into trouble. Which gets her put into doggy time out. And from the look of things, there is no worse punishment than being banned from the couch…or at least that’s how Luna seems to feel.

It’s because of this that I came up this braided doggy bed. Instead of having to feel guilty that Luna’s having to lay on the hardwood floors, or having to throw one of our nice soft pillows or blankets onto the floor, I figured giving her a designated bed might ease all our pains. (Yeah, I know…a luxurious time out bed? What a softie.) Besides, our cats are spoiled with (three!) cat trees, so it’s only fair!

Now that you’ve heard the reasoning behind the doggy bed, here’s how the idea came about. I’ve always wanted to make one of those fleece, two-sided, knotted blankets. But, I already have a lot of blankets that I use. So, I’ve never felt the incentive to make one. However, now that Luna could use a doggy bed / designated timeout spot, this seems like a great opportunity to put a fun spin on the tied blanket method.

Braided Doggy Bed Finished

Lastly, I came up with the braided edges, because Luna looooves to nibble. And from experience, I just know that those normally lose, tied ends would soon be worn down, slobber-ridden, and possibly ripped off. So, here goes to learning as we go, and creating a braided doggy bed!



Duration: 4 Hour Project / Day Project
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Crochet Hooks Marker Pins


Poly foam cushion, 3″ x 22″ x 22″
Fleece, 1 yard, color 1
Fleece, 1 yard, color 2
Ruler and/or Measuring Stick
Marker, washable
Tape, painters or masking
Sewing scissors
Sewing pins
Crochet hook, size J

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES (but highly recommended):

Carpenter square
Large cutting pad (could avoid having to use tape to create & cut a straight line)
Pair of extra hands (they’ll make this project go much quicker & smoother!)


1. Determine size of fabric to cover cushion –
Add the depth dimension (3″) to both the length (22″) and width dimensions (22″). DO NOT MARK OR CUT FABRIC YET.
Length: 22 + 3 = 25″
Width: 22 + 3 = 25″

2. Determine size of fringe –
Add another 3” to both length and width dimensions. (This accounts for the 1.5″ fringe border.)
Length: 25 + 3 = 28″
Width: 25 + 3 = 28″

3. Measure and mark the fabric –

Marking Doggy Bed

Next, lay the fleece (color 1) nubby* side down. And from a straight edge of the fleece, use a ruler to measure out the length. Then use a washable marker or fabric pencil to mark the location on the fleece with a small dot. Then repeat on the opposite edge of the fleece.

4. Tape and cut the fabric –

Cutting Fabric
On the scrap side of the fleece, use tape (or the cutting mat if you own one) to connect the two dots. Make sure to double check the measurement on both sides, and in the middle, to ensure the exact, straight size has been taped off. Next, cut along the inside of the tape, to detach from the taped-off, scrap piece of fleece.

5. Repeat steps three and four –
Now repeat the above steps (for measuring, marking, taping, and cutting) based on the width. You should end with, (for these dimensions) in this case, a perfect square of fleece.

6. Repeat steps three through five on fleece (color 2) –
Next, repeat the above steps (for measuring, marking, taping, and cutting) to create a corresponding square of fleece (color 2).

To save time—Simply lay out the previously cut square of fleece (color 1) on top of the uncut fleece (color 2). After making sure to smooth out all the wrinkles, use the square as a guide, and tape flush against the sides. Then remove the previously cut fleece, and cut out the perfect square from the inside of the tape.

7. Use pins to fasten two sides of the fleece together –

Pinned Corner

Now, lay the fleece pieces on top of each other. The smooth sides should be touching, while the nubby, final sides should be facing outwards. Choose two adjacent sides to fasten down. Then, using a ruler as a guide, locate 1.5″ away from the border. And every few inches, use pins to fasten the fabrics together.

8. Insert the cushion & use pins to fasten the remaining sides of fleece –

Pinned Corner with Cushion

Because the fibers of the fleece stick against the texture of the foam, it’s best to insert the foam cushion in between the fleece layers now. Once in-between layers, move the cushion flush against the two sides fastened with pins, and centered in the square fleece form. Then pin the remaining two sides of fleece together, encapsulating the foam.

Note: If any of the sides seem to have excess fleece pinned off, don’t worry—it happens! Once pinned, you can use a carpenters square (or go by eye) to trim off the excess fleece.

9. Discard the corners and make the fringe –

Fringed Corner

Measuring Fringe

Remove the four pointed corners, by cutting out four square notches. Then, using a ruler as a guide, begin cutting the fringe border. Every 1″ (wide) along the edge, cut inward through both layers, stopping just before reaching the pins.

10. Make slits in the fringe –

Rolling FleeceFringe Slits
Now, one at a time, each layered 1” fringe needs to roll upwards and inwards over itself. Once held there, cut a small notch (approximately 0.25–0.375″) through the layers. When unrolled, this will make a 0.5–0.75″ slit in each layered fringe.

11. Braid the fringe (it’s a lot like crocheting!) –

Braiding Doggy Bed3 Types of Fringe
Choose a side to start braiding the fringe. Locate 3–5 fringes away from the right corner, and
select a fringe to begin. Insert the crochet hook through the slit of the top of the standing* fringe. Then insert the hook through the next* fringe. So on, and so forth, until the working fringe reaches the last fringe before the starting (beginning) fringe. (See notes for more information*)

To make the braid alternate color—Have the crochet hook through the standing fringe. Then notice which color (1 or 2) is closest to the next fringe. So, if it’s color 1, insert the hook through color 1, and vice versa.

Note: Sometimes it’s tight, so you’ll have to pull harder than you want to get the braid to go through the slit. Just be gentle, and try not to pull too hard that it rips the slit. Also, sometimes when pulling through the slit, you might have to twist the fringe to keep the braid as flush and good-looking as possible.

12. Finish with a knot –

Braiding Knot

Finally, with the last fringe still intact, take one layer and insert through the slit of the last working fringe. Then take the other layer and insert through the slit of the starting fringe. Finish by tying the two layers together, and hide the knot by inserting backwards into the bedding’s interior.

And voilà, your dog’s very own braided doggy bed!

Doggy Bed with Treats

Notes / Descriptions:

Nubby: the side of fabric that feels softer and longer, considered the “right” side; whereas, the “wrong side” feels denser and shorter (i.e. like felt.)

Standing: the fringe that your crochet hook is inserted into first.

Laying: the fringe that your crochet hook is still inserted into (previously the standing), but has now been laid through the next fringe.

Next: the fringe that is next to the laying fringe, that will be inserted with the crochet hook next

The size and shape of foam is up to you! You’ll have to make dimensions based on the specific size you choose. Just remember to add the extra 1.5″ border (see step 2).

We used prototypes to determine that a shorter fringe made for a better braided look. Thus we chose the 1.5″ fringe border.


The braiding fleece technique goes to: Elemental Carbon


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