Pet Bed Workshop

Handmade pet beds are donated to area animal shelters
Hundreds of handmade pet beds like this one are made during our heavily-attended service event.

Winter time is hardest for homeless animals, and HeightsNEXT helps by hosting a pet bed workshop. In partnership with the Columbia Heights Public Library, this is one of our most popular city-wide service projects, drawing in people of all ages.


Anyone can do this! There is no sewing, just hand-tying.


February 13 – March 7, 2022

How it works

Step 1: Sign up for a kit

Register for Take and Make Service Event: Pet Beds for Animals Shelters on the Columbia Heights Public Library calendar. Seats (supplies) are limited.

No seats left? Learn how to prepare your own fleece!

Step 2: Pick up your kit

You will receive an email when your kit is ready for pickup during the week of February 13, 2022.

Columbia Heights Public Library
3939 Central Avenue NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Columbia Heights Public Library

Step 3: Make your pet bed

See our easy Instructions tab at the top of this page.

Volunteers tie fabric into simple pet beds.

Step 4: Return it to the library

Bring your completed pet bed back to the Columbia Heights Public Library by March 7, 2022.

All of the pet beds you make are donated to Midwest Animal Rescue & Services (MARS) of Minneapolis.

Donate your unwanted fabric year-round!

HeightsNEXT accepts donations of clean polar fleece fabric and flannel sheets, thick blankets, old sweatshirts, fabric scraps, etc. Just contact us to arrange a drop-off time and location.

How to Make a Fleece Pet Bed

Your kit from the Columbia Heights Library should include the following:

Illustration of an instruction sheet.
1 instruction sheet
Illustration of two pieces of fleece fabric.
2 pieces of fleece fabric

Step 1

Line up both pieces of fabric. Lay a ruler or yard stick even with the cut-out corners (about 4 inches from the edge of the fabric). Cut a slit every inch until it reaches the ruler.

Note: You will be cutting through both pieces of fabric at the same time.

Scissors cutting 1 inch fringe strips into fleece fabric

Step 2

Starting at one corner, tie the two pieces of fabric together, strip by strip. Use a double knot or square knot to make sure it doesn’t come undone. The knot should be snug to the uncut end of the strip.

Tying double knots into fleece fringe strips.

Step 3

Tie together all of the strips, leaving an opening large enough to add the stuffing.

Then, add your own stuffing:

  • Batting
  • Fiber fill
Adding fiber fill stuffing through an opening in the fleece fringe strips.

OR, make your own stuffing from clean, repurposed fabrics:

  • Old blankets
  • Old towels
  • Old sweatshirts
  • Old socks

Be sure to cut your stuffing into smaller chunks (about 6 inches square) so the bed can be fluffed and won’t have big lumps in it.

Step 4

Once stuffed, tie the remaining strips together to close up the bed.

Finished fleece pet bed

Want to make more pet beds from scratch?

Here’s how to measure your own fleece and get it ready to become a pet bed.

Step 1

Get some fleece. We recommended choosing one basic color for the back, and a fancier pattern for the front. This way, it is easy to tell the front and back apart when tying the edges.

Step 2

Choose a size from this chart. Make sure you have enough for both the front and the back of the pet bed.

Pet Bed SizeFleece DimensionsFinished Size
X-Small20 x 2612 x 18
Small26 x 3618 x 24
Medium28 x 3820 x 30
Large32 x 4424 x 36
X-Large36 x 5025 x 42
XX-Large38 x 5630 x 48

Step 3

Measure and cut the fabric. Cut off any hemmed or blanket-stitched edges, because they are not safe for pets. Cut 4 inch squares out of each corner. Save the scraps to use as stuffing.

Finally, cut 1 inch wide strips around all four sides.

Fleece with 4 inch corners cut out.
Fleece for a Medium sized pet bed will look like this.

That’s it! Now the bed is ready for assembly.