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How to sew a cat bed from a sweater

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How to sew a cat bed from a sweater – see how to upcycle an old hoodie into a cozy kitten bed.

How to sew a cat bed from a sweater

My friend fosters tiny kittens with her whole family, isn’t that a sweet volunteer gig! We got to visit a new litter and then a few days later she mentioned how much they love fleece and to save any of it that I might have leftover. It just so happened that my daughter had said she wanted to get rid of a sherpa hoodie that very morning! I did a little brainstorming and chopped it up to make it into a proper kitten bed; it turned out pretty well and they loved it so I thought I’d share a full tutorial in case you want to make one too! I think this would work well for a regular crewneck sweater as well, I’ll have to experiment with it. My big request is that if you’re inspired to stitch some of these for a local shelter that you call/email and ask if they can use them first! I used to work in a nonprofit and spend a chunk of time rehoming or sorting well meaning donations we couldn’t actually use for one reason or another!

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upcycled sherpa project

Before I sent it over, I needed some models! My adult cats were a touch too big for it and also completely uncooperative.

upcycled hoodie project

This is my favorite type of upcycle because truly, who is going to buy this ratty sherpa fleece jacket from a thrift store? No one. But now it is useful and loved! Look at those babies!

foster kitten sewing

They like to sleep in a little kitty puddle isn’t it the sweetest!

sewing for kittens project

I originally planned to just chop up the hood and use it as stuffing but my friend mentioned that they like hiding under blankets so I reattached it backwards to create a little hidey-cave!

Pin this tutorial for how to sew a cat bed from a sweater with this link or photo:

upcycled cat bed tutorial

How to sew a cat bed from a sweater

Ready to try making your own?


sherpa hoodie sewing

  • Fleece hoodie- this was a kids 10/12 and fit baby kittens well but not adult cats.
  • Sewing clips
  • Walking foot suitable for your machine (here is the one I use for my Brother)
  • Stuffing
  • Hand sewing needle & thread
  • Rotary cutter or scissors – I actually preferred scissors with how thick the fabric was.
  • Polyfill or other stuffing.


step 1 upcycle sewing blog

Step 1- Chop off the bottom waistband, put it off to the side to use later.

step 2 upcycle sewing blog

Step 2- Turn the sweater inside out and pin the bottom fabric together and then sew with a 1/2 seam allowance (the wide SA lets your feed dogs get both edges well! You can trim it smaller after if you want, I didn’t.

step 3 upcycle sewing blog

Step 3- Cut off the hood, leaving a big chunk of fabric above the seamline, pin, and sew.

step 4 upcycle sewing blog

Step 4- Cut off the cuffs and sew.

step 5 upcycle sewing blog

Step 5- Flip the jacket right side out, poking out all the corners, and stuff! I included cut up pieces of the cuff and polyfill. Make sure to fill the arms as well.

step 6 upcycle sewing blog

Step 6- Hand sew the edges of the arms together, forming a ‘U’ shape. Also take a few hand stitches and tack the arms down in place on the body section as well.

step 7 upcycle sewing blog

Step 7- This last step was tricky to photograph but I took the hood and lined up the raw edge where I cut with the back of the ‘U’ shaped arms and hand sewed it on, forming a little blanket over top. You’re done!

sherpa fleece upcycle sewing project


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Tuesday 17th of October 2023

This is a great upcycle project. I used a robe instead.Just a tip for anyone who makes this for their cat: use an item that hasn't been washed. Cats or at least my own cat,likes their owner's scent. Your cat will lay on it immediately.Thank you!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 6th of November 2023

great tip! thanks for reading!

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