a new bed for Blackjack and other sundry

I’ve been feeling sorry for old Blackjack and decided he needed a new bed.  He’s not getting any younger (was 9 this summer) and is beginning to suffer with stiff joints.  I did buy him a new cheap foam mattress the other week, which is up in our bedroom for night-time . . . but during the daytime he only had a thin furry rug to curl up on, and insulate him from the cold of the tiled floor.

Anyway . . . my little brain started wondering how to make a comfy bed, using only what I already have at home.  I had loads of suitable fabric but it was the filling I had to think about. Blackjack is considered a “large” dog: a Labrador cross, he weighs in at around 35 kilos and he therefore needs quite a large surface to lie on.

Light bulb went on above my head . . . and I’ve sacrificed an old single duvet quilt (polyster-filled)  All our children are grown up, with partners, so when they visit I never need single quilts anymore.  And, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to buy new if and when I become a grandma and have grandkids to stay.

So . . .

bjack bed01

this is what I did.  Single quilt measured 200cm x 140cm, so I folded it in half and in half again to make something really thick that measured 100cm x 70cm.  With a really strong nylon thread, I sewed through the binding part pulling it together, but not too tight.  And therefore had a sort of mattress.

If I need to wash it, it will be easy just to cut stitches, open quilt & wash, then quickly sew back into shape.

Fabric next . . . I inherited boxes and boxes of fabric from my mother-in-law, so had a rifle through.  There was lots of heavy, dark stuff that would have been suitable but I thought it was a bit dull. I was, after all, making a mattress to go in our living room!  So I chose a turquoisey fabric.  It’s a sort of itchy, scratchy heavy weight. Probably meant for making coats or jackets . . . I had no qualms cutting into it to make a mattress cover!

bjack bed 02

I simply made a large envelope, and added three strips of velcro to both sides of the opening for fastening.  I actually have no idea if this fabric is machine washable or not, but I’m assuming it is.  The important thing is it’s robust. Blackjack, like all dogs, tends to scratch his bed before he settles down, and heavy-weight fabric is therefore essential to stand up to big dog claws.

bjack bed 03

And here is Blackjack, trying out his new bed ^^  I’ve plopped it on top of his furry rug so that he will have extra insulation from the cold tiles.  And I’m now thinking, I could very easily make him a second identical mattress for our bedroom.  I have more old single quilts. Have reams and reams of fabric.  Yep, I’ll make him a second one Rire

If he doesn’t use it, the cats probably will . . . although for the moment they’re happy.

cats in box

I’ve been ordering things for xmas and everything seems to be arriving in large boxes.

Oh and last photos to answer a query someone made about eggs.  I was asked how I knew which hen laid which egg.


It’s quite simple really.  Each hen lays her distinct shell colour and slightly different shape/size.  Bottom left is the lighter coloured shell of Miss Marple (she’s our black & tan hen).  Bottom right is a Miranda egg (our red hen). Her eggs are the largest, slightly more elongated than Miss Marple’s and the shell is a shade darker.  Which leaves Miss Moneypenny (our Marans-Cuckoo) whose eggs are always the smallest and also with the darkest shell.


It took me a few weeks of observation, when we first got the hens, to work it all out. However I do find it useful to know who is laying. If one of the hens stops laying for several days in a row, then I know to keep an eye on her and make sure all is well.

At the moment, 3 eggs a day is a frequent occurance but egg-laying will slow down as the days get shorter and winter arrives.


14 thoughts on “a new bed for Blackjack and other sundry

  1. What a clever idea! I have an Ikea chair which is getting a bit ‘bony’, the stuffing is thin and the frame is starting to make itself felt. I feel a soft, squishy cover coming on – we too have more doonas than we know what to do with in this climate!

  2. Claire, no doubt Blackjack appreciates your innovation – such a great idea for his bed …. and it looks fabulous, too. The cats seem to be quite happy with a cardboard box of paper – so typical, lol.

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