Updated: Feb 25
Happy Valentine's Day! I decided I would do a tutorial on how to make these easy, do-it-yourself, foot rest mats for your bunny. They are washable, soft, customizable and totally adorable! Let's get started.
Difficulty: Beginner - Intermediate
Time required: 60-120 minutes
Here is a list of supplies you will need! I will list what I have on hand as well as inexpensive alternatives.
12x12 Quilting Ruler (You can make a template for this out of paper or cardboard)
Rotary cutter and self healing cutting mat (Some plain ol' scissors do the trick too!)
Quilting clips (Straight Pins)
1 or 2 different fleece fabrics. I chose 2.
Sewing Machine (You could also sew this project by hand with an embroidery needle)
Note: If you will be using scissors instead of a rotary cutter, you will need something to trace your fabric with such as a fabric marker.
If you are sewing by hand you may also want a thimble.
First off, let's prep our fabric! For this step you will need your 12x12 ruler, cutting utensil of choice and fabric. Cut out two 12x12 squares from the U-haul blanket, and two 12x12 squares from the fleece. If you used two different prints of fleece like I did, then you will just need one 12x12 square from each print. You can customize these to be any size, this is just the size I like to work with for my bunnies.
Tip: Use the edge of the ruler to cut if you have a rotary cutter and self-healing mat. If you are using scissors, then trace your ruler, remove your ruler and then cut.
Now to layer them in the correct order. This part is tricky, and even though I have made dozens of these mats, I still make mistakes on this step so follow this carefully.
1. Place down a 12x12 U-haul blanket cut.
2. On top of that you will place down a 12x12 cut of fleece. (Good side up! Meaning the side you want to see when the project is finished will be looking you in the face.)
3. Next, you will place down your second cut of fleece. (Good side down! meaning the two sides of fleece that you want to see when the project is finished are kissing.)
4. Lastly, you will place down your second 12x12 U-haul blanket to finish the fabric sandwich.
After you have them all lined up, its time to clip or pin your fabric sandwich together. How many clips or pins you use is all up to you and how comfortable you are with sewing and keeping things lined up in the sewing machine. I place one clip on each of the 4 sides. If you don't have quilting clips you can also use straight pins.
Once you have it clipped or pinned, it's time to sew. Load the fabric sandwich into your sewing machine. This may be a bit tricky. I normally hold up the foot leaver as high as it will go to get it under the needle. I like to start at the clip I placed in the center of one side, since we will need to leave a 4 inch opening to flip our project right side out. Line your presser foot up with the edge of the fabric. The fabric is slippery and bulky, so to make it a bit easier to manage, give yourself 1 inch seam allowance. Just remember, the bigger the seam allowance, the smaller the finished project.
If you are sewing by hand prepare your needle and thread. I prefer to double my thread over so that I am stitching with 2 strands. You can use a simple running stitch all the way around. Remember to leave a 4 inch opening to turn your project right side out. I will link a video of a running stitch at the bottom of the tutorial.
Tip: Don't forget to backstitch where you start sewing, and where you stop sewing, on either side of the 4 inch opening. The fabric is very bulky and hard to maneuver in one of the next steps and you want these points to be strong. To backstitch, just re-stitch approximately 3-5 stitches over what you currently have sewn and back again.
Now that you are done sewing, we need to trim off any bulky fabric from the edges. Don't cut too close to the edge. We don't want to snip our stitch holding the project together. You just want uniform edges.
Now that you have trimmed off those extra bits that may have slipped around while you were sewing, it's time to flip your project right side out! The corners are a bit tricky to get pushed out all of the way so I use scissors to help.
Yay! Your bunny foot rest is almost done! You will be left with the 4 inch opening and it's now time to get that stitched closed. Clip or pin the opening closed to make sewing it shut easier. To do this you want your fabric rolled toward the inside of the project. It should look like lips and once clipped shut, you should no longer be able to see the U-haul blanket.
Sewing machine users, don't make the same mistake I did and try to sew this closed on your machine! Take your time to hand stitch. I busted my needle trying to go through 8 layers of fabric, lol. I used a simple running stitch for the sake of this tutorial but you could also do an invisible closing stitch, or a whip stitch. Both will be linked below.
Once you have tied off your thread you can be done, but I like to do a nice finishing stich to tac down my fabric. It really helps the project look complete! hand stitch or load your fabric into your machine and sew around one or two times along the edges, avoiding the bulky seams.
And you are done! Congrats on finishing your Bunny Foot Rest Mat! These mats are machine washable. If you have a wool breed, or a bunny in molt, just run a lint roller over it and toss it in the wash. The U-haul fabric absorbs and wicks away any urine that may get on the mat keeping your bunny's feet clean and dry! If you have any questions about this tutorial leave them in comments of this blog or shoot me a message through the website and I can help you out!
Running Stitch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4nhj8kMpAI
Invisible Closing Stitch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbE5hXt27uU
Whip Stitch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9kGyZDWZcA