Because they are important members of my family, I celebrate my pets' birthdays, include them in parties and, of course, shower them with presents, especially at Christmas. This year, all of them - cats, dogs and birds - will be receiving some gifts that are homemade and practical, and others that are fun and stimulating.
I wanted to share my ideas for gifts in this column so that your pets can enjoy the holidays with new clothes and accessories.
For more tips, visit www. marthastewart. com/petcrafts.
CAT BED: Cats love the softness and warmth of the two cushions nestled inside this basket, one on top of the other; an electric pet-bed warmer sits between them.
Any shallow basket can be used for the base. The one I used for this project measures 14 inches wide, 19 inches long and 6 inches deep.
You can make the quilted fabric - see www.martha stewart.com/petcrafts for the how-to - or buy it. I used a soft chambray bedsheet for my quilted pieces.
1. Place basket base on kraftpaper, and trace around it. Cut out, then trim the pattern as needed to fit inside basket (a seam allowance isn't necessary).
2. Use the pattern to cut out 2 pieces of 2-inch-thick wool batting and 2 pieces of cotton fabric. For quilted pieces, follow online instructions or cut out 2 pieces of store-bought quilting.
3. Sandwich a piece of wool batting between a piece of quilted fabric and a piece of cotton fabric. The top and bottom layers should face right side out. Pin through all the layers. Stitch along the circumference, 1/4-inch from edge. (Check periodically to be sure your needle is going through all 3 layers.) Remove pins.
4. Cut a piece of 1/2-inch-wide bias tape to go around the edge of the cushion, plus 1 inch. Pin to edge. Fold under last 1/2-inch, leaving 1/2-inch overlapping. Stitch. Remove pins.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to make second cushion. Sandwich bed warmer between cushions, and place in basket.
DOG NECKLACE: All you need to make this glittering snap-on necklace is grosgrain ribbon and the kind of dangling rhinestone edging that's sold by the yard at fabric stores.
1. Cut a -inch length of light-gray grosgrain ribbon to your dog's collar length, plus 4 inches. Trim the ribbon ends with pinking shears.
2. Fold under 1/4-inch of the ribbon at 1 end, and then fold under 1 inch more; stitch in place. Turn the ribbon over, and repeat at other end.
3. Unsnap two -inch snaps. Hand-stitch the snap sockets (the indented sides of snaps), one beside the other, to 1-inch hem. Stitch the snap balls (the protruding sides of snaps) on reverse side of other end, so snaps will meet when hems are brought together.
4. Cut rhinestone trim (dangles or droplets) to fit hemmed collar, minus 1 inch. With a needle and a doubled length of thread, stitch the trim to the front of the ribbon, beginning past hem with snap sockets attached. *