Yes, DIY Dog Crate Slipcovers Are a Thing, and They’re Genius

updated Nov 24, 2020
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Credit: Alicia Kihlander

Long before adopting Parker, a golden retriever mix, Virginia resident Alicia Kihlander knew she didn’t want to display just any old dog crate in her apartment. “My style is very coastal with hints of Scandinavian elements, so most of my apartment is filled with white pieces, light wood tones, and neutral colors,” Kihlander explains. “The idea of having a huge black crate as a piece of furniture in my living room was just not an option.”

A pricy, custom crate wasn’t happening either, so Kihlander thought the next best thing might be to camouflage the eyesore with a fabric slipcover. “I scoured Etsy and found a few covers that I loved and would blend nicely with my current furniture and style, but with those came a $200 price tag,” she says. “I came to the conclusion that I could very easily replicate the piece I liked the most for a fraction of the price.”

Having sewed in the past, Kihlander was certainly up to the task, but you don’t have to be a pro to take on a project like this. “There are many different crate cover styles to choose from, some more simple than others,” she notes. “Mine was somewhere in the middle—not quite beginner because of the addition of functioning flaps, loops, and buttons—but not expert-level either like some the pricier ones I had seen.” After getting a rough estimate of her crate’s dimensions, she got to work replicating a coastal cool slipcover, which you can see below. The overall design is similar to something you might find on a skirted entry table or sink.

Credit: Alicia Kihlander

Kihlander didn’t use a pattern to create the cover, which is made from a duck canvas material that she purchased at Joann Fabric. “It was the perfect thickness and is also a durable fabric, which is perfect for pets,” she notes. While her design is somewhat simple, it does feature roll-up doors, which can be fixed in place with buttons. A feature like this helps to make pups feel secure and also can help with sleep training.

Credit: Alicia Kihlander

To make the cover, Kihlander first unrolled the fabric, draped it over the crate, and trimmed it accordingly. “I did this for all four sides and for the top and then pinned the inside out fabric seams together at the corners until the fabric was snug around the crate,” she explains. “I then carefully wiggled it off so I could sew the seams.”

Kihlander notes that the trickiest part was adding those door flaps mentioned above. Sewing fabric loops for the tortoiseshell button fasteners, which she purchased from Mood Fabrics, also took some additional time, but Kihlander still completed the project in just a few hours. The total cost? Only $40, thanks in large part to Joann’s frequent store coupons.

For a similar but even more affordable cover, Kihlander recommends drop cloths from a hardware store or home center, which are also no-fuss and super durable. If you’re not a sewer and the Etsy version is too expensive for your liking, it may be worth buying fabric and finding a seamstress, tailor, or pro in your area to take this small job on for a little bit less.

Kihlander couldn’t be happier with the final result. “This cover made my crate look like [it’s] part of the room,” she says. “I plan on getting a tray and styling the top of it like a coffee table,” she notes. “It is functional but beautiful! I think that is my motto for all of my dog items.”