Punch Needle Your Pet's Name for a Totally Custom Bed

Forget run-of-the-mill pet beds — your furry friend deserves a custom design. Whether you're making one for Ollie or Spot or Freckles, this needle punched bed is so comfy and cozy it's sure to be put to good use.

Personalized Punch Needle Bed

Level: Easy

Christie and Isa make personalized pet beds for their furry friends by punch needling through wool to make durable beds for sweet-dreaming dogs.
An update for our customers

What You Need

Good to Know

When using a punch needle, you’ll need a no-slip hoop. A regular embroidery hoop won’t keep the fabric tight enough for the loops to stay in place.


1. Get Ready to Punch

Place your letter stencils so they face backward on the wrong side of the pieces of wool fabric you’ll use for the top of your pet bed. Each piece should be about the same size and should coordinate in color and style.

Good to Know

We spelled out the name “Ollie,” placing a different letter on different pieces of scrap wool. If you have a large enough piece, you could also place all the letters on the same cut of wool. If you do, skip step 9.

Using a Sharpie or tailor’s chalk, trace the letters.

Once the letters are transferred onto the wool, hoop up one letter. Then, hold the punch needle with the groove facing up and thread the yarn through the screw eye (aiming the yarn toward the slot). Pull the working yarn back until you feel it slide into the groove. (It should move freely through the needle.)

2. Punch the First Letter Outline

Flip your hoop so the wrong side of the wool faces up. Begin punching the outline of your letter. To do this, you want to punch your needle through the fabric, pushing it all the way down so the handle hits the fabric. Bring the needle back up, drag the tip across the fabric and insert right next to the previous stitch.

Pro Tip

As you punch, keep the needle with the groove facing up and punch away from you. Turn your work over regularly to make sure your loops are all the same height on the right side. If they’re uneven, you’re either lifting the needle too high or not punching down all the way.

3. Fill It In

Once the outline of the letter is done, fill in the inside of your letter.

Pro Tip

When using a #14 fine “mini” Oxford punch needle, your punches should be right next to each other, leaving a row in between your stitches to prevent overpacking, which makes your letter lumpy.

4. Clean Up the Front

After you’re done punching, the front side of your letter will look messy with long ends (aka tails) sticking out and some uneven loops. There may even be loops in the wrong place. Don’t freak out — everyone’s work looks a little funky at this stage.

There are two techniques to help clean things up:

Snipping: Before you move your hoop to the next letter, flip it over so the front faces up. Use embroidery scissors to cut off all the tails that are longer than the loops. If you have some too-tall loops, cut them to the same height as the others.

Poking: For loops in the wrong place, use the point of your embroidery scissors to reposition them, playing around until your loops are where you want them. When you’re done, remove your letter from the hoop.

5. Repeat

When you’ve finished your first letter, hoop up the second letter and repeat steps 2-4. Keep repeating until all of your punch needle letters are complete.

6. Steam Press

Steam pressing your letters will make them uncurl and lie flat. Run a towel under cold water, then wring it out. With the front facing up, lay the towel on top of your first letter.

With your iron on the highest setting, hold it down in one spot for about 15 seconds. Pick up your iron, move it to a different spot and repeat until you’ve steam pressed the entire area. Continue until you’ve steam pressed all your letters.

7. Trim

Turn over the letters so the wrong sides face up to show the loops. Trim the sides of the wool fabric, allowing room for a ¼” seam allowance.

8. Interface the Letters

Cut out a rectangle piece of iron-on fabric interfacing that is slightly larger than each punched letter. On the back side of the panel, iron a patch of interfacing to the embroidered area of each letter to make sure the punched letter won’t loosen over time.

9. Sew the Top of the Pet Bed

Place two of your letter panels right sides together, with the edges aligned, and pin in place. Stitch using a ¼” seam allowance. Press the seam open.

Repeat with each letter until the top panel of your pet bed is complete.

9. Make the Back of the Pet Bed

Cut two overlapping pieces of backing fabric that together equal the same size as the top of the pet bed, including a ¼” seam allowance.

Place the overlapping backing fabric and the top panel right sides together, with outer edges aligned. Pin in place. Stitch around all four sides.

Good to Know

While many pillowcases require you to leave an opening on the edge to flip the case right side out, you don’t need to do that here. The overlapping backing fabric creates an envelope-style pillowcase, so there will always be an opening in the middle of your pet bed.

10. Flip It Out

Turn your pet bed right side out. Gently poke out the corners. Insert the pillow sham and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous punch needle pet bed!

Good to Know

Because we used a pillow insert over stuffing, it’s easy to remove the pillow and hand wash the case whenever the pet bed gets dirty. Just be sure to let it hang dry.

Find Your Next Project

Punch needle your way through a wide array of fun projects.

Whether you're hosting a whole crew of friends or simply serving your favorite dishes for a relaxing night in, there's nothing cuter than setting said meals on top of trivets that totally speak to your personality. These pig's head and lamb's tongue designs from our Maker Knows Best series are easy to make using basic punch needle techniques. Grab the templates, thread your needle and start punching!
Make your own punch needle tote bag in just a few hours! In this short project tutorial, designer Rose Pearlman shares pro tips for completing her abstract design. It's a quick and easy project for fiber fanatics of all levels.
We can't get enough of this design by Arounna Khounnoraj — it's cute, trendy and easy to knock out in a weekend. Plus, it's a great way to use all those yarn scraps you have lying around. Let's get punching!

January 21, 2020
More to Explore
Now Reading
Punch Needle Your Pet's Name for a Totally Custom Bed