Friday, October 7, 2011

Custom Made Doggie Ramp

One of our neighbors has an elderly dog who has trouble climbing up and down their back steps leading to the yard .  She asked me to design a special ramp for him, and I just installed it today.

Measuring approximately 3' X 5', I constructed this out of plywood and used 2 X 4's on the base.  I encased the top layer of wood with indoor/outdoor carpeting  to give the old boy some traction, and I added horizontal strips of wood to help him on the incline.

If your dog has a hard time walking, is recovering from any kind of leg surgery or has hip dysplasia, this is extremely helpful.  I can do custom orders. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Building a Hinged Storage Ottoman

My wife asked me if I could construct an ottoman out of African mud cloth for her business (Threads of Change). I decided to make one that served two purposes, one that would be an eye-catching piece of home decor but also serve as a storage trunk.  The finished piece ended up measuring 16 1/2" (width) x 20 1/2" (length)  X 21" (height), but you can customize this to any measurements.

I started off constructing the base from 5 pieces of store-bought 1/2"  plywood, which I constructed into a box.  I painted the box white.

I then machine stapled standard (thick) batting to all exterior sides.  This gives the ottoman a soft feel and it provides a cushion for the fabric, especially along the edges which can cause wear and tear from underneath. 

To upholster the box, I measured the circumference of the box with a measuring tape, added 1", and cut one length-wise piece of mud cloth fabric using that measurement (in this case, 16-1/2" + 20-1/2" +16-1/2" + 20-1/2" + 1" = 75").  I had my wife sew a seam, joining the two raw edges with 1/2" seam allowance.  We now had a circular slip cover. I slipped this over over and around the box, taking care to line the seam up right on top of one of the back edges. I then machine-stapled the mudcloth to the top and bottom rims. 

I added a piece of black broadcloth underneath, to hide the raw edges and the wood.

Next, I moved on to the lid (top) of the ottoman.  I machine-stapled batting to the top of the lid, and then I added a very thick piece of foam, which I bought at Joann Fabrics.  (I bought a large piece of foam and then cut it to size.)

I spraymounted the foam piece to the top of the lid, on top of the batting.

To upholster, I cut an oversize piece of mud cloth, folded the edges underneath, and covered it over and around the top, stapling the fabric in place underneath the lid.   I covered the underside of the lid with black fabric.

I then screwed in a set of brass hinges and  attached the top lid to the box.

Finally, I added (screwed in) four wooded feet to the bottom of the piece.

There you have it. You can can see the finished product on my wife's Etsy shop:
Threads of Change