When Laika was a puppy, just five months old, I made her a lime green bean bag-ish mattress to go in her crate. As I mentioned at the time, she had gotten better about only chewing on her toys and not furniture, shoes, windowsills, etc. Well, she'd gotten better, but was clearly not completely broken of the habit. A couple weeks later, we came home one evening after dinner out to find Laika looking simultaneously guilty and proud of herself, surrounded by bits of green fleece and foam. Sigh. Yep, that's puppyhood for you. So we went back to another folded up old blanket in her crate after that, and she only nibbled on it a couple times.
Flash forward a couple years, and she hasn't chewed anything up since then, so let's try this again, shall we? This time, I used remnants of old jeans and other denim bits (I have two big plastic bins of just denim). I cut long rectangles from the legs of several old jeans and pieced them together into two large rectangles, about a foot longer and wider than her crate and in order from light to dark for a sort of ombre effect. I laid the two rectangles down with right sides facing. Then I took apart an old floor cushion we never use to salvage its foam, which will fit perfectly in Laika's crate. I plan to make flaps on each side that will fold up like a bumper in a baby's crib, so I cut a square out of each corner of the denim pieces and evened up the edges.
Next, I serged all the edges and snipped up eight pieces of elastic, each about 2 inches long.
As I sewed the two large pieces of denim together, leaving a hole for turning right-side-out and stuffing later, I sandwiched a piece of elastic in between the layers at each outer corner. Then I went back and added a large black button to each corner as well.
I cut some foam into long strips and stuffed the first bumper flap. Then I sew through both layers of denim as close to the foam as I could to keep it in place. I repeated this process on the two shorter end flaps, then the center of the mattress, and finally the last long flap. Then I grabbed a needle and thread and sat down to watch some television while I hand-sewed the hole closed.
As soon as I was finished stitching, I looped each bit of elastic around the adjacent button to hold the flaps up, then set it on the floor and called Laika over to check it out. I think she approved. She even lay in it next to my desk while I worked the next day, looking out the window, keeping on an eye out for any critters in her yard.
Unfortunately, sometimes, my sewing is just too good, you know? It seems Laika actually prefers her new crate pad to sleeping in the king size bed with us. Yeah, that smarts.
She even naps in her crate during the day now, or just sits there and stares intently out the back windows.
But at least this is my view in front of my desk as I work most days. And maybe, when it starts to get cooler again, she'll go back to snuggling with us at night. For body warmth, of course, not because she loves us or needs us around or anything.