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Small Pet Bonding Scarf
We all want to give our furry loved ones the attention they deserve… but sometimes we also want to scroll Pinterest! This blog post will show you how to make a quick and easy bonding scarf / small pet carrier so you can have the best of both worlds. All you need is a little bit of fleece, some elastic, and of course a furry friend!
These bonding scarves can be customized to fit a variety of pet sizes (although I think anything larger than a very small cat is going to give you some neck and back problems…). They’re also helpful for:
- kids who are still learning how to interact with small pets and need help giving them the proper support
- fidgety or anxious pets, Brady (pictured above) likes to squirm around a lot and I find that holding her in the scarf keeps her a lot calmer
If you can think of another great use for these scarves be sure to mention it in the comments section.
Let’s get started!
You are going to need:
- One 17-inch x 45-inch piece of fleece
- Two 24-inch long pieces of 3/8″ width elastic
Depending on the size of your pet, you may want to cut a taller or longer piece of fleece. In the image above, my piece is slightly smaller than the size I recommend. That’s because when I finished, I felt that my pouch was a bit too small for my guinea pigs (see the first picture of me and Brady). After playing around with sizes, I would recommend the following heights (these will affect the pocket size of your pouch):
- 15-inches for hamsters
- 17-inches for chinchillas or guinea pigs
- 19-inches for ferrets or kittens
When we tried the scarf made from a 15″x40″ rectangle on my boyfriend, we found that Brady was uncomfortably close to his face. Depending on how close you want your pet to be to your face (and whether you’re making this for an adult or child), I would recommend the following lengths:
- 40-inches for a very close fit
- 45-inches for medium-closeness
- 50-inches for a loose fit
You can also adjust the length of the elastic if you find that 24″ is too close to your face. But put your pet in the sling before deciding because depending on how chonky your fluff ball is, the elastic could stretch a lot!
You can make this pattern with any fabric you like. I chose fleece simply because I have a lot of it lying around and it is my go-to absorbent fabric for any accessories I’m going to be making for my little poop machines (…erm I mean guinea pigs!). Fleece is also really easy to find. You can up-cycle an old blanket, or pick some up at your local Jo-Anns where there’s pretty much always fleece in the remnants bin for 50% off. Don’t forget to consider what it’s going to feel like on your neck, though. Fleece will provide a nice bit of cushion from the weight of your pet.
If you don’t have 3/8″ width elastic, 1/2″ will work too, or you can double up and use four pieces of 1/4″ elastic (2 1/4″ pieces will equal one of my one 3/8″ pieces).
Now that you have all of your supplies assembled it’s time to …assemble them!
Step 1: Sew the two short sides of your rectangle in half leaving a 1/4″ seam.
Step 2: Sew each of your elastic pieces into loops by overlapping the ends and zig-zag stitching across them. I recommend overlapping at least 1/2″. The stitching doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to hold. I used zig-zag stitch to give it a bit of stretch.
You could probably also tie the elastic pieces into loops but I felt that would be a bit awkward and bulky.
Step 3: Sew roughly 1″ of the top and bottom edges of the fleece loop you created in Step 1 closed over the elastic (being careful not to sew into the elastic!). This step is a bit confusing so I’ve taken a lot of pictures to hopefully make it easy to understand.
In Step 1, you essentially made a giant fleece loop. The top and bottom edges of this loop (the open ends) are what you need to sew closed around the elastic. Starting with one of these edges (I like to start on the seam), fold it over the elastic loop you made in Step 2 and start sewing it closed.
Here is a photo of what this looks like on my sewing machine. At the end of this step, the elastic loop will be entirely encompassed in fleece.
It’s a slow process and you will need to stop every couple of inches or so to adjust the elastic and fold the next piece of fleece over. You also want to be very careful not to catch any of the elastic in your stitches because the elastic needs to move freely inside the fleece or your scarf won’t stretch like it should. As you make your way around the edge of the fleece you’ll start to run out of elastic before you run out of fleece. The edge of the fleece is ~40″ and the edge of the fabric is only 24″. You’ll need to start bunching up the fleece along the elastic.
And here is a video of this step. You can see that I have to pause every so often to position the elastic.
Repeat this process for both edges of the fleece with each elastic loop and you’re done!
Place your head through the two elastic loops, slip your furry friend into the pouch, and enjoy!
Let me know if you try this project in the comments below or tag me on Instagram, @cassianjanay, with pictures of your cute fur babies!