I had so much fun making a dog toy with my coworker last week that I asked her if we could do some more DIY dog crafts. She suggested we make a dog food mat for work, because I always splash water all over the floor. The humans are the ones who clean up my mess, so they’re a bit particular about me keeping my areas clean.
This project was easy and quick to make. All you need for supplies are a cardboard box or foam board for your base, scissors, and fun contact or wrapping paper. If you use wrapping paper instead of contact paper, you’ll need tape, too! Again, being thumbless makes using scissors difficult, consult a human for help when cutting things.
The first step to making your own dog food mat is measuring the size you need. Placing your water and food bowls on the floor, measure the distance you’ll need around the bowls. I’d keep a few extra inches all the way around, because if you’re anything like me, you might move the dishes around while chomping on the food. Plus, if you’re putting all of this effort into creating a designer place mat, don’t you want people to see it? Since I was working with cardboard, I cut a box down to the size I wanted. Be sure to trim the edges so they’re smooth, not rough.
Next, based on your measurements, you’ll want to cut the paper so that it can completely cover your flat surface.
Be sure to make cuts at each major fold so that you can completely cover the cardboard without the contact paper sticking together or needing to fold wrapping paper. What my esteemed human friend did was cut rectangles out of each corner, as seen below, so that we could just fold the middle, top, and bottom pieces over, and the project would be done.
The final step is wrapping the paper around the board to fully cover the cardboard. If you’re using contact paper, unpeel the backing and gently lay down the middle of the contact paper. Press firmly and carefully check the other side to make sure it is laying flat. Then fold the long middle pieces to cover the back. After that, fold the top down and the bottom up, just as if you were wrapping a present. The same process would be followed with the wrapping paper, except that a final additional step would be taping the paper once folded.
That’s it! You’re done. You can now place the mat underneath your water and food bowls.
Alternative Ways to Complete This Project:
- Both wrapping paper and contact paper can be used for this project. Contact paper may be the best option, as it will hold up longer than wrapping paper will. Also, if it gets dirty, you can wipe it with a damp cloth to clean it. Don’t have contact paper, but want to jazz up your pet’s eating area quickly? Use wrapping paper. Just be aware that the paper will begin to break down once it gets wet. Knowing how I drink water from the bowl, a wet place mat is bound to happen super quickly. But this could be a good idea if you’re staging a room or decorating for a holiday party.
- Sew a few slipcovers using excess fabric. If you know how to sew, and have excess fabric lying around, sew a pillowcase-shaped place mat cover. Once you’re done, you can place a plastic cutting board, old cookie sheet, or other large, flat item you have laying around at home inside of your new dog food mat “case.” This way, if it gets wet or dirty, you can wash and dry it with your clothing and use it again.
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