Out for the day? Fill this bowl with dry food and cinch it closed for easy transport, or loosen it to lay flat and store in your bag for a water bowl when you're on the go.
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dog eating food out of opened travel bowl

This idea comes from our friend Ashley Poskin. There are few places our furry friends don't accompany us to these days. They're welcome at many bars and restaurant patios and tend to stay out with us all day long in the summer. Oftentimes, we leave the house without bringing along their dinner or a dish for water, and end up using a plastic dish from a restaurant that too soon gets tossed in a landfill.

Our travel dog dish is the answer to all those unnecessary single-use vessels. It's simple to make, lightweight, and can be stashed with ease in a backpack or purse—and the best part is, it can be used over and over again. A half yard of oilcloth will make one large dish, but they are so fun to make that we recommend bringing home a few yards of this colorful, waterproof fabric. To use, loosen the ends of the cording and widen out the bowl to your desired size. Tie a knot to keep the bowl standing while in use.

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of upcycled pet projects.


What you need


How to do it

Part 1

glue brush on cut out circle for travel dog bowl
Step 1

Using a dinner plate or round platter as a template, trace and cut two 12- to 16-inch circles from your fabric. To create a sturdy base for the bowl, use a piece of recycled material like a pie tin, or piece of plastic from a gallon of milk, or the lid of a plastic tub from the market. The base should be about 3 to 4 inches in diameter, and can be traced out using a large coffee mug or small bowl as a template. Lay one fabric circle face down on the table and mark the center with a pencil. Cover the back of your small tin (or other) circle with tacky glue and place it over the center mark on the fabric circle. Cover the remaining side of the tin with the glue, and place the second fabric circle on top, lining up the edges of the two fabric circles.

polka dot paper cut in circle for travel dog bowl
Step 2

Once the glue has dried, run a stitch around the outer edge of the circle about 3/4 inch from the outer edge. Using a screw punch, poke holes through the fabric halfway between the stitch and edge. Punch a hole every 2 inches and be sure to punch an even number of holes, so when you stitch your hemp cord through it comes back out on the same side where you started.

stringing through holes on polka dot travel dog bowl
Step 3

Weave cording through the holes while the circle is still flat. Leave a 4- to 6-inch tail when trimming the cord. Run the cord through from back side of a button and knot the ends.

travel dog bowl tied up
Step 4

To form the bowl, yank the drawstring cord. The fabric probably won't naturally form pleats as you draw the string, so you'll need to find the base, place one hand inside and one out (just like when crimping pie dough) and begin to manipulate the oilcloth into shape. As you do this, continue to draw the string in closer and closer, tying with a loose knot to hold its place. Once you've achieved the shape you like, draw the string until the dish closes and let it sit for a few hours to take the shape.


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