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To prevent burning saucepan when boiling milk, sprinkle bottom of the pan with granulated sugar. Let it get hot, then pour in the milk. It also keeps milk from boiling over More Tips

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Lay out the size mat you think you'll want, appropriate for the size of your dog. Cut two pieces of fabric (top and bottom). I used my serger for the outside edges of both the mats and the ties because once you've stitched the tubes there's no way to finish the fourth edge conveniently. A serged edge looks decorative and takes care of that problem. So....wrong sides together, serge around three sides of your mat. Then, using your sewing machine, sew parallel tubes about 1-1/2 inches wide running from one finished edge to the unfinished edge. Put about 1 teaspoon of the granules (see below) per 12 inches of length of each tube. Close the fourth edge using your serger. If your mat is going to be large and your tubes will therefore be very long, you might find it necessary to stitch across the tubes in the center of the mat, making two tubes out of each one.
You can make dog beds using a standard pillowcase for the casing. When soaked, it's just a little smaller than a 400 sized crate. Divide into 8 vertical channels and then divide each channel into 4 sections. Use about 1 tsp. of crystals in each section.

The commercial mats have a laminated fabric covering which is closed with velcro. This covering is not necessary for a dog. If the pillowcase you use is light colored you may want to slip a second one over the bed so that you can wash the cover. The outer pillowcase will still get and stay damp from the inner one containing the crystals.

If you want to do the covers, most fabric stores sell either the laminated fabric (for chair seat covers) or a plastic sheeting that can be fused to any regular fabric by ironing.

When soaked in water, about 30 minutes will give you 2% absorption, 60-90 minutes should give 100% saturation. If you find it's too full or not full enough, let it dry out completely for several days and add or take out granules as you see the need.

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