I think it’s time to share my inner cat lady with the world. Today’s DIY is… cat toys. Made with felt and feathers, these little birds are lightweight and fun for cats to bat around. My cats liked them, at least. The first set I made are stuffed with a mini styrofoam ball to make them lighter and fun for fetching. But during, um, product testing, I realized that cats will tear these things to shreds if they contain catnip. So nix the styrofoam ball if you’re planning on adding any catnip.
Things You’ll Need:
- Colorful felt and embroidery thread
- Black embroidery thread
- Small, colorful feathers
- Large-eye sewing needle
- Paper, marker, scissors
Make a bird pattern and trace it onto felt. I drew a circle about 1.5″ across and then added a tail and beak shape. Cut out two pieces of felt and match them up.
Cut about 18″ of embroidery floss. Carefully separate out two of the strands. Thread a few inches of floss through the needle and leave the rest hanging. Tie a knot at the long end of the floss. Make a stitch through the front of the bird, near the tail. Bring the thread around and repeat the same stitch. This time, loop the thread around the needle before pulling the stitch tight. Make a stitch to the left, looping the thread around the needle again. Sew about 3/4 of the way around the bird, then pull the needle off the thread. Thread the needle with two strands of black embroidery floss.
French knot eyes:
Make a knot at the long end of the floss. Push the needle through the open side of the felt and bring the needle up where you want the first eye to be. Tightly wrap the embroidery floss three to four times around the needle. Carefully push the needle through the felt, next to the first stitch.
Pull the needle through to the other side. Repeat on the other side. After you make the second eye, push the needle back into the felt and pull it through the open side of the bird. Hope that makes sense. Basically, you want to keep the open ends of the thread inside the body of the bird so your cat can’t eat them :). Tie the ends of the black thread together and re-thread your needle with the green floss.
Secure the tails:
Grab a 12″ or so piece of thread and make a knot, but don’t pull the knot tight (leave it as a loop). Grab a bunch of feathers and arrange them in a bunch. Place the loop of thread around the feathers and pull tightly. Wrap the ends of the thread several times around the feathers then knot the ends together. This should be tight enough to keep your cat from pulling the feathers apart. Fill the bird with catnip, then stick the bunch of feathers into the bird. Finish sewing up the bird, making sure to sew through the feathers. Knot any loose ends and stuff them into the toy.
Be on the lookout for any loose threads or feathers and replace the toys once they start to wear out.