Wednesday, February 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day DIY Felt Lucky Four-Leaf Clover Cat Toy

We have a whole YEAR of simple felt cat toys crafted and at the ready for sharing with you (and Tig) over the coming months. Meow!  With Easter following close on the heels of St. Patrick's Day this year, we have a whole stack of fun fab DIY ideas to squeeze in over the next few weeks for you.  First up, our next installment in the promised year of cat toys!  It's simple to make with basic hand-sewing skills and a little time/patience - an easy one-sitting craft and suitable for younger crafters with needle skills.  You might even have all of the supplies ready and waiting in your craft stash.

Whether you prefer a traditional Irish trefoil shamrock or include lucky extra leaf to make a four-leaved clover (as we did), the creative choice is yours. :)  Looking for other ideas? This design can be very easily adapted into a cute little clover or shamrock brooch or St. Patrick's day hair piece as well...but you might want to omit the catnip unless you REALLY like meeting new cats! :)

To make your own felt four-leaf clover cat toy:
  • Cut eight large hearts, four smaller hearts, and two small circles (individual leaves as shown) or  two four-leaf clovers (overlap your hearts in the middle to trace) with four smaller hearts to make a slightly more robust solid clover toy.  The solid toy option (not shown) has less texture and will need stuffing, but is a more robust option for younger playful kitties.  Tiger is is no longer a playful young man, and prefers the added flippy texture and mostly just swats and licks toys these days! :) If you aren't comfortable free-handing, trace from paper or use a cookie cutter as a convenient template.  
  • Using a complimentary thread colour, stitch the small hearts onto four of the the large hearts (or one of your clovers for the solid option).  The toy shown uses a blanket stitch throughout, and the stitches form part of the design. Simple, sturdy, and cute!

  • Stitch the additional four hearts to the back sides (or the join the outsides of the first and second clover for your solid option).  Three layers of quality felt is nice and thick in a small design like this, but you can include a bit of catnip and, if you want fatter leaves, a little stuffing in between the layers before stitching all the way closed. The solid option should be stuffed.
  • Overlap in the middle and sew securely together (not required for solid toy).
  • Place a felt circle over and under the center to cover the joins and stitch securely (optional for solid toy, but a nice way to create a tufted appearance).

Remember, toys are for playing and playtime is safer (and more fun!) with you involved - see more cat toy tips and safety advice here.  As an extra caution, if your cat is in the company of other animals  or small children, ensure their safety as well. Our dogs LOVE to try and steal the cat's toys, so Tiger's playtime is always interactive with one of us humans, and the toys are stored safely away afterwards. Cat toys could pose a serious choking / blockage hazard.

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