Next up in our ANZAC Day poppy craft collection is Tiger's latest installment in his year-long felt cat toy collection: a felt poppy. Unlike some of the more commonly recognised military service animals, you might be surprised to hear that cats also shared some heroic tales. Wartime cat stories include comfort, companionship, and serving as lucky charms but also the important service keeping vermin away from food supplies and sensitive equipment.
As shown in our Easter bunny softie collaboration, simple soft toys can easily be adapted to be larger or smaller for children or pets, so feel free to adapt Tig's felt basics whatever style of creation best suits. To make your own felt poppy cat toy like the one shown:
- Cut two large four-petal flower-shapes (i.e. the full size for your finished your toy) from red felt. Layering your felt to cut both at once will ensure a uniform shape for joining. If you aren't comfortable free-handing, draw it first on the felt or use paper to make your own template.
- Cut a small black felt circle for the center of the poppy. If double siding, cut two.
- Using a complimentary thread colour, stitch your embellishments onto the front of one flower. To enhance the poppy, I used a pale yellow-green. The toy shown uses a blanket stitch throughout, and the stitches form part of the design. Simple, sturdy, and cute! Repeat if double-siding.
- Sew the two flowers together, embellished side(s) out, until you are approximately 3/4 attached.
- Add stuffing and (optional) catnip. If you cat prefers jingly toys, you can sew a jinglebell to the inside before joining. If they prefer crinkly toys, I have heard people sometimes add a few candy wrappers to the stuffing, but have never tried myself. Whatever you use, make sure it is safely secured inside!
- Finish stitching the toy closed, trim any threads if/as needed, and enjoy!
We have a whole YEAR of simple felt cat toys for sharing with you (and Tig) over the coming months. Meow! 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.