Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Birthday, Tiger! DIY Catnip Birthday Present Toy

My mane man Tiger celebrated his birthday last week with love, treats, and of course presents!  Today's share from Tiger's year-long felt cat toy collection is, of course, a birthday present catnip toy. 

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 cat toy like the one shown:

  • Cut two identical squares of felt in the colour you've chosen for your wrapping paper for the gift.
  • Cut two strips of felt in the colour you've chosen for your ribbon, just slightly longer than the width of your squares so you can trim it to be an exact match once sewn into place.   If your cat is young and prone to ripping, you also do this with a larger single piece of felt, if your wish.  I opted to use up some scrappy offcuts for my ribbon and topper.
  • Cut smaller pieces of felt for a matching (or complimentary) bow or topper.  I opted for a matching pink four petal floral bow topper with flowery yellow center since Tiger's birthday also our first official day of spring. :)  As with the ribbon, you can make your topper or bow from larger pieces of felt instead of smaller pieces sewn together, if your wish. 
  • Sew the ribbons to one of your gift squares using a complimentary colour of thread or embroidery floss. As with all of the toys in this series, the birthday present toy uses a blanket stitch and the stitches form part of the design. Simple, sturdy, and cute!
  • Sew the bow/topper pieces if/as needed. I doubled the felt layers in each piece of my floral bow for extra thickness.
  • Sew the bow/topper onto your gift.  For my toy, I first sewed the pink pieces of my floral bow onto the gift through the center of my ribbons, and then stitched the yellow flower center accent over the center to reinforce the connection.
  • Trim the ends of your ribbon to the sides of your square, if/as needed.
  • Layer the squares, embellished side out and sew the sides together, stopping approximately 3/4 of the way to add filling before closing.
  • Add stuffing and (optional) catnip.  If your 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!
  • Sew to 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) in 2016, with more new toys still to follow 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.


  1. This is just what I needed, Laura! Thank you! As we rescued a kitten recently, I am on a constant lookup for hints and tips, especially regarding the toys - she can play non-stop for hours. Will pin and share on Google+!

    1. Congratulations on the new furry family member! There are other toys in our archives (and more to come) and you can scale down any softies that catch your eye into cat toys. Homemade cat toys are a great way to get good use from pieces from your scrap stash. For a few other ideas to buy or DIY, when Tig was young, he LOVED chasing teaser sticks and my parents also gave us gloves with toys on the fingertips that he could chase. Easy and free, he also loved swatting about the empty cardboard rolls from toilet paper. Like most cats, he's never grown too old for an empty box or paper shopping bag. :)


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