Monday, November 21, 2016

DIY Felt Holly Sprig Christmas Cat Toy

"Deck the halls with meows of holly...fa la la la la la la la la...In today's Christmas DIY post, we have the final installment in Tiger's year of DIY simple-sew felt cat toys: a festive sprig of catnip-scented holly. Real holly (and mitsletoe, and many other holiday decorations) is toxic to cats, but this toy sprig is kitty-liscious.

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 holly sprig cat toy like the one shown: 

  • Cut two large holly sprig shapes (i.e. the full size for your finished your toy) from green felt, including both a leaf and a circle at the end for the berry. 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 slightly smaller holly leaf from a different shade of green felt for the inner accent. If double siding, cut two. Alternatively, you can skip the accent and make a simpler toy.
  • Cut a circle of red felt for the holly berry. If double siding, cut two.
  • Using a complimentary thread colour, sew your leaf accent onto one of the base sprigs.  Repeat if double-siding.
  • Using a complimentary thread colour, sew the top of your berry onto the embellished sprig. Do not need to sew around the edges at this stage, only the top of the berry.  Repeat if double-siding.
  • Layer your base sprigs together, embellished side out.
  • Using a complimentary thread colour, sew to around the outside edge of your berry to attach edges of the berry and the base sprigs.  
  • Fold the leaves apart and stuff the berry end. It is a small opening and may be hard to stuff later when you are filling the larger body of the toy.
  • Using a complimentary thread colour, sew to around the outside edge of your leaves, until you are approximately 3/4 attached. 
  • Add filling of 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!

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. 

P.S. Did you see the news on our Facebook page?  One of Tiger's toys was featured in this Huffington Post round-up of Purr-fect DIY Holiday Gifts to Make This Season ... for Your Cat. Clawesome indeed!

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