I've had some requests to do more cat projects and I've been meaning to put together a needle felting tutorial, so I decided to combine those two ideas together. So today I'll be showing you how to make some needle felted cat toys! I made three different types, one stuffed with cat nip, one stuffed with jingly bells and one stuffed with a crinkly plastic bag.
First, here's the cat nip stuffed toy:
A little while ago I was browsing the internet and I happened upon these neat, sculptural felt cat "caves" and I thought they were really interesting and I immediately wanted to make one myself. I've never done this technique before - wet felting with loose wool roving - I've only ever done knit things and then felting them in the washing machine... so this was an interesting experience. This video is sort of a tutorial, but more of a "watch me make this and I talk you through what I did." Because of this, there are probably mistakes in there so if you see anything that I'm doing wrong, please let me know so I can correct anything! Also, check out these two older projects where I spoil my cat some more: Cat Shelves Cat Tree
Supplies! The cardboard is cut to 25 inches in diameter. It can be anywhere between 20 to 25, but my cat is a big guy so I went with the larger one. Please note that the amount of wool shown is only half of what I used.
I put down a piece of bubble wrap, bubbles up, put down the cardboard and attempted to take thin chunks of wool and placed them around the edge of the cardboard, hanging over halfway, and then I placed the inner pieces horizontally.
Now I placed wool around the edges like before, but instead of placing the chunks down horizontally, I went vertically. I then repeated the steps 2-6 again. And then repeated this again on the other side! So now there are two layers on each side.
I placed the wool around the edges like before, but for the inside I went back like the beginning and placing the chunks horizontally. Then steps 2-6 were repeated yet again. Flipped the piece over and repeated everything again. Now there are three layers on each side!
This layer looks a bit crazy, but it's because I ran out of enough solid colored wool so I attempted to do an abstract rock sort of design. Don't worry, I ended up flipping it inside out so the black layer would be the outer layer. Anyway, I did these chunks of wool over the edges again and vertically aligned. For the most part. And then repeated this on the other side. HOWEVER, for that last side I did not put the wool chunks lining the edge; I only did the vertical pieces in the middle.
I placed the sheet of bubble wrap onto the wool and squirted some of the soapy water on top. Then I proceeded to rub in a circular motion all over for about 5 minutes. The soapy water helps your hand to just glide around on the plastic without getting caught. I flipped over and repeated. And then I did that two more times.
Then I rolled everything up on my PVC pipe and secured it tightly. Then I got to rolling. I rolled this thing for about a minute or two, then I unrolled it, rotated the piece a quarter, rolled back up and rolled for another 1 to 2 minutes. Then I repeated this process two more times. So I ended up turning the piece a total of four times. I flipped the felt over, rolled it up and repeated all of this on the other side. When the cardboard started to buckle, it was time for me to cut the hole.
I cut the hole. I meant to cut it more on the edge but I got excited to move onto the next step that I just cut a circle without thinking about it. Since I cut the hole small, however, I was able to salvage it. I soaped up my hands and used the hot soapy water to rub around the cut edge to help felt it better.
I rolled everything back up onto the PVC pipe and got rolling. I just repeated the rolling process I described earlier.
Then I resumed rolling.Now it was time to shape this thing and get it to shrink a bit. I used a small metal bowl on the inside to help shape the edges. I just rubbed on it through the outside with a handful of wet, soapy bubble wrap. When it was the right shape (or really, when I was over it and wanted to go to the next step) I brought it to the sink and rinsed the water out, alternating between hot and cold water.
I made a water/vinegar bath with two gallons of water and 1/2 cup of white vinegar and I soaked the cave for 15 minutes. After that time, I rinsed it out again and squeezed out some of the water in the sinkThen I brought it back to the table and rolled it up with a towel and the PVC pipe to squeeze out even more water.
Once dry I cut the hole to a bigger size. I think the cut edge looks pretty cool because you can see all the layers. Also, I didn't need to felt it like I did earlier because the felt is much tighter and interlocked now, so it holds itself together.
Like with the shelves, I had to use a little bit of cat nip to show him that this new weird blob thing is actually pretty cool and he should check it out.
I hope you all liked this little walk through tutorial thing! I'm okay with how it came out. I don't think I'd try making another one really soon, but I can see myself wanting to try again in a few months or so. It serves its purpose, though, and doesn't look hideous or anything, so I'm happy!
I've been itching for some new pillows for my awesome couch, and I ended up coming up with the simple idea of just using my boyfriend and my initials. And an ampersand. Here's how they turned out:
And I also took some progress shots for you all and will walk you through how to make these suckers.
Draw your letters out on paper, cut them out and arrange them onto a piece of fleece or felt. You want to use a fabric that won't fray on the edges. I used some leftover fleece i found in my fabric stash.
Realize that if you're going to trace them out, you want the outline marks to be on the back side of the letter so it won't show. Flip the letters over and rearrange them again.
Cut them out! (I added the little dot for the 'j' in the middle of the letters, there.)
Admire your beautiful letters.
Align your letter in the middle of your pillow fabric and pin it down. (I made my pillows out of 16 by 16 inch canvas fabric. You can use whatever you want. I just ended up using whatever plain colored fabric I had.)
Sew it up! For added interest, use a nice contrasting colored thread. I used a lime green thread.
Admire your beautiful sewing skills. Put the right sides of your pillow together and sew up the edges leaving a few inches open. Flip it right side out, stuff it, sew it closed and you're done! Yay, look at your pillows!
Here are mine arranged on my couch. I love them!
I'm planning on participating in a Warrior Dash next year, but I need to train so I'll be able to run and do the obstacles in a decent time. A lot of people dress up as viking warriors for the race, and I thought it would be cute to just have horns, since there's no way I would be wearing a costume or a viking helmet while running. I'd die. I didn't want to make a headband with horns on it because I was worried it would just fly off during the race; headbands always fall off of my weirdly shaped head, so I decided some hair clips could possibly work! I decided to make them now because firstly, they would make for a good addition to a costume that involved horns of some kind, and secondly, if I see them every day on my desk it will remind me to keep up with my training.
Here are the materials:
- Hair clips
- Needle & thread
And ta da! Clip in your hair!
You could definitely make different kinds of horns or animal ears or anything like that with hair clips, they're super cute!