Wow, what a week! Since my last post, we’ve had a flying carpenter ant invasion, three 100º days that ended in a trip to the vet for Bisou (she’s okay now), and P has gone back to work to prepare for the coming school year. I’m someone who operates best on a routine, so when my usual day to day is thrown up in the air, I end up with a bit of nervous energy on my hands. Instead of cycling through worries and to-do’s, I’ve been trying to slow down, focus on the things I can change and carve out time for enjoyable activities. That last part is by far the hardest, but instead of looking at relaxation time as time I could have used to whittle away at my to-do list, I treat it as time purposefully spent recharging, leading to more productivity and focus later on. And that’s an awfully good reason to make leisure time a point.
This weekend, relaxation took the form of making these adorable, catnip-filled felt toys. When you use a template to trace the cutouts (you can print the templates I made for this project!), it’s actually very easy to put them together. They’re made of inexpensive felt and each have velcro closures that allow you to refill them with fresh catnip. Did you know iron on velcro is a thing? I just found out about it, and it makes this project that much simpler. The toys are stuffed with organic catnip from Tabby James, which I highly recommend because this stuff is seriously strong. Bisou could smell it through the glass jar and the box it came in, and went into full freak out mode as soon as I gave her the toys. The lovely folks at Tabby James are giving away their catnip gift set to 3 of you, readers! So read on for the tutorial and your chance to win some tasty catnip to get you started on your very own toys.
This project is truly relaxing to work on – I made these while watching Netflix for a couple nights – and you don’t have to know how to sew. My stitches came out fairly wonky, but Bisou definitely doesn’t care. You can pull these off no matter your level of crafting experience. As always, give it a try and share with us using #craftsandacat.
- Felt sheets or remnant pieces in a variety of colors
- Embroidery thread to match your felt
- Iron on velcro
- Sewing needles
- Printer for templates
- Catnip, of course!
- Print the template I made for these toys, or trace some shapes of your own.
- Cut out a shape; use a sewing needle to pin the paper to the felt, and cut carefully around the shape. Repeat this step to make an identical piece; this will be the backside of the toy.
- Next, cut a smaller piece out of the shape, pin it to the felt you want to use, and cut out. Let's use the Oregon template as an example: cut out the shape around the black border and pin the paper to a piece of black felt. Cut around the shape. Then cut the wide black border away from the paper, pin it to a white piece of felt and cut out. Lastly, cut out the heart, pin to green felt, and cut out.
- Sew the smallest pieces on first, then move up to the largest pieces. For the Oregon toy, you'd sew the heart onto the white shape, then sew the white piece onto the largest, black piece. Now is the time to add extra details if you'd like!
- Match the completed front side to the backside of the toy. Cut a small piece of velcro (both sides of the velcro), enough that you will be able to open the toy to fill it with catnip. Stick the adhesive backs of the velcro onto the inside of the toy, and iron on according to the package instruction.
- Once the fabric has cooled, sew up the outside edges of the toy. Fill with catnip, and enjoy!
Make sure you check out Tabby James‘ catnip! The quality is top notch, judging by Bisou’s response and the vivid color and smell of the catnip. Plus, it comes in airtight glass jars so it stays fresh, and it’s organic, so I feel good about giving it to Bisou.
All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below this post. Share your cat’s name and something fun about him/her! Three winners will be randomly selected and notified by email, so make sure you leave a comment via your google account. If you don’t have a gmail address, you can leave your email or instagram username (check your DMs!) in your comment.
The giveaway is open from now until midnight PST on Saturday, September 3. Good luck everyone!