Friday, September 22, 2017

DIY: Needlefelted Cat Toys

This week marks the first official week of Autumn! We are excited to unwind and hole up at home with comfy fiber crafts this fall. We particularly love needle felting in the fall and winter months.

For this week's DIY, we've made some delightful felted cat toys. They are a great project, as you can either make them quickly or carefully, and your kitty will love you for it! These would also work well as ornaments, by stringing thread through them.

Click the link below for more pictures and a step-by-step on this cozy craft. Supplies available at collage!

Supplies:
* Needlefelting kit, or your desired wool roving colors
* Sink with running water, or a container of warm water
* Soap
* Jingle bells
* Plastic egg. You can also use the small plastic container that comes from a vending machine item. collage doesn't currently carry plastic eggs, but does carry small, circular metal tins that would work for this project. 

Note: We used the ice cream needlefelting kit. We created the ice cream toy via needlefelting, using the excellent instructions that come with the kit. On that note, you may want to buy extra felting needles, as you can easily break them, especially if you are new to needle felting.

We had some wool roving left over and were able to make another toy from it; we decided to wet felt a toy from it (the pink mouse). We had separate yellow roving for the chick. Below is the instructions for wet felting a rolling jingle ball toy for your kitty, like the chick and mouse toy featured here. Wet felting is a much faster process than needle felting, so it is a good choice for something like a cat toy, which may end up getting destroyed or lost!





Steps: 
1. Gather supplies.
2. Place a jingle bell inside of the plastic egg. (We used two of the rounder ends from two plastic eggs, and taped them together with scotch tape to create a rounder sphere.)
3. Pull chunks of the roving apart, creating wispy pieces of roving, and place the roving around the egg, crossing the roving perpendicularly. Cover the whole egg, so you can't see any of the plastic underneath.
4. Get your hands sudsy with soap and warm water, and turn the faucet on hot, at a low-pressure, and quickly run the egg with roving under the faucet, then gently roll the egg around in your hand, pass it back and forth from one hand to another. You will soon notice the roving bond together, and the wool will start to shrink up. Keep your hands sudsy, and pass the ball back and forth from one hand to the other, and roll it around. Repeat this step until you notice the roving is tight around the ball.
5. Rinse gently with cool water. Be sure to wash out all of the soap. Wait for the toy to dry.
6. At this point, you can be finished, OR, you can add some cute face features to the toy, like eyes and ears, as we did. We needle felted the facial features individually, using orange roving for the beak, black roving for the eyes, and yellow roving for the wings and hair tuft. A note about needle felting: work the roving into the approximate shape you would like, by either rolling it in your hands, or folding the roving over itself into the shape you want. Work it by repeatedly poking it with your barbed felting needle. As you continue to poke at it, the fibers will begin to intertwine and become compact. The more you poke it, the smoother and less fuzzy the piece will be.
7. Attach the features by needle felting them onto the dry felted ball, very carefully, so you don't break the felting needle by hitting the hard plastic underneath; poke the piece at an angle, so you aren't hitting the plastic at all. Be sure to felt the features on tightly, so they aren't loose, and your cat won't choke on them.
8. Enjoy your new felt toy!
9. Make more for your kitty to enjoy.