Feel bad just throwing out perfectly good single socks, holey sweaters, and worn out suit jackets? What do you do with these things if you can’t donate them?
Answer: Make cat toys! A lot of cat toys. But that’s okay, because you’ll have plenty to give as gifts this way.
For some of these you’ll need basic sewing materials -- just needle and thread! If you are doing this project with your kids, get one of the big plastic needles and some yarn. You may need to poke holes for them with some fabrics.
Sock toys -- Use a newborn’s sock and you only have to fill it with catnip or cotton, then sew the top closed. You can also use one of your socks. My favorite thing to do is cut across the toe or heel for an automatic rounded shape, just like a mouse. Leave it attached on the curved side and you’ll only have to sew one seam. Turn the fabric inside out from how you want the final product to look and sew the mouse almost entirely closed. Turn the mouse inside out and stuff it -- I like to use the remainder of the sock. Then just close up the hole, and sew or draw on a little mousie face.
Sweater toys -- Use any sweater you like, but wool sweaters that have been accidentally felted in the wash are fantastic for these toys. Use the same sewing technique as above and stuff with extra sweater, cotton, or catnip. And don’t forget the tail!
Menswear toys -- You did hear that preppy is in again, right? Put together a tweed body with chambray ears and tail and suddenly your cat is playing in style. Old ties are great for this, too. Just follow the same directions as for the sweater toys.
Accessories -- If your cat likes them, pick up some tiny bells or fake feathers to sew to the tails -- but make sure they are extra secure, so your cat can’t swallow them.
Remember, these don’t have to be perfect (unless you want them to be) -- your cat sure isn’t going to know the difference. If you do want perfection, it’s best to make yourself a template, or find one online like this one from Martha Stewart.
Image via Marvelous Melissa