Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jellyfish Cat Toy (DIY)

Saturday is National Craft for Your Local Shelter Day!
 What a great way to combine two of my favorite things: art projects and animals!
This fun holiday was created by the cute and crafty blog, sewdoggystyle.com.

The official day is July 21, but I was anxious to get started.

Since kitties love fish and string, a happy jellyfish with a tail of ribbons seemed like the ideal toy, don't you think?  These little guys are made from a recycled t-shirt (pre-washed, of course) and stuffed with a pinch of freshly dried catnip.

***Patrick suggested that any cat toys donated to the Humane Society should be durable, safe, and washable (no feathers or tinfoil in this project).  Before making anything, you may want to call your local shelter and ask about restrictions like those and what the animals are in need of.

You will need:
needle and thread
cotton batting
dried catnip (optional)

Fold the fabric in half and cut out two half circle shapes. Its okay if the shapes aren't perfectly round, jellyfish are kind of blobby.  Each section should be about two inches tall and the flat side about two and a half inches long.

If you don't feel comfortable cutting out your jellyfish bodies freehand, print the stencil page I attached at the bottom of this post.

Next, cut your ribbons for the tail. I used five to make the tail of each jellyfish in different widths and colors.  My ribbons are between six and ten inches long (I like the way a variety of lengths looks).

*Tip: to prevent the ribbon from fraying, cut all the ends at an angle rather than straight across.

Tie a knot in the center of the ribbons.  By knotting them together, you can avoid ribbons coming loose and being eaten by a determined cat.

Fold the ribbons in half with the knot at one side and the ends at the other.  Place them between your fabric sections, right in the center of the flat edge with the knot poking out.  Sew the flat edges together.

Sew around the round edge leaving 
about a two inch opening for the stuffing.  As you sew, push the ribbons towards the opening to prevent sewing them by accident.  

Flip the jellyfish right side out.

To stuff the toy: use small sections of cotton stuffing.  If you want to add catnip, wrap a pinch of dried nip in the batting, then ball it up and stuff inside.  This is a much easier route than trying to drop catnip in the opening and making a mess.
After the jelly fish is stuffed, sew the opening closed.

Using black thread, sew a face onto one side.  If sewing the face isn't your cup of tea, consider adding one with a fabric marker or just leaving him faceless (I don't think the cats will mind).

If your local shelter is having a fundraiser, they may want to sell your handmade creations for a small donation.  If you are a super crafter that sells items at craft shows, think about selling them for a small donation then writing a check to the shelter afterwards.

<----    Body template to print

Are you making anything else to celebrate Craft For Your Local Shelter Day?



  1. Awesome awesome awesome!! This little jellyfish cat toy brought a smile to my face. =)

    Erika and Sebastian

  2. I love it..thanks for sharing it with us... lots of happy lil kitties coming up... :D