How to Make DIY Cat Toys
Your furry feline deserves some handmade love! These fabric cat toys are so easy to make. Plus, you can add a scoop or two of catnip to make sure your cat will really love them. The other great thing about this project? You can use leftover fabric scraps! Join us for this fun and easy DIY project.
This cat toy project only needs a few materials. If using fabric scraps, make sure to use a fabric with no finishing treatment on it. A water-repellent or stain-resistant finish could mask the smell of the catnip. We chose 100% cotton upholstery fabrics for our cat toys. Our 6-inch x 6-inch fabric samples are the perfect size for this inexpensive DIY.
For the thread, we chose Coats Dual Duty XP® General Purpose Thread. This polyester thread can be used for both machine and hand sewing. It should only be used for indoor projects, as it is not UV treated. It's suitable for all fibers, knits and wovens, and it is recommended for general purpose home sewing projects. Pair the thread with a size #12 sewing machine needle.
Don't have a sewing machine? No problem! These cat toys are very easy to hand sew. For hand sewing, use the same thread as for machine sewing. We offer packages of assorted hand sewing needles in a variety of needle sizes. You'll want to use a hand sewing needle sized for upholstery projects.
- 100% cotton fabric samples — 2 per toy (we chose #105376 and #550430)
- Coats Dual Duty XP® General Purpose Thread (color of choice)
- Size #12 Round Point (Sharp) Sewing Machine Needles (#561023)
- Fabric scissors
- Pen or pencil
- Sewing machine
- Small amount polyester fiberfill
- Catnip (optional)
1. First, print off the template. Make sure your printer is set to print at 100% or the template will not be the right size. Cut your template out on the cut line — not the seam line. Tip: Don't use good-quality fabric scissors to cut the paper template.
2. Place the template on top of your fabric square and trace the shape on the back side, or wrong side, of the fabric. To speed things up, you can layer your squares together so you only have to trace and cut once.
3. Cut out the toy shape on your fabric. If you are cutting through both fabric squares at the same time, make sure the layers don't slide or move while cutting. You can pin them together to make sure they don't move as you cut.
4. Now, cut the paper template again, this time cutting at the dashed seam line. Place the template on top of your fabric shape and center it. Trace around the paper to create a 1/2-inch seam line around your fabric. This will help you keep a consistent seam allowance when sewing.
5. Place your fabric shapes with right sides together and the wrong or underside of the fabric pieces facing the outside. It may be helpful to place a couple of pins in the center of the pieces so they stay together when sewing.
6. You're now ready to sew! Set your stitch length to 3-4mm. You will leave about a 1-inch opening in the toy so you can turn the fabric right side out and add the stuffing and catnip. You should start sewing where you want to leave that opening. We suggest placing the opening on a relatively "straight" section of sewing, such as on the bottom/top of the fish (not the tail) and on one side of the heart (not the top or bottom).
7. Sew on the seam allowance line you drew in step 4. Reverse at the beginning and end to lock your stitches in place, and remember to leave a 1-inch opening. Cut your threads.
Here's a Tip: To help with navigating the corners and curves of the toys, bury your needle, raise the presser foot and slightly rotate your fabric. Drop the presser foot and continue sewing. This will give you smooth curves and nice-looking stitches!
8. Cut notches around the perimeter of the toy, but be careful not to cut into the seam. This will help in turning the toy right side out.
9. Turn the toy right side out. Use the end of a pen or pencil to push into the corners and curves to make sure the fabric isn't bunched up inside. Fill with a small amount of fiberfill. Add a scoop or two of catnip depending on your (or your cat's) preference.
10. Fold the raw edges of the opening under 1/2-inch and sew the opening shut. Do some reversing at the beginning and end to lock your stitches in place. Cut your threads.
You've done it! Now it's time to enjoy watching your cat play with their new toy.
We hope you enjoyed this fun craft sewing project. Be sure to check out our other pet-related craft projects and other easy DIYs. Go to our "How-To" section and click on "Projects & Tips." From there, you can sort by "Crafts," "Pet Related" "Decorative Accents" and more. Have you made any toys or other fun things for your pets? Post photos in the comments section below!