Many people will believe this craft project puts me firmly in the category of “crazy cat lady” (if I wasn’t there already). To me, it just makes sense. I’ve wanted to try felting for a long time but thought it was too difficult. I got the idea to make a miniature version of my own cats from this magical video. It’s best if you watch it near Christmas but it’s beautiful all year round, I think you’ll agree. Not only do I have no wool in the house, what’s more authentic than a cat ornament that is 100% made of your cat? Totally authentic! So this weekend I sat down during a boring movie and gave it a try.
First of all, you need the right tools. This was a mistake I made at first. Felting needles are not regular needles. They have tiny notches which help tangle up the hair fibers. This kit is pretty much exactly the same as what I bought. It’s super cheap and supplies everything you’ll need to get started. Yes you do need the leather finger guards…I pierced my thumb quite a few times before figuring out what it was for!
You will also need to collect your cat’s stray hairs. This is easily done when you brush her – just put the hairs into a ziplock bag instead of throwing them out. For this project, I used around one packed handful of fur. It took around a month to collect.
Divide the hair up into the pieces above. It’s easier if you don’t make a separate ball for the head as it takes a long time to attach. Roll them between your fingers until you get the approximate shape.
Next comes the felting. It’s best explained by watching this video. Basically you poke poke poke the fur with felting needles until it becomes hard and dense.
You can expect to spend around 3-4 hours doing this part. Don’t do it all in one sitting like I did because you will end up with an aching wrist and neck!
If you watch the video above, you will see the technique to attach the limbs, tail and ears to the body. Again, it’s just a lot of poking. Finally I used a needle and thread to make the nose, mouth and whiskers. I cut the point off two ball-topped pins and glued them in for eyes.
Although this was certainly a test of my patience, I’m happy with the results and would love to make a version of our other cat to go with it. Have you tried making anything with cat hair? I’d love to hear about it in the comments 🙂