Make it! A crafty cat project that uses recycled material? Now that’s the cat’s meow.
Make these cute cat toys with this easy method of felting. With a Wiffle ball base, these toys are not only lighter than those of full felt construction, but also easier and faster to make. Plus, they have a bell inside for added pleasure and are a simple and practical way to recycle small amounts of wool fleece and yarn.
• Plastic Wiffle balls (any size, but the 1″ – 3″ sizes are best)
• Wool fleece: ¼ oz for small toy, ½ oz for large toy
• Small bells (1 per ball)
• Plastic twist ties
• White glue
• Nylon stocking (legs only) or knee-highs
• Wire cutters or similar cutting device
• Washing Machine
1. Using your wire cutters, make a couple little cuts on either side of one of the holes in the Wiffle ball so that you create an opening large enough to push one of the bells through.
2. Gently push the bell inside the ball. If the ball cracks, not to worry—you’ll be covering it with wool anyway.
3. Working quickly, apply a thin layer of white glue to all outside surfaces of the ball.
4. Before the glue dries, add the wool to the outside of the ball in a random pattern, making sure to cover the ball completely and uniformly. (Set some of the wool aside to add later in case you have thin or bald spots after the first felting.) For an added decorative touch, you can wrap pieces of wool yarn around the wool fleece, should you choose.
5. Slide the wool-covered ball into the nylon stocking leg or knee-high. This step is absolutely necessary. If not protected by the stocking, the wool will be pulled off the ball during washing.
6. As you would a bread bag, twist the stocking and use the plastic twist tie to close the opening.
7. Now throw the stocking containing your wool-covered ball into the washing machine along with a load of clothes. Wash on a warm or hot water setting followed by a cold rinse. When the laundry is done, carefully take your ball out of the stocking. (Save the stocking for making future felted cat toys.)
8. Check the ball for thin or bald spots If you find that you have any, let the ball dry thoroughly, before adding more glue and wool to the affected area, then put it back into the stocking and launder with your next load of laundry. You may want to felt it a second time anyway to give the felt more durability.
9. Play time! When your kitty has sufficiently loosened the felt construction, simply just repeat the process and the toy is good as new!
Check out more of Lynne’s fiber-based projects at 7yaks.wordpress.com