Did you know that you can make a great catnip toy using just a scrap of material and some dried catnip? These easy cat toys make great gifts for your pet. You can even grow and dry your own catnip to use in these simple toys. Here's how to make a catnip toy:
Materials and supplies:
- Scrap of material
- Sewing needle
- Fresh, dried catnip (either store-bought or home-grown)
- Cardboard or paper grocery bag
- Twine (optional, for the mouse shape)
- Make the pattern. Decide on the shape of the toy. You can make a mouse, heart, ball, or any other shape. Relatively simple shapes are the easiest to cut and sew. Draw the shape you've chosen on a piece of thick paper, like cardboard or a paper grocery bag. The pattern should measure approximately 4 inches across, although you can also make larger or smaller toys. Leave a 3/8" to 1/2" seam allowance on the sides of the pattern, since the seams will make the finished toy slightly smaller than the pattern you've drawn.
- Cut out the pattern. Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut out the pattern.
- Cut out the material. First, pin two pieces of scrap material together, with the right sides facing each other. Then pin the pattern onto the scrap material, and cut out both pieces of fabric at the same time. You may want to use a pencil to trace the pattern onto the fabric first.
- Stitch together the toy. With the right sides facing each other, stitch a seam to keep the two pieces of material together. Leave about 3/8" between your stitch and the edge of the material. Leave about an inch opening. This is where you'll fill the toy with catnip. If your cat likes to play rough with his toys, stitch the two pieces of material Test the stitching by sticking your fingers inside the toy to make sure there are no leaks for catnip to escape.
- Fill the toy. Now, use the small opening to turn the toy right-side-out, and fill it with dried catnip. If you don't have enough catnip, you can use a mixture of regular stuffing and catnip in the toy. For extra catnip scent, spray it with a catnip-scented spray, which can be found at pet stores.
- Stitch closed. Stitch the remaining 1 inch closed without turning the toy inside out. If your catnip toy is in a mouse shape, add a tail into this small opening by placing a piece of twine or string inside as you sew it. A long end inside the toy will keep it from being easily pulled out by your cat.
Once you've finished your catnip cat toy, throw it into the air and watch your cats have fun. Most cats love rubbing and rolling with toys that have catnip inside. Microwaving the toy for a few seconds can bring out the catnip scent, especially after your cats have enjoyed the toys for weeks. Do not wash the toy, or it won't smell like catnip anymore.