Felted Cat Toys
You can make a cute felted cat toy with this easy method of felting. The felted toy is tough and chewy like pretend prey. It also has the “hairyness” to give a sense of realism for your kitty… Without the charming hairball after.
These are lighter than the full felt construction, easier and faster to make, and have a bell inside for added pleasure. It’s a simple and practical way to recycle small amounts of wool fleece and yarn that will felt.
Plastic ‘wiffle’ balls, any size, but the 1″ to 3″ sizes work best.
Wool fleece: ¼ oz for small toy, ½ oz for large toy
Small bells – 1 per ball
Plastic twist ties
Nylon stocking (legs only) or knee-hi’s
Wire cutters or similar cutting device
1. Make 2 cuts to the plastic on either side of one hole with the wire cutters so that it creates an opening to push the bell through.
2. Gently push the bell in through these cuts in the plastic so that it is now inside the ball. If the ball cracks and creates a hole, not to worry, you will be covering it with wool anyway.
3. Apply a thin layer of white glue to all outside surfaces of the ball. You might want to set this on a piece of plastic or wax paper. Work fast enough so that the glue does not dry before you apply the wool.
4. Add the wool to the outside of the ball in a random pattern making sure to cover it completely and uniformly. (Set some of the wool aside to add later if you have thin or bald spots after the first felting.) Wrap pieces of yarn around the wool if you choose.
5. Clasp the covered ball in your hand and slide it into your nylon stocking leg or knee-hi. If you don’t protect it from the friction inside the stocking, the wool and everything else will be pulled off of the ball and you will have to start over. Plus now it’s a sticky, gloppy mess – no fun!
6. Twist the stocking and add the plastic twist tie to close the opening (just like a bread bag ;-) Using a plastic twist tie is critical because a paper based tie will disintegrate in the washing machine! Put the ‘stocking ball’ into your laundry and wash with a load of clothes on warm or hot water with a cold rinse.
7. When the laundry is done, carefully take your ball out of the stocking (the stocking can be re-used many, many times before it will fall apart). Some parts of the wool may slightly felt to a new stocking but this lessens the more you make.
8. Check the ball for thin or bald spots. If you find that you have any, let the ball dry thoroughly and repeat adding more glue and wool to the affected area. Then put it back into the stocking and launder again with your next load of laundry. You may want to felt it a second time anyway to give the felt more durability.
When your kitty has sufficiently loosened the felt construction, you can just repeat the process and it’s good as new ;-)