How to felt a cat toy

You can make your own cat toy using these intructions:

You will need a towel, hot water, soap, wool (aprroximately 17 grams), a coarse felting needle and something to needle felt on (if you don't have a bristle mat like mine you can use something like a washing up sponge).  Once the cat toy is felted you will also need something to wrap the wool around to create curls.

The wool I use is corriedale as it felts nice and easily. The first step is to pick colours for the longer cord and the 2 shorter antenna cords.  Then draft out the wool to the thickness and length that you want them to be. I aim for the long cord to be about 70cm long and 1cm thick when felted and the 2 antenna about 30cm and half the thickness of the longer one.

Now, create a soapy lather on your hands in your bowl of hot water (not boiling) and with wet hands start rolling the first cord between your hands but leave a section about 8cm long unfelted and dry. Once the wool has started holding together you can dip the whole cord into the hot water to soak it through and I then start rolling it firmly against the towel until it is nice and firm.  Repeat this for the other 2 cords, keeping the wool damp and soapy throughout the felting process.

You should end up with these...

Next, grab a section of wool and roll it up. With your coarse felting needle roughly secure the loose end of the wool and also felt the ends in to create an oval shape.  Please be careful not to stab all the way through the wool and into your hand!

Now place your 2 antenna over the top of the oval, ensuring that you have some of the felted parts of the cords over the body.

You now need to spread the unfelted parts of the cords and wrap them around the oval, then secure with your needle. Mine wrapped underneath and then back over.

Now do the same with the larger cord, but turn your oval over so that this cord will be sitting on the opposite side to the antenna.

Now take the unfelted part of the cord and wrap it around the body, needle felting roughly to keep it in place.

If you don't have enough of this to cover the whole of the oval and you want it a uniform colour then simply keep adding more wool of the same colour and needle felt it in place.

Once you have covered the body in a single colour then needle felt around the edges to create the shape that you want and make the wool nice and secure for wet felting.  You don't need to needle felt so much that it goes compact, just enough that it keeps shape.

If you want to decorate the cat toy, pick a colour and needle felt onto the top.  I put a slight twist in my wool when I needle felt it to make it easier.

Now refill your hot water and put your toy into the water.  With lathered hands, gently start rubbing the surface of the body with your thumbs.  Keep dunking and rubbing with soapy hands until the wool felts together, ensuring you felt over the entire surface.  

When you're happy the the whole surface isn't going to shift about (if it does you can always needle felt again and then proceed with the wet felting) then start squeezing the body in your hand.  

I do this about 30 times.  Next, roll out your cords again, from right up against the body to the tips.

Now my favourite part (and I recommend that you do this outside against a wall) hold the end of the longer cord and whack it against the wall about 30 times.  Now repeat from the other end, holding the 2 antenna.

Finally, rinse out your bowl and also rinse out your toy under warm water to clear it of soap.  Then pop your toy into the bowl and pour boiling water over it, enough to cover it completely.  Leave for 15 minutes to soak and then run cold water over your toy to shock it. Squeeze all of the water out.  You can shape the body if it has misshapen.

Next, wrap the cords around something waterproof and leave it until dry!  Well done, you've made your lucky cat a toy! <3