Unique mementos you can make from your cats fur.

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Your cat’s discarded fur can be turned into a unique memento. Karen Bush provides the inspiration.

Rather than binning the soft downy fluff you remove from your cat during grooming, and sending it to landfill, why not transform it into a special keepsake instead? There are lots of different ways you can re-use cat hair…

Angela Faye Tribble used the groomed-out fur from her two cats to needle felt these special keepsakes.

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SCULPT IT

A fun way of recycling your cat’s unwanted fuzz is to create a
mini-me of him, and needle felting is the perfect way of doing this. You don’t need a lot of equipment to begin with; you can get started with just a few special felting needles, some cat hair, and a mat to rest your sculpture on while you are stabbing it into shape — a block of foam or polystyrene will do the job until you decide if you want to invest more money in your new hobby. The special needles have barbs near the tip; as the needle is repeatedly stabbed into a piece of wool, loose fibres are caught on these barbs, tangling and pulling them together to create a firmer, denser felt which you can sculpt into shapes. There are lots of tutorials online to help you get going, or you could buy a needle felting kit that contains instructions and all the tools you need to make a woolly kitty.

This gorgeous needle felted portrait shows just what’s possible with a bit of practice! Your Cat reader Annie Lowe has been needle felting for two years now, and is often asked to make portraits using pet hair. You can view more of her work on Facebook at Furfeatherfelts.

This gorgeous needle felted portrait shows just what’s possible with a bit of practice! Your Cat reader Annie Lowe has been needle felting for two years now, and is often asked to make portraits using pet hair. You can view more of her work on Facebook at Furfeatherfelts.

FRAME IT 

If you’re feeling ambitious, you could create a personal and unique portrait of your cat using either a wet felting technique, or make a more three-dimensional representation employing needle felting and mounting it on a fabric background. 

If you aren’t sure whether your felting skills are quite up to it, or simply want to try a quick and easy make, you could felt a little heart instead, which can look very effective displayed in a deep frame. If you don’t have much fuzz, use it as the core of your heart and cover it with merino or other soft felting wool.

A locket with your cat’s fur could be a lovely memento

FLAUNT IT 

Buy a locket and pop a little fuzz inside so your cat is always next to your heart. If you feel a little more hands-on, make your own pendant, incorporating some fur or hairs into resin. You can buy resin kits and jewellery findings from craft stores and online, but if that sounds too much like hard work, you could instead commission a glass bead with a snippet of fur fused into it to create a special wearable keepsake. 

Stitched hearts with cat fur inside can make lovely Christmas tree decorations.

STITCH IT 

A very simple idea is to cut out some heart-shaped pieces of fabric or felt that you can either decorate or leave plain; stitch two together, leaving a small hole so you can stuff it with a little kitty fluff before sewing it up. These make very special and lovely decorations to hang on the tree at Christmas, or could be used as keyring or bag charms. 

Felted cat hat.

SOAK IT 

Wet felting is another fun way of using your cat’s groomed out fuzz. Using soapy water and bubble wrap to combine and blend the fibres, it offers a whole range of possibilities; you can fashion it into felted hats, slippers, bowls, even a cat cave; or simply make a warm felted scarf, or craft little finger puppet toys. Again, you’ll find plenty of tutorials online, or you can buy kits containing instructions, tools, and wool to which you can add your kitty’s furry gleanings.

 

Create your own cat toy.

PLAY WITH IT

Using his own fuzz to make a toy for your cat to play with is a great way of recycling it! Either needle felt it, or cut out and stitch together a basic fabric mouse shape which can be stuffed with the downy hair. Securely add a piece of knotted twine or plaited wool to form a tail and let the fun begin! Make sure you supervise your cat while he plays with it. 

The birds can benefit from your cats! 

DONATE IT

If you’re not feeling very crafty, plenty of birds will be grateful for your cat’s downy fuzz to line their nests. Apparently, they have a poor sense of smell so are unlikely to be worried about its source — although don’t use it if your pet has recently been treated for fleas. Leave old cat hair in a bowl or hooked onto tree or shrub branches for them to collect — but away from places where your cat roams. 

Glass beads fused with fur from Memories in Glass.

GETTING STARTED

● The Original Needle Felting UK Facebook Group are a friendly bunch where you can pick up plenty of tips, as well as be inspired by other members’ makes.

● A kit can be a good place to start for beginners to needle felting. Two basic cat felting kits are available at Hobbycraft stores (www.hobbycraft.co.uk) and a range of cute Feltsky kitties are available on Amazon and eBay. 

● If you fancy trying wet felting, The Felt Box (www.thefeltbox.co.uk) offers two quirky feline wet felting kits, or can sell you everything you need to make your own felted cat cave or home spun creation.

● If realism is your goal, help is at hand in the book ‘Needle Felting Kittens: How to Create Cats Out of Felt That Look as Real’ by Hinali and keep an eye out for ‘Fantastic Felted Cats: A Guide to Making Lifelike Kitten Figures’ by Housetsu Sato, due to be published in August 2021. 

● Memories in Glass create beautiful glass beads, pendants, rings, earrings, and cufflinks which incorporate a little of your cat’s fur: www.memoriesinglass.org