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Many many moons ago, I began constructing a DIY cat rug. Like, many, many, many moons. It actually took me ten years to complete this DIY cat rug. I completed it in 2027, learned time travel in about six months, and returned to 2018 to deposit the rug in my baby daughter’s room. Okay, you may have caught me exaggerating, but it really did take forever. Perhaps you remember this post where I talk about my son’s Star Wars nursery. Even back then I was working on my daughter’s room. She’s eight months old now and it’s still not quite done. However, I did finish the worst part, so I expect to post her full Hermione Granger room in a couple of weeks.
This is going to get pretty long, so real fast I want to let you know that I am a terrible sewer. I have a sewing machine, but I break it all the time. This particular fabric is so crazy I gave up on the sewing machine altogether, so yes, this is hand sewn. Also, I don’t have a pattern. I based it off this giraffe rug one of my husband’s coworkers made for baby girl. Whether or not she used a pattern, I have no idea, and I took so long making mine she has retired and I can’t ask her. That part’s true. Anyway, it’s not a perfect DIY cat rug by any means, but it’s good enough for me.
Instructions for a DIY Cat Rug
What to Do
Draw Out your DIY Cat Rug
Okay, first off, if you want a less shaggy fabric, they do exist. I wanted mine particularly furry because it’s supposed to be Crookshanks from Harry Potter. It would also be really easy to turn this into a lion by using the shaggy fabric if you were so inclined. Anyway… First off, I drew up my shapes on the back of the furry yard. To make sure you have enough fabric, fold the yard in half before you draw.
You need: A round head, two triangle ears, four paws, and a round body with a square top to sew on the neck. You’ll see some markings for a tail too, but I wound up not doing that. I couldn’t find a place for it that didn’t look weird. I used Crayola UltraClean Washable markers. If you are a toddler parent and don’t already have them, just do yourself a favor and get them. I swear to you, they wash out of everything. You’ll only want to cut one half at a time if you’re using this thick fabric, so once you have your first set put them on the other half and draw the second set.
Make the Body
The body is the biggest hassle because it’s the biggest piece of fabric, so once you get done with this you’re golden! So, what you need to do is get one of your big furry pieces and poke a hole through the middle. Then cut out a circle. You’ll want to leave at least a couple of inches for an edge, but not too much. The smooth belly is going to be the part where the kids can lay down on it.
After you have your outer body prepared, draw a circle on your smooth fabric. It needs to be smaller than the body, but bigger than the circle you cut out. I used the cut-out circle as a reference, then cut it down a little more after I saw it on the body. Next, pin the smooth circle onto the smooth side of the furry fabric so it covers the hole. You should see the back of both fabrics. Use as many pins as you need and sew it together. This kind of fabric moves and stretches a lot, so don’t worry if you have to adjust as you go, or even cut off extra of the smooth fabric. It is what it is.
Make 4 Paws for your DIY Cat Rug.
The paws seem like they’re going to be a lot of work, but they’re actually really easy because you don’t need to sew with the fur facing up. You should have 8 pieces of paw to begin with. You will also need to cut out 4 smooth circles. I did that as I went, but you can do it to start with if you want. Make those circles slightly wider than the smaller part of the paw.
Next, sew them. Put the furry sides together and then sew the two even sides. If you made squares instead of tapering your paws, it doesn’t matter which sides you sew so long as they’re opposite each other. Then sew a smooth circle to the tapered side. The back of the fabric should be facing out. Once you have a little pouch, flip it inside out. Now you can stuff it and sew it closed. Do that three more times so you have four paws. Place them on the body so you can see where you want them, then sew them on to the back. You do also need to sew the back of the body on so it’s furry.
Design your Cat Face and Sew the Head
I decided the easiest way to design my DIY cat rug’s face would be to draw it out. First, I cut out a piece of the smooth fabric. However much of an edge you want is up to you, but make the circle slightly larger than you want it to be in the end because you’re going to stuff it. I used two orange buttons (remember, Crookshanks is orange – you can do whatever color you like) for eyes. That part was pretty easy, but I wanted them centered around the nose so I actually did them last. For the nose, I used a scrap piece of black cloth and stuffed it with a bit of cotton. The mouth is a pipe cleaner I sewed on with a loop kind of stitch, and the red is more scrap fabric. The order was nose, tongue, pipe cleaner.
For the whiskers, I used black ribbons. I folded them in half and stitched them up. I then sewed them to the nose at the same time. You can’t really tell from the pictures, but they aren’t completely attached to the face. They flap around a little bit. Once I got all that on there, I sewed on the buttons. Obviously the marker still showed throw, but I washed it off in the sink and let it dry. It was fine after that. Don’t put it through the washing machine. The marker will come out, but the pipe cleaners will warp. Once it’s dried, sew the face onto a furry head part. When you’re about halfway done, stuff it so the fabric fits on correctly. Then sew it closed. You can then sew on the back furry piece.
Sew on Ears and Finish Up
To make ears, sew two pieces of furry fabric together with the fur facing in. Leave a little space to turn them inside out so the fur shows, then close it up. Cut little triangles out of the smooth fabric and sew them to the ear. Mine were a little bigger than what I wanted, so I stuffed them with a little more cotton, but that’s optional. Then sew them to your head.
Once your head is all done, you have to sew it to the body. Remember how crazy my body looked? This is the time when you position the head as best you can to hide all your imperfections. It is pretty hard to sew that big clunky thing to that other big clunky thing, so I recommend you do it twice. It’s probably still going to be a little wild, unless you are a seamstress, but the kids won’t notice. There you go. All done!
Well, did you give this a try? How does your DIY cat rug look? Did you have to travel back in time after you completed it, or am I just super slow? Let me know in the comments!