Category Archives: Pets

Kitty Cottage

I have a dog and four cats.  The dog is the newest addition.  She joined our pack as a 4 month old puppy and considers herself another one of the cats.  The cats disagree.  The dog even sits in the windows like a cat.  I used to correct this behavior because I didn’t think the window shelf in our old residence would support her.  I gave up because she doesn’t understand why all the other cats get to sit in the window!As you can see, she also thinks cat beds are fair game.  This would be fine except the cats reject the beds after she takes them over.

This brings me to my mission: Create a dog-proof cat haven.  I saw this cat house in a Martha Stewart magazine a long time ago and kept it in the back of my mind.

This cardboard box found it’s way into our home a few days ago and Mango immediately took a liking to it.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make that haven!

Materials needed:

  • One intact cardboard box large enough to fit kitty comfortably
  • A bunch of other cardboard scraps
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint, brushes, etc.
  • Pencil (or something else to write with)
  • Scissors and/or utility knife
  • Cat bed (I used an old polar fleece blanket)


  1. Remove any tape or other ickiness from the box.  Carefully pull apart the side and bottom seams and glue the box back together inside out leaving the top open.  This will save you from having to paint several layers over all that writing.
  2. This part is probably going to come across as confusing, but I will do my best to explain it.  (Note:  Feel free to scrap my roof idea and create your own.  I will not be insulted.) This is where we work on the top flaps to make the base structure for the roof.  Fold the sides of the shorter flaps at an angle towards the inside of the box(I drew a line in pencil first).  Glue these folds to the inside of the longer flaps so the top edge of the shorter flap is the same height as the top edge of the longer flap.  Make sure you leave enough space in between all of the flaps to have access to the inside of the finished house.  Pictures will probably help.
  3. Time for the roof.  Cut a large piece of cardboard as long as the box.  When folded as a tent, this cardboard needs to reach from the bottom of one longer flap to the bottom of the other longer flap.  Basically, this cardboard tent needs to sit easily on top of the box so you won’t be able to see the longer flaps anymore (they are just for support).  Feel free to piece together multiple pieces of cardboard.  My cardboard came from a long skinny box, so I chose to keep the skinny side of the box for the top edge of my roof.
  4. Cut a rectangular piece of cardboard large enough to fill the gap in between the shorter flaps and the roof.  Fold the edges at an angle like the flaps in step 2.  Glue the pieces in place on the inside of the roof.  Do not glue the roof to the box.  This will be your access point to the inside of the finished house!
  5. Draw a door on the front of the house large enough for the cat.  Mango is pretty tubby, so her door is on the larger side (but, not big enough for the dog).  You can draw windows too!
  6. Use a utility knife to cut out the door and windows.  Be careful with this step…these knives are really sharp!
  7. Let kitty check on your progress.
  8. Paint the outside of the house as desired.  You may want to skip this step if your kitty happens to eat cardboard.  Mine doesn’t.  I chose light blue with dark blue streaks for the sides and a mixture of silver, gold, and bronze for the roof.  I’m not a big fan of one flat color…can you tell?  Give me a little texture any day!
  9. Decorate the house however you want.  I made a rooster weather vane for mine!  Look below for directions on how to make it!
  10. Add a cat bed or blanket to the inside and you’re all set!

The Weather Vane

I’m not going to go into great detail for this part, but I will give a brief description.

I used thinner corugated cardboard, 4 toothpicks, tiny ball of yarn, hot glue, and bronze paint.

Draw out a rooster standing on an arrow onto the cardboard.  Also draw an E, W, N, and S.  Use a utility knife to cut these out.  Stick two toothpicks through the ball so they are perpendicular and the ball sits in the middle of the four ends.  Stick the end of one toothpick in the bottom of this ball and the end of the last toothpick in the top of the ball.  Thoroughly coat the ball with hot glue and allow to dry before continuing.  Apply a small amount of glue to the ends of each toothpick except for the bottom one and put the cardboard pieces in the correct places (rooster on top and letters in compass order around the four shorter points).  Paint the entire weather vane with bronze paint.  Stick the bottom toothpick into the roof of the house.  Use glue to secure.  I needed to use a nail to start the hole in the roof and I added a few cardboard pieces to the inside of the roof for additional support for the toothpick.

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Catch a Glimpse ButtonPhotobucket



Filed under Cardboard, Paint, Pets

Super Easy Cat Toy

I haven’t had much time to craft or post recently because of school work and my new workout schedule (P90X…bring it!), but I came up with this super easy cat toy!  Its about time I give the kitties some attention!  The ball looks like the basic pom pom, but the center is a tight ball of yarn.  This makes it more durable and gives it some extra weight for better games of fetch (for lack of a better term).  This project uses up extra yarn scraps, which I always seem to have left over at the end of any knitting project.  If you don’t have enough of one yarn to complete the project, mix ’em up!  Color is always a good thing!  I added catnip to this toy as well because Mango (the cat) up there is OBSESSED!

Materials needed:

  • Scrap yarn (enough to make a small ball and have some left over)
  • Knitting needle
  • Catnip (optional)


  1. Start with a small ball of yarn about 1″ to 1-1/2″ in diameter (the small ball on the left side in the above picture).  Make sure the ball is tight to prevent it from falling apart.  Any time I finish with a knitting project, I have a habit of balling up the extra yarn, so my yarn happens to be ready!
  2. Thread the loose tail through the knitting needle and pull the needle through the center of the ball.
  3. Leave the end loose.  The ball will keep the end in place.
  4. With the leftover yarn on the needle, thread the needle through a few strands of yarn on the ball.  Pull the yarn on the needle about 2″ out of the ball.  Cut the other end of the yarn to the same length.  Tie these two tails in a knot to secure this piece of yarn to the ball.
  5. Repeat all over the ball until the desired coverage is achieved.
  6. Dip the ball in catnip to make it extra appealing!  You can also add a catnip pouch to the center of the ball if you want.  I didn’t think about this option until I was already finished!

Like I said, super easy and what cat doesn’t love a yarn ball?

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Filed under Pets, Yarn

No Sew Kid/Pet-Friendly Placemat

My critters are messy.  Dripping water, throwing food…you name it!  Hence the inspiration for the placemat.  This super easy placemat is sealed with Mod Podge (non toxic!), so you just wipe with a damp cloth to clean!  This would work great for babies, kids or pets.  Just keep in mind that Mod Podge doesn’t react well with heat.  Remember to wait until the Mod Podge is completely dry on each step before moving on to the next (this shouldn’t take too long).

Materials needed:

  • 12″ x 18″ fabric for the top
  • 16″ x 22″ fabric for the bottom
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge


  1. Place the top fabric (right side up) in the middle of the bottom fabric (right side down).  There should be 2″ of the bottom fabric showing around all sides.
  2. Cut a 2″ square out of each corner of the bottom fabric.
  3. Fold each visible rectangle of bottom fabric in half lengthwise.  Iron the fold.
  4. Fold these new rectangles on top of the top fabric.  Iron the fold.
  5. Temporarily unfold these folds.  Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the area just over the top fabric.  Refold the crease you made in step 3 and smooth the fabric out.
  6. Remove the top fabric.  Apply a layer of Mod Podge to area of the bottom fabric where the top fabric just was.  Smooth the top fabric onto this area.
  7. Apply Mod Podge to the corners of the bottom fabric rectangles.  Fold the corners down to make triangles.  This will make sure all raw edges are hidden in the final project.
  8. Apply Mod Podge to the remainder of the bottom fabric still visible and refold the crease you made in step 4.  Smooth out the fabric.
  9. Apply at least two layers of Mod Podge to the entire project front and back.  This will ensure the fabric is completely protected from whatever your kids/critters want to spill on it!
  10. Your placemat is now complete!  I told you that was easy!


Filed under Babies/Kids, Fabric, Other, Pets

Versatile Collar and Tie

I have a tiki man that my grandfather carved out of a tree stump a long time ago.  He greets people entering my apartment.  I’ve never really decorated him before (with the exception of Christmas) because I think he’s pretty cool by himself, but I thought it might be fun to dress him up!  Now, as most people cannot relate to the difficulty of finding the perfect attire for a 3-1/2 foot tall tree stump, I decided to design this tie to suit several purposes!  The tie features an adjustable hook and loop closure and fits everyone from the tiki man to dogs to full grown men.  This picture is my 11 month old nephew checking himself out in a mirror (again, taken by Mr. B’s Photo Shoot).  This project uses the collar from an old button down shirt.  I haven’t decided what to do with the rest of the shirt, but I’m sure it will show up on this blog at some point.  I am open to suggestions!

Materials needed:

  • Collar from an old button down shirt
  • Fabric for tie
  • 4″ of hook and loop fastener (can use more or less depending on your intended purposes)
  • Piece of paper, ruler, and pencil to create a template for the tie (or you can freehand if you want)
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron


  1. Cut the collar off on an old button down shirt.
  2. Trim this collar as shown in the following picture.  This will remove unnecessary bulk from the finished product.  The extra tab will allow you to attach the collar later on.
  3. Use a small zigzag stitch to finish off all the edges you just cut.
  4. Fold the collar so that the back of the collar is in half and the front of the collar folds completely over the extra tab.  Iron this fold.  The collar should retain a slight curve.
  5. Cut the collar in half and use a zigzag seam on each half to close up the newly created raw edges.  The folded over collar should now be directly sewn to the underside of the collar.
  6. Lay the two pieces out so the collar meets in the front and the extra tabs are overlapping slightly.  Sew a straight line through both tabs to attach the two pieces together.
  7. Time to design your tie.  You can make yourself a pattern using my template instructions or freehand a drawing.  Just be sure to cut two pieces of each.  If you use the template, make sure you place the pattern on the fold.
  8. Pin the right sides of the tail together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam around all edges except the 2″ top part.
  9. Turn the tail right side out and sew a 1/8″ seam around all sewn edges.
  10. Lay one piece of the knot on your table with right side up.  Lay the tail on top lining up the edges that measure 2″.  Lay the second piece of the knot on top of the pile with right side down.  Pin in place.
  11. Sew a 1/4″ seam around all edges of the knot except the 3″ side.  Trim the corners on the 3″ side close to the seam to remove excess bulk.
  12. Pull the knot up so the fabric is right side out.  Fold the top edge in about 1/4″ of an inch.  Pin in place.
  13. Sew a 1/8″ seam around the entire knot.
  14. Pin the tie in place on top of the extra tabs of the collar and under the collar flaps.  Sew a small seam to attach the tie to the collar.  Make sure these stitches will be covered by the collar flaps.
  15. Lay the hook side (the rough side) on the outside of the collar close to the back seam.  Pin in place.  Lay the loop side (the soft side) on the inside of the collar close to the opposite back seam.  Pin in place.  Stitch around both pieces to secure in place.
  16. Your tie is finished!  Here is a collage of everyone sporting this accessory!  (I apologize for the glowing dog eyes)

Keeping It SimplePhotobucket
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Filed under Babies/Kids, Clothing, Fabric, Pets

Dog Treat Bag

This is a great way to carry around training treats for your dog!  Why buy one when you can make one out of fun fabric!  This particular fabric happens to match my dog!  The clip can be attached to a leash or belt buckle for easy access.

Materials needed:

  • 6-1/2″ x 11″ outer fabric
  • 6-1/2″ x 11″ liner fabric (I used PUL fabric)
  • 3″ x 11″ top edging fabric
  • 1″ x 22″ top edging fabric
  • Swivel clasp (these can be borrowed from old leashes or purchased at your local craft store)
  • piece of top edging fabric 4x the width of your swivel clasp and 4″ long
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron


  1. Take the 1″ x 22″ top edging fabric (hereafter referred to as the drawstring) and the piece of edging fabric measured to fit your swivel clasp and follow the second step of my dog collar instructions.  Iron the fabric in half lengthwise with the right sides (the side you want to show) of the fabric facing out.  Open the fabric and press both sides in towards the middle fold.  Open the drawstring (this step is not necessary for the swivel clasp fabric) and fold the ends of the fabric in about 1/4″ and press.  Refold all edges and pin the fabric in place.  Note: all rough edges should be tucked into the fabric at this point.
  2. Sew a 1/8″ seam down both sides of the swivel clasp fabric.  Sew a 1/8″ seam down one side and the ends of the drawstring.
  3. Fold the outer fabric and lining fabric in half width-wise with right sides together.  If you are using PUL fabric for the lining, the shiny side is considered the right side.  Sew a 1/4″ seam down the 6-1/2″ side of both pieces of fabric.  Trim the edge of the lining fabric close to the seam.  Fold the 3″ x 11″ top edging fabric in half width-wise with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam half way down the 3″ side of fabric.  Reinforce this seam well.
  4. Press the seam of the 3″ x 11″ top edging fabric open.
  5. Flip the lining fabric right side out.  Fold the 3″ x 11″ top edging fabric in half lengthwise so the right sides of the fabric are on the outside (pressed open seams should be on the inside).  Slip this loop over the lining fabric loop so the raw edges line up.  Make sure the half of the seam that was not sewn is on the outside (the sewn side should be touching the lining fabric).  Line up the seams of the two loops.  Slip the swivel clasp fabric through the handle on the swivel clasp and line up both ends on top of the seams of the two loops.  Slip the outer fabric loop (right sides still facing in) over the entire loop and line up the seams.  Note:  All rough edges and seams should be lined up at this point.  Pin all layers in place and sew a 1/4″ seam around the loop.
  6. Pull the lining fabric down so it is now right side in.  Sew a 1/4″ seam across the bottom edge.  Trim the edge close to the seam.
  7. Pull the outer fabric down so it is now right side out.  Fold one side of the bottom edge over the bottom edge of the lining fabric.  Fold the other side of the bottom edge to the inside to match the first side.  Pin these sides together and sew an 1/8″ seam across the bottom edge capturing both sides of the outer fabric and the lining fabric.
  8. Thread the drawstring through the top edging fabric using the open seam.
  9. Add your dog’s favorite treats and start training!

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Filed under Fabric, Pets

Easy Refurbished Dog Collar

Is your dog’s collar looking a little tired and worn?  Perhaps you’re just bored of looking at the same collar day after day?  Maybe you can’t find a collar at the store that suits your pooch’s personality?  I was surprised just how easy it was to make one.  I hope you will be too!  This is a revised version.  My sewing mentor (my mom) suggested I use interfacing in the collar to make it stronger, so I have changed the instructions to reflect this addition.

Materials needed:

  • an old adjustable collar
  • fun fabric
  • fusible interfacing
  • sewing machine
  • iron


  1. Begin by measuring the width of your current collar and the circumference of your pup’s neck.  Now, you need to measure out the fabric.  The width of your fabric needs to be 4x the width of your current collar.  For instance, my collar is 5/8″, so I cut the fabric to be 2-1/2″ wide.  The length of your fabric needs to be at least 8″ longer than the circumference of your dog’s neck.  This measurement does not need to be exact because the collar is adjustable.  When you have figured out the dimensions, cut your fabric.  Cut a piece of interfacing to the same size as the fabric.
  2. Following the directions for the interfacing, iron the interfacing to the back side of the fabric.
  3. Fold the ends in about 1/4″ and iron.  Make sure right sides are out.
  4. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides facing out and press.
  5. Open the most recent step and fold the edges in to meet the middle crease.  Iron.
  6. Repress the middle crease with the edges still folded in.
  7. Sew an 1/8″ seam down each side of the fabric lengthwise.
  8. Cut the current fabric off your old collar, but keep all the pieces.  You should have four pieces of plastic and a metal ring left.  Two of the pieces clip together.  One adjusts the size of the collar once it is on the dog.  The fourth piece is a small plastic band and holds the collar in place (your collar may or may not include this piece).  The metal piece is a D-ring to hold your dog tags.
  9. If you look at the adjuster from the side, it should have a flat bottom and a rounded top.  Feed the fabric up through one of the slits starting on the flat bottom.  Continue to feed the fabric down through the second slit in the rounded top and out again through the flat bottom.
  10. Pin the tail of the fabric to the rest of the fabric and sew firmly in place.  Sew over the same place a few times to make sure the fabric is firmly attached.
  11. Thread the fabric through the plastic band (if you have one), one side of the clip, and back through the plastic band.  Make sure all plastic pieces will follow the contours of your dogs neck (all rounded edges face out).
  12. Feed the fabric through the adjuster piece in the same manner as before.
  13. Thread the fabric through the metal D-ring and the second piece of the clip.
  14. Pin the tail to the fabric before and after the D-ring.  Sew the tail down firmly in both places.
  15. Allow your pooch to show off their newest accessory!


Filed under Fabric, Pets