wool kitty toys (handmade holidays)

Anyone who has ever owned a cat knows that they love to chase pom poms and little balls! The little ladies and I have been trying for some time now to make little balls out of wool roving, we are fairly new to this beautiful art form,  and we finally have the process figured out!

kitty toys

What you need:
wool roving (we purchased ours at a fiber fair)
jingle bells (small or medium size)
bowl of hot water
bowl of soapy hot water
catnip infused water (optional)

bells

wool

Dip your wool choice into the hot soapy water, than roll it around the bell, layering the wool in a criss cross manner until you form a ball shape. Then roll it between your palms, keep rolling and agitating it and dipping it between the hot water bowl and the hot soapy bowl. If there is too much soap in the ball, the fibers don’t seem to bind as tightly so keep rinsing it in the hot water. The hotter the better, the heat is what really tightens and shrinks the wool around the bell. When you have your perfect shape, drop the ball into a bowl of catnip tea to give it a little hit of crazy for your kitty friend! Squeeze out the excess water and set the ball aside to dry. You will notice that the balls don’t jingle very well when wet, but as the balls dry the jingles will become louder! 

kitty wool bell ball

We are making these for our kitty friends for the holidays.  Pixie has gotten her share early and LOVES them! She enjoys daily games of fetch- we throw the ball, she chases it, picks it up with her little mouth and brings it back. It’s so cute!

pixie toys

 For another fun wool roving project (mossy felted rocks) visit Beth at Acorn Pies.

35 Comments

  • January 14, 2011 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

    This is the best blog I’ve ever seen in my life! I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to share your this with everyone.

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  • November 12, 2009 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    these are really beautiful! i’ve posted about them on my blog (w/ link and credits.) thanks for sharing your creativity (yet again!)

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  • November 4, 2009 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh these are too cute! I have had the hardest times making wool felt balls, but you have inspired me to give it another try

  • November 4, 2009 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    I have been making little felt balls for years, using them as marbles and beads. Never thought to put bells in them. These are definitely going on my cat gift giving list!

  • November 4, 2009 - 7:35 am | Permalink

    These are too cute, thanks for sharing!

  • November 4, 2009 - 12:03 am | Permalink

    These are so pretty! I like to put a bunch on a string & hang them in the windows! I hope you all are well now!
    love, sara

  • November 3, 2009 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Ha! We just got some roving and were going to make some little jingly balls!

  • November 3, 2009 - 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Our kitties love these too and also baskets filled with wool that they can lay in. We just love wool…your balls are so colorful and fun. I also love that you got your wool locally. Check this out:
    http://theartistthemom.blogspot.com/2009/08/treasure-bag.html

  • November 3, 2009 - 3:55 pm | Permalink

    That is a cute idea! You are right – we must be on the same wavelengh today. We had so much fun making them and it looks like you guys did too.

  • Jane
    November 3, 2009 - 2:29 pm | Permalink

    My cats love little gnomes made of wool and felt.

  • November 3, 2009 - 2:02 pm | Permalink

    how funny to read this today, i did dryer balls for gifts for xmas a couple of weeks ago and i thought OH! catnip jingle balls for all the kitties in the family!

    these are great and thanks for the tip about the jingling because i probably would have given up on it without the jingle at first!

  • November 3, 2009 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Our kitties go straight for the wool roving…. they pull it apart and leave clumps all over the living room if we don’t pack it away properly. Maybe they are trying to tell me to make them some of these little jingle balls?

  • November 3, 2009 - 11:10 am | Permalink

    I just came to visit from Burbs and the Bees. I had to see who was behind such a great title.. 5 orange potatoes.
    I love that you put jingles inside your felted balls.

  • November 3, 2009 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    cat fetch! That is about the cutest thing ever! We also love playing with wool, and I next time I am adding bells inside for cat toys, I wish I would have thought of that with my experiment. I was just getting the hang of felting multiples in the washer. Uhg, I should have thought of the cats! Oh well. I think we are going to put beads on ours and make them into ornaments like these…

    http://paintedthreadsprojects.blogspot.com/2008/10/making-felted-balls.html

  • November 3, 2009 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    You are good mommies to your cat!!

  • November 3, 2009 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Beautiful cat toys!
    I will not give them to the cats, but keep them for myself ;)

    Have fun with the paper mache! (I’ve done it with wallpaper paste)
    You can also make balls. Put them on a stick for the stringing hole.

  • Kat
    November 3, 2009 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Poor eddy, she seems to be the only cat in the family without felted ball toys.
    looks like araina is feeling better!

  • November 3, 2009 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    Those were some of Finn’s favorite baby toys (minus the catnip). I needle felted them, put faces and other designs on them, and made them a bit larger though. The jingling bells inside must be the kicker, for both kitties and babies. :)

  • November 3, 2009 - 1:08 am | Permalink

    so lovely! er … and apparently wordpress doesn’t allow such a short comment. So, really really lovely. ;-)

  • November 3, 2009 - 12:36 am | Permalink

    How cute!! Looks like your daughter had almost as much fun making the toy as the cat did playing with it! What a fun activity for both of them!

  • November 3, 2009 - 12:21 am | Permalink

    So beautiful, what a great idea.

  • November 3, 2009 - 12:16 am | Permalink

    we love wet felting little things and your kitty bell balls look lovely

  • November 2, 2009 - 10:46 pm | Permalink

    what a cute girl!
    we made cat toys last year using scrap wool felt, yarn, and beads to make little mouse shaped toys. fill them with catnip and you have a winner with kitty.
    i love the homemade ideas. any idea if these would work equally well as dryer balls?
    nicola
    http://whichname.blogspot.com

  • November 2, 2009 - 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Our cats would love these too much! How would I then ever keep them away from the wool toys that do not belong to them? (I do not really expect you to have an answer this…)

  • November 2, 2009 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

    What a cute idea and I love the look on your daughter’s face. Could she be any happier?!

  • November 2, 2009 - 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I love the color choices! They really are very pretty :)

  • November 2, 2009 - 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh awesome. We tried to make some jingle balls similar to these, but bigger, for my nephew last year. I got confused as to why the bells didn’t jingle (when wet), so wound up leaving them out. Thanks for clarifying that! Silly me. Of course as the wet soapiness dried they would jingle. These are a great idea… we have two cats who would probablly enjoy these.

    :) Lisa

  • Robin
    November 2, 2009 - 8:45 pm | Permalink

    My Kitties LOVE these little woolen toys!!!

  • November 2, 2009 - 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I love that these have the bells in them, what a great idea! My cats go mad for those roving balls. Thanks so much for this, I’ll be linking.

  • November 2, 2009 - 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I love it! What a clever child you have, (I think it is hard to make a ball, rather than just a vague cloud shape with warts,) and I also think your cat is very clever playing fetch. Even our dog won’t play fetch! Beth

  • November 2, 2009 - 8:11 pm | Permalink

    These are wonderful! I have a lot of wool roving myself and have been trying to decide what to do with it. I saw a terrarium on etsy last week with mini sheep made of roving inside them. They were very cute!

  • November 2, 2009 - 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! I’ll have to try felting roving one of these days.
    My cat plays fetch, too. Crazy!

  • Anet
    November 2, 2009 - 7:39 pm | Permalink

    My Harpo goes insane for wool roving cat toys! I needle felt them with dried cat nip inside.
    Needle felting is not good for kids though, those needles are so darn sharp!!!

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