T-shirt Yarn + DIY Cat Toys

delores karl hudson the cat

We are over the moon excited to welcome our new kitty home! We adopted her from a great little place called Kitty City (which Riley made a really funny jingle for, but refuses to sing to you guys). Her name was Cass, but we renamed her. Everyone got to choose a name.  And somehow our female cat became Delores Karl Hudson, or Karl Hudson for short. Cracks me up!

She was immediately comfortable and sweet. Mind you this was our second shelter cat in as many weeks. We originally adopted an older female we named Yeti, but she ended up spending the better part of two weeks hiding in a hole in the basement wall. We started calling her “wall kitty”. The foster folks were so sweet to come and coax her out and match us with the perfect pet.

fun with our new cat

All things for a reason, I guess. Anyway, we are loving her like crazy people. Lola wanted to make her toys so we made two and I went nuts pinning others to make real soon.

First we made a dangle cat toy with a piece of yarn and a stick. So simple and highly recommended by kitty Karl Hudson. And we made some t-shirt yarn and turned it into a really simple, crazy easy pom pom.

diy dangler cat toy

Here’s how to make your own t-shirt yarn for cat toys and a bunch of other crafts, too.

diy tshirt yarn crafts

First line up the bottom hem of your shirt and cut it off (this is a very forgiving project) with scissors or a rotary cutter. Then cut the top portion of the shirt off – I cut under the arm holes straight across.

fold leaving one inch_diy tshirt yarn

Next turn your shirt sideways, using one of the uncut sides as the bottom. Then fold from the bottom up leaving about an inch at the top.

diy tshirt yarn 2

Fold from the bottom again, still leaving an inch at the top. This will give you four (4) layers to cut through to make your strips.

make your own tshirt yarn

Cut through the four layers stopping at the one inch you left at the top. I cut through with scissors, but a rotary cutter would have been easier. I cut about one inch strips, but it’s totally up to you.

how to make your own tshirt yarn

Keep cutting your strips all the way to end. Remember not to cut all the way up to the top – leave your one inch uncut. Then you can open it all up to see your long strips and uncut top.

make your own tshirt yarn cutting

You’ll need to cut across the top and I found it easiest to lay it across a plastic bottle. You could put it on your arm, but this is way easier. Make a diagonal cut from the bottom of the first strip to the bottom of the second. Then keep cutting on a diagonal to the end.

You’ll find that the first strip is still attached so just cut it on a diagonal again and you’re all set. Sorry I forgot to snap a pic of the yarn laid out! We were too excited to make it into a toy, I guess!

After you have your yarn ready you can drive your cat crazy make a pom in just minutes!

diy tshirt yarn pom poms

First wrap the yarn around your hand, pull it off your hand and tie another strip in a knot across the middle. Then cut the loops at each end open. Then instant pom pom! You can give yours a little haircut if you want to get a tighter, more uniform pom. We left ours as is because she already wanted to play with it!

But she’s a smart one and refuses to have her picture taken in action. So here are some really bad pics of Karl Hudson staring at us, guarding her new diy cat toy!

diy cat toy

Hope you’ll make these two (ridiculously easy) diy cat toys! And here are some MORE adorable diy cat toys from folks way more creative than me!
diy cat toys
1. Cardboard Mice 2. Fish Head (fish heads, rollie-pollie fish heads…eat them up yum!) 3. Kitty Sushi 4. Knitted Corks

xo, Jennifer, Lola, + DKH the Cat

* Since you made it this far you might as well give us a like on Facebook + pin stuff with us, too!


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DIY Fabric Earrings

diy fabric earrings

Lola really wants her ears pierced, but it’s not gonna happen anytime soon. Sooo, I made her some little clip on earrings with buttons, fabric, and googly eyes. She was in love. Maybe you will be, too!

Check out this short video to make your own Japanese zakka inspired fabric earrings in clip or pierced.

Want to make more? Here are some popular projects to check out: DIY Bath Bombs without Citric Acid // Pinterest FAIL Apron Edition // No Sew Tooth Fairy Pillow

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Quilted Potholder from Fabric Scraps

quilted potholders from fabric scraps

I’m not a great sewer. I don’t think I have to tell you that. But I’m trying. So, I keep looking for beginner sewing projects to work on straight lines, catching all the layers of fabric, and following directions. Well, I got two out of three this time. So that’s kinda great!

quilted potholder tutorials

I sort of used this tutorial from Make (mushroom/scissors image up there), but mostly just kind of wung it (is that the past tense of ‘wing it’?!). When I make more I’ll bind using this tutorial from Simple Simon.

Scrap fabric
Batting (I used some left over fleece)
Backing fabric
Binding (I used one jelly roll strip), or you could make without binding with the Make tutorial

scraps, fleece, and backing for potholders

I pieced 3 scraps that I really liked together. Combined they were roughly 9 x 10. Then I cut the fleece and a larger scrap for the back to match.

quilting fabric scraps

I pieced these three and sewed the wrong sides of the gray circle and the blue solid to the larger black & white piece to create the front. I used a 1/4 sew allowance throughout.

quilting your potholder

Then I sandwiched the backing face-side down, then the fleece, and the top face-side up. I didn’t use quilt basting or pins because my fleece was staticy enough that they all stayed together. Then I stitched straight lines to quilt it all together.

measuring jelly roll strip

Instead of cutting my own bias tape, I used a precut jelly roll strip that is 2.5″ x 44″. I folded the strip in half and pressed it firmly. Here’s a good binding tutorial video that can explain this process much better than I could.

I machine sewed the binding to the back (based on the video) and then hand stitched to the front. My corners didn’t quite work so I just folded them over onto itself and sewed ’em down. Oh, also you can tell where I started and stopped because I cut my pieces too short to use the tip in the video. Oops!

front and back of potholder

BUT I sewed some really darn near straight lines and caught all the layers of fabric the first time around. It’s the little things, you know? So what if I wasn’t so great with directions?

The good thing is that my pots can still be held! And they don’t care in the slightest that I kinda made this one up. It’s all kinds of crazy, but I still love it!

quilted potholder

These are next on the list! The blog is in Japanese without a tutorial, but I think I can figure this one out. Aren’t they cute?

fabrickaz+idees pot mats

Pot Mats from fabrickaz+idees

Want to make something else? Here are a few popular posts: 3 Big Bags TutorialDIY Fabric Washi Tape, and DIY Running Shoe Makeover.

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Kantha Quilt Love + Running Stitch Tutorial

kantha quilts and running stitch.jpg

I have always loved a little touch of embroidery on bed linens, clothing (mine & Lola’s), pillows, curtains, etc – it makes it feel so special, a bit unique. Lately, I’ve been especially taken with the simple running stitch on vintage Kantha quilts made from upcycled sarees. I can’t get enough of them, but have yet to break down and buy one. I’m working on the poor man’s version with a thrift twin-size duvet [keep reading].

Kantha Quilts

Via Decor8 Blog

I think if I had to do a million stitches like in the quilt, I’d probably get it down. Maybe. Or I’d start to despise the running stitch. But I love the look of these quilts enough that I’m willing to take that chance.

Kanta Quilt

Kantha Quilt from Fab.com

I learned to embroider as a little girl – at Girl Scouts maybe? The running stitch is a very basic stitch that is perfect for beginner embroidery and for kids. It’s the stitch you probably think of when you think of hand sewing: up from the back and then down again.  I still struggle with getting my stitches completely even, but it’s getting better.

Running Stitch Embroidery

I found this video tutorial from Needle & Thread to be very helpful and totally down-to-earth if you need help or a refresher.

I have this thrifted twin sized duvet cover that is orange, white, and brown that I picked up with the intention of making pillowcase for my bedroom. BUT after coveting more Kantha quilts on Pinterest, I thought it would look fantastic as a throw in my bedroom with orange running stitches! So here goes nothing.

DIY Kantha Quilt

Twin Duvet Cover (mine snaps open on one end), or two pieces of fabric
Orange Embroidery Thread (Did not separate, used all 6 strands)
Long embroidery needle
Scissors, small embroidery are great, but not required
Some Patience (Helpful, not not necessary)
Season Two of House of Cards (Suggested, highly suggested)

This duvet had been waiting patiently in the linen closet to become something, anything. But first it needed to be ironed. I took care to really iron the seams flat so that I could stitch both sides together.

pressing before stitching

Usually you’ll separate the strands of your embroidery floss, but I wanted thick stitches so I used all six strands at once. Cut a length of embroidery floss, tying a knot at one end.

knotted embroidery thread.jpg

Because my duvet is stitched together, I just started from the “back” side and inserted my needle pulling the thread up from the back.

starting kantha quilt.

And if you gather your stitches it comes together pretty quickly. You can slide your needle through to grab extra stitches and then pull it through. You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished a lot quickly with this one!

gather stitches in running stitch

Then I continued stitching up a (sort of) straight line. I actually love when these lines are imperfect! I think it adds to the charm. And no that’s not me making excuses for my inexperience. Though it helps for sure! You’ll notice one line of particular crazy stitches when an Amber alert when off on my phone and I jumped mid-stitch! Yikes.

Make you own Kantha style quilt

I can’t wait to finish this Kantha-style quilt!! Loving the way it’s coming together, imperfect stitches and all!

Even Lola got in on the running stitch action. Run Lola Run! How long have I been waiting to use that one?! Ummm, a long time. She is making a pillow cover. I love this kid!

kids running stitch instructions

I hope to have the duvet cover finished by the weekend – we’ll see how it goes!

In the meantime, stay tuned for more embroidery fun and how to make your own bath bombs without citric acid this week!

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