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

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7 Craft Guilty Pleasures, You Know You Love ‘Em!

craft guilty pleasures_craftforest

I’m all for guilty pleasures, like watching Center Stage on Netflix for the millionth time and singing loudly to Single Ladies in the car. And crafting is no different. There are some things on Pinterest that we’re really drawn to, but probably wouldn’t tell our friends we spent 46 hours making ’em. In no particular order, here are  7 craft guilty pleasures. Enjoy!

1. Glitter: Shiny objects bring out the magpie in me for sure. From unnecessarily glittery mugs to clothes to housewares. I love it all! But do we really need glittered pencils?! Probably not. But thank you, thank you to The Crafted Life for collecting some great ones.


2. Decoupage: When all else fails, glue some stuff on it! ModPdge, I adore you. Seriously, I’ve a problem. Not sure that I need 18 ways to decoupage mason jars, but let’s do it anyway!


3. And while we’re on the subject: Mason Jars. I do feel especially summery when I’m sipping a cold drink from a mason jar, but come on people. But if you still can’t get enough, here are a 100 mason jar crafts & diys. 100. Wow.


4. Nutella. This one is lost on me, but you guys LOVE it. Am I the only person in the world who really, really doesn’t care for Nutella? Will I be eradicated from existance, will my Pinterest account be revoked? Nervous to say the least. But here I stand proud saying “I’m just not that into you, Nutella.” BUT for the rest of the world here’s why Chibird hearts the stuff.


5. The overly extravagant birthday party for your little 1-year-old prince or princess (who may or may not have cried and/or slept through the whole darn thing). I love doing fun stuff for my kiddos and celebrating the fact that they have stayed alive a little bit longer each year. But Pinterest makes me feel like my kids are gonna need a lot of therapy for missing out on these incredibly styled parties. For some incredible fêtes check out this blog. I want that kid’s party for myself!

over the top birthday

6. American Girl Sewing Patterns. These things have better clothing that most of the people I know. Necessary? Absolutely not. But cute? Uh, yeah. So go make that doll the Halloween apron she’s been dying for! Holy cute!

halloween american doll

7. T-shirt Refashions of the particularly slicey variety. Does anyone really wear these in real life? There are some really cute ones out there, too. Maybe I’m just lazy on this one. Here are 10 you might want to check out.


I’m gonna combine numbers 6 and 7 and make some sliced-up t’s for me and Lola’s (Target version) “American” doll. And then we’re gonna watch Center Stage. Again. Don’t judge.

So, what are your crafty guilty pleasures? I’d actually really like to know. Really.


What some more? Be sure to check us out socially! Pinterest // Facebook // Twitter

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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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Sew What?

don't worry I know what I'm doing I say this on Pinterest

I’m liking the accountability of telling you guys what I’m working on each week. Keeps me from chickening out, so here’s what’s cookin’ this week.

I’m desperate for some sunshine, so I’m gonna try to speed up spring with this Lumi Inkodye Kit. I’ve an idea for printing/sewing some reusable shopping bags. This was a really cool Kickstarter that I backed and can’t wait to try out! You use the sun to print your own custom fabrics from photos taken with their app.

I’m also going to continue working on my sewing basics with an “easy” pajama bottom project and trying my hand at making pillowcases. Found a few tutorials and gonna hope for the best. Wish me luck! Gonna need it.

this week on craftforest.com

What are you working on this week? Will you give any of these a go?

I’d also love your suggestions for some of the best beginner sewing projects or tutorials. Leave me yours in the comments please and thank you!


Double-Dog Dare: Zippers + Block Prints

mel-gibson-in-braveheart_freedom from craft anxiety

I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. But this whole making things thing is a bigger challenge than I could have ever imagined! But I’ve double-dog dared myself to keep going. When I’m down on my craft luck, I picture Mel Gibson’s William Wallace  rallying me to freedom, or to have the courage to sew a zipper…either way.

So, this week I’m continuing to battle with my fateful foe the zipper (for a laugh click over to my Pin FAIL zippered apron) and I’m going to work on creating prints with household objects. The ultimate goal is to create a little bag that contains both elements. Fingers crossed. Here are a few of the inspiration pins, should you wish to join me in this fight.

Blue face paint is completely optional. But highly encouraged!

zippered pouch and diy print tutorials1) Valentines Day Zakka Zippered Pouch
2) Easy Zippered Pouch DIY
3) Quilted Zipper Pouch 
4) Toilet Paper Roll Printing
5) Potato Print DIY
6) DIY Block Printed Sweater 

What’ll you double-dog dare yourself to make this week? Be sure to tell me in the comments, especially if you plan to wear plaid or shout while tackling it.

Read this far? Fantastic! Here are a few more popular posts: Kniting 101 & Free Pattern / DIY Running Shoe Makeover / T-Shirt to Softie Pillow and lots and lots of pins over here.