Here is a quick tutorial for handmade “feather tail” cat toys that should last a while for your cat. They are inexpensive and extremely easy to make so it is a great project for novice crafters. (THEY ALSO MAKE GREAT GIFTS) 🙂
- Wooden beads (various sizes)
- 4mm satin bead cord
- Feather boa
- Loose crafting feathers
- Glue gun
- Lighter (optional)
STEP 1: PREP THE BOA
Cut the feather boa to the desired length (mine is about 8″ long) and pull off the loose feathers on both ends to expose some of the white threads running through the center. Optional: pull the threads through a small bell and feed 2-3 feathers through it
STEP 2: PREP THE CORD
Cut a 4mm satin cord about 20″ long and create a single knot around 1″ from the end of it. Run a single bead through the other end and secure it with a second knot. Repeat two more times as illustrated above.
STEP 3: CREATE A FEATHER BUNCH
Create a feather bunch with 5-7 different colors using hot glue in between layers to adhere them and gently roll it into a cylinder each time.
STEP 4: GLUE THE CORD TO THE BOA
Grabbing the end of the boa with the bell, hot glue the short end of the cord to the boa. Cut a 2″ piece of cord and burn the ends with a lighter to keep it from fraying. Put a dab of glue right under the end of the cord on the boa and glue one end of the two inch piece perpendicular to it. Glue down and slowly wrap the cord up until the boa threads are secured.
STEP 5: GLUE THE FEATHER BUNCH TO THE OTHER END OF THE BOA
Put a good amount of hot glue on the other end of the boa and press the feather bunch down onto it. Add a small amount of glue around the top of the bunch and run the feather tail through your fingers to get rid of any gaps between the boa and feathers.
STEP 6: CREATE A LOOP AT THE END
Create a loop on the end of the cord and tighten it with a double knot. Cut off any excess cord and burn the end to prevent fraying.
This is a small bunch of feathers prepared the same as above, without the boa. Rather than creating a loop with a knot, the second end was just wrapped around the cord for extra security. This variation is great for cats that will play by themselves.
This is an example of a “salvaged” toy that was repurposed after destruction! Gizmo chewed through the boa tail so this is all that remained of the toy:
I created a new loop, added a bell, and glue a feather bunch to top of the boa piece. I secured the feathers with additional cord wrapping.
Did you create a similar toy using this tutorial? Please post a picture of it in the comments below!
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