Whether you’re a dog-person or a cat-person, or a fan of all things furry in-between, the animals in your life will love these gifts, and they’re all super easy to make.

Make a catnip-filled toy for your cat

Cats go crazy for anything that dangles. Add catnip to the mix and you’ll keep your kitty entertained for hours on end.

You’ll need:

• Felt
• Embroidering thread
• Cotton balls
• Catnip
• A piece of dowel rod, approximately 50cm long
• Paint

1. Cut the pieces of felt into equally sized diamond shapes. The edges should be the same length. You’ll need two diamonds for every part of the toy.

Material for making cat toys

Felt cut into diamonds

2. Pin the diamonds together and hand stitch the pieces together as shown. Fill with the cotton, and then add a little catnip.
3. Hand stitch the open edges together to close them off to form a triangular shape.
4. Paint the dowel rod whichever colour you desire, and leave it out to dry.
5. Wrap some of the thread around the edge of the dowel rod and glue a piece of felt around it. Fasten the triangular shapes to the thread and add extra pieces of riff raff and thread to catch your cat’s attention.

Budget cat toy

DIY cat toy

Adapted from: Design Love Fest

Make a comfy bed for your dog 

DIY Dog bed

DIY dog bed

If you prefer your dog off the furniture and off the bed, this comfy doggy bed is the ideal gift to whisk your furry friend off to Dreamland.

You’ll need:

• 2 squares of T-shirt or polar fleece fabric, 1m x 1m each
• Needles to pin the fabric together
• Scissors
• 1 elastic band
• Stuffing
• Dressmaking pencil or something to trace on the fabric

What to do:

1. Fold both squares of fabric in four and pin them together to keep them in place.
2. Take one square of folded fabric and trace a rounded shape on the fabric as indicated in the sketch below.


Trace a rounded shape

3. Cut the fabric along the traced line. Then cut the other folded fabric using the same guideline.
4. Unfold the pieces of fabric. Place the two circles of fabric on top of one another and pin them together.
5. Cut side fringes equally along the edges of both pieces of fabric.
6. Unpin the circles from one another. Fold one of the circles into four, find the centre of the circle and tie the elastic band around it, about 7cm from the centre.
7. Place that circle on the floor, elastic side up and place the other circle on top of it. Tie the circles together by tying the fringes together.
8. Leave a few fringes undone and start stuffing the bed.
9. Once the stuffing is done, tie together the last fringes. And you’re done!

Adapted from: Luigi & Me 

Make a cereal bird-feeder

DIY Birdfeeder

DIY Bird feeder. Photo from: Smarter bytes.

Presuming you don’t have any pets, and perhaps don’t want any, but would like to make your garden a haven for the birds in the neighbourhood, this is the gift for them.

You’ll need:

• Yarn, approximately 50cm long
• Doughnut-shaped cereal (unsweetened, think wholegrain Oaties or the like)
• Scissors

1. Tie a pencil to one end of the yarn and start stringing the cereal to the yarn.
2. Once you’ve filled the entire piece of yarn, tie the two ends together, hang it on a tree branch and wait. It’s never been easier (or cheaper) to pretend you’re an animal lover!

Adapted from: About Home 

About The Author

Angie Gallagher

Angie Gallagher is a freelance writer in the Upper Karoo. Aside from writing content for Counting Coins, Angie has tried her hand at a few juvenile attempts at poetry filled with storms and stress, and a marginally successful radio station, Radio Grootoor, recorded on cassette tapes when she was ten.

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