I guess publishing this review for Crafting with Cat Hair confirms that I have ventured into crazy cat lady territory. But before you judge me, think about this: wool comes from sheep. So if we use sheep hair to make wool, what’s wrong with using cat hair to make wool? OH YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT, nothing! Nothing at all. I am completely normal. Besides, if it was so gross to make crafts out of cat hair, would they publish a book about it? Certainly not!
So now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the book: Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat by Kaori Tsutaya. With four cats that like to shed all over the place, I’ve been awaiting the English translation of this book for several months. I think it appealed to me more for the novelty than anything else, though. I love crafts and I love cute things and I love things from Japan too, so this book was like an epic convergence of things I heart. So I pre-ordered the book and waited patiently for its arrival.
When the package came from Amazon, I tore it open with glee while my husband gave me the side-eye–haters can hate on, because I was about to make some supercute things with cat hair! The cover of Crafting with Cat Hair, as you can see above, is absolutely adorable. The cat is all, “Hey, that finger puppet is made out of my fur, you sick freak!” I love the finger puppets, but unfortunately, I don’t really have much use for a puppet, so I paged through the book looking for other ideas. And that’s when I felt disappointed. All the other crafts in the book were some variation of the same thing: felted wool appliques. Don’t get me wrong, all the projects are cute, but with instructions for the first, I could have easily figured out the rest on my own. I was hoping for different ideas and maybe some ideas that didn’t involve making cat hair into little cats. I’ve heard of people making beads out of cat hair, for example, and I was kind of hoping to find instructions for that.
That said, this is still a fun book and I was determined to make something from it. I didn’t need book covers or a pin cushion, so I decided to use Crafting with Cat Hair’s felting technique to make a cover for an empty soap tin I had been using to hold buttons. You need special felting needles and a styrofoam base (I bought a felting kit for $3.99 at Michael’s)–after setting a piece of fabric on the styrofoam, you place a pattern (the book supplies these; you trace them onto cardboard) on the fabric and put the cat hair inside the outline. Then you repeatedly stab the hair into the styrofoam. After a while, it becomes attached to the fabric. Easy peasy, right?
The end result isn’t too fabulous looking, I admit. I think I used a little too much cat hair. But you get the idea, right? All in all, it was a fun little activity for a rainy day, but I don’t see myself doing this regularly. I mean, how many cat hair crafts can you have in your home before people start to whisper about you behind your back? And if you give them to other people, they’ll probably be slightly unnerved. That said, I think Crafting with Cat Hair would make an awesome gift for crafty cat lovers.
Disclaimer: I bought this book myself and I’m reviewing it because I want to. Thanks to Mochi for donating his fur to the cause.