Hey cat parents, don't throw away those old wine corks — turn 'em into cute cat toys instead! Here are three purr-fect playthings guaranteed to help your kitty get his pounce on. You'll also have the option to create some homemade catnip spray that you can use to scent the toys for maximum frisk.
Things You'll Need
• Wine corks (if you don't drink wine, you can buy corks online or at a craft store)
• Catnip (optional)
• Non-toxic permanent bonding glue
• Craft feathers
• Hemp twine and/or raffia
• Pipe cleaners (aka craft stems)
• Barbecue skewer or toothpick
First, Prepare the Corks
Before moving on the toy tutorials below, you'll need to prepare your wine corks for action. Here's how.
Put a pot of filtered water (about 2 cups) on medium heat.
If you'd like to make catnip spray, add about a teaspoon of catnip to the water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.
Steam the corks over the water for about three to five minutes.
Catnip Spray Option:
If you've added catnip to your water, let it steep for another hour, then strain it into a spray bottle. Use this to mist your cat's playthings, cat furniture, and scratchers. This will stray fresh for a few days if stored in the fridge.
Bore 1/2 inch deep holes into the softened corks using the narrower of your two scissor blades. (You can also use a screwdriver.)
Repeat for all corks, and you'll be ready to start.
Tap into your cat's natural desire to hunt by creating a bird simulation toy using fun craft feathers.
Apply glue all around the bottom shaft of one feather. If needed, trim any surrounding fuzz off the bottom shaft of your feathers before applying glue.
Insert the shaft into one of the corks and gently push in as far as it will go.
Repeat the first and second steps with a second feather.
Apply glue all around the top edge of the hole to fill in any gaps and to secure the feathers in place.
And you're done!
For this toy, you'll need some type of string or twine. We used raffia (shown below) and hemp twine.
Cut 4 pieces of raffia about 6 inches in length.
Group the pieces together, twist around the center of the bundle, then bend it in half.
Now twist the bundle at the bend and apply glue all around the end.
Insert the glued end into the cork. Use a barbecue skewer or toothpick to push it in as far as it will go.
Apply glue all around the top edge of the hole to fill in any gaps and to secure the raffia in place.
Once the glue is dried, you're all done! Tempt your kitty to play by simply giving your tassel a little twirl.
Tip: Raffia is a great material to use for its crinkle and bounce factors!
Below is the same tassel toy made with hemp twine — a 100 percent natural and very durable option.
Pipe Cleaner Toys
These are some of the funnest toys to make, as you can, literally, bend pipe cleaners to your will. You'll definitely want to take advantage of their springiness, though! That's why we've created the double-coil toy below. Of course, feel free to make your own configurations.
Bend pipe cleaner into a "v."
Wrap each ends around your finger to create springy coils.
Apply glue to the bent end and insert into the cork.
Coils are just one option. Create any shape you'd like.
All done! If you've made catnip spray, give your toys a light mist.
Now let kitty playtime commence!
Did you make any wine-cork toys? Share photos with us in the comments section!