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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Cat Towel Holder

This week’s project for AJ: Towel hangers for my kitchen.

Our towels were forever falling off the oven handle so I decided to make some towel holders and of course, I had to do a cat themed one!

I got the idea for the applique from this adorable cat quilt I found on Pinterest.

This towel holder has a rod inside so that the towel can be swapped out. I didn’t want to make a towel holder that was permanently attached to the towel because I really did not want to have to make a towel holder for every single one of my kitchen towels. This seemed like a more efficient solution to my towel woes.

Supplies:

  • 4 colors of felt – orange or brown for main color of cat, pink for ears, white for eyes, grey for the wall
  • 7″ plastic or wooden rod – I cut up a hanger to get my rods
  • 1 piece of 10″ x 7″ fabric for the front
  • 1 piece of fusible fleece about 11″ x 8″ (found in the interfacing section at Jo-Anns or you can use regular interfacing)
  • 1 piece of backing fabric about 11″ x 8″
  • 1 piece of 10″ x 2.5″ fabric to make loops for the rod – this won’t show so any fabric will do
  • 1 package of extra wide double fold bias tape
  • 2 large snaps
  • Black acrylic paint or black puffy paint
  • Fabric glue
  • Hotglue

You’ll need a 7″ rod to hang the towel on. I took a hacksaw to a plastic hanger to get my rods.

Now make a fabric sandwich with the backing fabric, the fusible fleece, and front fabric. Pin the layers together.

Quilt the fabric – that means stitch all the layers together. I chose to do a criss cross pattern for my towel holder.

I like the look of quilting but you can skip the quilting step and use interfacing instead. You just need to put something in the middle to give the towel holder a bit of stiffness.

Trim all the layers to match the top layer. You should end up with a 7″ x 10″ rectangle.

Cut out the cat applique shapes using the PDF pattern. You want to use the cat colored felt for all the pieces except for the inner ear pieces which are pink.

Cut a 1.5″ x 7″ strip of grey felt for the wall. Glue the wall down onto your quilted piece.

Glue the cat pieces down next.

You don’t have to do this step but I wanted to make sure the cat applique didn’t come off so I zigzagged around all the edges.

Now use the acrylic paint (or puffy paint pen) and draw a pair of eyes on the white felt.

Cut out eyes and glue them to the cat. Draw on the nose, mouth, and whiskers.

Finish the edges using the bias tape. I like to make my own bias tape but that’s usually because I’m too lazy to run to the store to buy bias tape that matches my project.

Now we need to make the loops to hold the towel rod. Take the 2.5″ x 10″ strip and fold it in half and iron.

Open the piece up and take each side and fold it to middle and iron.

Fold the entire piece back up along the center fold and iron one last time.

Stitch down both sides of the strip close to the edge.

Cut two 4″ pieces from the long strip you just created.

Sew the ends together to make a loop using a 1/4″ seam.

Flip loop inside out.

Stitch again with a 1/4″ seam allowance, going over the seam you just stitched. This traps the raw edges inside so they don’t fray.

Flip the towel holder over and on the side opposite of where the cat applique is, mark 2″ from the bottom edge.

Pin the loops at the mark and stitch them down.

Hotglue the rod to the loops.

You’re almost done! The last step is to sew on snaps. One side of the snaps should go above the towel rod loops, and the other side should be mirrored on the other side of the towel holder when you fold it in half.

Please ignore my mis-matching snaps. I was down to my last two and again with the “too lazy to go to the store”. I figured no one would see them anyways… well, no one except for anyone reading this tutorial…

And you’re done! You just need to put a towel on the rod…

And wrap towel holder around the oven handle and snap it in place.

You can use this technique to create towel holders from any fabric you have laying around. I also made a mouse one because my husband likes mice.  (Oh the irony…)

And now you have cute towel holders for your kitchen!

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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in DIY, Tutorials

 

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The key to keeping everything clean = keeping the litterbox clean

Hey Kitty Krafters!

Recently, I was searching around on Amazon for new kitty bathroom accessories. I was very unhappy with our current litterbox and our Fresh Step brand clay-based litter, which gradually had left a fine gray dust over EVERYTHING in our bathroom. The clumping and the odor fighting powers of Fresh Step are phenomenal, but I couldn’t help but feel like we were inhaling the dust each time we scooped, as well.

After some shopping, we ended up changing almost everything about our kitty litter setup, and I love it all!

BoodaDome

First off, I exchanged our old litterbox for the Booda Dome, which helps control some of the litter tracking. One little trick that helps lessen the tracking even more is to turn the entrance of the Booda Dome to the wall! Leave only a little space, about six inches or so. Kitty will have to make a few low-speed turns to get out of the bathroom, giving the tracked litter plenty of time to fall off their paws, either in the Booda Dome’s steps or right outside, where we keep our litter-tracking mat.

showOverlay('21645340168265P')Which brings me to our second change: a new litter mat! We just use a very basic foam mat. It’s soft and comfy on a kitty’s paws, and has little grooves that trap litter when they walk across. There are fancier ones out there that you can try too – I just find that the key to an effective litter mat is simply cleaning/vacuuming it very often. If it gets too full of litter, they will just track it farther and farther out of the bathroom!

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Finally: Are you aware of something amazing called the Litter Genie? I certainly wasn’t until Amazon recommended it to me. It’s basically a diaper genie, but for cats! Before we had one, we had to sacrifice one plastic bag every time we scooped the litter box. Sure, it was usually an old Safeway or Target bag, but we felt really bad just the same!

The Litter Genie has this genius ring containing a plastic lining that is fourteen feet long. When the litter genie fills up, you simply open it, cut off the existing bag of kitty waste, tie it up and throw it away. You then knot the bottom of the plastic and you’re ready to go!

The only problem: refills are expensive. But that’s when AJ sent over a bunch of pictures of her husband demonstrating how they quickly got around the refill problem, using ordinary 13 gallon garbage bags with drawstrings. Genius!

litter01

This is what the Litter Genie (or Litter Locker II – they basically are the same product) refill ring looks like.

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Pull the garbage bag through the center of the refill ring.

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Wrap the outsides of the garbage bag over and around the ring, much like when you line a garbage can with a new bag. Try to tuck it in under the ring so that when you put the ring back in the Litter Locker, the ring is placed on top its own bag refill, keeping it in place.

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If your garbage bag has drawstrings this is very easy, as you can gently tighten the drawstrings and close the top a little bit, so that the bag is securely wrapped around the litter ring.

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This part can be a bit tricky but will come with practice – with one hand, open the litter locker divider (the one that seals away all the litter smells) and let the bag drop through the hole, just like the normal refill would.

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If you did it right, the ring should be snugly tucked back into its position, with a new bag ready to go!

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Recognize AJ’s tupperware litterbox and hand-cut litter mat? 🙂

And the final piece of my kitty bathroom renovation – the litter itself! Unfortunately this is where most people have to go through a bit of trial and error. Everyone has different preferences and are willing to make different kinds of sacrifices. As far as I know, there is no perfect litter. But I particularly like Blue Buffalo (also known as Blue Naturally Fresh). A bit of research online tells me that this brand might’ve gone through some rebranding in the past, but it looks like this in my local pet store:

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I use the multi-cat clumping formula – frankly, I don’t think I could deal with non-clumping litter because I live in a tiny condo and don’t have an outdoor backyard (or hose) where I could clean a litterbox or dispose of broken-down litter! Blue Naturally fresh is walnut based, has a very nice, natural smell, does a impressive job at odor control, a passable job at clumping, and is super easy to cleanup and does not track very much at all! Best of all, it’s almost dust-free!

I hope one (or two, or all) parts of this kitty bathroom renovation helps you generate some ideas on how to make one of the ickier parts of of having a cat a lot more manageable!  (Which really isn’t very bad at all, is it? Scooping litter with a shovel as opposed to picking up dog poop with a plastic bag, which would you choose?)

😀

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Informational

 

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