“Making Art From Your Pet’s Shed Fur”

“Making Art From Your Pet’s Shed Fur”

Making Art From Your Pet’s Shed Fur

I never realized how much fur my cat sheds until I started collecting it. At first, I just swept it up and threw it away. But then I had an idea – why not keep the fur and try making art with it?

Gathering the Fur

The first step was gathering enough fur to work with. Here’s what I did:

  • I got a lint roller and started using it on the couch, cat tree, beds, and anywhere else my cat hangs out. Rolling the sticky paper picked up loads of fur.

  • I also used a pet brush to groom my cat regularly. The fur came off in chunks on the brush.

  • I put old sheets on the couch and beds. They collected loose fur over time. Then I washed the sheets and filtered out the fur.

  • I even made a “fur trap” – a piece of fleece with the nubby side up. My cat loved rubbing on it and it caught tons of loose undercoat.

It took a while but I accumulated a big bag of fur. I had to pick out any clumps and debris to get it ready for projects.

Felting the Fur

Felting involves tangling and condensing fibers together using heat, moisture, and agitation. Wet felting uses soapy water while needle felting uses a barbed needle to tangle the fibers.

I tried both methods with cat fur:

  • For wet felting, I laid out a thin layer of fur and rubbed it with soapy water. Then I rolled it up in a towel to absorb moisture and agitate the fibers.

  • For needle felting, I used a special needle to repeatedly stab at clumps of fur. The barbs caught the fur and meshed it together.

Felting produced dense, matted clumps of fur that I could shape into artistic forms. The results were better with needle felting – it really tangled the undercoat while leaving the longer guard hairs intact.

Making Fur Art

With my felted fur, I experimented with making sculptures, jewelry, ornaments, and more. Here are a few of my creations:

Fur Flowers

I needle felted fur into the shape of roses, hydrangeas, and lilies. Using flower cookie cutters as molds produced clean edges. I also made leaves from felted fur. The fur flowers looked incredibly realistic! I attached them to hair clips, barrettes, and headbands.

Fur Critters

Using simple Play-Doh bodies as armatures, I needle felted fur to make mice, hedgehogs, and rabbits. I even made a furry snake! The felted fur coat covered the armature completely. For eyes, I used tiny beads. My cat toys came alive!

Fur Ornaments

Balls of felted fur made cute Christmas tree ornaments. I decorated them with ribbon for hanging. Larger flat circles became ornaments for package toppers. Sparkly pipe cleaners added a festive touch.

Felted Fur Jewelry

I felted fur into bezels and cabochons to hold jewelry findings and stones. The result was beautiful one-of-a-kind necklaces and earrings with my cat’s luxurious fur.

Tips for Working With Fur

Through trial and error, I learned some useful tips for making art with cat fur:

  • Brush the cat before collecting fur – it yields the soft undercoat, not just loose hair.

  • Store the fur in a sealed container or bag to keep it clean and dry.

  • For wet felting, use very hot soapy water to get the fibers to bond.

  • Needle felting takes practice! Start with a foam pad before moving on to sculpting forms.

  • Blend in dyed wool roving for pops of color in your projects.

  • Finished pieces can be gently washed and reshaped as needed. Air dry thoroughly.

The Joy of Feline-Inspired Art

Making art from my cat’s shed fur allowed me to turn what I normally threw away into beautiful handmade creations. I loved being able to make lasting mementos from the fur that I brush off her every day. My cat-loving friends and family swooned over the unique felted fur gifts. Plus, my cat enjoyed batting around the felted fur toys I made for her! With a little creativity, shed pet fur can make wonderful keepsakes.