Repurposing Leftover Pet Hair Into Festive Christmas Ornaments
As a pet owner, I know firsthand how much hair our furry friends can shed. While cleaning up piles of pet hair can feel never-ending, there are creative ways to repurpose all of that leftover fluff into something special. In this article, I’ll share some fun DIY ideas for turning pet hair into festive Christmas ornaments to decorate your tree and home for the holidays.
Collecting and Preparing the Pet Hair
The first step is gathering enough pet hair to work with. I recommend saving pet hair over time by brushing your dog or cat frequently and setting aside the excess fur. You can store the hair in a paper bag or envelope until you have a good amount.
When prepping the hair, make sure to clean out any large clumps or debris. For cats and long-haired dogs, you may need to chop or cut the hair into smaller strands so it is easier to work with. I like to use scissors to trim down longer chunks of pet hair for crafting.
Making Felt Pet Hair Ornaments
One of the easiest ways to turn pet hair into Christmas decor is by felting it into ornament shapes. Felting utilizes hot water and agitation to bond and mat animal fibers together.
To make felt with pet hair, first form a base of 100% wool roving into the desired shape. Then, evenly layer and incorporate the cleaned pet hair into the wool, using your fingers to mix the fibers together.
Place the entire hair and wool piece into a zippered mesh bag, and run it through the washing machine on the hot cycle. Add a small amount of mild soap or hair conditioner, and let the felting action of the washer mat and shrink the wool and hair blend into a durable felted material.
Once felted, let the ornament fully air dry before adding any embellishments or hangers. I like to decorate my pet hair felt ornaments with stitched initials, bells, ribbons or other accessories to make them extra festive for displaying on my Christmas tree.
Creating Unique Ornaments with Resin
Another way to reuse leftover pet fur for ornaments is by preserving the hair in clear resin. This creates beautiful, translucent decorations showing off the unique colors and textures of your pet’s hair.
To make resin pet hair ornaments, pour a small amount of clear casting resin into ornament molds or forms. Next, use tweezers to carefully place small tufts and clumps of the prepared pet hair into the resin. Arrange the hair into desired patterns and designs before allowing the resin to fully cure and harden overnight.
Once fully set, gently pop the ornaments out of the molds. Adding ribbon loops or other hanging supplies finishes these gorgeous pet hair resin decorations. The clear resin really puts the natural colors and qualities of the pet hair on display.
Needle Felting Pet Hair Designs
For another felting technique, I recommend transforming leftover fur into ornaments using needle felting. This involves sculpting wool and hair fibers by repeatedly stabbing them with a barbed felting needle to tangle and bond the materials.
Start by laying out a base of wool roving in your desired shape onto foam or another felting surface. Use the felting needle to begin attaching small pieces of cleaned pet hair, affixing them into the wool base. Continue adding layers of wool and hair while sculpting details and texture with the felting needle.
Some festive needle felted ornament designs include little holiday pets, woodland creatures, snowmen and more. Work slowly and carefully to shape the ornament design as you felt. Add any embellishments as desired, and attach a loop for hanging when complete.
Weaving Pet Hair into Pomander Balls
Traditional clove studded pomander balls are a lovely holiday decoration. For a unique twist, consider weaving leftover pet fur into pomander forms instead of using string or embroidery floss.
Stretch and wrap a sturdy base material like burlap or cotton fabric over a round ornament form secured with rubber bands. Use a tapestry needle threaded with prepared pet hair to neatly weave designs and shapes that fully cover the base.
Once the hair weaving is complete, unfasten the ornament form and add a ribbon hanger. Spritz the ornament with cinnamon, cloves, and orange scents for a festive pet hair pomander that smells of the season. Display them in bowls or hang in doorways to spread cheerful aromas.
Repurposing Shed Pet Hair into Handcrafted Ornaments
With a little creativity, the piles of shed pet hair I clean up can be transformed into amazing handmade Christmas ornaments for my tree. Felting, resin casting, needle sculpting and weaving are all fun techniques to reuse leftover fur and make it into something beautiful and decorative for the holidays.
The options are endless when upcycling pet hair into ornaments. I love being able to display keepsake decorations featuring the unique textures, colors and essence of my beloved pets. Each handcrafted pet hair ornament becomes a meaningful memory and tribute to my furry friends.