so fluffy

He’s big. He’s soft. He’s…so…FLUFFY. This simple box kitty is also incredibly stylish.

We read Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty by A.N. Kang (Disney Hyperion, 2016). Papillon is a big, fluffy kitty. In fact, he’s so fluffy, he can float on air! Miss Tilly fears her cat will fly away and get lost, but then she discovers that clothing keeps Papillon on the ground. She begins designing costumes for Papillon, each outfit more ridiculous than the next. Papillon finally puts his paw down and refuses to wear anything. And, just as Miss Tilly fears, he floats out the window and gets lost in the scary woods. Papillon tries fashioning a hat, scarf and belt out of leafy vines so he can walk home, but they don’t work! Luckily, a friendly bird tows Papillon home. When Miss Tilly meets Papillon’s new friend, she has her best design idea ever…a birdhouse hat to keep the friends together, and Papillon somewhat grounded.

You’ll need:

  • 1 large box (ours was 4.5” X 4.5” x 9” – a large tissue box works too)
  • White poster board
  • Cotton balls
  • Black construction paper
  • 1 paper cup
  • Hat decorating supplies (more on this below)
  • Scissors, tape, and glue for construction
  • Hot glue

cat box

Basically, each kid started with a cat box, as shown above (it’s remarkably similar to this one, but we used a box instead of an oatmeal container this time). Definitely use hot glue to fix the pieces down, and use poster board for the hind legs, front legs, tail, and ears. Anything less sturdy is going to buckle under all that glue and cotton balls. Because you’re going to use lots and LOTS of glue and cotton balls…

fluffy catBasically, just cover the box with cotton balls! The fluffier, the better! For the face, we used large, 1.5″ eyes stickers from Oriental Trading Company (a roll of 100 pairs is $2.50), and a bit of self-adhesive foam for the nose. You can just use construction paper to make these, though. The whiskers are construction paper as well.

Once the fluffy cats were finished, the costuming portion of the project began. We made hats. The basic hat was a 5.25″ circle of white poster board with a paper cup hot glued to it. Kids could choose the color, and height, of their paper cups.

cat hatThen, out came the Bling Bin, as well as sparkle stems, duck quills, patterned paper, and fabric flowers. And things got FANCY.

When the costumes were finished, each cat received his/her very own bird friend. This was a little wooden bird whistle, left over from this epic robot story time. Tweet tweet!

cat hat bird

Meow, Dahling

meow dahling

Bring on the bling! This glamorous feline is festooned with rhinestones, bangles, and brilliant bobbles. But that’s not all. She also has her own designer blanket, jewel-encrusted water dish, and solid gold mouse toy. Meow, indeed.

We read Glamourpuss, written by Sarah Weeks, and illustrated by David Small (Scholastic, 2015). Glamourpuss lives with Mr. and Mrs. Highhorsen. She has everything a cat could want – a diamond collar, attentive servants, a lavish private room, and total adulation from her owners. Then Mr. Highhorsen’s sister Eugenia visits with her pet chihuahua, Bluebelle. In addition to having a stunning array of outfits, Bluebelle can do tricks. Glamourpuss soon finds herself upstaged, and vows revenge. However, whilst stalking Bluebelle, Glamourpuss discovers that Bluebelle hates her outfits and tricks – she really dreams of simple elegance. Well. Glamourpuss can certainly help Bluebelle with that! They become close, and very glamorous, friends.

You’ll need:

  • 1 large oatmeal container
  • White construction paper
  • White poster board
  • A strip of gold poster board (approximately 1.5″ x 17″)
  • 3 pieces of twisteez wire (approximately 7″ each)
  • A small, rounded triangle of self-adhesive foam (approximately 1.25″ tall)
  • A pair of wiggle eyes
  • Cat jewelry & accessories (more on these later!)
  • Scissors and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Hot glue

Wrap the oatmeal container with white construction paper. Use extra paper to make the ears. Attach wiggle eyes with hot glue, then use a marker to add a smile (and maybe some eyelashes!). To make the nose and whiskers, curl the ends of 3 pieces of Twisteez wire, then bunch them in the middle and tape them to the container.

cat curled whiskersPeel and stick a triangle of self-adhesive foam over the tape.

cat curled whiskers with noseTo make the cat’s hind legs, cut a 4.25″ x 6.25″ rectangle of white poster board into the shape you see below. Hot glue it to the bottom of the oatmeal container.

cat hind legsThe front legs are two, 1.75″ x 4.5″ rectangles of white poster board. Round the rectangles at both ends, then fold one end to create cat paws. Hot glue or tape the legs to the front of the container. And don’t forget to add a tail!

finished cat legsNow to fancy things up! We crafted paper bangs, a little gold poster board crown, and a gold poster board collar embellished with large gemstones. We also offered small gemstones, gold embossed foil paper, and gold star stickers. The final touch were self-adhesive rhinestone stickers Katie found in a discount bin after Easter

meow dahlingIn a stroke of crafting genius, Katie cut one of the rhinestone flowers into little bits and gave the cat a fancy feline pedicure.

kitty peticureYour cat is finished, now for the accessories! The blanket is a 7″ x 11.5″ piece of fleece trimmed with gold tape. The water dish is a be-jeweled gold paper cup (cut down to 1.75″), with 2 blue cotton balls.

glam accessories The gold mouse toy is a 2.25″ x 3.25″ rectangle of gold mirror board trimmed into a mouse shape. We added ears, a gold craft tie tail, a diamond nose, and finished with a pair of eyes drawn on with silver metallic Sharpie. Absolutely fah-bu-lous dahling!

gold mouse toy

Cheshire Cat Grin

cheshire cat grinSomething to smile about! I designed this Cheshire Cat project for an Alice in Wonderland program. It’s quick, easy, and the results are frabjous!

You’ll need:

First, select a grin from the template and use markers to color it. Glue (or tape, or hot glue) the smile to a jumbo craft stick. Make sure to leave about 1″ of space at the top of the stick for your whiskers and nose.

grin step 1Pinch the centers of the twisteez wires together, then secure them to the stick with masking tape. If you can’t find twisteez wires, use very thin strips of card stock for whiskers. I wouldn’t recommend using pipe cleaners. The ends can get rather sharp when you cut them, and that’s not good for a project that is held close to the eyes.

grin step 2Shape a square of self-adhesive foam into a cat nose, then peel and stick on top of the masking tape. You can also use regular foam and adhere the nose with hot glue.

grin step 3Trim and curl the whiskers (or leave them straight), and you’re done!

grin step 4Hold the project to your face to become a cat with a grin, or hold it away from you to demonstrate a grin without a cat!