How to Make a Catnip Pillow and Blanket

comments (14) May 2nd, 2016     

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leethal Lee Meredith, contributor
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Garbanzo the kitten owns her new catnip blanket.
Using a vintage pillowcase for fabric makes the kitty blanket more unique and special.
Fun times!
Garbanzo the kitten owns her new catnip blanket.

Garbanzo the kitten owns her new catnip blanket.

Photo: Lee Meredith

Ever since I got my kitten, Garbanzo, I've been trying to find toys that she likes to play with on her own, to distract her from wanting my attention and being bad. So when I found Craft Leftovers' Heatable Catnip Pouch, it seemed perfect! I planned to make one, following Kristin's tutorial, but I didn't have time and ended up buying one from her shop. Garbanzo loved it!!

Garbanzo goes crazy with Craft Leftovers' Heatable Catnip Pillow.

So I thought, wouldn't it be cool to make a bigger version, like a kitty quilt, but heatable with catnip? It worked out pretty well, using a recycled vintage pillowcase, so I'll show you how I did it-I recommend making a pillow to go with it!

You'll need:

  • A pillowcase or fabric
  • A bag of long-grain white rice
  • Catnip
  • Sewing machine with thread
  • A container to mix rice with catnip, and a funnel if necessary

For maximum kitty pleasure, use equal parts rice and catnip. In my blanket, I used much less catnip than I should have, resulting in Garbanzo not loving the blanket as much as I wish she did. So I definitely recommend using a generous amount of catnip! And, you must use white rice-I almost used brown because that's what I had in the house, but then I read that brown rice will spoil.

First, you need to cut the pillowcase (or fabric) to size. If using an old recycled pillowcase as I did, double it up so it's thicker so the kitty won't rip it open. My pillowcase was extra huge to begin with, so I folded up the closed end as big as I wanted the blanket (about 1 foot) and cut the rest off.

Your blanket will be as wide as the pillowcase width by as tall as you choose to fold and cut it.

Now to double up the fabric, tuck the cut end into the case, pushed down to the closed end. So, the right side of the fabric will be showing on the outside and inside of the case, with the cut edges down at the bottom of the inside. Pin along the bottom to hold the cut edges down there.

You don't need to worry about doubling up the fabric if you're using a thick one, but vintage pillowcases are pretty thin.

Sew along the bottom to hold the cut inside edges in place. I sewed three lines of stitches, for extra strength and also because I like how it looks. I also used a contrasting thread color both so you can see what I did and because I like how it looks.

You could sew only one or two lines if you want.

Next, sew some vertical lines across your blanket, starting at the closed end, stitching all the layers together. You can pin first if you want, but I find it easy enough just to hold the layers together straight as I sew. I did superwavy lines for fun, but you could do straight lines or smaller waves or whatever you want! Four lines spaced across my 20-inch blanket worked well.

These stitched lines will keep the rice spread out evenly in the blanket.

Mix your rice and catnip together so it's all even. I suppose you could just pour the rice and catnip into the quilt without premixing, but I mixed it up first. I poured most of the rice into a clean coffee beans can, poured the catnip in, and shook it up. Then, I topped it off with the rest of the rice and shook some more. If your container isn't big enough for all the rice and catnip, you could mix up half at a time.

I should have used much more catnip than I did-learn from my mistakes!

If you need to, use a funnel to pour the rice/catnip into one section of your blanket. Approximate the right percentage of rice to pour in-I had five sections, so I eyeballed about one-fifth of the rice in each section. Sew the section closed.

Fill and sew closed one section at a time.

Repeat for each section. Depending on the size of your blanket and the amount of rice you're using, your sections might be more or less full than mine were, but it wouldn't work for them to be too full. You need enough space to sew the top, and if the blanket is too tightly stuffed, it won't be comfy for your kitty.

You could choose to sew a few horizontal lines to spread the rice out even more if you want to.

Now just sew one or two extra lines all the way across the top for extra strength and you're done. I did two more lines to match my three lines on the other end.

Make sure you sew everything securely so your kitty can't break it open!

Before you let your cat at it, stick it in the microwave to heat the rice and bring out the catnip smell. Roll it up and heat it for as long as it needs, depending on your microwave, and how much rice you used. My blanket needs about two minutes, but my microwave is lower power than most, so try one minute first and see how it feels.

The way it's divided into sections makes it easy to roll up.

The heat will make the catnip smell stronger, so your kitty will go crazy over it!

This is why you wouldn't want to use one layer of thin fabric!

Now if you make a pillow to go with the blanket, your kitty will have a whole set to distract him/her from getting into trouble! Use leftover fabric from the pillowcase for a matching pair or scrap pieces of fabric left over from another project.

Fun times!


posted in: pet, pillow, cat, blanket, kitty, catnip, heatable, rice

Comments (14)

Kittymommary writes: I will try the blanket idea because I know my cats love rolling in it when I sprinkle it onto the floor...what a mess but worth the fun they have. I put catnip on a small amount of fiberfill, roll it up and tuck it into orphaned socks. No need for sewing. Plus, you can easily refresh the catnip.
Posted: 5:42 pm on May 6th
txkitty writes: Hi, really cute! It's funny, I have that material, the green and yellow. Actually, a friend of mine painted a very large acrylic painting of the white birch trees. That was the pattern she used for the painting.
Posted: 9:17 pm on April 25th
genalorainne writes: My cat goes bonkers when I give her catnip, not even sure it's healthy for her lol. She once had foam coming out of her mouth and I never fed her catnip again.
Posted: 2:56 pm on May 7th
EchoLin writes: great work
Posted: 5:11 am on April 9th
EchoLin writes: What a lucky cat. I like the pattern on the pillow.
Posted: 5:13 am on March 19th
PaulDcatguy writes: In response to Pilot2B - my wife and I recently had to put our kitty cat, Moses,
to sleep. He was 12 years old and such a beautiful companion and family
member. We miss him so much. In memory of our Moses, we gave some of
our organically home grown catnip to our veterinarian and also donated some
to be used at a rescue shelter our vet donates her time at. Our cat nip is not the
low-grade quality that you buy at your local pet store. I grow it myself in our
organic garden and when I harvest it - I pick all the course material out that is a
major portion of what the pet stores have in their catnip. My catnip is around
99% comprised of finely shredded leaves of the plant - which is the desirable
part of the catnip plant. My wife and I are going to try to start a little business
selling our excellent quality catnip to try to keep the memory of our kitty cat
alive. If you want more
information regarding our catnip - please e mail me at:
Posted: 7:01 am on February 19th
jamie32 writes: Made it in a jiffy, warmed it up a little, gave it to my 7-year old cat, and she immediately *loved* it! First lots and lots of sniffing, and now, 10 minutes later, she's curled up, enjoying the warmth and smell :D. Now we don't have to fight about who's got my heatable-pillow-thingy anymore :}
Posted: 7:35 am on May 18th
Pilot2B writes: My 14 year old baby girl, Fiona will just love this. Cat Nip is so expensive and more. Where can I buy, that is not so expensive, yet of good quality.\\Thanks!
Posted: 6:17 pm on November 23rd
dzflygrl24 writes: I saw your instructions on here and made one for my kitty. Oh My God!!! He freaked out and loved it. Super easy to make and the entertainment I got from watching him spaz made it all worth it.
Posted: 11:48 pm on September 1st
artofmagi writes: This is so awesome :) I just had to make one! My kitties love it! Actually, they couldn't wait for me to finish making it, and I kept having to shoo them away so I could finish. I haven't made them the pillow yet, just the blanket.
Posted: 8:10 pm on February 17th
Miba writes: Great idea!!! My cats are deffinately getting this sometime soon.
Posted: 8:44 pm on February 7th
Sister_Diane writes: I love this idea SO MUCH! Pushkin has one of these in his near future...
Posted: 2:07 pm on February 7th
vampchick21 writes: This is a FANTASTIC idea! I've a senior kitteh who had torn the ligament in her left hind leg a year ago, and now she's got a touch of arthritis in that joint. I'd been mulling insanely over how to make something that could be warmed up for her on bad days, and this looks to me like it will work perfectly. Plus, she's a nip addict, so double bonus! Thanks for sharing and this is now on my make asap list.
Posted: 12:55 pm on February 7th
FashionSweetie13 writes: absolutly adorable. doesn't the rice make it uncomfortable?
Posted: 12:07 pm on February 7th
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