How to Make a Catnip Pillow and Blanketcomments (13) February 7th, 2009
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!!
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!
- A pillowcase or fabric
- A bag of long-grain white rice
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 heat will make the catnip smell stronger, so your kitty will go crazy over it!
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.