Last year my cat passed away to this horrible disease that is cancer… I felt sad for a long time, but I missed some flufiness around the house… A friend of mine had a gorgeous male and female cat, so we were both hoping for an extended family soon! Two sweet girl kittens were born on the 20th of April. We immediately fell in love <3! We named her Bertha, after my late grandmother…
She arrived in our home late June. I live in an appartment on the 11th Floor, so she remains mainly indoors, except for some guided walking outings on the lawn behind the building…
This means that she has become the boss in the house, and we have to previde ample playing possibilities for her! She now has two tall scratching posts, seeing as she is a bit of a climber!
I’m also looking for cute stuff for her to play with, so that we can have some fun with it too! I came across this scratching toy by Suck UK, which I just had to have!
Suck UK cat scratch dj set
It’s in our living room and I love it!!
I also have a craft room, where my sewing machine is. Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of work done when she’s around. That machine is just sooooo fascinating!!
I saw this lovely cardboard sewing machine, made by Cassie for her son to play with:
Cardboard box play sewing machine
I figured, what if I combine these two ideas, and make my cat her own little sewing machine to fiddle with!!
And came up with this:
For reference, my sewing machine at home is a Brother Innov-is 10…
I’ll try to show you how I made it, but this is my first ‘tutorial’, so bear with me! And if you have any questions, just give me a yell!
Let’s begin with the necessities… This is what I used…
1. A curious cat
2. Cat scratcher board with catnip (at least 38 cm x 11,5 cm)
3. An old cardboard box large enough to cut out the template
4. Nice looking cardboard boxes to cut out the little pieces. I bought these at Hema.
(Cardboard boxes at Hema)
6. Ruler, pencil, scissors, pair of compasses
7. Eyelet punch
8. Some plastic hexagon screws
9. Colored rubber foam sheets
11. Folding rule, stanley knife
12. An ever more curious cat…
13. Small hammer and chisel
14. Some metal hexagon screws (just one really)
15. Hobby knife
16. Yarn (3 colors) + crochet hooks size 3 and 5
First of all, I made a small model, just to make sure I wouldn’t forget some corner of the machine. I wanted everything to be one piece of cardboard. You can skip this step :-)…
I placed the markings of where the attachments would come.
Next up was drawing everything on a large piece of cardboard. You need at least 96 cm x 61 cm. Here’s the file with a sketch of the model with the appropriate measurements (in cm).
sewing machine blueprint
You should get something like this:
Be sure to add the extra ‘flaps’ to be able to glue the pieces together and attach it to the bottom. Cut out the model with a stanley knife (and a cutting mat underneath).
You can fold the pieces to have the model, but don’t glue together until all the other parts are attached!
I started by drawing two big circles with my pair of compasses (you’ll be needing these a lot!) on the good cardboard, in which I wrote the different possible stitches. Cut the whole disk out.
You should then draw a circle the size of the inner circle on another piece of cardboard. The big disk goes on the inside of the box, the small one on the outside. You should also draw a circle (a little bigger than the markings of your stitches) on the side of your sewing machine. This you have to cut out, so when you turn your outer disk, the different stitches are visible.
Cut out one extra disk of cardboard to put behind the outer one. Punch a hole in the middle of every disk (if it’s not big enough, use your hobby knife and make a cross in it, so the bolt can get in. Put the hexagon screw through the outer disks, sewing machine and inner disk and screw tight on the inside – make sure not to screw too tight so the disk can still turn – ).
It should look something like this:
Cut out some pieces of your rubber foam sheets to make the electronic display. Put the markings on with a black marker. Glue the display above your stitch circle.
Cut out another disk to choose your thread tension. Cut out a small piece on top of the sewing machine where this can fit through. Punch a hole in the front of your sewing machine to put the screw through and attach the disk through (again don’t attach too tight so it can still turn).
Make the sewing thread. Attach the beginning of the rope between a piece of duct tape en put some glue on the tape. Role up the rope until you have a piece of sewing thread. Cut out another small disk to put on top of this. Put a screw through and attach on the inside of the machine. Role out the rope towards the other end of the top of the sewing machine, punch a hole and put the rope through. Punch another hole in the bottom of the machine and put the rope through again. Extend a bit more and put a knot in.
Punch another hole next to the rope hole in the bottom of the machine and screw in one of the metal screws from the inside. This will make up the needle (on the pic it’s one of the plastic ones which I later changed cause I didn’t have enough of those).
Cut out a disk and draw on a cat paw. Glue this on the front of the machine.
Cut out the head of a cat and three smaller disks. Draw the eyes on and punch a hole where the nose should be. Crochet three whiskers as long as you want (chain stitch), leaving the middle stitch loose so the screw can go through. Screw on the whiskers, cat disk and three smaller disks and attach on the inside.
Punch another hole in the lower right corner to put the pedal wire through.
I made the pedal as follows. Hope this makes sense, cause this is the first pattern I write.
In white yarn, crochet hook 5:
1. Chain 150
2. Turn, 150 SC
Leave an end and cut off.
In mint green, start with crochet hook 5
1. Chain 13
2. Turn, 12 SC
3 – 6. Chain 1, turn, 12 SC
7. Chain 1, 11 SC (don’t turn and work through), 2 SC in same stitch, 3 SC, 2 SC in same stitch, 10 SC, 2 SC in same stitch, 4 SC, slip stitch
8. BLO: 35 SC
9. Chain 1, 34 SC, slip stitch
10. *4 SC, 2 SC together* (30)
11 – 12. 30 SC
13. *3 SC, 2 SC together* (24)
14 – 17. 24 SC
18. *2 SC, 2 SC together* (18)
19 – 21. 18 SC
Fill up with stuffing.
22. Change crochet hook to hook 3: 18 SC
23. *SC, 2 SC together
24. 12 SC
25. *2 SC together* (6)
Close up and attach the wire.
Cut out another small disk to put on the inside of the machine and put a knot in the wire behind it. You can stick it up with a bit of duct tape too to be sure it doesn’t get loose.
Glue your sewing machine together where needed (flaps). Leave the bottom flaps alone for now.
Cut up the cat scratch board (mine was 11,5 in width, but I had to shorten the length to 38 cm). This was the length of the lid of the cardboard box. This way I didn’t have to cut this to size and I could use the folding and attachment of the lid. I only had to cut the width.
With my hammer and chisel I made the holes to fit in the flaps of the sewing machine. Don’t know how to explain this correctly, but you should have four flaps (reverse T-shape) on the bottom of the machine. Fold these arms of the ‘T’ towards the inside, so it can fit in the hole in the scratch board (which was 4 cm thick in my case – which is why I used hammer and chisel). When it’s through the board, you can fold the arms open again, so it’s attached to the board. Do this four times. I used duct tape to attach the pieces to each other for extra security.
Now cut up the lid of your cardboard box so the scratch board can fit in. Fold the lid.
Put in the scratch board with sewing machine and tadaaaaaa!!!! Your cat can play :-)!!