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DIY Catnip Toys

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This post shares my DIY catnip toys with a matryoshka doll theme.

Make Matryoshka Doll DIY Catnip Toys

Back in June, we attended the Frederick Pride festival and spent a few minutes popping in and out of the booths different local businesses had set up. We stopped at the Compassion Vet Center booth for a while to chat about our kitties and say hi to an old friend who is the practice manager there, and she gave us some little homemade cat toys that were filled with catnip.

DIY catnip toys

We took them knowing that our cats weren’t really in to catnip…we’ve tried several different brands, have grown it, and have even tried catnip-infused bubbles (hangs head in SHAME), and they just aren’t that interested. But when we brought this toy home, Henry lost his composure. He freaking loved it.

I immediately sent my friend a message and asked where they got the catnip. Am I crazy? Yes. But he loved this toy so much that I had to get some more! She sent me the link on Amazon. (P.S., Don’t be like me. I didn’t look to see how big the bag was before ordering it and now have massive amounts of catnip that I’m giving out to all of my friends with cats!)

When the nip arrived, I grabbed some cute fabric from my stash and started sewing. These toys are very simple, too—you could easily sew them by hand or even put them together using fabric glue. I’ll tell you how I made my toys and give some tips for you non-sewers along the way.


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  • Matryoshka doll fabric (exact fabric here, lots of other options here!)
  • Catnip
  • Scissors and pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Optional: Fray Check

And here’s how I made DIY catnip toys.

Step 1: Cut fabric

Cut two pieces of fabric: a front piece and a back piece. I did some bigger toys that had multiple dolls and some smaller toys that only had one doll. If your fabric has a print that you want to line up along the front and back pieces, just remember to be mindful of that. 

Use pins to fix these two pieces of fabric in place. Then sew the two pieces together using a straight stitch along three sides.

Pin the two sides together
DIY catnip toys

Step 2: Trim excess

Trim the excess fabric close to the seam, but make sure not to cut open the seam! If you have a rambunctious killer of a cat, you might want to double up your seams or not trim as close to the seam as I did. That will make it much more difficult for them to rip it open. Add come catnip to your toy.

trim excess
add catnip to the toy
adding catnip to the toy

Step 3: Finish sewing it shut

Pin it shut and sew a straight seam to close the open side. Trim the excess. (Optional: You can add Fray Check along the raw edges if you are using a fabric that frays. I didn’t mind a few loose threads since it’s a cat toy.)

And give to your kitties and enjoy!

DIY catnip toys
DIY catnip toys
DIY catnip toys

Share my DIY catnip toys on Pinterest!

DIY catnip toys

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Stephanie C.

Saturday 18th of February 2017

This are really cute& I love the fabric. Is the fabric sturdy enough to make pillow covers for a sofa?

Brittany Goldwyn

Sunday 19th of February 2017

Hey Stephanie, thanks! The fabric is pretty thin cotton. It would be okay for throw pillow covers, I think. But anything else and you might want to find a stiffer home decor fabric. I know Spoonflower has some nesting doll fabrics, and you can usually order the prints in different weights!