ScrapHappy April

I’m joining Kate of Tall Tales from Chiconia once again for her monthly scrap-happy blog post. The challenge is to use scraps from other projects to make something useful, beautiful or both. Several bloggers post once a month showcasing a project made entirely from scraps.

pair of cats for adoption

Lily and Petunia waiting for adoption while enjoying their cat beds. Photo credit: B. Solovei

This has been a two-part project. I wanted to make cat beds for an animal rescue group using scraps of fabric, old pillows and discarded clothing. I started last summer before the triple-digit heat set in.  It was simply too hot to do anything but huddle together in the one room with our portable AC unit. I made three cat beds, and then put the entire project on hold till the weather cooled.

The first photograph below, shows all my scraps spread out on the floor along with some old bed pillows passed on to me by a client.

The grey sweater and aqua terry cloth robe belonged to my sister. They were ready for the scrap heap, but instead I repurposed them into cat beds as pictured above.

Scraps of material and clothing cast-offs

Cutting and repairing my sister’s grey sweater for one side of the pillow. Using a terry cloth pool coverup and part of my swing cover for a second pillow. Lindy loved having piles of scraps all over the floor

Tessa loved playing in the pile of scraps. She was still a kitten when I took these pics.

Cat beds made from fabric scraps

I stuffed the pillow on the left with fabric scraps and bit of batting. The scraps proved too heavy, so I made the rest of the cat beds using old pillows. The grey sweater made it into two pillows. Two old items of clothing are used on the reverse side of each pillow

Setting this project aside had an upside. Belinda, who volunteers for Nike animal rescue let me know that smaller, narrower pillows would be a better fit for the temporary cat enclosures.

cat beds

The second batch of cat beds

My second batch of cat beds are smaller. Tessa hopped up on the bench while I took photos, lending perspective to their size.

Tessa on the potting bench with cat beds

Tessa likes to be where the action is

Tessa with cat beds

Tessa checking out the cat beds

Each of the cat beds has a little story.

cat beds, side one

Cat beds, side one

The floral fabric is left over from recovering my patio furniture a few years ago. I sewed two scraps together to make it large enough for the pillow. The second pillow is a remnant my friend Marcia used to wrap a Christmas gift a few years back. The third pillow uses part of one of the pillows I used to stuff the cat beds. I covered the last two with leftover leopard fabric from a Halloween costume I made a few years back.

cat beds, side two

Cat beds, side two

I backed each cat bed with additional scraps scavenged from my sister’s worn pool cover up, a client’s old, stained sweatshirt and my tattered purple workout jacket.

I still have two, king-sized pillows to use for future cat beds. I really enjoyed this “scrap-happy” project.

Nike Animal Rescue Foundation

Nike Animal Rescue Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to providing assistance to cats and dogs in need. All the cats and dogs available for adoption can be viewed here on the site. We hold adoption fairs in the South Bay several times a month where you can see all the pets in person. You can read more about their volunteer efforts here.

From Kate’s blog:

“ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? You can email Kate at the address on her  Contact Me page. New members are welcome. No long-term commitment required. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.”

Have you made something entirely out of scraps lately? Please share your link in the comments section, below.

30 thoughts on “ScrapHappy April

    • My girls love to be in the middle of things, and I think they really enjoy the novelty of having things spread out on the floor. It felt good making these little cat beds, knowing they would go to a good home. Thanks for inspiring us, Kate.

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  1. As you can imagine Alys – I think this is an excellent use of scraps. There will be some very comfy kitties in the refuge while they’re waiting for a new home thanks to you =^..^=

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  2. What a jolly good way of using up those bits that otherwise get tossed into the landfill or sit in cupboards forever! Of course I further like to think that you can make so many that every cat who gets adopted takes their own kitty cushion to the new home with them. Wouldn’t that be something! Kate’s scrap happy initiative makes for lots of interesting posts! As you know one of my current projects is the seaside stash-busting CAL. That crochet adventure began when the decision was taken to rid myself of a cupboard full of unused yarn. So, not quite scraps, but still putting some unloved yarn to good work.

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    • Pauline, it’s nice to think of future cat beds for kitties on the go. These beds will indeed go home with the kitty when adopted. As Sharon wears through her pool towels (she swims seven days a week) I can claim them to make more. I still have a few pillows to use for filling. I’ll have an excuse to pick up the odd bit of pretty flannel as well. I love fabric, but I don’t general buy it unless I have a specific project in mind.

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  3. This is great on every level! Such a great way to use fabrics that humans might turn up their noses at–but the kitties will love! My favorite photo is the one of Tessa’s little spiky kitten tail sticking up in the air–I wish kittens weren’t so cute . . .

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    • Thank you, Kerry! I really enjoyed making these little beds, and will look for ways to make more in the future. Any worn t-shirt or towel will make a nice little bed. And because they’re not over-stuffed, the old pillow stuffing goes a long way.

      As for that little spiky kitten tail, I still giggle when I see that picture. She was so tiny. She continues to be such a joy.

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  4. You have figured out ways to use scraps of all kinds to make things that are pretty and useful First the paper scraps and now the fabric scraps. That’s a lot of cat beds you have contributed. Too bad they are still necessary. I’m once again not getting notification from WP in my e-mail. BL did let me know you posted. I’m not sure what’s going on again Sigh. Hugs and love, M

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    • Marlene, one of the great benefits of sewing with old clothes is how soft they are. I like thinking of the kitties sleeping on their little beds as I make these. I’ll make another batch again as time permits.

      There are still too many cats and not enough good homes. The shelters work hard to educate people on the importance of spay/neuter. I’m glad we have rescue groups working on their behalf. Belinda and her daughter make a real difference working with Nike. If I had a farm, I would love to have a sanctuary. Alas, we have a small lot and limited resources. We all do what we can do.

      I’m sorry to hear WP is giving you troubles. I turned off email notifications entirely. I just head straight to Bloglovin and do all my reading there. Hugs back your way. xo

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      • I’m sure the old fabric is soft. I don’t remember what we made the beds out of now but I know we stuffed them with tiny scraps. Everyone saved every corner cut off of everything they made until they had bags full. The fire dept loaned us a huge classroom for a day and we made hundreds. You do good work with great heart, Alys. I found the problem I think and will continue to oversee. I often thought a farm full of animals would have been wonderful but like so many things, some dreams materialize and some don’t. I’m happy with those that did. Have a wonderfilled week ahead.

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  5. What a great idea for using up scraps! I have loads of bits of material from old clothes, and really do intend to use them for something. .. one day! Great to think yours have gone to a good home! 🙂

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  6. How sweet are you Alys! I love seeing your little pillow in Lily and Petunia’s kennel. I need two more kitties, so I could name them the same. I’d have a who garden of cuddles, Petals, Petunia, Blossum and Lily 😀 Jim would surely kick us all out, LOL
    I never knew you could cut a sweater without it unraveling. Did you have to shrink it or anything before cutting it?
    I laughed at the photo of Tessa’s little tail sticking straight up in the air. What a lovely little goof-ball 😀 She’s the luckiest kitty in California to have wandered into your loving arms xo K

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