Felted Pet Hair Beads

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About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instr...

Intro: Felted Pet Hair Beads

After seeing felted beads in a craft store, I really wanted to make them, but I wasn't sure where to find wool roving. It was Spring at the time I was looking for the wool, and if you have a pet, you'd know that they shed a lot this time of year. So as I was constantly picking up clumps of cat hair from my carpet, I thought, why not try felting cat hair instead.

In this instructable I will show you how I made a felted bead bracelet from cat hair.


Step 1: Materials:

  • Pet hair
  • Dish soap and pet shampoo
  • Plastic containers
  • Paper towels

Optional: if you want to dye the beads

  • Kool-Aid
  • Microwave safe containers
  • Spoon and sieve

Step 2: Collect Hair

Pet grooming
If your pet tolerates being groomed by you , you can collect the hair from the brush or slicker. If you trim your pet's hair you can use the trimmings as well.

Collect shedding hair

Since my cat doesn't like when I brush his coat, all of the hair that I've collected from him is from shedding. I find little tufts of hair on the carpet (particularly in the Spring), which has provided me with enough cat hair to make a bracelet. Search around the spots where your pet sleeps or you can even use a lint brush an brush your furniture and clothing. (When collecting shed hair make sure it is free of debris, lint, and human hair (I shed a lot too).

The time it takes to collect enough hair varies with the size and breed of your pet. It took me several months to collect enough cat hair to make a bracelet , when I brought it in to work to show my colleagues one of them went home and collected as much hair in just one evening from her Golden Retriever.

Step 3: Making the Felt Balls

  • Squirt some dish soap into your container and fill with warm water, fill the other container with cold water.
  • Grab a tuft of your pets hair, bunch it together into a ballish shape and dip into the warm soapy water, remove and squeeze out the excess water.
  • Place the soggy tuft of pet hair in the centre of the palm of one hand, place your second hand over top and roll in a circular motion.
  • Once the tuft of hair is felted into a ball, dip it in the cold water to rinse (the longer you roll, the smaller it gets).

Step 4: Cleaning

You can wash the pet hair before or after it is felted. Since warm soapy water is what helps felt the hair, your best bet is to wash it after you make the balls.

  • Use the same two containers as in the previous step, one for warm-hot soapy water and the other for cold water.
  • If your pet tends to smell or get dirty a lot, you should use pet shampoo to wash the felt balls. My cat stays indoors and doesn't really smell so I just used dish detergent.
  • Wash the felt balls, rinse, change the soapy wash water and repeat until the water stays clear. I did this a couple of times for my cat's hair.

Step 5: Dry Felt Balls

  • After the felt balls are rinsed, squeeze out excess water and place on a paper towel.
  • Place the paper towel with the finished felt balls in a warm spot to dry.

Step 6: Dyeing the Beads

I prefer the natural colour of the beads, but I wanted to show how you can take this a step further and dye them. Obviously if you a have a dark coloured pet, there is no point in trying to dye it, but if it is whitish or if it is like my cat it sheds only white hair, you can do this.

  • For the amount of beads that I had, I used a 6oz microwave safe dish and added ~1/2 teaspoon of Kool-Aid and filled it ~1/3 full (2oz) with boiling water. Stir until dissolved.
  • Use one bead first to test the colour. Throw the bead into the Kool-Aid, press it down so that it is immersed.
  • Microwave on high for 1 minute (you may need to adjust the time if you are using a larger quantity).
  • Scoop the bead out of the Kool-Aid with a spoon, place in a sieve and rinse under the tap with cold water.
  • If you are happy with the colour, dye the rest.
  • Put them on a paper towel and place in a warm spot to dry.

Step 7: Stringing the Beads

Once the felt balls are dry I used a large needle to poke holes into them and strung them with elastic beading string.

You can get creative here and use different colours, different types of beads and spacers. You can also use the beads for necklaces, hairpins, and embellishments, try mixing different colours if you have more then one pet, or dye the hair before hand (see this instructable.) Have fun!

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90 Discussions

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19kevers

2 years ago

so cool I have a cat

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Lobentley

2 years ago

Your cat is adorable!!! Such a cutie! Love this idea as well.

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dyilove

3 years ago on Introduction

You are so Creative. What a wonderful remembrance of one's favorite pet! Thank You for posting.

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kaiakuma

4 years ago

Hreat ifea for a pet memoir. Yiu can make a braceket out of their hait to keep with you always. I wish i would have gotten more hair from my dog before he was cremated i would have loved to do something like this

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amarcus2

4 years ago on Step 7

As a cat rescuer with a home full of shedding felines as well as our beloved GSD, can you imagine what we could make? Whoa Nelly!

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efrspixelzen

Reply 4 years ago on Step 7

Wonderful! Thanks for telling us what do with all the cat hair ! Last months I started colleting the hair of my 2 cats and now I will try this idea!
Thanks again!

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tomdowntown

8 years ago on Step 2

they make brushes now that you can attach to the wall or  corner that you're cat will want to rub up against to get the hair off, I was even thinking of using a cheep toilet brush attached near his scrathing post.

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katerlyntomdowntown

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I had instructable on putting catnip in soap container brush....remember to buy high quality...i was reminded here... Two cats did get severe cat acne, i dont know if it was from the dollar store scrub brushes. )

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Carollew

6 years ago on Step 7

I am now looking at my shedding dogs and cats in a whole new positive light. I spun my dog's shaved fur last year and made a scarf. Never thought about the fact that when it gets wet, it smells like a wet dog. These beads look easy to make. I posted it on my blog http://www.carollew.com/blog/.

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ChrysNCarollew

Reply 6 years ago on Step 7

Thanks, for posting this on your blog! I love your portraits.

I am just wondering how colourfast the Kool-Aid is? Say you are in the rain and it gets wet, will they bleed all over you?

1 reply