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Topic: Woven Fabric Cat Baskets--Cat Approved!  (Read 39039 times)
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fjordtjie
« on: February 09, 2010 03:13:54 PM »

A few weeks ago, Moderncat wrote about this Japanese Cat Bed
http://www.moderncat.net/2010/01/04/neko-chigura-traditional-japanese-cat-bed/
  I was immediately in love, but they didn't ship to the US and I am a broke student, so I decided to make one myself.  I knew I could recreate it, with my own twist.

To make it, I purchased 45 yards of 1/2 inch piping and 4 yards of calico fabric, totaling (with coupons) around $20.  I cut the fabric into 1 inch strips. (I forgot to take a before picture, so here's a pic of the leftovers after the final remake--it was a much bigger pile before!)


I used a coil basket weaving method I learned in art class a lonnnnng time ago.  I must have adjusted the diameter of the base 10 times so it would be the right size!  When I got to the entrance, instead of continuing the coil, I just flipped it back on itself and coiled the other direction, repeating until it was high enough, then just continuing the coil to finish the top.  I ended up with this:


They seemed to like the hole on the top, so I left it unfinished to test it.  It was great, except that I have 2 cats and they both liked to enter from the top (or sometimes they just wanted to pounce on the other one).  The basket couldn't handle it and would cave in, then they'd just sleep on the mushed top, but that could only hold one.  So I filled in the hole on top (sorry, I didn't take any pictures of it!), hoping it would stop the crushing, but they just did it more, as a way to annoy and expel the other cat.  So, I tried reinforcing the sides by weaving in fabric to stabilize the entrance so it wouldn't collapse, but that didn't work either. 

I finally gave up, dismantled it, and made it into 2 individual cat baskets.

This has worked out well, obviously!

The last thing I did was to trim the loose strings with my thread-snipping scissors.  I just finished weaving the second one last night, so I haven't trimmed the threads yet, but on the first, here is a before and after close up.

Before:


After:


I think the trimming really makes it look better, plus I don't have to worry about the cats eating the strings off of it.

If anyone is interested in making one, my cats are both ideal-weight 12 pound males (meaning they are large, but skinny), and their baskets are 14 inches in diameter.  When they sleep curled up on their sides, there is just a little bit of basket bottom visible.  The baskets are 5 inches high, which holds them in when they lay down, but is also just the right height for them to rest their heads on.  If your cat is smaller or larger, or has some girth, you can adjust the proportions accordingly.  I figured out the size for mine by holding the bottom disk to one of my cats who was curled up sleeping.

Let me know what you think!  And if anyone makes one too, I'd love to see it!
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aisy
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010 03:40:00 PM »

tute please?my cat would love this!
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Mizell
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010 03:41:00 PM »

Love it!! Tute yes please!
BTW....This Rocks! Grin
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010 03:48:10 PM »

Nice job & from what I can see, you have 2 happy kitties that approve.
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nat_attack
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010 03:51:19 PM »

Oh my god LOVE THIS!!  They are so cute and modern-looking! Your kitties are cute too, I would love to figure out how to make this for my kitties!

Did you weave the fabric strips around that large cord I see in the first pic? I'm definitely gonna check out coil basket tutorials.

You're awesome!!
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010 04:18:41 PM »

love love love it  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010 05:47:20 PM »

your gray kitty looks like my Yoshimi! So darlin'!!
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010 06:26:12 PM »

These are nice. If only I knew how to weave...and had a cat  Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010 05:57:21 AM »

How cute!
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MaryQcumberfairy
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010 08:11:38 AM »

My cat would absolutely love this! I think I need to learn basket weaving! Though it would have to be made much bigger, he's kind of a fatty  Tongue  Great Job!
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McJulie-O
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010 08:23:10 AM »

The picture of the two cats curled up in their separate bowls makes me go, "Ahhhhhhhhh!" You're a good cat-mommy.
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beegeek
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010 08:29:13 AM »

My cats are already begging me to make them one!  They really know how to lay on the guilt.  Anyone know where I can find a coil basket weaving tutorial online?   Grin
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amazing_784
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010 10:15:55 AM »

HEY!!  I love them!  I wish I still had my cats so I could make some baskets for them.  I had one cat who loved to sit in cardboard boxes, even with the flaps closed.  Now I have a wiggly 6-month old puppy who is probably more interested in chewing the basket up than sleeping in it.  Oh well.....
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010 01:58:25 PM »

That... is SO AWESOME!! It's too bad they wouldn't stop crushing the original, but they look sooo comfy in their individual beds!
This looks like an awesome technique, if you have any resources (or a tute) please share!  Grin
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Rinoa1024
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2010 06:41:50 PM »

This is so adorable!  My cat loves to cuddle next to me on my bed so I don't think he needs one.  Tongue

For the people asking for a tute, this tutorial for coiled rag baskets produces baskets similar to the one OP posted.
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suganspyyce
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2010 07:12:04 AM »

Very nice!  I love the way the fabric looks.  If you ever wanted them to look similar to the original ones, you could try unbleached muslin or canvas, the canvas might make it a bit sturdier for ya.  I do love your style best though!!
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2010 08:24:58 AM »

I did this a while ago...a friend taught be how.  We used a tapestry needle to weave the fabric back into the previous coil every few wraps or so (this looks like maybe every other?) using a figure 8 pattern.  This website has the basic idea that we used:

http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/Sue-baskets.htm

Hope this helps!
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BlueCherryFaerie
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2010 09:39:59 AM »

Cute!
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CraftHooligan
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2010 11:46:31 AM »

thats amazing! i have a gunina pig and i think he would love one, a bit smaller of course.
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CraftHooligan
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2010 11:58:38 AM »

thats awesome, you didn't use this tute http://www.craftstylish.com/item/33825/how-to-sew-a-fabric-bowl/page/all

but i think that would work to, yours looks harder! i love the end look, it's amazing!
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fjordtjie
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2010 07:28:45 PM »

THANK YOU all for the positive comments!  I'm in the middle of early midterms (this semester all my professors broke the semesters into thirds) but I will work on a tutorial afterward.  If I forget, please PM and remind me!  My method was a lot like Abbeeroad described, except I didn't use a needl--I used blunt scissors--and the stitches were just the same thing over and over, with some just wrapping around the new piping, and some going through the layer below and the new layer.

Time to go study!  Thanks again!
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« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2010 07:59:37 PM »

My gosh that is so cool!! I want to make one for my Grandcat  Grin  

« Last Edit: February 16, 2010 08:00:18 PM by Midnight Sun » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2010 02:15:25 PM »

Awwwww.  Makes me wish I had cats again so I could make them some!  They look -so- comfortable.
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Kittenpants
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2010 03:49:33 PM »

This is fantastic!

I haven't got piping or coiling cord, but I don't think I need it... I have plastic bags galore.  I bet chain-stitching plastic bags a la those crochet grocery bags would give me exactly the sort of stuff that would be great for this project.

Now, to decide what color fabric to use?  THAT'S the hard part.  I kinda love the Japanese rice straw -- it looks like a kitty beehive!  But then I'd be tempted to make giant bumblebee pom-pom toys for the cats to play with...  ::giggle::
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grammardog
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2010 04:15:59 PM »

That is AWESOME!  Great job, and good on you for working it out yourself!
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sewjayded
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2010 05:55:35 PM »

My cat would love that!  Yay you for actually remaking the basket, you know the rest of us would have just said "eh, let 'em sleep on the top." 
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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2010 12:01:40 AM »

Great! Now you have given me another thing for my "to-craft" list! I haven't had a chance to see if you have posted a tutorial yet but I think I could figure it out. I'm sure my kitties will love them!
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donniesgirl
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2010 06:36:17 AM »

Aw!  These are so cute!
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« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2010 01:07:27 PM »

Thats almost too cute.
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lady4feet
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2010 03:36:28 PM »

This is awesome! I love the fabric choice. Your cats look so comfy!

I would love a tute when you're not busy. Good luck on your midterms!
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everkutz
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2010 07:18:23 PM »

I may have to try my hand at basket weaving!  I think I'll use some old sheets I have here for the fabric.  My 3 cats would love a covered bed. 
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« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2010 02:52:06 AM »

They are fantastic! My three furries also are begging me to make them one each but tough because they are great fat lumps who would only eat theirs or use them to ambush each other Grin Want to swap a grey and white 26lb-er who's insane for your nice, chilled grey and white one? Tongue
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« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2010 10:31:47 PM »

these are so cute!

I know 2 cats whou would love these!
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trashymeow
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2010 12:55:54 AM »

Purrrfect!  I have five cats and on eover 20 pounds, so that would be a lot of basket weaving, but I too would love a tute if you please. They look great and you did an exxcellent job.
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« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2010 09:19:11 AM »

Your cat baskets/hut are so cool!!! Smiley Smiley You inspired us to weave a home for our little one (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=339560.0). The quick explaination you gave about your weaving technique was very helpful. Thanx!
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chocolatecoveredmoon
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2010 06:20:25 AM »

So cute I would try this but my dog would tear it up before my cats notice its their.
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LibertyImagesJen
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2010 05:14:03 PM »

That is just terrific! Your kitties look very happy (and cute as buttons). Might have to try my hand at this myself...And someday, when feeling VERY ambitious, try making one for our collie...
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Faesissa
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2010 09:19:42 AM »

Wow, this is so cute! Your cats, especially the black one, look very cute in the first one. Now to one day make my three cats cat beds to keep them from my boxes of books...
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lasingparuparo
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2010 01:02:08 AM »

PLEASE? I bought all of the stuff you said you used and looked up a poop-load of basket making tutorials but none of them match yours! (am i just retarded maybe?) Can you please just explain how you wove it together? THANK YOU!!!
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