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How-Tuesday: Black Cat

Oct 5, 2010

by Julie Schneider handmade and vintage goods

Halloween is stealthily tip-toeing around the corner of the calendar, and will soon be spooking us all at the most unexpected moments. For this week’s How-Tuesday post, Katy Kristin has compiled a black cat plushie project in honor of the holiday with her own spin on one of the classic icons of Halloween. Black cats are known to have supernatural powers in cultures across the world, and we invite you to fashion a fierce (or cute, as the case may be) feline friend from fabric to customize as you wish.

If you’re in the Bay Area, don’t forget to stop by the Museum of Craft and Folk Art for the one year anniversary edition of Craft Bar on Thursday, October 7, 2010 to stitch up plush critters with Katy Kristin in real life! More details here.



Who is this Kary Kristin character anyway? Well, Katy is a Bay Area native, with a background steeped in making. She earned an art degree from UCLA and has since gone on to use her creative skills for television and film, including making miniature buildings for special effects shops, clay characters for TV shows, making things for destinations like Sea World, and beyond. These days you can find her back in her native region making all sorts of treasures, including jewelry and stuffed animals, like these black cats.


Let’s get started, shall we?




Materials Needed:    
Paper pattern
Old Clothes or Fabric Scraps
Stuffing (Fiberfill, Cotton, etc.)
Thread (Polyester is strongest for plushie-making)
Embroidery Thread (contrasting color for facial features)
Embroidery Needle
Buttons and/or felt for eyes
Chopstick or pencil, for help in stuffing
Felt for tail (optional)





Step 1: Cut out your paper pattern along the “Cut Line.”

Step 2: Pick the fabric from your old clothes (or fabric scraps) that you will use for your cat, and make sure they are big enough for your pattern. Lay your chosen fabric with the 2 right sides facing each other, and pin the paper pattern to both.


Step 3: Cut out the cat pieces from the fabric, following your pattern.

Step 4: This is totally optional, and if you choose not to sew on a tail, please skip to Step 7. Cut out a strip of fabric for your tail appliqué. Felt is a great choice as it will not unravel if you are hand stitching. If you are machine stitching with a zigzag or satin stitch, any contrasting fabric would be suitable.


Step 5: Pin the appliqué to the body piece.

Step 6: Sew on the appliqué.


Step 7: If you would like to embroider all the facial features, skip to Step 10. Trace two circles
for eyes onto a piece of colored felt. You can use a circle template or find a button or bottle cap
in a size you like and trace around that. Cut out the felt circles.

Step 8: Pin the eye circles to the face, and sew them on.

Step 9: Sew buttons for the pupils of the eyes. If you donʼt want to use buttons, you could repeat Step 7 with smaller circles in a dark color, and sew those on as you did in Step 8.

Step 10: Embroider on the facial features. It helps to draw the features first so you will have a guide to follow as you embroider.


Step 11: Pin the body pieces together with right sides facing in. Use lots of pins to be sure the fabric does not slip around as you sew.

Step 12: Starting at one side of the ear at the very top of the head, sew all the way around the cat until you reach the top of the head again next to the other ear. You will leave the space between the ears open.


Step 13: Using your original paper pattern as a guide, cut slits at the corners in the excess fabric. This will keep the fabric from bunching up when you turn the cat right side out. Be careful not to cut all the way through the seams you stitched!

Step 14: Turn the cat right side out. If you find it hard to do this with just your fingers, you can use a chopstick or the eraser end of a pencil to help you push the fabric out.


Step 15: Stuff the cat. Start at the legs and work up the body, next stuffing the arms, the chest, the ears and then the head. You can use the chopstick / pencil for help with stuffing, too.

Step 16: Sew the top of the head shut using an invisible stitch. Use embroidery thread that matches your fabric, doubling it up if your fabric is somewhat thick. For help with the invisible stitch, please refer to the diagram.


Meeeow, now youʼre done!

Thank you to Katy Kristin and our pals at the Museum of Craft & Folk Art for sharing this project with us. For hands-on events, craft exhibits, and more, check out MOCFA SF. If you make this project, please share a photo with us in the new How-Tuesday Flickr group!

Halloween How-To’s | How to Make Plushies | More How-Tuesday Posts


  • TheUntamedHeart

    TheUntamedHeart said 8 years ago

    Super cute!

  • batzy

    batzy said 8 years ago

    adorable :3

  • dollyfeatures

    dollyfeatures said 8 years ago

    How cute! My god-daughter is getting one of those to go with her little witch outfit :D

  • sleepyking

    sleepyking said 8 years ago

    cute :)

  • chasedreams

    chasedreams said 8 years ago

    So cute! I must make one for my niece!

  • whimhandmadejewelry

    whimhandmadejewelry said 8 years ago

    That's just adorable! :)

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 8 years ago

    Awesome tutorial - will have to try this on a lazy saturday afternoon.

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 8 years ago

    Super cute and lovely ! Thanks so much !

  • BarnabyHuxley

    BarnabyHuxley said 8 years ago

    Reminds me of my kitty!

  • akcArt

    akcArt said 8 years ago

    Very, very cute! What great ideas! :D

  • JewelryByJLy

    JewelryByJLy said 8 years ago

    Way cute! Can't wait to try this with the kids! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • FruteJuce

    FruteJuce said 8 years ago

    Cute mushrooms in the photo of Kary 'gnome' Kristin

  • craftpile

    craftpile said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing, Katy! Super cute!!

  • poppyswickedgarden

    poppyswickedgarden said 8 years ago

    awwwwe so cute! I'm showing my boys! they love to make stuffies out of my scraps:)

  • ekra

    ekra said 8 years ago

    Looks like fun!

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 8 years ago

    Super cute, looks like good fun.

  • knightcloth

    knightcloth said 8 years ago

    Too cute and what easy to follow instruction. Nothing left out. Thanks so much.

  • pollyannacowgirl

    pollyannacowgirl said 8 years ago

    Yes! I love this little kitty so much. I'll be helping Katy at MOCFA on Thursday nite; come by and I'll make sure you're all set up. :)

  • katieblue

    katieblue said 8 years ago

    love it!

  • fieldtrip

    fieldtrip said 8 years ago

    these cats are adorable! great tutorial :)

  • muchadoabout

    muchadoabout said 8 years ago

    so adorable! I love them all :)

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 8 years ago

    how cute!

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 8 years ago

    great tutorial & great finds!

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 8 years ago

    clear - easy to follow instructions! thanks!!

  • beachglassshop

    beachglassshop said 8 years ago


  • arsniccandy

    arsniccandy said 8 years ago

    kitties! kitties! I love kitties!!

  • afiori

    afiori said 8 years ago

    Super cute! Seems a bit... safer than mine! *cough* ;)

  • 2TrickPony

    2TrickPony said 8 years ago

    I love all of these! super:)

  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads said 8 years ago

    too cute!

  • rozzie

    rozzie said 8 years ago

    way too cute! i heart kitties as well. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 8 years ago

    Very cute!

  • 3pearls

    3pearls said 8 years ago

    So cute and good instructions too!

  • CrystalKittyCat

    CrystalKittyCat said 8 years ago

    Very cute kitties!

  • Asianexpressions

    Asianexpressions said 8 years ago

    So cute!

  • ClippieDepot

    ClippieDepot said 8 years ago

    CUTE! Wish I had More FREE time to make these!

  • LisaManuels

    LisaManuels said 8 years ago

    Cute! :D

  • LuRuUniques

    LuRuUniques said 8 years ago

    Cute, cute, cute!!!!!!!

  • ZenAndCoffee

    ZenAndCoffee said 8 years ago

    Simply adorable! I need to pass this on! I know a few people whod LOVE this! Thank you for sharing it! ~Wren Arm Warmers & Fingerless Gloves for all seasons & styles! <3

  • bedbuggs

    bedbuggs said 8 years ago

    Very Cute! Looks like Fun!!! ;)

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 8 years ago

    This is adorable! Thanks for sharing =)

  • DalkullanJewelry

    DalkullanJewelry said 8 years ago

    Cute kitties! Thanks for an interesting and educational article.

  • candacejean

    candacejean said 8 years ago

    Baaw. :)

  • CaliforniaCraft

    CaliforniaCraft said 8 years ago

    Adorable :) I'm going to have to try to make one!

  • halfmoonroad

    halfmoonroad said 8 years ago

    What fun!

  • Dingogirl66

    Dingogirl66 said 8 years ago

    These are all fantastic selections.

  • 5orangepotatoes

    5orangepotatoes said 8 years ago

    LOve black kitties! We have two and call them the inkspots!

  • almostsunday

    almostsunday said 8 years ago

    So super cute!!

  • merlinthecat

    merlinthecat said 8 years ago

    LOVE! I will be make a couple of these for my girls!! Thank you for sharing!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 8 years ago

    aw I love black cats ...bad rap. cute little demo!

  • MixedMurmurs

    MixedMurmurs said 8 years ago

    I'm a very lucky person (really, it's uncanny) but I can still appreciate a little bit of bad luck when it comes in a cute package.

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds said 8 years ago

    Oh the candy corn plushies are too cute!

  • shecological

    shecological said 8 years ago

    This is so fun and the featured creatures are adorable!!

  • LuckyLou

    LuckyLou said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for the pattern, it will be purrrrfect for my granddaughters, one I am making out of terry fabric for bath time,,,sew much fun!! xoxo

  • chanyeevon

    chanyeevon said 8 years ago

    Had never made a plush toy in my life and you make it seems very easy! :D :D

  • CatzillaCrafts

    CatzillaCrafts said 8 years ago

    All my kitties are black, this will be perfect!! =^_^=

  • whimsywhimsical

    whimsywhimsical said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the sharing :D The cat is so cuteeeeee!!

  • ballandchain

    ballandchain said 8 years ago

    Black cats are the best cats no matter what.

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 8 years ago


  • AnnDoraCraft

    AnnDoraCraft said 8 years ago

    Love it! Especially the checkered fabric.

  • beautifulearthgrl

    beautifulearthgrl said 8 years ago

    I will try that for my daughters. Those are so cute.

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 8 years ago

    Well how cute is that?!

  • DressUpPackRats

    DressUpPackRats said 8 years ago

    Good Looking Bunch of cat critters! You missed my favorite-- Zero Pumpkin

  • carlossantiago

    carlossantiago said 8 years ago

    love it!!!! i love black cats!

  • 2BlackCats

    2BlackCats said 8 years ago

    Well, OF COURSE I am loving this tutorial! I'm all over it like ... black on a cat!

  • UsagiRabbit

    UsagiRabbit said 8 years ago

    Super adorable!! The black one looks just like my cat, especially the huge eyes ^_^ Definitely want to try this out.


    ARTOFME said 8 years ago

    black kitties are the best!

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 8 years ago

    thank you, i am going to do a mini version on my brand new grandson's beanie...he needed a costume=)

  • iziwiziecological

    iziwiziecological said 8 years ago

    Very cute, love the eyes!

  • bellasparty

    bellasparty said 8 years ago

    How cute!

  • ElvenWreathsJewelry

    ElvenWreathsJewelry said 8 years ago

    what adorable designs!! Thanks for sharing!

  • AutumnJo

    AutumnJo said 8 years ago

    Hah! My black cat says thanks for giving her a good rap :) Cute project!

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance said 8 years ago

    we all need a little plushie in our lives! cute tutorial!

  • Jusadreamin

    Jusadreamin said 8 years ago

    NICE Thanks for sharing

  • meowadays

    meowadays said 8 years ago

    very adorable!

  • ezliving

    ezliving said 8 years ago

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  • aynart

    aynart said 8 years ago


  • AnnaCox

    AnnaCox said 8 years ago

    awh fun! thanks! i see sewing in my sons homeschool future!

  • CreativeLove

    CreativeLove said 8 years ago


  • moniczka92208

    moniczka92208 said 8 years ago

    I agree with the black cat comment. I actually think the opposite they're good luck because they're so pretty and mysterious. this is simply adorable!!

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 8 years ago

    so cute. love all the cute and cuddly for halloween.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 8 years ago

    Black cats are adorable! Great selections and great project!

  • raggyrat

    raggyrat said 8 years ago

    lovely article and nice inspiring halloween items xxx

  • HandmadeHandsome

    HandmadeHandsome said 8 years ago

    Those cats are adorable. Thank you so much. I think I'll make one with a bell on.

  • BlueTerracotta

    BlueTerracotta said 8 years ago

    So cute...great project for my daughter, thanks!

  • Vocisconnesse

    Vocisconnesse said 8 years ago

    Fabulous! I like black cats a lot, some time ago I also hand made a very small cat in black and purple fabric with those green eyes... Great shop! °V°

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 8 years ago

    This is great and so cute!

  • monkeynorman

    monkeynorman said 8 years ago

    They are so cute, every time I try to make cute it ends creepy, I'll definitely have a go though

  • FloweryDeer

    FloweryDeer said 8 years ago

    How cute!!!

  • ScentedLuxuries

    ScentedLuxuries said 8 years ago


  • thecottagemarket

    thecottagemarket said 8 years ago

    SENSATIONAL!!!! i love the craft and the directions are picture perfect! what a fun project! thanks for sharing!

  • thecottagemarket

    thecottagemarket said 8 years ago

    how adorable!!! thanks for sharing this great project with us! picture perfect directions : ) all of the black cat stuff is GREAT!!! thank you!

  • LauraRoberson

    LauraRoberson said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much. It looks like a fun project for a rainy October day.

  • ThePurlMinx

    ThePurlMinx said 8 years ago

    Super duper cute. I'm making this tonight.

  • BPvintage

    BPvintage said 8 years ago

    Adorable felines! great project ~ thnak you for sharing :D

  • chia83

    chia83 said 8 years ago

    Awww so cute! I love black kitties so much! How can I not since I have two of my own.

  • ByronMorrisArt

    ByronMorrisArt said 8 years ago

    great ideas! Very cute

  • camamiel

    camamiel said 8 years ago

    Awww! Black cats! They are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 8 years ago

    Irresistible & hypoallergenic, too! Truly fun.

  • kimmchi

    kimmchi said 8 years ago

    omg that cat is adorable

  • KristinaTea

    KristinaTea said 8 years ago

    super cute!!! Love it!!

  • Choesephine

    Choesephine said 8 years ago

    too cute! =]

  • Chandeluse

    Chandeluse said 8 years ago

    Want one, need one, will definitely make one. How many black cats on Etsy now?

  • marykerran

    marykerran said 8 years ago

    Very, very cute!

  • bejeweledbynikki

    bejeweledbynikki said 8 years ago

    mew mew mew! I can not wait to make my baby kitties! Thank you How-to-Tuesday...xoxo

  • LannaBear

    LannaBear said 8 years ago

    Black cats were originally thought to be good luck in Europe. When the Puritans came to America, they wanted to be as unlike Britain as they could, and thus, black cats became bad luck. I have a black cat, that my brother named Lucky. We had too many cats, including an unfixed female. We brought her recent litter to the pound, 30 miles away, past a few cities and woodsy areas. A couple weeks later, Lucky was at our front door, meowing her cute little butt off. These are so cute, I must make one :)

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    Adorable kitty! For some reason I didn't think these would be so big as they are in the picture at the top. Fab tutorial!

  • ezliving

    ezliving said 8 years ago

    They still look cute for Halloween. Thank for sharing!

  • CapellaKID

    CapellaKID said 8 years ago

    So cute and I think my new go-to baby gift or birthday gift for my kid-at-heart friends. This is so much better than a polyester bear holding a heart.

  • galleryallee

    galleryallee said 8 years ago

    What a darling pattern. I love to create plush animals too. I use socks, gloves, and other materials to make them. Thank you for sharing your pattern and giving clear instructions on how to make your little cats.

  • oneofakindwisconsin

    oneofakindwisconsin said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the pattern- definitely doing this one this upcoming weekend. Last weekend the kids and I made Halloween wooden ornaments. :o)

  • naomicayne

    naomicayne said 8 years ago

    Aww so adorable! Thank you so much for including my little guy :)

  • Ch7tina7

    Ch7tina7 said 8 years ago

    Black cats are soo cute... do they make a temporary cat-paint?? Thinking of painting my peach cat black to celebrate this Halloween season! (JK) ~Christina @ 7stars

  • lputtan

    lputtan said 8 years ago

    So adorable! I grew up with cats, so I love them so much. And yes, even black spooky Halloween cats! I did spooky cat puppet origami and posted on Take a look at mine and feel free to share your cool idea.

  • lputtan

    lputtan said 8 years ago

    So adorable! I grew up with cats, so I love them so much. And yes, even black spooky Halloween cats! I did spooky cat puppet origami and posted on Take a look at mine and feel free to share your cool idea.

  • ArtisanHandcrafted

    ArtisanHandcrafted said 8 years ago

    Awww! Cute as can be! Great fun watching the kitty creation from start to finish!

  • ArtisanHandcrafted

    ArtisanHandcrafted said 8 years ago

    Cute! Cute! Cute! Great fun watching the kitty creation from start to finish!

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 8 years ago

    Sweeeeeet article! Those little black kitty cats are so adorable! Thank you so much for posting my little needle felted Ghostie Bernard along side all of the plushie felines!

  • GreatestJoyDesigns

    GreatestJoyDesigns said 8 years ago

    I love the kitties! Thanks for the pattern and great directions and photos, I like that!

  • KarenJ5

    KarenJ5 said 8 years ago

    I love anything homemade from cute fabric. What a festive Halloween decoration!

  • KattyKinns

    KattyKinns said 8 years ago

    So cute, will definitely be making this for myself sometime :)

  • prendasbyenid

    prendasbyenid said 8 years ago

    Love it!!!!

  • SweetiePieCaketopper

    SweetiePieCaketopper said 8 years ago

    My mother has a purely black kitty that came to her door at midnight on Halloween. Guess what she named it? It's a great kitty.


    WHSKR said 8 years ago

    Thoughtless little statements that black cats 'maybe be unlucky' doesn't held the hundreds of black cats abandoned each year because people believe what they read in print. What a pity a lovely project that I might have had a go at made me angry enough not to bother.

  • samsstuff

    samsstuff said 8 years ago

    Pretty adorable!

  • tatimaia

    tatimaia said 8 years ago

    CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTE!!!! Thanks for sharing! I'll try to make mine. XD

  • AlikiBags

    AlikiBags said 8 years ago


  • mommabiederbear

    mommabiederbear said 8 years ago

    This is so cute and thank you so very much for sharing. Just cant wait to try it

  • hurstdesigns

    hurstdesigns said 8 years ago

    My boys and I just made them today. I let them pick some fabrics from my bin. One was a cream fleece with HUGE brown button eyes and the other was a deep teal with black polkadots with pearly white button eyes. Both have ribbon tails. They named them silly names and say they are going to be good buddies. They were able to help pinning, cutting, stuffing and of course picking out the materials. Not bad for 5 and 3! :) I'd love to be able to post a picture here...

  • littleleezard

    littleleezard said 8 years ago

    Cute and simple, thanks for sharing!

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns said 8 years ago

    These are so cute!!! Looks like fun to make, can't wait to try it myself!

  • ForeverInLoVE

    ForeverInLoVE said 8 years ago

    Very very cute!

  • FullofFun

    FullofFun said 8 years ago

    Super Cute (:

  • GaGa4GiftTags

    GaGa4GiftTags said 8 years ago

    How adorable!!

  • IFeltItToo

    IFeltItToo said 8 years ago

    Love this Cat!

  • sJetton

    sJetton said 8 years ago

    Yay! I can't wait to make one!!!

  • WingbornRavenJewelry

    WingbornRavenJewelry said 8 years ago

    i hate to say this...but o.m.g. so freakin cute! i love all the 'keep it weird'-esque plushies out there now!

  • OurDecay

    OurDecay said 8 years ago

    love it

  • BettyVonBat

    BettyVonBat said 8 years ago

    I'm Unlucky and I love your Kitties!

  • terutero

    terutero said 8 years ago

    black kitties are my favourites...

  • hazelboykin

    hazel boykin said 7 years ago

    hello i am hazel boykin. and i just love all of the small dogs, cats. i have set up a lot of night making a lot of stuff toy's. guess i will be up tonight also. thank's a lot. get back to my sewing. a friend hazel,

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