Sew wool pennies together for a super cute DIY

Bonding with a pet is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. Particularly with a new cat or when moving to a new environment, creating safe spaces for them to call their own and staying consistent with eating habits can ease any transition jitters. One way to keep their eating area clean and still decorative while also giving them something to associate with food is a dish rug. With a nonslip mat, dish rugs are great for keeping food bowls in place and catching any stray bits that may be misplaced by an excited eater. You can create a fun, custom dish rug for your cat using wool fabric and a needle and thread.
We refer to wool pennies in the tutorial. A wool penny is simply a small wool round. While you can purchase packs of these online, you can also easily create your own. If you're having a tough time finding the colors you want for your dish rug, consider purchasing wool fabric and cutting your own pennies. We show how this technique can be used for a cat dish rug, but you could easily adapt this to dog bowls or a soft rug for the kitchen.
- Wool fabric, for base
- Wool pennies, assorted colors
- Needle and thread
- Marking tool
- Nonslip mat
- Scissors
- Straight pins
DIY Everywhere
1. Lay out your fabric after ironing it flat.
2. Using a needle and thread, start sewing your wool pennies to the fabric in the shape of the body of a fish. For added ease, consider drawing the basic shape on your fabric with a fabric marking tool.
3. To start, sew just a couple of stitches to fix the wool penny in place. You don't need to sew around the entire penny. Keep a longer working thread so you create a web of the pennies.
Tip: Remember, the wool pennies are going to give the impression of fish scales, so consider using a variety of colors for a fun, rainbow-fish effect. For a minimalist look, use the same color of wool pennies for the whole fish, pairing it with a matching color of thread.
4. Continue adding wool pennies in increasing row size, overlapping them to cover the stitches you create. Try keeping larger wool pennies for the middle of the fish to save yourself time and to create a more authentic finished product.
5. On your last row, catch just a few threads of the wool penny with your needle and thread to keep the stitches from being seen on the top side.
6. After you finish the body, use your fabric marking tool to draw the fin and tail, then cut along your outline and the body of the fish.
7. Lay the fish on top of a nonslip mat, and cut the mat to fit. You may want to use straight pins to hold the fish in place on the mat.
8. Use a running stitch around the edge of the whole fish with the needle and thread, attaching the two pieces together.
9. Use a running stitch between some of the layers of scales to attach the wool fish to the mat more securely. To hide the stitches, remember to keep them under the layers of scales. This ensures that both pieces are securely attached and that your kitty is ready for a fine-dining experience.
Resources PetMD, Three Sheep Studio, and Etsy