By Tamara L. Waters
Ho ho ho, it's almost Christmas! When you are decking your halls and getting your presents ready for the family, don't forget your four-legged family members. If your budget is tight or you just prefer to create cool gifts with your very own hands, making gifts for your pets can be a fun project for you and the kids. Make a few of these easy gifts to put under the tree for your pet.
Pet Pillows and Blankets
Whether you have a cat or a dog, you can bet they like to lay around on occasion. Why not make them their own pillow or blanket for snoozing and relaxing on? Fleece is a great fabric to use for either a pillow or a blanket for your pet. To make a quick, no-sew pillow, use an appropriately-sized throw pillow and cut two pieces in the same shape as the pillow but much larger (allow a six-inch border all around). Tie the corners of the fleece pieces together and you've got a quick and easy pet pillow.
To make a simple fleece blanket, sew two square pieces together or cut two-inch fringe the whole way around each piece, then use the fringe to tie the two pieces together. These pillows or blankets can be made in any size that would be best suited for your pet.
Simple Pet Toys
Making toys for your dog or cat is a fun way to cut your expenses and keep your favorite four-legged friend happy and entertained. Easy pet toys can be made using regular items found around your home, or inexpensive items you can pick up anywhere. Responsible Pet Ownership blog editor Julia Williams has a great article about how to make your own homemade cat toys, and Ruthie Bently shares about making your own homemade dog toys.
Decorate Pet Accessories
Buy plain pet collars, leashes and food bowls, then decorate them for a not-quite-homemade but still-personalized pet gift. Use fabric paint to decorate a collar and leash with your pet's name and other little designs.
Many craft stores sell pet charms in the bead section that can be added to any collar to jazz it up. While your pet won't exactly love the collar (truthfully, they won't really care), you will enjoy seeing it on them.
A flat rug can be painted with your pet's name and other decorations for use as a food bowl mat. Decorate food bowls with your pet's name and other creative effects (paw prints, fish and mouse shapes, dog bones etc.).
Okay, so a Christmas tree ornament isn't exactly a gift FOR your pet, but you will certainly enjoy it. Create a homemade ornament using a picture of your pet. Cut out a holiday-themed shape (Christmas tree, snowflake, stocking or something similar) from construction paper, felt or cardboard. Be sure to cut two identical shapes. Cut an opening in one of the shapes for the photo, then glue the pieces together with the photo in between the two shapes.
Add a hanger, maybe a little glitter glue or some other type of decoration and there you go! Be sure to write the year somewhere on the ornament, and you've got a cute little keepsake of your favorite pet's Christmas.
Read more articles by Tamara L. Waters