Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let's make cat collars and save a ton of money!


We have 4 cats and because they are indoor/outdoor cats in the country (we live on about 90 wooded acres with no real near neighbors- bliss!) we put break-away collars on them just in case one of them wanders off and gets lost. Hopefully, someone would find him or her and know that the cat has a home and is loved and would call us. We try to keep our phone number on them at all times, too, but because they lose these collars at an alarming rate, we don't buy tags, I make them with the label maker and stick them around the ring. Knock on wood, only one cat has ever wandered off, Murphy- he was gone for the longest 5.5 days of my life and showed up one night, skinny and hungry and almost as happy to see me as I was to see him. Poor baby, I really think he was up a tree, he was so thin. And he had laryngitis before he got lost, so he couldn't even call me for help, I couldn't hear him anywhere!


See all these bells? Each bell represents a collar that was bought, worn and lost. Each collar = $3 at WalMart. This is about $120 worth of cat collars. (I take the bells off because I think it would make me insane to have a bell around my neck all the time and I don't want to torture my cats.) I'm getting tired of buying new collars all the time! Rarely, but occasionally, we will find a collar in the yard or the woods. Once it's gone, it's usually gone forever. Parker has already lost her first one, it's probably buried under the falling leaves somewhere.

So I started looking for the hardware to make our own. Heck, making a collar is no big deal if you have the hardware! Plus, I can use the clasps for my crafts, too.


So I found the hardware by using Google and the whole set- nylon break-away clasp, nylon adjuster, ring and a big bell- comes to 66¢ each and that INCLUDES the shipping! Wonderful! And the service was really quick, too. This company,Creative Designworks, LLC is great to deal with. They also sell the narrow webbing if you choose to not sew your own straps. Since I'm trying to save money, I'll be making my own but I did order some webbing to use in my crafts, it's pretty reasonable and comes in a lot of colors.

So, if you have about 10 minutes, let's make a cat collar!

Cut a strip of fabric about 15" long and 1.5" wide. Fold it in half the long way with the wrong sides together, press. Open it up and iron both long edges into the middle. Press again and stitch down both long edges.





Put one end of the strap through the little adjuster and using your zipper foot, stitch it down to the center bar.






With the raw side of the just stitched edge facing up, feed the end through the male end of the clasp, coming up from underneath. (It has a curve to it, to hug the cat's neck.) Bring it back to the adjuster and go up the closest end of the adjuster, over the bar and back down through the other opening.


Feed the end through the metal ring and then through the opening on the clasp, going through it from the top to the bottom (pay attention to that curve in the clasp again.) Adjust for fit to your cat or compare it to a store-bought collar. Sew it in place like you did the other one, one or two rows, your choice. A dot or two of Fray Check is a good idea on your sewn edges. If you forgot to put the ring on, don't panic! The rings that came in my "kit" were split rings like you get on a keychain, so it can be added on later. And the bell can be added later, too, if you choose to use one. And you're done, wasn't that ridiculously fast and easy?



I put the bell on just for the photo and because it looked so pretty. The bells you get from the kit company are silver though, and a bit bigger.

Nosey Parker is having fun chewing on her new collar. Sorry about the muzzy photo, too, she was sooo active and fast.




Here she is in her Halloween collar, it's candy corn. Gosh, I could make her a new collar every day if I wanted to. I don't, but I could! lol

Let me know if you sew some collars, I want to see them!

35 comments:

Jen_TX said...

I know me.....I'd rather buy than try to sew. You say they're easy but my eyes glazed over after a few pictures and I found myself trying to figure out what you had it laying on to photograph (your ironing board?) I don't remember that cover. Did you make it too? You crafty people just amaze me! LOL

Parker is cute as ever and her little pink pads are just sooooo soft looking and her widdle nose and her ears....what a sweet baby.

Good job on the collars and I agree with removing the bells. It would make me crazy too. You are a good mommy. :-)

buzzard said...

I have been really hoping you would do this. It only took you a week to pick up on the telepathy! ;)

I will be looking through my material and making at least 4 of these colors. I'm might even put the bells on.

NP is so cute!

buzzard hugs

Susan R said...

Flossie you are amazing!! I actually understood the tutorial, (thanks to your great pictures) and I can't believe how easy it is to make one of these collars!! Of course I'll let you do all the work and "when and if" I get my new kitty I'll buy a stash of them from you. Easy-peasy huh? I mean since you have gone through the trouble of buying all the material and stuff...why reinvent the wheel again? I'm just sayin...

I so love that little rascal NP. I just want to kiss that little pink nose and tickle those little pink pads. She is such a doll and you can tell she loves you so much, why else would she want to taste her collar - after all her mommy made it especially for her. ~LOL~

Susan

Lynz said...

Wow, you are a clever Mum, aren't ya? Hol wants to know if she's called Nosy Parker coz she reads newspapers. Took me a minute to get the Mr. Nosey reference! And now I wonder if you actually *have* the Mr.Men books in the States. It's weird, the stuff that doesn't make it across the pond (candy corn being just one!)

sewtakeahike said...

cute kitty!!! thanks for the tips on the break away collars. We have an indoor cat and don't have a collar on him since he's not real interested in going outside. I've often thought about putting one on him though *just in case*!

covrj said...

Sheesh, I must check in more often. I need to make some of these for "the boys." They look like the ones the boys wear and their Dad likes change, so it makes sense to me. What am I saying??? I'm still trying to MAKE myself hem T-shirts. The sewing machine is gathering dust as we speak. Nice try tho Thuthan. I "wish" I would make them. That's about the best I can do for now. They are soooo cute and I know with kitties, you need a lot cause they just don't last on those felines like they do poochies.

Alia said...

I post about my two cats all the time but no one that lurks on my site EVER comments on them! It makes me so happy to see another adorable feline that you blog about get some attention!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! My cats' collars end up looking really haggard after a year or so because they inevitably scratch them up. I started thinking about the possibility of just reusing the hardware and creating a new strap out of a fabric scrap. Thought I might have to invent the wheel, but gratified to find your easy to follow instructions! (Take note, first commenter...!)

Elyse said...

Cute collar you made: http://www.cat-toure.com

Sasha Girl said...

I love your blog. Your have a great model also. I was thinking of making some semi precious gem stone cat collars. I bought the break away collar parts and now I am just trying to figure out a good way to string them on. Great site ! I will be back.

Dorothy Dillon said...

Thank you sooo much for posting this. I volunteer for a rescue group and one of the volunteers showed me her collars that she buys from her vet (specifically cat vet) they charge $8.00...Needless to say I sew and make bandanas and scrunchies Can Koozie Covers for them to sell and make money for their rescue group R.A.I.N. rescuinganimalsinneed.org Rescuing Animals In Need. I knew it was easy to make one but really wanted a set pattern, size to make them adjustable so I can make one size fits most! You have done it!!! I ordered my sets of hardware and I believe it was from the same company you did. They should be arriving soon and I will begin sewing! I will send pictures and let you know how it goes! Grateful for your info..Dorothy

Venus de Hilo said...

So glad I found this tutorial (and thanks for the link to the hardware site, too!). I paid $13 for a breakaway collar at the vet, and Cosmo came home without it after only a week. Figured there had to be a way to make at home, affordably. For only a dollar or so more, I'll be getting a whole bag of collar clasp sets. I'm a quilter, so have plenty of fabric and a sewing machine, but thought I'd have to puzzle through the construction myself.

heatherowe said...

Thanks so much for this great tutorial. I have been paying about $8 each for the collars at PetSmart. I really appreciate the link to the clasps - I ordered them and they were here in a few days. I'm sitting down right now to make some for my kitties and also for an organization, www.operationblanketsoflove.com that collects and distributes donated pet supplies to rescue organizations that don't have funds to buy them. I wanted to make something for cats other than toys and this is perfect! I also ordered leash and collar hardware for dogs. We'll see how that goes...

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth said...

Great and simple tutorial. Am already making collars and it's fun and easy. When I get my store together I will send you the eBay store name and photos. Thank you.

jacobithegreat said...

I am in the same situation as you-- I think I've gone though about 50 collars and I'm so dang tired of buying new ones. This is awesome! Thanks for the hardware link, too!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! This is exactly what I was looking for. And thank you for the link to the hardware - much appreciated.

Carla said...

Wow, great guide! Parker sure does look like she's enjoying herself, she knows she's in great hands :)

My black kitty Elfi has me nervous all the time because she likes to jump off the garden and go missing, sometimes even for days. She's a clever girl and the neighborhood is peaceful though, so she usually has no trouble finding her way back. However, it would really help me set my mind at ease if I could put a collar on her.

My small town only has stores that sell dog collars, not breakaway cat ones. I used to think a common collar would be enough, and bought a small dog one. However, now that I know about breakaway ones, I think putting the dog collar on my dear Elfi would be a risky move!

I'd like to either modify my little dog collar to put a breakaway clasp on it, or even make a brand new breakaway cat collar like you do. I really appreciate it that you provided the link for the supplier, but unfortunately they won't ship to Mexico, my home country. Have you heard about a supplier that ships internationally? I'd be very happy to find one, but I haven't so far.

I'll keep looking I guess, probably I'll figure a way soon enough.

Cheers! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this information. Even though your directions were good, the photos were really helpful. I've already passed a link to your page on to a cat lover. (I had excellent service from Love Your Pets for the ID tags and from Creative Designworks for the break away cat collar hardware.

ChunkyFig said...

I LOVE your directions for this and so happy I found this! I went to the link for the hardware for the collars and they are so good! I placed my order on a Friday I think and got the order on Tuesday! Super quick!

I do have one question. What kind of material did you use and would you suggest for making these. I bought the nylon webbing from them and it was darker than I thought and then looking closer at your photos I LOVE how you have the cool designs!!! Anyone know the kind of fabric(s) that can be used easily. I'm using the 3/8 inch hardware.

Kimberly

Zureen said...

hi from malaysia,
my search for sewing kitty collar ended here. Thanks for the explanation and pics. Great site u have there. And beautiful cats :-)

Tatiana & Bailey said...

I couldn't really tell, but are these adjustable as well? Love this! Will these fit kittens AND adults? Thanks!

Tatiana & Bailey said...

Cute kitty you have!

Holly Schroers said...

You can make them any size you want :) that's the beauty of making them yourself.

Holly Schroers said...

You can make them any size you want :) that's the beauty of making them yourself.

Sharon said...

Thank you for you the instructions and the link to the hardware seller!

I volunteer at a humane society in mid-Michigan that needs breakaway collars for adoptable cats. The lowest price I've found for a new collar at area stores is $3.00. I have made 65-70 collars to date and the cost, per collar, is just under $1,00, even when I added purchased pendants. (The bells provided by the hardware company are too large and loud, in my opinion, for the sheltered cats.)

I followed your instructions, using fabrics and sewing, for the first 20 collars. Since I wanted to streamline the process as I made multiple collars, I used 3/8" wide ribbon and fusing web (cutting each ribbon 30 inches and folding it in half, inserting the fusing, then ironing, which resulted in only one raw edge) and 7/8" wide ribbons (cutting each ribbon 15 inches long and folding each in half, lengthwise, and inserting the fusing). Rather than using a sewing machine, I hand stitched the hardware to the ribbons, using ten to twelve stitches for the slide and then the same for the clasp. I can make six collars from a 3/8" wide roll of ribbon that is 15 feet long, and 12 collars from a 7/8" wide ribbon. This works well for me.

Again, thank you so much for the very helpful information.

Susan said...

Thank you all for the lovely comments, I'm thrilled that you are finding this simple little tute so helpful and I'm so glad you're saving a bunch of money and even helping out cats that are less fortunate than our own. That makes me happy. :)

Heather Jones said...

Just made one of these for my boy kitty using 3/8 inch cotton twill tape and 3/8 inch ribbon layered on top of each other and he looks so handsome! I bought the hardware on Etsy. As the others said, thanks for the great tutorial. I'll never purchase a cat collar again :D

Linda said...

I absolutely LOVE this! I need to make one for my cat! Visiting from Flutter Busters party.

Linda @ Night Owl Corner
www.nightowlcorner.com

Kristy Grabenhfoer said...

Thank you for posting this. i have 5 kittens that are all identical except for their feet so we can't tell them apart. i wanted to try collars but they are so expensive this is a great way to try them out. i am a quilter so I have tons of scraps, can you use any fabric?

Susan said...

Kristy, I use 100% cotton/quilting fabric. You could use whatever you have on hand as long as it isn't too heavy or stretchy. Muslin, kona cottons, whatever, it just needs to be lightweight.

If the kittens are tiny,like under 7 weeks old, I would just make little scrunchy type collars with elastic inside them, instead of using the buckles. Buckles seem heavy on teeny,tiny necks.

your fellow traveler said...

Thank you so much for such a wonderful tutorial. We have twelve cats and buying new collars can get VERY pricey no matter where you get them. Even at the cheapest you're looking at $50 to get them all one. Plus they are often so plain. All our furbabies have their own personality so I wanted their collars to reflect different personalities as well. {Otherwise it's like having 12 kids and buying them all the same necklace!] So I began looking for instructions to make my own. This is EXACTLY what I needed! It's easy to understand, tells you where to get what you need AND comes with pictures! I can't thank you enough!

Susan said...

Thank you all for the lovely comments. I'm so happy that my little tutorial has been a money-saver for you crafty/sewing types! :)

megdalena said...

I love this! So easy to follow. Thank you!

Winemaking Voyage said...

What exactly may be said in order to make this information and facts more simple? I am a learner, and am looking your guidance on information in previously mentioned concept http://www.rosemonttextiles.com/weldable-webbing/

Karen Anne said...

This is really helpful. I have a new cat who was an unaltered male stray, and so his neck is too big for store bought collars by and inch or two.