Sunday, August 22, 2010

building a feather toy

After a time of planning, I finally had gathered all the necessary ingredients to build a feather toy for Nahum. I also secluded myself to a distant room while Nahum was sleeping in hopes of working without his assistance.

The basic parts needed to build the feather toy are: feathers, floral tape, a flexible wand, a glue gun with glue and a small rubber band. Finding quality fake feathers of the right type has not been easy. I am using ones from Michaels for the time being while I continue to search for the perfect feather. The ones I am using are too small and too bushy - ideal feathers would be a bit longer and more featherly than fuzzy. I also have concerns about the dyes used in these cheap feathers and if they are safe for cats. I wondered about using real bird feathers. Obviously, there is a lot more research on this issue needing to be done. 

I wasn't able to hide for long! Nahum was curious where I went and what I was up to and sought me out. As soon as he saw the feathers and silver shiny things his eyes grew big and he wanted to help!

Here is the final product. 

To create the toy, simply wrap the rubber band around the end of the wand so it is tight. The rubber band serves to hold the materials in place before the glue is applied. Start placing the feathers by sliding the stem under the rubber band. Continue to add feathers and shape as desired. Then add the shiny silver pieces. For the shiny strands, I used a metallic gift bag shred, which after a little trimming is the perfect size. Once everything is arranged the way you want it, secure everything in place with the hot glue gun. Once the glue cools and hardens, wrap the connection of the feathers and the wand with the floral tape which should cover up all the glue. Now you're ready to play!

A tip to make things easier: find a place to work where your cats can't get to you! Creating a feather toy and holding off a cat at the same time makes a simple project a lot more challenging!

The final phase of production requires product testing.

The finished product was approved by Nahum and now he has a new feather toy at a fraction of the cost of the ones they sell in the cat store.

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