45-60 min
Session 1 of 0
In Progress

Japanese Cat Dolls

45 – 60 min


Ages 10+

What Will You Learn?​

In this project, you’ll use a pattern to cut out felt pieces and sewing skills to make tiny dolls shaped like cats with stitched faces. Download the PDF instructions!


Cats go Meow meow. White Cat meow, Black Cat meow, Striped Cat meow. There are other cats too: tabby cat, alley cat, calico cat… You can make your cat according to the neighborhood kitty you know.

Ask your campers to describe cats they have seen. What color are the cats? Do they have stripes or spots?

Cut out Pattern Pieces

Step 1

You will need 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 ears, 2 faces, 6 whiskers, 2 brown or black pupils, 2 white eye pieces, and 2 clothes pieces cut from felt. Download the pattern to print.

Make the Face

Step 2

Glue the eye whites on the pupils (Square 1).

Step 3

Backstitch around the white of the eyes with 4 strands of brown thread. Repeat once around the white of the eyes to make them stand out on White Cat (Square 2 & 3).

Step 4

Use 6 strands of brown thread to make the nose with a single French knot (Square 4).

Step 5

Straight stitch the mouth with 6 strands of brown thread (Square 5).

Make the Head

Step 6

Position the whiskers on the backside of the face and glue them on. Put the glue on the end points of the whiskers. Wait until the glue dries (Square 6)

Step 7

Insert the ears to the face and overlock stitch (whipstitch) them with 1 thread of face-colored thread (Square 7).

Step 8

Stuff the head with cotton.

Make the Body

Step 9

Use 6 strands of thread to make two triple French knots on the clothing front (Square 8).

Step 10

Inserting the arms and legs, overlock stitch them in, stuff with cotton, and sew shut with 1 thread of clothes colored thread (Square 9).

Finish the Kitty

Step 11

Sew the head onto the clothes with 1 thread of face-colored thread. If desired, draw in the stripes with your colored pencil (Square 10 & 11).

What's Next?

Want more kawaii animals? This project is from The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo. Their other books The Bad Book, Cute Dolls, Fun Dolls, Cuter Stuff have even more projects.

Take it Further

Why not have campers make a pattern of an animal or monster of their own? Have them sketch it on paper first then make a simple pattern. Use the techniques above to sew the creature.

About the Magazine

Looking for some projects to fulfill your crafty needs? Look no further! Snag a copy of our sister publication, CRAFT, and delve into a world of DIY delight! From decorative issues, seasonal and event issues, with arts of all types, these mags will quench your crafty thirst! Find it in the Maker Shed.

Maker Camp May 19, 2021
Maker Camp is a do-it-yourself online resource to help leaders like you organize a summer camp that engages children in making. Our goal is to provide you and your campers with the inspiration and the helpful resources, along with many possible projects to fit a wide range of interests and abilities. The idea is to focus on making as a playful, social activity. Maker Camp provides enough support for anyone to get started. Making provides experiences that help children become self-directed learners and good problem-solvers.