Make A Snake – I think that should be a bumper sticker. Our baby snakes are too silly to be scary, and they're filled with catnip to make them wonderful little toys for your playful puddy tats. We've done a number of kitty toys here at Sew4Home mostly because we have a number of kitties wandering the various S4H studios, and it's a good way to keep them occupied rather than watching all our thread spools disappear under the sewing cabinets.
These little baby snakes are super quick and easy. We offer a downloadable pattern so you can make lots. And, here's your wildlife fact of the day: a group of snakes is generally called a bed, den, pit or nest, but a group of rattlesnakes is referred to as a rhumba or rumba.
We suggest using natural fibers, such as cotton, and an organic catnip on the inside. We've photographed ours with pretty little bows as they might appear as a gift for your cat loving friends. But once they're on the floor for the kitties to play with, you'll want to remove the ribbons, which would otherwise soon be a tangled mess. In addition, our snake eyes are done with embroidery floss rather than buttons that could be chewed off and swallowed.
Some cats can be really rough with catnip toys, so please supervise your pet's use of this or any toy. Check often for rips or tears and discard the snake if it becomes torn.
Each snake finishes at approximately 10" long, excluding his forked tongue.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
Supplies listed are for one baby snake, but they like to travel with friends.
- Scraps or ¼ yard cuts of 44"+ wide fabric – for our samples, we used the same fabric top and bottom; you could also use two different fabrics
- Scrap of heavy red felt
- Black embroidery floss
- Catnip; we recommend organic catnip, available at most larger pet stores
- Scraps or a small bag of polyester fiberfill; we suggest Nature-Fil Bamboo Fiber Fill by Fairfield
- Optional: 6-9" of ¼" satin ribbon; If giving as a gift, this ribbon can be used to tie a bow around the baby snake's neck; it should be removed prior to letting the kitty play with the toy
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- Larger-eye embroidery floss needle
- Small funnel
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- DOWNLOAD PATTERN: Download and print out the one pattern sheet: Baby Snake Pattern.
IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out the TWO pattern pieces along the solid lines. Following the arrows printed on the patterns, butt together the two pieces – do not overlap. Tape the two pieces together to create the full snake pattern
- Cut out the forked tongue pattern along the solid line.
- Fold your fabric in half wrong sides together. Using the assembled pattern, cut TWO pieces.
NOTE: It's important the fabric is folded together. If you just cut two single pieces from the right side of the fabric, they won't match up when you place them right sides together. If you want different fabrics for the top and bottom, cut one piece with the pattern right side up, then flip over the paper pattern, and cut the second piece.
- Transfer the eye markings from the pattern to the top snake fabric piece.
- From the felt, use the pattern to cut ONE tongue.
- Thread the larger-eye needle with black embroidery floss and follow your drawn marks to fill in the baby snake's two eyes.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Place the felt forked tongue in position at the tip of the baby snake's head. The straight end of the tongue should be flush with the raw edge of the fabric. Pin in place.
- Find the bottom fabric piece and place it right sides together with the top, aligning all the raw edges and sandwiching the forked tongue between the layers. Pin in place all around – don't be afraid to use lots of pins to make sure all those curves stay in place. Leave an approximate 2" opening for turning at the straightest point along one side. Remember to transfer the original pin holding the forked tongue in place to the outside; you don't want it trapped between the layers. If you prefer, you could hand baste the tongue in place for extra security.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter of the baby snake. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 2" opening for turning. Go slowly in order to maintain a consistent seam width as you maneuver the curves. Stop, with your needle in the down position, and pivot to help adjust around the tighter turns. Shortening the stitch length can also give you a bit more control around the curves.
- Cut the corners and and clip the curves, being careful in both instances to not cut through the seam. Press the seam open. Trim back the seam allowances to ¼" along the curves. Keep the full seam allowance along the opening.
- Carefully turn right side out through the side opening.
- Using a long, blunt end tool, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner, gently smooth out all the curves and the shape of the head.
- Press the baby snake flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Fill the baby snake about ⅓ full with the fiber fill, pushing it gently toward the seam to puff the snake into shape.
- Using the small funnel, add about a 3-4 tablespoons of catnip. A chopstick will help push the catnip through the funnel. It can also help work the catnip down to either end of the snake. The catnip doesn't have to go the length of the snake.
- Finish stuffing the baby snake with additional fiber fill until it is pleasingly plump.
- Slip stitch the opening closed, using tiny even stitches so none of the fiber fill or catnip can work its way out.
- If giving as a gift, tie a bow around the baby snake's neck. This ribbon should be removed prior to letting the kitty play with the toy.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild