Craft for your Local Shelter

Two Minutes
Apr 26, 2022

Have you ever heard of National Craft For Your Local Shelters Day? This fun holiday takes place on July 21st and the idea behind this celebration is simple – make some homemade pet toys and supplies and drop them off at your local animal shelter.

This is a way for shelters to get the supplies they need while those donating don’t have to spend a lot in order to donate and participate. Keep reading to learn about some great ideas and items that you can create and donate to your local shelter today.


To make homemade dog bandanas, you can purchase some fabric or find some old T-shirts to cut up.

You may want to begin by using fabric scissors to cut the fabric into the needed bandana pattern. Be sure to look online to find sizing guides to help you make bandanas for various sized dogs. Following this, you will want to hem the edges with a sewing machine so the fabric doesn’t fray.

This is a simple craft, but it can go a long way in helping shelter dogs look their best on adoption day!


Make a pillow that a lonely shelter dog or cat can cuddle with until they find their forever family. To make a basic pillow, cut two pieces of your desired shape out of felt and sew around the edges, leaving a small hole. Fill the pillow and then sew it up.

Homemade Cat Toys

Cat owners know better than anybody that cat toys don’t have to be complex — as most kitties are more than happy with a piece of string or whatever else they find lying around the house.

Consider making cat toys with some simple items around the house. You can try making a cat toy by tying a feather to one end of a piece of string, and a circled-up pipe cleaner to the other. Or wrap yarn around a ball and spray the ball with catnip spray. Finally, if you have any old socks lying around, stuff it with packing paper and tie off the end. 

Homemade Dog Toys

Dogs might be a little pickier than cats, but dog toys are fairly simple to make at home, too!

You can make a rope toy by ripping an old T-shirt into strips and braiding the strips together. Or you can make a brain teaser using a muffin tin and tennis balls — shelter employees can put treats under the balls when playing with the pups. Or you simply slip an empty water bottle inside a sock. The possibilities are endless! 

Cat Scratching Post

There are many ways to make your own cat scratching post.

A square post of wood works as well and can commonly be found at your local hardware store. Don’t forget to also purchase some wood for the square base of the scratching post.  You can attach carpet to the wood and then screw the post into the base. Cover the post with carpet (or wrap it in rope) and you have a homemade scratching post ready to go.  

You can also create a scratching post with a wide, tall piece of cardboard or plastic tube.

Cat Shampoo

Making some homemade dry cat shampoo is another way to craft for your local shelter. You can follow this easy recipe:

  • ⅓ cup unprocessed bran
  • ⅓ cup cornmeal
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats

 Shelter workers can rub the shampoo into the cats’ fur and then brush it out. Before making and donating this shampoo, be sure to get the ingredients approved by the shelter you are donating at. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.