A Valentine For Your Feline: DIY Catnip Hearts

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays—long before I ever associated it with romance and Hallmark cards, it was a special time of year when I would make thoughtfully crafted cards for my friends and family. Still to this day, cutting hearts out of construction paper brings back a little bit of childhood nostalgia, and I still enjoy making homemade Valentine’s for my loved ones.

My cats, however, being the clever ones they are, have begun to suspect they have yet to be included in this holiday celebration. And I will admit, I have never made them a Valentine for mainly two reasons: 1) they eat paper and 2) they probably get more love and attention than my husband every other day of the year. BUT, being a reasonable cat person, I have decided to make them their very own Valentine’s this year … a catnip-filled Valentine.

This simple project was inspired by the Purl Soho Valentine’s Necklaces, with some minor adjustments to make it more cat-friendly. 

A few things you will need:

- small pieces of fabric (I used leftover scraps of linen and muslin)

- matching thread

- stuffing

- catnip

- scissors

- fabric pen

- sewing needle

- sewing machine (optional, but handy)

- heart template

Start by tracing and cutting several hearts out of your fabric.

Pin two pieces together and carefully sew along the edge of the heart using a  1/8” seam allowance. I found it easiest to sew with my needle in the down position, and every few stitches I would lift my presser foot and manually turn the fabric to follow the edge. Be sure backstitch at the beginning and end of this seam, and to leave a gap along one side. Turn your fabric inside out through this gap. Click on the photos above to enlarge.

Now you can choose to fill your heart with stuffing and catnip, or just stuffing and then infuse it with catnip. Because my fabric was so light, I chose to fill my hearts with stuffing only and then infuse them as to avoid seeing dark specks of nip through the fabric. See directions on infusing below.

After stuffing, sew the opening on the side by hand using a ladder stitch. I doubled my thread at this point to help reinforce this seam. Pull your stitches tight, tie a double knot and hide the end of your thread.

If you only stuffed your heart with stuffing, it is ready to be infused with nip. To infuse, simply add your finished stuffed hearts to a ziplock bag or sealed container along with a sachet of potent catnip and allow to sit for a few hours or a few days. The best part of this technique is that it can be done over and over again as the catnip wears off without having to re-stuff your toy. 

Your catnip Valentines are ready to be delivered to your special feline!