National Craft For Your Local Shelters Day: July 21st | PetFirst
National Craft For Your Local Shelters Day: July 21
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National Craft For Your Local Shelters Day: July 21st

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
9 months ago

Have you ever heard of National Craft For Your Local Shelters Day6? 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, purchase some fabric or find some old T-shirts to cut up.

To make these bandanas you will 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. (Optional: Use a Sharpie to decorate the sock like a fish.)

Homemade dog toys

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

Create a rope toy by ripping an old T-shirt into strips and braiding them 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 shared by Reader’s Digest7:

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

Seal the ingredients in a container and shake; then microwave for 10 seconds. 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. 

Your own pets might get jealous watching you make gifts for shelter animals — so feel free to save a few homemade toys for them, too! You can also care for your own pets by getting PetFirst Pet insurance1

Here at PetFirst1, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 can help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. PetFirst Pet Insurance1  has cat and dog insurance policies2 as well as Routine Care Coverage2 to fit every budget. Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.



1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.  

6Vet Organics: National Craft For Your Local Shelters Day, July 20 2017, Michelle

7Reader’s Digest: 15 Clever Pet Products You Can Make At Home, April 6th 2020, Meghan Jones

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