Spun Pet Hair Heart – A Precious Keepsake
Please don’t think I’m weird, but this bit of craftiness we’re sharing this week involves spinning fur baby hair. It’s one of those that only a fellow animal lover will understand. When we lost our Kayla last year it broke my heart that I didn’t have something tangible to remember her by. I couldn’t bear the thought of never cuddling up to her again. So I came up with the idea to make a spun pet hair heart from that awesome arsenal of hair that our fur babies shed so lovingly all over our home.
When I first mentioned the furry craft idea to my friends, they all gave me that “You want to make WHAT!!” look 😀 so I’m really glad it all worked out. This spun heart was made from Zia’s fur.
Unfortunately, you can only make a spun pet hair heart with the “shedding” from long-haired fur babies: alsatian’s like our Zia, collies, huskies, bouviers, labradors, shi-tzu, pekinese, poodles, and griffons (my daughter has one of these cuties).
But that’s okay. I’m going to think of a way to do something similar for our short-haired fur kids. The furry spun heart also fits perfectly with this month’s IBC “Furever” challenge, and you’ll be able to see a whole bunch of pet-inspired projects at the end of this tutorial. Right, before we get to the spun pet hair heart tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need to make a spun pet hair heart
- Old pillowcase or breathable bag to collect the hair in
- 2 cheap bristle grooming brushes
- A wooden dowel and toothpick
- Knitting needles
- Free half-heart pattern
- The shed hair from one of your long-haired fur babies
How much fur do you need?
For small items, like the half heart, you’ll need to collect about ½ a pillowcase full of fur. Don’t overfill the pillowcase or squish the fur down tightly. It needs to breathe while you collect more. How thick or thin you spin the fur will also have an impact on how much you need. 30 grams of fur should give you about 60 meters of furry, fluffy yarn.
How to collect your fur baby’s hair
As a mixed breed Husky x Alsatian, our Zia sheds like crazy, so we tend to give her a good brushing once a week. It only took four weeks for us to collect enough fur to make this heart. We use these rake brushes. It has a little knob at the back that releases the hair, which we saved in a breathable plastic bag or pillowcase.
Don’t stuff too much hair in the bag; it may start sweating and get all smelly and yucky. Oh, on that point, spinning and knitting with dog hair will make your hands smell like they’ve been drenched in “parfum le pooch” 😀 You can sprinkle a small amount of baking soda inside the bags to help neutralize the odor. If your fur baby has eczema, give them a bath and let them dry off before gathering the fur. Trust me on this one; those flaky skin bits are impossible to get out and may cause the fur to clump when you card or comb it in preparation for spinning.
How to spin pet hair and knit a furever heart
Getting the hair/fur ready for spinning
You’ll need two bristle brushes for this part.
Place a clump of fur onto one brush ….
….and then place the other brush on top and pull the two brushes in opposite directions.
This combing or brushing is called carding, and it disentangles, cleans, and aligns the fur making it easier to spin. Store the combed fur in a pillowcase or breathable plastic bag and pop one of those silica gel sachets inside to prevent mold or mildew from forming.
How to spin pet hair
To spin Zia’s hair, I went with the latest and greatest technology my craft cupboard could offer; a wooden dowel and a toothpick. Seriously, you can buy fancy spindles, but since I won’t be doing this as a full-time job, those sticks of wood were perfect. Just drill a small hole towards the top of the dowel and insert the toothpick. The toothpick will “anchor” the hair once you start spinning.
To hand spin fur, grab a handful of fur in your non-dominant hand, pull a few strands of fur out and twist it into a point. Then, using your dominant hand, begin turning the fur in a clockwise direction while gently pulling more fur out of the other hand. Keep turning and pulling until you have a long thread of furry, fluffy yarn. Secure the furry thread around the dowel and spin away. You can watch the short video below to see how I carded and spun Zia’s fur.
Spinning tips to keep in mind
- Always spin the furry yarn in the same direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise).
- If you’re a first-time spinner, like me, the thread or spun fur will not be even. There will thicker and thinner bits. It’s lumpy, bumpy, uneven, love-filled, happy memories yarn and not intended to be perfect. Don’t worry; it adds to the final look. Well, that’s my story anyway, and I’m sticking to it 😉
- It’s easy to join a spun piece to an unspun piece, so don’t get frustrated if it pulls apart while you’re spinning.
- Pull the spun fur every so often to check that it’s tightly spun.
- Your hands will smell like a sweaty version of your favorite pooch 😀
How to knit half a spun pet hair heart
Knitting with spun pet hair is just like knitting with chunky yarn. When knitting the half heart, try to keep your stitches as loose as possible to account for the varying thickness in the spun pet hair yarn.
The knitting pattern to make the half-heart is really easy. You only need to know how to:
Tidy the half-heart up by using a thick yarn needle to sew in any stray strands.
Adding a wooden heart
To make a mirror image of the half heart, place the knitted heart on a piece of paper and trace around the edges.
Cut the image out and flip it over before placing it on a scrap piece of wood. Use a jigsaw to cut the half-heart out. If you’ve never used a jigsaw before, this beginner’s tutorial will show you how.
Sand the wooden heart before drilling evenly spaced holes.
Use some leather cord to stitch the spun pet hair and wooden heart halves together.
Mounting the spun pet hair heart
You can mount your spun heart on almost anything. I used the seat from a broken chair for Zia’s heart. The wooden half of the heart is simply screwed on from the back.
And do you know what the best thing is? I don’t gripe and groan about our fur babies shedding all over the place. Now I brush them often and get crafty.
It’s a win-win for all of us.
Would you make a keepsake using your fur baby’s hair?
If you like the idea of making a spun pet hair heart as a keepsake, don’t forget to pin it for later.
If the thought of spinning your fur baby’s hair doesn’t appeal, then perhaps you can try your hand at making this memorial art instead. Or browse all the beautiful “furever” crafts that the other ladies from the IBC have ut together.
- Not only is this “Time for a Walk” leash holder so clever, Marie repurposed something while making it too.
- I think Anita’s puppies are going to have a ball in their new hobbit styled home.
- A Furever Heart keepsake by yours truly.
- Sara took string art to a whole new level with her furever idea.
BTW, if you’re looking for some of the things we used to make this spun pet hair heart, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you so much for popping in for a visit.
30 thoughts on “Spun Pet Hair Heart – A Precious Keepsake”
Oh my lord! That is such an amazing idea! I wish I had seen it when I was filling grocery bags of hair from my German Shepherd! After we lost him, we got a Yorkipoo who grows hair so fast. He doesn’t shed, but when he gets a haircut, I’m going to ask his groomer to save it for me! I can’t wait to make such a lovely project to honor my pup! Again, thank you for sharing.
Ah, I’m so sorry for your loss. They creep so deeply into our hearts and stay there forever. Zia, our German Sheperd x Husky sheds all the time but I would rather have her here and shedding than over the rainbow bridge ❤ Enjoy making your spun heart. It takes a little practice but once you get the feel for how the hair spins together it goes quickly.
This is a unique idea and a special keepsake. Sorry to hear about your loss, it’s heartbreaking. We lost our beloved Toby in 2019, we still have his collar and lead, besides photos and memories that’s the only keepsake we have too.
? It’s always so sad when you lose a fur baby. Fortunately, Zia is still with us but I’m sad I didn’t think of doing something similar with Kayla’s fur. We lost her in 2020 and I still miss seeing her at my feet.
What a special way to remember your fur baby in a tangible way!! So creative and sweet 🙂
A special project for a special fur baby 😉 Thank you Cindy
Such a sweet and unique keepsake!
Don’t forget to share over at the Creative Crafts Linky Party every Wednesday through Sunday
Followed and Pinned! ?
Thanks so much, Beth, I’ll see you there.
Oh WOW Michelle! This project is amazing and so clever. Only you would of thought to use the furbabies hair around the house. Brilliant! My Siamese has short hair but she sure sheds. I find hair balls on the floor going around in circles under the ceiling fan. I love this idea, it’ s the perfect way to keep those precious memories of our loving furbabies. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the short hair babies.
I’m sure glad I could find a way to use some of Zia’s fur. When Kayla passed on, I was so sad that I never saved any of her hair. She was a lab x husky and we had to brush her every week so she didn’t end up looking like a walking fluff ball monster.
What a very creative and sentimental keepsake.
Thanks so much, Kim and I think the sentimental value will go through the roof when Zia’s no longer with us. Which, I hope is far, far away.
Wow. At first, I was laughing (and I am a HUGE pet lover), but then it’s so beautifully done that it’s actually sweet. xx
❤ Thank you, Libbie.
Oh my! This is just amazing! I NEVER would have thought of a memory keepsake like this Michelle. Another incredible blog post.
Thanks so much, Meegan. Our pets are a BIG part of our family, so coming up with doable ideas to keep them with us always makes me happy.
Michelle, what a beautiful and precious memorial to your friend. I saved a chicken feather from each chicken I lost from predators because they were my friends and I loved them so much.
I hear you, Deana. We have a collection of feathers from our birdies too ❣ In fact I used a few of our albino cockatiels’ feathers in a dream catcher that’s hanging in our bedroom. It always makes me think of them.
This is the most adorable idea for a pet’s keepsake.
Thank you, Maria, I’m really happy with how it turned out.
I don’t have pets anymore, but this is very interesting. xo Laura
Thanks so much, Laura
Oh my word, this is such a beautiful tribute idea for our fur babies, Michelle. I never knew you could spin pet hair. BTW the background bird song in your video was AWESOME! I love everything about this ?
Aren’t those birds in the background so soothing? I never realized just how vocal they are in our garden until I put the video together. We’re very lucky.
I’m so proud of my daughter and son-in-law and their love for their fur babies, as an animal lover myself, their “garden of remembrence” is unique!!
Hello my Mom ❣ Growing up with you there is just no way I couldn’t end up loving furry creatures who bark and meow 😉
Wow Michelle, what a great way to tackle a problem all pet owners have with constant shedding. It’s an amazing keepsake! My sister’s dogs are mixes and their fur is pretty slick so I’m not sure if this would work but I would love to try it!
It might work. The hair on Zia’s back is pretty slick, but her undercoat is all wooly and fluffy and I didn’t have a problem spinning. Maybe you combine their fur with some of that wool you use to make your gorgeous felted creations. It’s worth a try.
I absolutely love everything about this project. I had to giggle that you started by saying don’t think I am weird ?? I have never seen anything like this before. Pity it does not work on the short hair, I have buckets full.
😀 Oh my word, when I told people what I was going to try and make, they all said “You’re going to do WHAT!!” And yeah, I’m working on something for our short-haired fur babies. I did figure something out for our kitties, which I’ll hopefully share soon.