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How to Make a Jellicle Cat Tail Out of Yarn

Updated October 24, 2018

In the musical "Cats," the Jellicle cat was a member of the Jellicle cat tribe. Members of this tribe are black and white cats who have different personalities by night and by day. If you're staging and creating costumes for a production of "Cats," you'll need to make fluffy Jellicle cat tails. The least expensive way to create these tails is by using regular yarn. The tail is a labour-intensive project, but the end result is a very fluffy and effective part of a Jellicle cat costume.

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  1. Cut nine pieces of black yarn that each measure 36 inches long. Lay the pieces parallel to each other, making sure the ends are even. Tie one end of the bunch together in a knot.

  2. Pin the knot to the cushion of a chair or couch to hold it in place. Section the strands into three bunches of three strands each.

  3. Braid one of the three-strand sections from the top to the bottom and tie a knot at the end. Repeat with the second and third sections. Finally, braid all three braids together into one thick braid, and tie a knot at the end.

  4. Cut at least 100 pieces of black and white yarn, each measuring 4 inches long. Decide if your tail will be all black with a white tip or a multicoloured tail. If multicoloured, cut the same number of each colour. If tipped, cut all black until you reach the tip of the tail. The total number of pieces you need depends on how fluffy you want your tail to be. To save your hand from cramping from cutting all the yarn at once, you'll use this first 100 pieces, and then cut another batch to continue the project.

  5. Unpin the braid from the cushion. Fold one piece of yarn in half. Hold the two tail ends in one hand and the loop in the other. Push the loop through one strand in the braid, somewhere in the middle. Pull the two tail ends through the loop and pull the ends to secure the yarn into a knot. The tail ends will hang free.

  6. Add more pieces of yarn, working toward the top and the bottom and all around all the sides of the tail. Add as many pieces of yarn as you want. The goal is to make the tail full and fluffy. Alternate the colours in stripes, if that is the type of tail you decided on, or make it all one colour with a different coloured tip.

  7. Brush the yarn very gently with an old toothbrush to unravel the yarn and make it fuzzy. Smooth the fuzz down to complete the tail.

  8. Tip

    Leave the large safety pin at the top of the tail to attach it to your costume, or sew the tail to the back of your costume for a more permanent solution.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 skein black worsted yarn
  • 1 skein white worsted yarn
  • Scissors
  • Large safety pin
  • Old toothbrush

About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.

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