What You'll Need:
For nine cats:
- Cat pattern (download below)
- One 4x8-foot sheet of 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch plywood
- Power drill with 1/2-inch wood-boring bit (brad-point, Forstner, or spade)
- Eighteen 1/2-inch wood button plugs (For eyes on both sides of each cat. You'll need 36.)
- Acrylic paint: gray and white
- Paint pens: white, pink, and black
- Exterior wood glue
- Ticket markers (download below)
- White cardstock
- Scallop-edge scissors
- Crafts glue
- Croquet set or game rings
How to Make It
- Enlarge cat pattern 245 percent or to desired size. Ours is 23 inches tall. Print and trim. Trace nine cat outlines on the plywood. Cut out using the jigsaw; sand edges.
- Using a nail or a scratch awl, mark the centers of the eyes. (For double-sided wickets, make the same marks on the other side of the face.) Using a brad-point or Forstner bit, drill a 1/2-inch-diameter hole deep enough to insert a button plug. (If desired, for double-sided wickets, use a spade bit to drill through the plywood. Insert plugs on both sides.)
- Paint both the sides and edges of cats using gray acrylic paint; let dry. Using a white paint pen, outline the cat's body, tail, face, and ears. Using the white paint pen and referring to the photo on page 63, draw a nose and mouth. Fill in nose using pink paint pen.
- Paint the wood button plugs using white acrylic paint; let dry. Use black paint pen to add pupils; let dry. Lightly coat inside the drilled holes with exterior wood glue; insert plugs. Wipe off excess glue; let dry.
- Download and print the ticket markers on white cardstock. Cut out using scallop-edge scissors. Using crafts glue, attach a sign to each cat, giving each cat a different value.
- To play the game, insert the cats into the ground in place of wickets. Use a typical croquet course setup, or make up your own arrangement. For each ball hit through a wicket, the player wins the number of tickets.
Editor's Tip: For an alternate game option, use the cat wickets as ringtoss targets. Arrange a few cats as desired. Have players stand a short distance from the targets to toss rings over the cats' tails. For each ringed tail, players receive the number of tickets shown on the cat's sign.