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12:53 AM   April 18, 2015
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Craft Association Encourages Owners to Dress Pets

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) has developed a number of handmade pet couture and accessory ideas to help pet owners celebrate National Dress Up Your Pet Day on Jan. 15. Pet owners are invited to enter their handmade designs in the CHA Pet Costume Contest.

Thirty-nine percent of U.S. households participate in general crafting, including pet costuming and accessorizing, according to the Elmwood Park, N.J.-based organization. In recognition of the National Dress Up Your Pet Day, CHA member iLoveToCreate, a Fresno, Calif.-based manufacturer and distributor of arts and crafts, has created costume ideas for dogs, cats and rabbits as well non-traditional pets, such as pigs, ostriches and llamas.

Step-by-step instructions for iLoveToCreate’s designs, such as a bomber jacket for dogs, a top hat for rabbits and a dress for pigs, are available on CHA’s website, The company has also created a pet fashion show video ( featuring its designs.

For dog lovers, CHA member Cathie Filian has created a book called Bow Wow WOW: Fetching Costumes for Your Fabulous Dog that focuses on dog clothing ideas. For example, Filian suggests transforming a plain dog T-shirt with fabric paints, rhinestones and pre-designed iron-ons.

For those still in need of inspiration, CHA offers up the following ideas:

• Create a full ensemble consisting of a sweater, hat, necklace, booties, ear wear and tiny purse.
• Dress yourself and your pet exactly alike.
• Recycle items that are already in the closet, sewing basket or crafts drawer.
• Embellish cat beds, place mats, bowls, leashes and collars.
• Personalize pet photo frames to show off their fashions.

Pet enthusiasts are encouraged to electronically submit photos and instructions of their handmade pet costumes at The CHA Pet Costume Contest ends Jan. 31. The winner, to be announced in February, will receive a gift basket filled with craft supplies.

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