Introducing, The Dressy Cats!

Lately, my daughter is enjoying dressing up and wearing accessories, like purses and headbands. Having never made a dress-up toy before, I thought it would be fun to make a nice family of cats that could be dressed up like paper dolls. We’ve been calling them, “The Dressy Cats!” My son especially loves putting on the accessories, using his dexterity skills (from hours of Lego play). We’ve also been doing a lot of “episodes” with our toys and figures these days, and have acted out many skits with the cats. Below is a video of one of our “make it up as we go” episodes. The kids think it’s pretty funny.

So here you go. There are templates below. (Colored in, or blank for you to color.) I hope there are some cat lovers out there!

If your kids like art assignments, you could have them:

• Draw their own background scene: A room in your house, an outdoor scene, or some other fantastic place? (You can see a background that my daughter drew below.)
• Think of some names for the cats. Use the blank templates to color your own, and name them too.
• Try making some of your own accessories, or a new rug for the floor.
• Then act out some episodes of your own! Maybe even use your phone or something to record a video, and share it on the Made by Joel Facebook Page, or YouTube.

Templates: Click on the images below, then print.


  1. September 14, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Lovely! Thanks Joel!

  2. September 14, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Great idea and so colorful! I love it!

  3. September 14, 2011 at 11:36 am

    This is the best thing ever!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!!!

  4. September 14, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Absolutely stunning! Love it to bits

  5. Rose Fern
    September 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I enjoyed the video immensely Joel! Your kids are so lucky to have you (and full of joy)!!! Amazing and flexible idea!Why not expand it with other animals or a whole zoo for variety?I'm thinking of using it in class with my 3rd grade. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Cindy
    September 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    So cute, and I loved the video - 4 is such a neat age - same as my granddaughter, and she would love this thank you again!

  7. September 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks everyone! Yeah, this will be a really fun series to keep adding on to: different animal friends, backdrops, and props, etc. My kids are already having many ideas. Nice!

  8. September 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    really cute! thanks for sharing ,Joel

  9. September 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I loved the video. My daughter is 4 and I can so see her giggling over the kitty chow joke. I think we'll be printing this one out soon, especially since my almost 2 year old son is in love with cats. :)

  10. September 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Oh my good! This is the funniest video I've seen lately! Thanks for sharing, Joel. You always bring us happiness.

  11. September 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    !!! These are great! We all loved it!

  12. September 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    My son had a blast watching the video :-)

  13. September 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing Joel, it just goes to show 4 year old kids do have the same sense of humor the whole world over! I have done many role plays that end up just like that :) they never tire of the punch line do they!

  14. September 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    so lovely!

  15. September 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    These are awesome! I'm looking forward to playing with these with my little one once she's a bit older and won't just try to eat them!

  16. Dennice
    September 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm


  17. September 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I love that you share these things freely, even now that you're all famous. ;) Thank you!

  18. September 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Very nice of you all. Thanks, and hope your kids enjoy playing with the dressy cats!

  19. September 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    that video was hilarious. It reminded me of a certain sitcom made for grown-ups. Shows that our sense of humor may not actually get as sophisticated as we would like to think! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Irena
    September 14, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    beautiful idea!

  21. Patricia Ágreda Ferrán
    September 15, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Oh, Joel!!! That video was sooooooooooo funny :) I've loved to hear you all, the way twins have enjoyed, their laughts... it's been terrific. Thanks for sharing it!

  22. September 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    [...] The Dressy Cats from Made by Joel [...]

  23. September 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Fabulous. Perfect for the upcoming schools hols! thank you!

  24. September 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Where have I been - how cute are these cats.... Lovely of course, hope you all have a great weekend.

  25. sara
    September 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    what a fantastic video! what is the piece of music you play in the intro and outro -- i really liked that too.

    1. September 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks everyone! Sara - I made the music in GarageBand. Glad you like it!

  26. shawnalee
    September 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I love your style! One question, what do you use to get the fantastic colours?

    1. September 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks! First I do the drawings with pen and paper. Then I scan them into the computer and add the color in Photoshop. My kids love sitting next to me and helping me figure out the colors. They're quite helpful at it too! My daughter made sure there was enough pink.

  27. September 17, 2011 at 7:18 am

    We're already making up our own Dressy Cats stories!! Thanks for always being so generous with your readers!

  28. September 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

    These are cute! I plan to put them in our kindergarten class. I am sure the children will love them.

  29. Jackie
    September 18, 2011 at 5:15 am

    This is sooooo awesome!!!! You are completely amazing. Thank you! xxxooo

  30. Vanesa
    September 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Joel sos un genio!!! gracias por tu talento y tu generosidad. Que hijos mas felices que crecen a tu lado, abrazos desde Argentina!!

  31. September 18, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    these are so great!! my daughter has a cold + will miss her first full day of kindergarten tomorrow :( but i don't think she'll mind so much if she has this to play with! thank you :)

  32. September 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    [...] your kids like dress-up, check out Made by Joel‘s Dressy Cats! There are downloadable templates, coloured-in or blank if your kids like to colour. And lots of [...]

  33. September 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    This is soooo cool! I'm printing them off for my two girls to colour and improvise! Thank you so much! :)

  34. September 21, 2011 at 5:19 am

    My children loooooved it - thanks ever so much. Right now they wait at the side of the printer to start colour the pictures in and make this lovely scene! Have a nice week. Simone

  35. September 21, 2011 at 7:49 am

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  36. September 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

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  37. Tereza
    September 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Joel, I never respond, I just read and enjoy, but this time I have to respond. The video is hilarious. I was laughing and laughing and laughing. Thank you for making my life a bit longer and giving me this 3 minutes of joy. And please say hello to your kids, they are great cat voices. :-) Tereza from the Czech Republic

    1. September 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks everyone! Tereza - Thanks for the kind note! My kid's little cat voices were pretty funny for sure. ha! Thanks again, Joel

  38. September 23, 2011 at 7:51 am

    [...] words: Dressy Cats! Joel from Made by Joel has created these adorable paper cats that you can download and print and have your kids dress up, perfect for the little girl (or guy) [...]

  39. tatiana renom
    September 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

    como siempre, es un gusto ver tu arte y el de toda tu familia! con lo que me gustan los gatos!!! :) gracias por llenar el mundo de color y creatividad saludos desde chile!

  40. September 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Joel, I don't know how many times my daughter and I have watched this cute and funny video! Margui laughs and laughs, and asks to watch it again! We haven't make our cat family yet, but it is on the list! Thank you so much for all the magic you share with us! Gracias!

  41. October 7, 2011 at 2:06 am

    [...] The Dressy Cats [...]

  42. October 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Gorgeous! I linked your super Cats here: Thanks for this amazing idea!!! Love, Nicky

  43. October 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

    These are just darling! What a lovely, cheerful idea.

  44. mo
    October 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    We just had fun playing with the kitty cats and watching your video. Thanks for sharing. She's excited to see them tomorrow when she wakes up.

  45. November 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    [...] Column: typographic gift tags, bunting wedding stationery, “Dressy Cats” paper dolls, Make a Wish birthday sign Right Column: “Dailies” journal page, modern birthday cards, [...]

  46. Agnes
    November 28, 2011 at 6:02 am

    We had wonderful time playing with your cats, Joel :-) Please make something else for them! :-)

  47. November 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    [...] Introducing, The Dressy Cats! [...]

  48. Lesley
    December 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for shareing bits of your talent for free. Both of my daughters, 4 and 6, LOVE cats. As we are preparing to travel half way around the world to visit family, I will be taking "dressy cats" with for some airplane fun. I cant wait!

  49. January 2, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I just showed the video to my kids for the first time. They had great fun and they were so glad they could understand ONE word: PASTA!

  50. January 8, 2012 at 7:52 am

    [...] 另外Joel也在自己的網站Made by Joel放上喵咪們的紙型, 可以下載來自己DIY,也有線條版本可以自己重新上色喔! 有這種手工藝老爸實在是很讚阿! [...]

  51. February 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

    [...] T’es en manque d’inspiration pour occuper tes enfants ou ceux des autres, Joel l’artiste dernière le blog Made by Joel te permet d’imprimer son petit théâtre de marionnettes de chats. [...]

  52. Jane
    February 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Just found these cute cat paperdolls on Pinterest! Love them! Thanks for sharing the patterns.

  53. April 4, 2012 at 11:23 am

    LOVE these! I just printed out every page for 10 kids. The best party favors EVER! thank you!

    1. April 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks everybody! Christi - Great idea! Have a fun party!

  54. Aurélie
    April 6, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Merci Joel pour tous ces jeux et ces idées géniales mes filles adorent !!

    1. May 31, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Thank you Aurélie!

  55. seabee
    May 29, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Just came across your blog recently and absolutely love it! My three boys roared with laughter over the dressy cats and we've made the blow along fish and I ordered your book- thanks so much for a much needed boost to creativity!

    1. May 31, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Cool! Thanks so much Seabee! Glad you found my site!

  56. June 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    this is going to be the craft at my crafty party.

  57. Paola
    August 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Adorable! Thank you for sharing!

  58. Amy in TX
    November 8, 2012 at 5:24 am

    My 7 year old was home sick from school this week and was going a little stir crazy by day 2. For some reason, the Dressy Cats popped into my head (looks like it's been a year since you posted them!). I printed out the regular and holiday sets, and we spent the last two days coloring and playing with them. They were the perfect sick day activity. My 9 year old has been enjoying them as well. Thanks for sharing them!

    1. November 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

      That's excellent! I'm glad they could entertain him while he was stuck at home. Hope he feels better! Sometimes it's nice to have a good excuse to stay at home and make stuff and relax! Thanks again for the note! Joel

  59. Jocelyn
    November 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Thank-you very much Joel for sharing all these lovely paper toys and printouts. Thank-you!

  60. December 3, 2012 at 11:26 am

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  61. ME
    January 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I9'm 21 and I'm going to make this

    1. January 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Awesome! Yeah, I totally love making these kinds of things too, obviously. Nice!

  62. January 19, 2013 at 6:33 am

    [...] excelente, mas a explicação técnica é um bocadinho mais complicada. Foi quando descobri os “Dressy Cats”, gatinhos para imprimir, colorir, recortar e montar, e que se tornaram amigos de muitas [...]

  63. February 10, 2013 at 3:28 am

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  64. lemondedis
    April 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

    je viens d'adopter une famille de ces adorables "dressy cats" ! leur panier est là : merci de partager si généreusement les fruits de votre talent...

  65. May 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    [...] Whimsical cats – free printable craft a whole family of trendy paper cats to dress up with special collars and their own paper backgrounds – full colour or colour in, very cute; even our teen girls will love this one [...]

  66. September 7, 2013 at 4:29 am

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  67. Virva Elma Ilona
    December 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

    We just watched the video and none of us can stop giggling :D Our 7- and 5-year old girls are now officially Dressy cats fans!

    1. December 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Ha, I know. Isn't that video the best!!! Totally love it. And very nice of them to let me post it on the page.

    2. December 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      Oh, whoops. I accidentally thought you were talking about the fan video on this page: But yeah! The kids sure had me cracking up on our little dressy cat skit. Our 2 year old loves watching that one too!

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