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.

77 Responses
  1. Rose Fern

    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!

  2. Cindy

    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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. Patricia Ágreda Ferrán

    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!

    1. 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.

  6. Vanesa

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

  7. 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 :)

  8. 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

  9. Tereza

    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

  10. tatiana renom

    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!

  11. 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!

  12. mo

    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.

  13. Lesley

    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!

  14. seabee

    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!

  15. Amy in TX

    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. 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!

  16. Virva Elma Ilona

    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!