A to Z Blogging Challenge - Letter MLuna tends to go through toys pretty quickly, so it sometimes isn’t very cost effective to keep buying them. Instead we like to reuse and create (or buy on clearance).

Today, we’ll be talking about how to make your very own dog toys out of an old shirt or any somewhat durable fabric.

To start any of the three dog toys we made, first you need to find some fabric. I used a t-shirt I picked up from a local craft store for only $3. I picked XL, since it was the same price and would give me more fabric to work with. I ended up also getting a second color shirt and a big sheet of red felt, so that I could make toys of different and with alternating colors. All together it was just under $9.

There is no need to go buy a shirt though. You can absolutely do this with an old t-shirt that you would otherwise throw out. I just wanted a pretty color.

Only supplies needed to make a variety of DIY dog toys!

Only supplies needed to make a variety of DIY dog toys!

Luna loves her water bottle toys and they are probably one of our longest lasting toys. Eventually the fabric wears out, but the bottle lasts much longer than a squeaker would. This inspired me to make our own no-sew water bottle dog toy.

The steps are pretty simple.

How to make a DIY bottle dog toy

1. Cut a piece of fabric that is about twice as wide as the bottle is long and long enough to completely cover the bottle with a lot of overlap. I used two layers for a little extra durability.
2. Once you have your fabric, roll it around the bottle. I removed all labels from the bottle and made sure it was completely dry first.
3. Cinch both ends and tie with string.

There you have an easy no-sew dog toy!

You could also sew the seam and the top and bottom openings. This would probably increase durability, but it adds some extra work.

In addition to the bottle dog toy, tug of war ropes and rings are also pretty easy to make with the same supplies. The steps for the ring and rope are the same up until the last one.

How to make a DIY rope or ring dog toy

1. Cut out three strips from your fabric. For thicker rope, double or triple the number of strips.
2. If you doubled or tripled the strips, divide them into three groups. Tie a knot at the end to hold all three groups together. If you are making a tug of war ring, you can just pin down the ends or untie this knot later.
3. Braid the three strips together. Be sure to stop for tying room at the end. The thicker your rope is, the more room you will need for your knot.
4a. For the rope, simply tie another knot at the end.
4b. For the ring, untie the first knot (if necessary) and tie together the two ends.
5. Trim any excess on each end.

DIY rope and ring dog toys can also be multi-colored!

DIY rope and ring dog toys can also be multi-colored!

All three of these toys were made with the same shirt and there is plenty more fabric to go around.

Three DIY dog toys made with the same shirt

DIY dog toys are a great activity for a rainy day and are also wonderful if you want to help out a local animal shelter or rescue, but don’t have much time or money to offer.

These toys were so easy to make that I made them while watching a movie at a friend’s house. I just took a break to take some photos to share with you and utilize his lovely wood floor as a background.

Luna enjoys her new DIY bottle dog toy.

Luna enjoys her new DIY bottle dog toy.

Have you ever made your pet a toy?

In case you have missed any, you can find all my A to Z posts here.

Jessica Shipman

Jessica Shipman

Jessica Shipman is a bargain hunter, food lover, and software engineer figuring out how to be a pet parent for the first time. Jessica has been a long time lover of all animals (especially llamas and manatees) and is happy that she can finally combine that love with technology.
Jessica Shipman

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  • The water bottle toy is perfect for one of my dogs. Or, would have been perfect. He grew out of chewing water bottles. But, having that fabric on it, would have save his gums a few times he got carried away. Great ideas!


    wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

    • beaglesbargains

      Oh it absolutely would have! These toys are more for crunching than full out chewing.

  • Kate Obrien

    What is it about those water bottles. Our dog Sally LOVED them…even Jack does too and he doesn’t do many toys. Much be the crunchy noise.

    • beaglesbargains

      I’m not sure either! She sure does love them and I feel better with a little fabric around it so, she can’t bite off pieces of the plastic as easily.

  • Mort has taken to using his empty raw food containers as a dog toy (same plastic as the water bottle). My fault though, I decided playing “air hockey” with the overturned bucket one day might be fun and suddenly it was best-toy-ever. Something about the noise and movement kicks in drive? Not sure. But yes… that waterbottle covered up is fantastic!

    (Fabric tip – Joann always has 40 and 50% off coupons, usually for fabric. You can get fleece – great for the braided toys – and t-shirt fabric super cheap using the coupons, and a yard or two goes a real long way. You can also get the cuff fabric there which is a bit thicker if your dog needs something a tad more durable).

    • beaglesbargains

      Fleece would have been great! But I don’t have a Joanns close enough. I can just walk over to another craft store, but no fabric ):

      Love the sound of your “air hockey” game!

      • Aww 🙁 Wow, I would be in so much trouble if I was walking distance to a crafting store!

        • beaglesbargains

          Ha! Tell my boyfriend and credit card about it.

  • Linda Szymoniak

    I’ve made quite a few rope toys – some for my own dogs, but most I’ve given to rescues and shelters for the dogs there. I watch for sales on fleece at JoAnn’s and then dig through their remnant bin there to find remnants of the fleece that is on sale. If it’s 50% off on sale, the remnant is 50% off that, giving you a final cost of 25% of the original cost. (If the fleece is on sale for 40$ off, it comes out to 30% of the non-sale price). I have been stocking up on various colors and patterns so I can make dog coats for next winter, and once I cut those out, I’ll use any leftovers to make more rope toys.

    • beaglesbargains

      That is so great! Fleece is definitely another great thing to use. I just didn’t have any ( :

  • Cathy Bennett

    You are so creative! I attempted to make Christmas ornaments last year, they went on the tree but folks kept asking “what are those?” BOL

    • beaglesbargains

      BOL!. Oh no! Well I don’t think these are particularly attractive either, but if Luna is just going to chew on it then that’s okay!

  • What a neat idea! Water bottles are my favourite toy too!

    • beaglesbargains

      They are just so much fun!

  • I do know how to do the tug toy, but I haven’t tried the water bottle. We have loads in recycling too. That’s my project for the weekend. Thanks!!!

    Sharing this one!

  • Marti Tabora

    I have made the braided toys for my dog before, but I never even thought about using a water bottle. It’s a great idea and would give my Bullet something different. Thanks for the great idea.

  • shelleyb

    great tips, can find an old t-shirt for sure. Save some money.

  • shelleyb

    Love the idea to save money and provide something NEW for our furry friends.

  • Kyla Patton

    I like the braids, they make great tug toys 🙂

  • Darby

    Awesome! So easy for such a great and nice looking tou! Thank you!

  • sandy weinstein

    i bought so much fleece with the intention of making dog toys, i bought the squeakers as well and they are still sitting in my closet, spent over 100. on fleece and other things to make these toys. you can make the braids and put sew squeakers in the braids…my dental vet just wrote an article on the tug toys, said they were bad for dogs teeth, do not play pulling with the toys…also do not give tennis balls to dogs to play with, when chewing on the tennis balls, it wears down the enamel and wears down the teeth…he is one of the best dental vets in the country, people come from canada to see him…he has done root planing and gum graphs on one of my girls to save 3 of her teeth.

    • beaglesbargains

      Interesting! Did your vet say the braids were bad? That’s interesting about tennis balls! Do you have a link to the post?

      • sandy weinstein

        no, but if you look on facebook, sedgefield animal hospital, there is an article written by dr. banker in the triad magazine, it is posted on their facebook page. i have heard this abt the tennis balls for many yrs, from several vets, the others abt the pull and tug toys, just read abt fr dr. banker. he has done root planing and gum graphs on 1 gal and gum graphs on another and fillings on another. i brush their teeth everyday, use floss, proxi brushes, etc.

  • Ruth Epstein

    Cannot wait to try these 🙂

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  • Vamshi Krishna A

    superb way to keep them engaged and simple detailed diy post.
    Visiting from http://www.consumerpsyche.com #atozchallenge

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