I’m so excited to kick off a new series at CraftedNiche.com called “Do it your Dog-Gone Self!”
My dogs are a Huuuuuge part of my life. They’re my buddies… They go to work with me every day (no joke!) and have weaseled their way so deep in my heart that I don’t know what I’d do without them. I put up with the barking, the never-ending dog food bills and the hair (gah!)… and you know what… they make me laugh and they’re so worth it.
I love to DIY for my dogs. If you’re new to CraftedNiche, you’ll definitely want to check out Roxy’s “fancy” dog bed and her more “casual” crate dog bed. I also made her a raised dog feeder out of a good ol’ stool from Michaels. So easy and so rewarding! I’m sure you’ve noticed that anything and everything for our pets is soooo overpriced. Why not have some fun and DIY a little sumthin’-sumthin’ for them every now and then!? We’re starting easy-breezy this week:
Let’s make a simple and inexpensive toy that your dog can play with for years! Trust me… I made one of these two years ago and my aggressive-chewers are STILL playing with it to this day. What’s not to love about a $3 dog toy that lasts for YEARS?! The best part… many of you probably have some scraps laying around and could make this for FREE!
It’s pretty silly how easy this project is, but I have some tips to make it easier and suggestions for those of you with bigger pups like my Emma & Quinn.
1. Gather your supplies! I used 1/3 yd each of TWO fleece fabrics, two rubber bands, a rotary cutter and a cutting mat. I bought my fleece on sale at Jo-Ann fabrics for 50% off. If you have a Jo-Ann fabrics near you, make sure you take your coupons!
Note – You could also do this project with scissors… but the rotary cutter & mat makes your life so much easier!
2. Cut your fleece into roughly 4″ wide strips. I kept my fleece folded so I could quickly and easily cut my strips. It took about 2.5 seconds per strip. No joke! I ended up with 3 strips out of each 1/3yard piece of fabric.
4. Cut off the selvage. This is the edge of the fabric that keeps it from fraying. I’m sure there’s a better explanation… but that’s what I have off the top of my head! You can skip this step all-together, but I think it’s easier to snip it off now than later.
4. Layer all pieces and wrap the end with a rubberband. For my strong chewers, I like to beef up the strength/density of my rope toys. Rather than braid 3 pieces, I double-up and use 6 pieces (photo on left below). This creates a bit thicker toy.
5. Knot – Braid – Band – Knot. Tie a knot over the rubber band. It’ll virtually disappear inside the knotted fleece! Then TIGHTLY braid the fleece. For my 6-strand rope, I just used 2 pieces in each braided section. When you get to the end, grab your second rubber band. Here’s where you’ll thank me later! The rubber band around the braid keeps everything tight and in place while you tie another knot to finish off your rope. Brrrrilliant.
For those of you with light chewers, here’s a sneak peak at what 3 pieces of fleece cut at 4″ wide will give you… it’s roughly an inch wide when braided:
6. Make the ends FUN! Cut the end tails into three strips. Then fan/feather them out to make the ends of your rope bones fun to chew AND look at! Don’t worry – this part doesn’t have to be perfect…
What? You thought I’d post a Dog DIY without pictures of my dogs? Ha! Yea right!
Let’s have Emma & Quinn be the judges on this “Do it your Dog-Gone Self!” project:
I think we can safely call this one a success!
- Rubber bands will make your life easier! Just be sure to hide them inside the knots or snip and remove them once you get the knot settled and tightened.
- You can cut your strips narrower if you want a skinnier rope for smaller dogs.
- Use 3 strips for a skinny rope or 6 strips for a denser, wider rope.
There’s no right or wrong here. Next time you see fleece on sale, snatch some up and get to braiding! They’ll make great Christmas gifts this holiday season too!
What are you waiting for? Do it your Dog-Gone Self!
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