Monday, September 22, 2008

Fleece Rope Dog Toys

These are great toys for fetching and for tug o' waring and for spending good quality time with your faithful friend. I usually make several of these every couple of months for my dogs and for my friend's dogs. They can also be great gifts to a new dog owner or to your favorite dogs. They love playing with these inexpensive and super simple to make dog toys.

The basic construction of this toy are strips of fleece fabric, braided, then knotted on both ends. I usually pick thru the remnants bin at Joann's Fabrics for the fleece. It works out great because you get the fabric for very cheap (discounted from regular prices) and the length you get is usually about right. Watch out for good storewide sales at Joann's as the deal can be even sweeter (I recently bought a bunch of fabric from the remnants bin at an additional 70% off the already discounted price... I love those kind of deals). The only downside to this is that the selection is not always the best. Luckily, our dogs aren't too picky. :-)

To make the rope toy, you would first start out by cutting the fleece into strips of about 4" wide. I usually cut it from selvage to selvage with a rotary fabric cutter but you can use scissors too. I, then cut the strips into halves or thirds lengthwise depending on the size of rope toy I'm making. Halves make nice long rope toys.

You'll need three strips of varying colors to make a rope toy. Take those three strips and make a knot about 3"- 6" from one of the ends.

On the following step, you'll either need someone to hold the knotted end of the strips or you can do what I do and just use a clamp to clamp it down. You'll next, want to braid the strips to the end. For strong chewers, braid it somewhat tight. For lighter chewers, a looser braid will do. Once near the end, make another knot like before, leaving a 3" - 6" tail. Once that's done, the toy is complete. For looks, you can cut the tails into smaller strips. Be creative with these. Try to tie several ropes together or try adding a tennis ball in the mix. Let me know your experiences in these. :-)

As with any other dog toys, please supervise how your dog plays with these toys. If your dog likes to eat things whole and your noticing he/she trying to swallow these ropes whole, you'll want to remove the toy from the dog and make sure he plays with it only under supervision. Have him/her fetch or play tug o' war. He'll love the interaction with his favorite buddy as much as he'll love his new toy. I hope your dog enjoys his new toys. :-)

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