We all love to sew, whether it’s for ourselves, for friends, for gifts or for our homes, but sometimes our pets need a little sewing love as well. Both of these dog toys are great gift ideas for your own dog or grand-dog, and are also ideal for community service projects or donating to your local animal shelter. They’re easy-peasy so even beginners (and kids) can create them, making them ideal for scouting and other group projects.
This cute bone toy with a squeaker inside is easy enough for kids and other beginners to sew, and your favorite pooch will love to carry it around.
It can be made from fabric, but the featured toy is made from recycled jeans—you know, those denims that are too good to throw away, but for one reason or another you don’t want to wear them. The bone is a perfect place to showcase that contrast topstitching we all love, fun seaming locations, and even a mini-pocket or two, depending on the size of the jeans you’re starting with.
If you have an embroidery machine, this is an ideal project for personalizing. Do your embroidery work on a larger piece of fabric/jean prior to cutting the bone shape.
What you’ll need
- One pair of jeans (or ¼ yard of sturdy fabric, which will make multiples)
- Matching thread
- One 1 1/8” squeaker
- Polyester fiberfill
- Hand-sewing needle
- Bone Pattern
You can change the size of the bone to fit the dog—from smaller puppy size to giant doggo size. Add additional squeakers for larger sizes.
Cutting & Assembling
- Trace the Bone Pattern onto paper or card stock. If you’re making a large quantity of bone toys, trace the pattern onto Mylar, then cut it out.
- Select a portion of the jeans you’d like to feature and position the bone pattern to showcase that feature. Trace the outer pattern edge onto the jean and cut out.
- Cut a second bone shape for the backing. This can use the plain jean fabric, or can also showcase seams, topstitching, etc.
- Place the bone front and back right sides together and sew around the perimeter using a ¼” seam allowance. Leave open a 2” space along the straight section of the bone. Clip the inside corner. Trim the seam allowances slightly in the curved areas.
- Turn the bone right side out through the opening and push out the curves to shape. Press.
- Stuff the bone shape firmly, leaving space in the center. Insert the squeaker and add more stuffing on each side of the squeaker so that the center is firm.
- Turn under the seam allowances in the open area. Using the hand needle and double thread, whipstitch the opening closed. It’s important that this is done securely so curious dogs aren’t able to tear open the seam and get to the squeaker.
WARNING: If your dog does tear open the toy, immediately discard it, so that the squeaker isn’t ingested. Save the squeaker for another toy.
Happy Dog Tip: If you used a portion of a jeans pocket to make your toy, tuck a small bone treat into the pocket to surprise your dog. This is also a great presentation for gift-giving!
Simple braiding is the key to making this tug toy sturdy enough for even the strongest of dogs. Make it from denim or fleece for non-stop fun. No sewing involved, so it’s also ideal for young children to create for their pup.
What you need
- 1/3 yard sturdy fabric, such as denim, fleece or canvas
Cutting & Assembling
- Cut three strips 3 ½” x width-of-fabric strips. Note: Fleece that’s 60” wide will braid up to about 40” of toy length.
- Lay the three strips together and tie a firm overhand knot about 2” from one end of the fabric strips. Pull the knot as tight as possible.
- Firmly braid the strips together until you get about 4” from the unknotted end. Pull the strips as tight as possible as you braid.
- Tie a firm overhand knot joining the strip ends. Trim the strips about 2” from the end.
- The length of the toy will depend on the original fabric width and how tightly you braid the strips. If it’s longer than needed, make one or more knots along the braided length to shorten it and add additional areas for the dog to grab at the knots, or stop braiding when you reach the desired length, tie the knot and trim the excess length.
- Grab one end and give your pup a tug-o-war!
~Linda Griepentrog is the owner of G Wiz Creative Services and she does writing, editing and designing for companies in the sewing, crafting and quilting industries. In addition, she escorts fabric shopping tours to Hong Kong. She lives at the Oregon Coast with her husband Keith, and three dogs, Yohnuh, Abby, and Lizzie. Contact her at .