If you’re the type of pet pawrent who loves to spoil their fur child, you know the price of dog toys can add up. However, you can save a little money by making your own DIY dog toys! Here at Hounds Lounge, we want you to get the most bark for your buck, so we’ve listed out some grreat options and instructions for DIY dog toys and DIY dog crafts.

The Benefits of DIY Dog Toys

DIY dog toys definitely have financial benefits, but the pawsitives don’t end there. Since they are typically made from materials you already have at home, DIY dog toys are sustainable. They are also less wasteful than store-bought toys because they’re custom-made for your dog and his toy preferences. And best of all, the process of creating something that your dog will love is a wonderful opportunity for bonding. You can even get the hooman kiddos to help out!

Ready to make some DIY dog toys? Keep reading!

DIY Dog Toys

DIY Rope Toys

Rope toys are a total classic, beloved by puppies and senior dogs alike. These toys are pawfect for playing tug-of-war! And furrtunately, they can easily be made at home out of old t-shirts. 

Dog playing with diy rope toy

There are lots of different ways to make DIY rope toys – we chose the version below because it requires minimal effort!

You Will Need:

  • An old t-shirt (or several, depending on how thick you want the rope to be)
  • Scissors

Step 1:

Lay the t-shirt on a flat surface and cut off the sleeves.

Step 2:

Cut the t-shirt along both side seams and across the shoulders so that you’re left with two pieces: a front and a back.

Step 3:

Going from bottom to top, cut the front and back pieces into similar-sized strips. Ruffly an inch in width should work for most pooches, but you can always cut them thicker.

Step 4:

Once your strips are cut, line them up lengthwise, gather them in a bunch and connect them with a knot at one end. If you want a thicker rope toy, you might use about nine strips. If you want it to be thinner, you could use six strips.

Step 5:

Under the knot, divide the strips into three equal sections and braid tightly until you get to the end of the bunch.

Step 6:

Tie another knot where you’d like the rope toy to end, and cut off any extra fabric.

DIY Squeaky Toy

Every pooch loves a squeaky toy, and you can discover lots of DIY options online!

We found a grreat tutorial from Doodlebug Craft Finds that explains how to make a squeaky toy out of a pair of jeans. This is another example of sustainable DIY dog toys, and since it’s made of denim, this toy is actually quite durable. We’ve provided the creator’s instructions below.

You Will Need:

  • Stuffing
  • Dog bone stencil made of cardboard 
  • A few pins
  • A squeaker from an old toy (or a new squeaker)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Marker
  • Old denim
  • Sewing Machine

Step 1:

Cut two large pieces of denim. They should both be a bit larger than your dog bone stencil.

Step 2: 

Lay one piece of denim on top of the other. The inside of each piece of denim should face outward, with the prettier or “right” sides facing each other, not visible to you.

Step 3:

Trace the dog bone stencil on top of the two denim pieces, then pin the two layers together. 

Step 4:

Cut out your dog bone shape, going through both layers at once.

Step 5:

Once your shape is cut, the creator recommends taking it to the sewing machine and doing a straight stitch all around the outer edge, leaving about two or three inches open. We think it’s also pawsible to hand sew this DIY dog toy if you don’t have a sewing machine!

Step 6: 

Using the opening, turn the toy right-side-out. At this point, the creator recommends going back around the seams with a zig-zag stitch on the top side.

Step 7:

Put some padding around the squeaker and place it in the toy. Continue adding stuffing to the toy until it’s full.

Step 8:

Pin the opening closed, then stitch it up!

The two DIY dog toys listed above are just a couple options out of many! You can also make DIY puzzle toys, which are grreat for enrichment, and feeder toys, which can help with problem-solving and slow down fast eaters. We talk about some of these toys in our blog, 30 Dog Games to Play with Pups Young and Old, Indoors and Out

So, here’s your reminder to hold onto a few of your old t-shirts, jeans, blankets and more – you never know when they’ll come in handy for a DIY dog toy!

DIY Dog Crafts

Along with toys, there are plenty of other dog crafts you can DIY, including no-sew bandanas and homemade dog treats! Below is an easy recipe from Flora & Vino that your pooch will eat up. (And you probably already have the ingredients on-hand!)

homemade dog treats

Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats

You Will Need:

  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter (with no xylitol)
  • 1 large ripe banana (or 2 medium bananas), smashed

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Step Two: 

Blitz the oats in a blender until you have a fine flour.

Step Three:

In a large mixing bowl, smash the peanut butter and ripe banana. Add the oat flour and smash with a fork until the dough is thick and well combined. If it’s crumbly, add 2-4 tablespoons of peanut butter and recombine. You want your dough to be firm, sticky and pliable.

Step Four:

Roll the dough into a thin slab, about ¼ inch thick, and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.

Step Five:

Bake for about 15 minutes until lightly brown underneath. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before sampling or sharing with your pup! These homemade dog treats last up to two weeks in the fridge!

While the hooman ingredients above are safe for pooch consumption, check out our blog, Can Dogs Eat Table Food?, to get the dish on feeding Fido table scraps.

Once you’ve mastered smaller-scale DIY dog toys and dog crafts, you can go big and build your own dog bed or DIY dog house. These DIY projects can be very fulfilling for pet pawrents, and they can help you avoid overspending at the pet store.

DIY crafting with your dog

There are also DIY dog crafts that involve both you and your pooch. Together, you can make doggie art, ranging from classic canvases to howliday decor, including salt dough paw print Christmas tree ornaments and painted pumpkins for Halloween! These crafts are kid-friendly too, so you can make doggie and hooman versions while you have all the materials handy!

DIY dog toys and crafts will help you save a few bones on pet products, and the whole family will have a ball making them. Looks like it’s time to get started! 

We offer all-day play at doggy daycare, and our overnight boarding guests also get to enjoy doggy daycare before they turn in for the night! Our doggy daycare campers are monitored 24/7 by our on-site staff. Looks like it’s time to get started!

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