Monday, April 15, 2013

Here puppy, puppy, puppy!

Fido's got a brand new "bone"

We spent the weekend making a few dog toys.
They are super easy and a great project for boys or girls alike.  I made these with my two sons. We rarely get to craft together because crafts tend to lean toward girly stuff. This craft is all about the dogs and my boys each have a dog.  A house with two boys and two dogs needs TOYS!

Here is how we did it. 
We made two dog toys. They are a rope type tugging toy. 
We used two different colors of old t shirts (children's size 6/7 or 8/9) for each toy. 
So you will need two shirts per toy you plan to make. 

In hind sight the boys should have worn the shirts or slept with them in their bed with them first. This allows the boys stink.... scratch that..... the boys smell ; ) on the shirts. This smell is what the dogs associate with their "pet", and their "pet" is my boys.  It helps the dogs want to play with the toys. If you forget like we did just throw them in a dog food bucket or bag and let them sit a few days. The dogs will be interested in the smell after that.

First lay one shirt out flat and fan fold the shirt from the bottom, up to the armpits. You should get about three folds, resulting in four sections total. 

Cut from side to side or left rib  to right rib along the folds. 
Once you have these cut find one side or a side seam. Cut once and only once, to make one long strip. 
Repeat with shirt number two. 

Now take three strips (one from each shirt and a third from whichever shirt you like) together about six inches from the cut end and tie one big knot. Then braid the strips tightly together, tightly. Pull each braid tight and it creates a stronger toy. 

Side Note: You don't need two different colors but I found with my boys the two different colors helped them learning to braid. Once you reach about the last six inches tie the ends in one big knot. You repeat until all of the strips you cut are braided and tied off on both ends.  If your shirt has a logo on it turn those pieces as you braid so that the inked section is to the inside. 

 I told my boys that this was how cowboys used to make a rope because braiding sounded way too girlie. And, I think it would have worked except their younger sister pointed out that I braid her hair like that..... sigh. : 0 

Anyways they finished their braids, I mean ropes, and it only took them about 20 minutes total. My boys are tween's and that is about as long as I keep their attention without a Wii being involved.
Once you have three complete braids, braid them together, tying them the same way.  

Now here is where I learned that my tween boys are getting VERY STRONG.
One boy and one rope at a time, we each took an opposite end and PULLED. Pull these ropes as hard as possible. Your dogs are a lot stronger than you are and you want these toys to last at least a few days : ).
The t shirt material stretches to some extent but when you release the material tightens the knot really well. 

My boys about pulled me over, several times, which they loved and laughed hysterically about. Which was a fun bonding moment that we rarely get in a crafting setting.

Enjoy making and playing with your new dog toy, rope, tug, bone whatever you want to call it.

UPDATE: We are at the one week mark and the ropes have been used a little and they have held up well. 

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