With our big move coming up, I went ahead and packed away my sewing machine and all of my fabric last week – I figured I would be low on time and wouldn’t be able to make anything until we got settled in in our new home.
Since that moment, I’ve had the nagging itch to make stuff. Go figure.
A good buddy of mine had a litter of pups and has been gathering things to give to their new owners when they go, so I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to scratch my creative itch!
I’m working on making these adorable (and durable, and machine-washable, and QUICK!) fleece tug toys for each of the pups to take home with them when they go to their new families.
Want to know how? Follow along!
Tutorial for Fleece Tug Dog Toy
These are super easy to make, and you actually probably already know how! Have you ever made a boondoggle, scoubidou, plastic lace lanyard, scoubi, or rex-lace? We’re going to use that same technique here, but with fleece.
Gather your materials! You’re going to need four pieces of fleece that are cut the entire width of the fleece – from selvedge to selvedge. The width is going to depend on the size of dog you’re making it for (and you won’t need it as long to make shorter/smaller tug toys).
- For big dogs (greater than 70 lbs), you need strips 4 inches wide by the width of the fabric (16 inches total)
- For large dogs (greater than 40 lbs), you need strips 3 inches wide by the width of the fabric (12 inches total, 1/3 yard)
- For medium and small dogs (less than 40 lbs), you need strips 2 inches wide by the width of the fabric (or less) (8 inches total)
You can use a rotary cutter on this, but I eyeballed them and cut them with scissors. The edges won’t show, and if you have something scraggly, you can trim it easily. Don’t worry about selvedge edges, we will be trimming those off later.
Grab your strips and tie them together on one end, leaving a few inches of fleece on one side of the knot. Pull each strip tightly to make sure your knot is secure.
Spread the strips out so you have one going in each direction. I’m going to call them North, South, East, and West for the purposes of this tutorial.
For the first pass, you will always do this. Fold South towards North and North toward South.
Fold East over South and through North. Fold West over North and through South.
Tighten each strip (not too tight, though – just so it is neat). Do this by pulling North and South, then East and West, and repeating until they’re all even and situated nicely.
To achieve a square tug, you’ll continue folding the strips straight back and forth, as illustrated in the diagram.
To achieve a swirl tug, you’ll want to fold them all slightly diagonally, causing them to rotate around.
When it’s your desired length, take your four strands and tie them off near the braid/boondoggle. You’ll want to leave more end than you think to easily tie them off, and so you can finish off the ends with fringe. Pull each strand tightly to ensure a secure knot.
Finally, grab your scissors and cut the strips at the ends to the same length, and chop off the selvedge edges. Then cut the two ends almost to the knots to make fringe for extra fun.
This red, white, and blue one was made with two strands of white, one of blue, and one of red. The white strands were opposite each other (North and South) and the red strand was opposite the blue strand (East and West). You can see the colors alternate in the swirl, red, then blue, then red again. If you do 4 different colors in a swirl, they’ll look sort of random and jumbled, which is fun, too!
That’s it! How easy was that? These are a great gift for the dog or dog-lover in your life, and a fun activity to do with the kids on a rainy or snowy day. You can often find fleece on sale at your local fabric store, as well, so they’re fairly cheap to make! Check out the remnants bin for an even better deal.
Let me know if you make one (or a dozen) and share your pictures on my Facebook page!