If you’re like me and have a dog that loves to play, then I’m sure you go through a lot of dog toys. Store bought toys (that are usually over $10) don’t stand a chance against Maggie.

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This is Maggie. Yes, she did pop that basketball with her teeth.

Okay, so clearly I can’t keep spending money on expensive dog toys that she immediately destroys. I needed to find a cheaper way to keep my dog entertained. DIY dog toys are my answer.

The good news: This dog toy is so easy to make. It took me a total of 30 minutes to complete, and my dogs really love it. You don’t have to be precise with the measurements, and you can change the design any way you like. As long as you end up with with a thick piece of rope, you’ve succeeded.

The bad news: If you don’t know how to braid, this won’t be so easy.

Step 1: Materials Needed

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  • An old T-shirt (any type you want, although thicker is better)
  • Scissors

Step Two: Prep Your Shirt

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So we’re trying to turn this shirt into 24 strips of fabric.

You start by cutting off the sleeves. Put the sleeves to the side, we’ll need them later.

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Next you want to cut down the seams of the shirt to split the front and back into 2 pieces of fabric. You’ll notice the front of the shirt has a lot less fabric. This will result in shorter strips.

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Next you’ll want to fold the fabric in half to cut the amount of cutting you have to do in half.

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Then proceed to cut this into 2 equal pieces.

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Do the same thing to both of these pieces and keep cutting until you have all your strips.

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You’ll end up with 12 pieces per each side of your shirt.

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Since the front side has less fabric, only cut 6 strips from it. Cut the last 6 strips from the sleeves of the shirt. Cut along the seam of the sleeve to open it up into a larger piece of fabric, and split into 3 equal(ish) pieces.

Step Three: Braiding, Braiding, Braiding

Take three of your thin strips of fabric and braid them together. You’ll start by tying a knot at one end, connecting three strips together.

And braid!

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You should end up with 9 braids.

Now, braid together the 9 existing braids to create 3 larger braids, and I’m sorry for saying “braid” so many times.

Step Four: Putting It All Together

Now that you have 3 mega braids, it’s time to weave them together to create the toy.

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Grab the longest braid and pull apart a small section in the middle of it. You’ll take one of the other braids and pull it through this hole.

It should end up looking like this.

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Now do that again but with the other braid. Your final product will look like this.

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Congratulations! You now have a DIY dog toy! It might not be as pretty as the ones from the store, but it’s made with love and your dog will appreciate you and all your hard work. Now, let’s test this toy out for quality control.

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All 3 of my dogs seemed very interested in the toy, and all the photos I took while we were playing tug turned out blurry so you’ll just have to trust me. This is a super easy and cheap way to have fun with your pets! Tried, tested, and approved by a seasoned dog owner.

The first two dogs feautred in this post are from Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue. For more information on MMDR, you can visit their website, or any of their social media accounts. All links are below.

Also, here is a video highlighting what it’s like to foster a litter of puppies with Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue, you can learn more on MMDR’s website.

MMDR’s Facebook.

MMDR’s Twitter.

MMDR’s YouTube.

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