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DIY Toys for Dogs and Cats

Don’t forget your furry friends this holiday season!

Here at Graphic Details, we have a pretty big soft spot for animals. This year for our holiday DIY, we thought we’d focus on gifts for our furry friends! Here are two DIY toy ideas to consider giving to your pet — or to donate to a shelter near you!

The list of things you’ll need is pretty short and can both be made with items from around your home!

For the braided rope toy for dogs you’ll need: 

  • Fabric of some sort (Think old t-shirt, sheets, or anything you have around your house)
  • Tennis ball
  • Scissors

For the catnip octopus you’ll need:

  • Fabric of some sort (again, think old t-shirt, sheets, or anything you have around your house)
  • Catnip (not required, but definitely a great addition)
  • Scissors

Braided Dog Toy

First up, we’ll create a braided dog toy for a fun game of tug-of-war. If you’re using a tennis ball in the middle of your toy, you’ll want to start with that. Take the tennis ball, and with scissors, cut an X shape into two opposite sides of the ball. Then Cut the X open into a circle shape.

Once that’s done, grab the t-shirt or fabric you’re cool with chopping up. If you’re using standard fabric, cut it into strips that are about 1 in wide. If you’re using a t-shirt, cut off the sleeves and bottom hem. Then cut straight lines from the bottom of the t-shirt to the top. 

Depending on the size dog you’re making the toy for, decide how thick you’d like the braid to be. I chose three pieces of fabric per stand of the braid. Once you’ve decided on that, knot the top of the fabrics together. 

Then you’ll want to separate your fabric strands into three groups to start braiding. If you’re not sure how to braid, take the leftmost strand, place it over the middle strand. Then take the right most strands and place them over the new middle strand. 

Repeat the process until you’ve braided about half the length of your fabrics. 

Make a knot and then push the knotted end of the toy through the hole that you cut in the tennis ball and pull it out the opposite side. Move the tennis ball into place and add a knot after it. 

Continue the braiding process until you run out of fabric. Then add one more knot to the end to finish it off! 

Not you’re ready to play tug of war with your pup!

Catnip Octopus

Up next, we’ll create a catnip octopus. Take your fabric of choice and cut it into five even strips. They should be about two inches wide by eight inches long. They can be longer if you so desire.

Take one strip and lie it down horizontally. If you’d like to use catnip, this is where you’d place it into the middle of that strip of fabric.

Fold the fabric in half over the catnip. Then one at a time, you’ll want to take the other four fabric strips and place them perpendicular to the catnip strip and simply tie a knot. 

Once you’ve tied all four, take the two ends of the original strip and tie one more knot to close the fabric circle. 

Toss the octopus to your cat and watch them go nuts. 

It goes without saying, but please supervise your pets as they play with their new toys! We don’t want anyone’s holidays to be ruined with a trip to the vet ER!

If you’re looking for a shelter to donate your toys or your time to, we’ve gathered a list of just a few in the Northshore area of Massachusetts:

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