Monday, January 21, 2013

Finn's Favorite Pull Toy Tutorial

I have a wacko Lab mix puppy named Finn MacCumhail (McCool).  He's about six months old and is one of the most aggressive toy chewer I've had.  He does fine with the hard toys, like Nylabones and the rubber ones like Kongs, but give him any soft toy and he destroys it in minutes.

He loves the stuffed toy animals with squeakers in them but they last all of a nanosecond with his sharp little chompers.  I've bought him several of the twisted or braided rope style toys.  He unties the knots and I have yards and yards of string everywhere.  Not to mention that I have to pry his mouth open to remove bits of string from his mouth.

I was looking on line for something that would suit his chewing habits when I came across a blog post using braided fleece fabric to make toys for dogs.  I didn't think the braided toys would be sturdy enough but I remembered the square knot that is used in making lanyards.

So off to the store I went to purchase some fleece to try out my idea.  I found some inexpensive fleece fabric at my local Walmart, $2.95 a yard.  I bought a yard of three different colors and set to work.

This is the result: Finn's Favorite Pull Toy

I made this over a week ago and it's still in one piece.  A miracle by Finn's standards.

For those of you who have a dog but are not inclined to make this great toy, I have it listed in my Art Fire shop.  Just click on the link.

Here is my tutorial on how I made this toy.  This is my first tutorial, so if you see any mistakes or have ideas on how the instructions could be clearer.  Let me know in a comment.

Finn's Favorite Pull Toy


4 -   4" wide pieces of fleece, cut selvage to selvage (the sides of the fabric that have a woven edge)  That's it!  Amazing, isn't it!

To make this toy for a smaller dog, cut the strips thinner, maybe 2-3" wide and adjust the length, as well.

Tie all four pieces in an overhand knot at one end.

On a flat surface,lay all four pieces out in the shape of a cross, with the knot in the middle.

Step 1:


Take the upper yellow piece of fabric  and fold it down, leaving a 2-3" loop at the top.

 The part of the fabric that hangs down from the loop end  will be called the tag end on the 2 yellow pieces of fleece. 

Step 2:

Take the lower yellow piece of fabric and fold it upwards, leaving a 2-3" loop at the bottom.
Step 3:

 Pick up the end of the orange fabric and pass it over the the left tag end and through the right loop.

Step 4:

Pick up the end of the purple fabric and pass it over the right tag end and through the left loop.

Tighten the knot by pulling on each piece of fleece alternately, starting at 1 and ending at 4. Do this until the knot is very tight.  Finn's toy ended up being 1" square.  I find that tightening a little at a time works better than doing it all at once.

Step 5:
Tighten knot

Step 6:

Fold strip 1 up to form a loop at the bottom.  Fold strip 3 down to form a loop at the top.

Pass strip 4 (purple strip) over strip 3 and through the loop of strip 1.

Step 7:  Tighten knot

Repeat steps 1 through 7 until piece is desired length.  I made mine approximately 33", including the fringe at either end.

To finish the pull toy, tie an overhand knot at the bottom end.  Trim the loose pieces at the top and bottom to desired length and let your pup enjoy!

Finn with the finished product!

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