We have another very special Valentine's Day Dog DIY to share with you today - tug toy hugs and kisses! These are made using our usual easy box weave fleece dog toy method, but with a few extra steps to make one tug into a closed circle for the O and combine two tugs in another to form an X. You can, of course, just make a simple woven fleece dog tug toy in Valentine colours if you wish. Like the tags? We have a full set of free Valentine's Day dog printables to share with you (coming soon!) along with plenty of other fun doggy ideas so please do come back and visit. :)
Creating the O:
- Cut four long strips of fleece. The length and width are at your discretion to scale the toy to the size of your pet. The strips in the toys as shown were approximately 2m long x 4-5cm wide.
- Tie a temporary knot securing both strips near one end. This knot will be undone before connecting your circle, so not too tight! Undo anytime after your weaving is secure.
- Knot using a "box weave" aka "square knot" or "box braid" per the diagram and steps below:
- Spread the strips in a cross (+) shape
- Fold the top of the vertical strip towards the bottom
- Fold the bottom of the vertical strip towards the top
- Fold the right end of the horizontal strip towards the left, passing over then under
- Fold the left end of the horizontal strip towards the right, passing over then under
- Pull to secure.
- Repeat the steps until you start to approach the end of your strips.
- If you have not already done so, undo your temporary knot.
- If using two different colours, as shown, align the ends so that the colour patterns line up.
- Incrementally tie some of the strands, one by one, to secure your circle, taking care to try an create a uniform look that ties in with the existing weave. This may involve pulling some strands through to the opposite surface. Not all strands need to be tied - just enough to close tightly and secure.
- Cut your ends, leaving enough excess to allow you to tuck them into the circle, taking care to follow the pattern of the weave where possible.
- Don't beat yourself up if the closure point is visible - this is going to be chewed, not exhibited. :)
Creating the X:
- Cut eight medium strips of fleece. The length and width are at your discretion to scale the toy to the size of your pet. Tip: If making a matched set of XO toys, you will need roughly half as long for the legs of the X as used for the O.
- Starting with four strips, tie a loop knot in one end to secure and knot using a "box weave" aka "square knot" or "box braid" per the diagram and steps above until you have woven a leg piece roughly half the diameter of your circle. Repeat with your other four strips.
- Take one of your leg pieces (the working leg) and loosen off the last woven knot, then slip the end strands of the other leg piece (the cross leg) through the working leg.
- Arrange your strands back into a cross (+) shape for the working leg. Exchanging some of the strips for added security and take care to ensure that the colour patterns remain aligned.
- Resume knotting until the length of the working leg is even on both sides of the junction, then tie a loop knot to secure the ends. Repeat for the cross leg.
- Trim ends.
Remember, this is for supervised interactive play. Know your dog before giving him or her any new toy. Some dogs would rather eat their toys (whether store bought or handmade), and that's dangerous. Toys are for playing and playtime is safer (and more fun!) with you involved. You can read more about dog toy safety here.