Thursday, 21 April 2016

Squeaky Birthday Cupcake Soft Dog Toy

Both Oli and Humphrey enjoy squeaky toys, but they don't last long - must conquer the squeaker! Made with inexpensive materials and quick construction, it's ok that these cupcakes will be consumed quickly.  Less vigorous pups may nibble at their leisure, but not our boys. Supervision is essential here, as destruction is inevitable.

The materials and craft supplies used in making the toy shown are:
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Stuffing
  • Squeakers
  • Sewing Supplies Can be fully hand sewn if you wish, but will be much quicker/easier if you have a sewing machine. Basic sewing skills are needed - nothing too fancy or difficult!

To make this toy, you will need a sturdy material (I used sale remnants of heavy-duty cotton upholstery fabric), stuffing, squeakers, thread, scissors, and sewing equipment. Squeakers can be rescued from old damaged toys for recycling (if you're lucky!) or purchased. We were recently asked where to find dog squeakers and your local craft supply store may have them, or they are available on-line through major suppliers like Amazon (find them here) as well as others depending on your location and shopping preferences.  You can, of course, also make the toy without any squeakers.

  • Cut two elongated semi-circles of fabric to be the top of your cupcake.
  • Cut two rectangles (taper a little if you wish) of fabric to be the bottom "wrapper" of your cupcake. The top of the wrapper should be just smaller than the bottom of the cupcake top. You can save a little effort by folding the fabric as the bottom of the wrapper and cutting one piece instead, if you have a big enough piece of material.
  • Reverse the cupcake fabric (if single sided) and sew together the curved sides, leaving the bottom open. Inverse so that your seams are inside.
  • Reverse the wrapper fabric (if single sided) and sew together the outer sides, leaving the top open. Inverse so that your seams are inside.
  • Sew a small border around the sides and bottom of the outside of the wrapper as shown in the images above.  Add additional evenly spaced vertical seams, splitting the wrapper into long compartments prior to stuffing. This is all optional, but is part of what gives the toy a cupcake-like appearance when complete, and makes it a little harder to rip apart.
  • Stuff the wrapper compartments. If you're having difficulty stuffing all the way into the length of the compartment, use a long object like a pencil to help.
  • Tuck the bottom edge of the cupcake top in on itself as shown in the image above. 
  • Slide the cupcake top over the top of the bottom wrapper as shown in the images above.
  • Stuff the cupcake , taking care to carefully place one or more squeakers (if using) inside such that they are well padded and positioned.  Beware: Accidental squeaking during stuffing will cause very excited dogs! :)
  • Sew the two parts of the cupcake together, taking care to ensure that the seams of your open ends are all tucked up and secured inside.
  • Decorations are optional.  I added an oversized cherry to one (hand sewn, double sided - keep a watchful eye for ripping off!), or you can embroider on some sprinkles, or serve streaight-up for squeaky fun! 

Remember, these are 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.

Oli had some squeaky fun, but then SOMEONE decided the cupcakes were all his - typical baby brother! I won't lie to you, these toys didn't last very long (like any great batch of cupcakes, I suppose!). They did hold up much better than store bought squeaky softies (often mere minutes), but squeakies are a special treat short-lived toy around here.  If you want a longer lasting (or lower effort DIY) toy, the birthday fleece tugs are still going strong despite serious tug-of-wars, some involving multiple humans and dogs!  I can't believe how much those things can endure.

See all of Oli's 10th Birthday details, DIYs, and recipes:

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