Friday, 10 February 2017

DIY "Love Bone" Valentine's Day Squeaky Softie Dog Toy

Love love love love love love love love love love love... You can never have too much love or squeaky toys, am I right?  Humphrey seems to think so, check out these action shots playing with his new squeaky Love Bone toy:

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 your own Love Bone Valentine toy, you will need pre-shrunk/washed sturdy red (or other Valentine coloured) fabric, mixed fleece scraps for embellishments (a great use for offcuts!), complementary coloured thread, stuffing, squeakers (optional), and scissors/sewing tools. Softie dog toys follow the same basic principles as you would use if sewing (or buying) for a small child - no loose parts to nibble free and everything securely stitched into a sturdy toy.

  • Cut two identical bone shapes of strong fabric for the main body of the toy. Scale to suit your pet and available materials.  Bones are pretty easy to free-hand (folding the material into quarters is a sneaky way to make a symmetrical shape) but if you aren't comfortable free-handing a bone, there are plenty of free outline bone shapes online that you can print and use as a pattern.
Tip: To really emphasize the LOVE on my Love Bone, I opted for a long skinny middle with big ends instead of a fatter body.  The letters are sized to dominate the mid section of the toy. 
  • Cut scraps of fleece into letters to spell out LOVE (or another personalised message).  I used a double heart (white on pink) in place of the "O" for my LOVE.  It is very important that you ensure that your letters will fit onto the toy without encroaching on your seam allowances.
  • Once you have all of the pieces, lay out your letters on one of your bone shapes and double check that all of your shapes/sizes work and adjust if/as needed.
  • Carefully sew your letters onto the bone shape using complimentary coloured thread. Trim any threads if/as needed.
  • Layer your bone shapes right-side-in and sew together along the seam allowances, leaving a gap for inversing and stuffing.
  • Trim any excess threads/material and inverse to right-side-out.
  • Add stuffing and (optional) squeaker(s). Don't over-stuff or it will be difficult to close the toy.
  • Fold the gap seam allowance into the toy and sew the toy closed. Caution: Accidental squeaking while stuffing/sewing may result in dog theft attempts from your craft table before you finish the project. :)
  • Trim any threads if/as needed and enjoy! 

Remember, no matter what a toy is made of or how it's made, toys are meant 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 in our safety post and find advice from the Humane Society here.

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