Friday, 24 March 2017

DIY Squeaky Easter Egg Stuffed Softie Dog Toys


Calorie-free DIY doggy Easter egg fun! You can even burn off a few naughty treats with some pawesome playtime together! I made two toys (one for each dog), but of course the only thing better than playing with your own toy is playing with your brother's toy, and the only thing better than playing with your brother's toy hording them BOTH... right Humphrey??? Check out this rather guilty looking face and the cheeky snaps below:


April is a rather activity-packed month for us this year with Oli's birthday (eleven!), Easter, Earth Day, ANZAC Day, and more, so now that St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated we're getting straight into our Easter goodies a little early this year.  To make your own squeaky softie Easter eggs like ours, you will need pre-shrunk/washed sturdy base fabric, sturdy (preferably washable style) ribbon or mixed fleece scraps for embellishments, complementary coloured thread, stuffing, squeakers (optional), and scissors/sewing tools. The toy can be hand sewn, but will be much easier if machine sewn.  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 oval/egg shapes of strong/sturdy fabric for the main body of the toy. Scale to suit your pet and available materials.  Eggs are pretty easy to free-hand but if you aren't comfortable free-handing, there are plenty of free outline shapes online that you can print and use as a pattern.
  • Cut small lengths of ribbon or scraps of fleece into strips for your embellishment stripes. The stripes will need to extend past the edges so they are sewn into the exterior seam. 
  • Lay out your embellishments on one of your egg shapes.  Pin securely into place. Carefully sew onto the egg shape using complimentary coloured thread. Trim any threads if/as needed.  
Tip: If you are concerned about fraying of the edges at the gap when you are inversing or stuffing your toy, before you join the layers, you can sew little seams for extra reinforcement at the places where you intend to leave the opening gap.  Make sure that these are between the edge and seam allowance so that they can "disappear" into the seam when the toy is sewn closed without affecting your seams or toy shape.
  • Layer your egg 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, toys are 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.

4 comments:

  1. Hi there! I was wondering, what are some good fabrics to use for dog toys? (sturdy and safe for slobbery chews!) :) Thanks!

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    1. Hi Brooke! There are lots of potential fabric options, but they all have their own pros and cons in my personal opinion. You can read some of our thoughts/experiences on toy safety here and there are some handy links as well. Nothing, bought or homemade, is ever truly "safe", which is why we always recommend playtime together (and it's way more fun, too!).

      In theory, natural materials are the safest but not always the sturdiest. I find that woven naturals are often prone to quickly coming apart into nasty (and potentially hazardous) stringy bits. Denim is probably the strongest/toughest natural I've used thus far - it's very good until it gets torn/punctured. I often use carefully chosen synthetics when making my dog toys, since ideally I want to try and make things to last longer, fail safer, and be easier to patch/repair/reuse/recycle before hitting the trash.

      Heavy-weight fleece is an easy sewing option because it doesn't unravel, shed threads nor does it need the edges finished. It isn't the strongest, but when it fails, it's usually as a hole (again, no threads or unravelling), which is easy to amputate/resew, patch, etc. and when its totally trashed you can still salvage, wash, and reuse the scrap. The Easter Bunny toy is a good example. He's had a complete tailectomy and several patch jobs over the past year. :)

      The strongest material I've tried thus far is a ravel-resistant heavy-weight backed upholstery fabric, but I haven't yet had much luck finding anything similar that is nearly so tough. You can see this material in a number of toys on the blog like the Frankenstein and Squeaky Snake (extra tough!).

      You can also try layering materials for extra strength (and/or looks) like we do in some toys. Squeaky Santa is a great example.

      I have tried layering with rip-stop nylon, and while I find that helps prevent stuffing apocalypse, it doesn't really add much to the life of the toy as once the outer is compromised it's still bound for the toy hospital for either repair or scrap reclaiming into salvageable materials. We'll be sharing more about our toy hospital coming up next month for Earth Day.

      Hope that helps with some ideas! :) Any of our sewn toys can be easily adapted into different materials depending on what you like to use and have on hand. The only caution would be for designs with seams-out, which either need to be made with a fabric that doesn't require finishing (like fleece) or adapted to be seams-in.

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    2. Thanks for this Dalmatian DIY and thanks Brooke for asking!

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    3. You're very welcome, and you're right - it was a great question from Brooke! :) Have fun crafting!

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