Friday, 3 March 2017

DIY Rainbow Bone (Rainbone!) Squeaky Dog Toy

Pot of gold? This rainbow has a pot of spots at the end! Lucky dog indeed. :)  Check out those crazy eyes - Humphrey's found a treasure and there's no way he's giving it up! The bone is looking a little lumpy in this particular picture from being wildly fanged, but crazy eyes was my favourite shot!

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 Rainbone, you will need pre-shrunk/washed sturdy base fabric (I used green for St. Patrick's Day), mixed fleece for the rainbow stripes (fewer stripes are a-ok if you don't have a full ROYGBIV), 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 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.
  • Cut scraps of fleece into strips for your rainbow stripes. The stripes will need to extend past the edges so they are sewn into the exterior seam and overlap to completely cover the base bone. Tip: If you have enough material, consider cutting your pieces a little wider than necessary so you have the flexibility to adjust positioning and overlap during layout for sewing.
  • Lay out your stripes on one of your bone shapes and double check for order, positioning, overlap, etc. and adjust if/as needed.  My stripes are layered outwards to inwards so that the green (middle) strip is on top and the other overlap. Only the green is trimmed to width. The others simply overlap. I used pinking shears to trim for a little extra flair.
  • Pin securely into place. Carefully sew your stripes onto the bone shape using complimentary coloured thread. Trim any threads if/as needed.  It isn't necessary to sew the  exterior as it will be joined in the seam; however, you may find it useful to spot sew - especially along the edge where the gap will be for the bone to be inverted. 
  • 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). 
  • 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.

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