Click for free stuff on Amazon!

Frugal Pet Tip: Make-Your-Own Dog Toys

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Monday, March 06, 2017 | 0 comments
Rate this post:

Make-Your-Own Dog ToysSome of my DogVacay dog guests have brought their owner's t-shirts to help the dog not miss their owners so much while they are away.

So I thought this frugal tip might be a great combination of a dog owner's scent and a dog's favourite toy!

This is the first project in a new series, and it’s really easy and quick to make—I am sure you already have everything you need to get started.

Need an awesome pet sitter? Search thousands of trusted, insured pet sitters near you.
I wanted to have a few different colours in my toys, so I used four t-shirts, but ended up with 6 toys. So you probably could make this with just one old t-shirt. Perfect for chewing and tug-of-war!

Here’s what you’ll need:

 • One or more old t-shirts, in different colors (if you want).
 • Scissors
 • Just a few minutes

NOTE: Your dog will like this toy better if you DO NOT wash the t-shirts first! Soft t-shirts work best, as they are easier to tie. But with bigger dogs and stronger teeth, you may want to use a tougher fabric, even something like denim.

Step 1: Cut 15-30 pieces, 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) wide in 16"-30" (40-76cm) long. (Or even longer if you want!)
(Small dog - 15-20 pieces, 1" wide, Large dog - 20-30 pieces, 1"-2" wide).

Step 2: Divide your 15-30 pieces into 3 piles of 5-10 pieces each.

For mine, since I have little dogs, with little teeth, I cut my pieces 1" wide (2.5cm), and only used 20 pieces for some, only 15 pieces for the shorter toys. I got shorter pieces from the hem to under the arm of the t-shirt (about 16"or 40cm), and longer pieces from the hem to the neckline (20" or 50cm).

Step 3: Tie a knot in one end, making sure to pull tightly on the tassels so there’s an inch or more dangling after the knot. Separate the pieces into three sections, and make a few braids, as snugly as you can, leaving at least 5 inches for your second knot.

I found even at just 15 pieces, the knot took up more of the fabric than I expected, and was a bit fiddly to get the tassels thru. So the longer you leave the tassel portion, the easier it will be to tie the knot. I also found I got better at making tight braids as I made each toy.

If the braids are too loose, your dog will be able to tear it apart easily, but since these toys didn't cost me anything, I can easily replace them. But watch your dog, and make sure to take the toy away if it is getting destroyed - for your dog's safety.

Step 4: Make a knot on the other end. You are done!

As I said, the four XL t-shirts I had made six small toys, of varying lengths, using 15 -20 pieces per toy.

So I tossed the new toys on the floor to see if the dogs would have any interest?

Denny, Dexter and DogVacay guest, Percy immediately came over to check out the new toys.

My dogs grabbed a toy each, but Percy didn't seem too interested. But then these toys didn't have his owner scent on them!

Hope you found this tutorial helpful. I’ll be making more frugal dog stuff in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back often!

More Frugal Dog Tips and Freebies:
Frugal Pet Tip: No Sew Pet Bed
-- This pet bed looks pretty simple to make and needs no sewing at all! Probably much cheaper than buying one, and you can wash it!

Free Dog Breed Colouring Pages
-- This site has found tons of free dog breed coloring pages on the internet and sorted them out so that you can find so many coloring sheets of your favorite dog breed.

FREEBIE: Natures Variety Dog/Cat Food
-- Complete their form to get a coupon for $3.00 off your first bag of Instinct Raw, grain-free Instinct Kibble, or wholesome Prairie Kibble.

FREEBIE: Don't Leave Me in Here — It's Hot! fliers
-- Whenever you see a parked car with animals inside, place the "Don't Leave Me in Here — It's Hot!" flier under their windshield wiper.

FREEBIE: MyKitten Kit and Coupons
-- Give your new arrival the perfect start in life with the free Canadian Purina MyKitten program.
-- Looking for US coupons for Purina dog food, cat food, pet treats and litter?

How to Potty Train Your Dog
-- Are You Making Critical Mistakes in Your Dog's Potty Training?

FREEBIE: New Puppy/Kitten
-- Did you get a puppy or kitten for Christmas? A new puppy represents wonderment, innocence, unlimited energy, and unconditional love. But that puppy or kitten has needs, and will grow up, so let's find some puppy/kitten freebies!

FREEBIE: Pet Safety Pack
-- Alert people that pets are inside your home in the event of an emergency! Help keep your pets safe with a free pet safety pack from the ASPCA!

Enjoying all the freebies? Want to keep up with the latest free stuff, deals, coupons, and other ways to save money? Subscribe to Frugal Freebies' email updates or RSS Feed! - it's free!

Check us out on Twitter, and join in the conversation of even more great freebies, deals and coupons on our Frugal Freebies fan page on Facebook and Google+. We are even on Pinterest!

More Frugal Blogs and Websites:
Born to Love: All your cloth diapering needs, and much more - naturally! We are strong advocates of the personal, social and environmental benefits of natural parenting.

Frugal Baby Tips: Money-saving tips on diapering, diaper washing, safety, slings and baby carriers, toys, clothing, nursing, menstrual needs, traveling with kids, more!

Category: , , , ,


About Catherine: I have been writing frugal tips since 1982, when I was a young divorced mom of two - for my baby product company, Born to Love. I am now mom to three sons, who are all grown up, grandma to three - and happily re-married to a wonderful man. We have rescued two little dogs, Denny and Dexter - and a cat, Bella.

Questions? Email me at catherine (at) or post to my Facebook Fan Page!

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Please Note: I make every effort to check the validity of all outgoing links at the time of posting, but I am not responsible for any content outside of this website. Please browse carefully. I have provided these links to other websites for your convenience only; I am not responsible for the availability of these other websites nor the freebies/coupons/information they offer.

Share on TwitterBecome a Facebook FanSubscribeAdd to your favorites


Frugal Freebies encourages positive comments and suggestions that are helpful to other blog readers. Help keep this a fun place to visit and help all of us save money and get more frugal idea, craft fun, freebies, coupons and great giveaways!

Popular Posts

Google+ Profile: +Catherine McDiarmid-Watt ~*~ Find Frugal-Freebies on Google+