Do you have old t shirts that you don't wear anymore, but you don't want to throw them away?
Do you know a faithful canine that could use another toy?
It is time to recycle one in order to reward the other.
What do you mean "how do you reward a t shirt?" .. and get the dog out of the recycle bin.
These toys are my entry into the the Dog challenge and the T Shirt Transformation contest.
Step 1: Things You Will Need
A good pair of scissors
One or more T shirts (depending on how many colors/patterns you want) .
I used 100% cotton t shirts because they stretch well and that is what all my t shirts are made from. Whatever material you decide to use make sure that you use the same fabric for a toy so that the stretch is the same throughout the toy and it will behave consistently when washed.
Step 2: Prepping Your Materials
It is important to remove any seams from the T shirt material so that the fabric can stretch properly.
Step 3: Cutting the Cloth
Cut the fabric into strips at least 2 to 3 inches wide. Don't worry if the edges are ragged.
Grab the ends of each strip one at a time, stretch the fabric. You can also hold one end and slowly slide your hand up the length of the strip to stretch the fabric. In the words of the great Chuck Berry "Live how you wanna live"
The strip will curl up from the sides as it stretches. That is normal. Don't panic.
Step 4: Making the Toys
A tight braid is the most important factor in making a tug toy that will last.
If you have someone to help you, that is great. They can hold one end while you weave the braid.
If you don't have a helper, you will need to get creative. Clamp the fabric to a workbench or table, Hang the fabric over a spike driven into a support post, or do what I did ... grab hold of the fabric with your prehensile toes.
For the loop tugs I braided the entire length of fabric. Once I had the weave done I decided where and how big I wanted the loop. I undid the braid from the ends until I got to the bottom of the loop. I then paired up the cloth strips and made one solid braid down to the end. Once down to the bottom I knotted off the strips of fabric to make an area the dog could get a good grip on.
The long double tug was even easier. I knotted six strips of fabric together at one end. Doubling up the fabric strips I made one braid. At the other end I knotted the strips of fabric again and trimmed off any excess material.
I was originally going to incorporate a length of rope into the weave to strengthen the tug, but after a little testing I realized I didn't need it. These tugs can support over 300 lbs hanging off them.
No I am not going to include pictures of my testing process (me dangling from the arbor over the porch) You will just have to take my word for it :)