(Sorry I couldn't get any good pics of Kiwi with her toy... she was moving too fast!)
Step 1: What You'll Need:
(An extra hand when you're braiding is helpful, but is not necessary)
Step 2: Cutting Strips
1. Cut off the sleeve right along the seam that connects it to the body.
2. Cut the seam (where the armpit would be) and flatten the sleeve piece out.
3. Cut the edge seam off of flattened piece.
4. Cut the rest of the piece into strips that are 1" wide.
5. Stretch the strip so that it rolls and lengthens.
6. Take the edge seam pieces and cut down the middle of the stitching.
7. Pull two edges of the tube open all the way to flatten the piece.
8. Hold piece over a trash can, grab the thread at the end and pull to remove all the little thread fringes (now you've got a strip to use!)
1. Cut as many strips as you can from the front and back of the body piece.
Tip: you can save all the tiny scraps that are left in a little bag so that when you have enough, you can use it to stuff a dog bed or other project.
Step 3: Putting It Together
You can use 6, 9, or more strips depending on how thick you want the toy to be and how long your strips are. The more strips you want to use, the longer they need to be to make it easier to tie off at the end, so play around with it.
1. Take the bundle of strips and tie a tight knot at one end.
2. Separate the strips into three groups and braid them. (For steps on how to braid, there are some great videos on youtube.)
3. Stop braiding to leave about a 6" tail and tie another knot. I found that it was hard to tie the knot when the tail was shorter than that, but if you can swing it, then braid a little more.
4. If you w ant the tail to be the same length as the other side, then you can trim the strips, but I left it for Kiwi to play with. She's teething now and loves her new toy!!