Up until two days I ago I had 3 dogs, and then Miss Izzy a 5-year old doberman puppy (wow, does she act like a puppy) joined the pack. It's expensive owning this many dogs so I save a little by making my own fleece dog ropes. I can make about 10 for the same price as buying 1.
I prefer these to standard ropes because, quite frankly, I don't like pulling out rope strings out when the dogs do their business! These have an added advantage of keeping your dogs teeth nice and clean. So clean in fact that our veterinarian asked if we brush our dog's teeth! (Like I have the time or patience for that!!!!)
What you need:
Fleece (buy it on clearance or sale at your local fabric store or online). You're going to want to buy a few yards when it's cheap and keep it on hand. I would guesstimate that you need about 1/2 yard for a large rope toy. I like to buy at least 3 different colors although I was down to only two when I made the rope in the pictures.
Scissors or some other cutting tool (I'm a quilter so I use my rotary cutter but it's totally not necessary)
That's it.....liking it so far? Good.
Step 1: prep your fabric by washing it and drying it to remove any chemicals from the fabric surface.
Step 2: cut your fabric into strips going from selvedge edge to selvege edge (the selvedge is the part that is on the sides when the fabric is on the bolt, you will be able to tell because the side where it was cut from the bolt is NOT a selvedge edge). How wide you cut your strips will depend on how big of a bone you want, I have big dogs so I go about 2-3 inches wide....if you have a little dog make them narrower but don't go under 1 inch wide or it won't hold up! You will need 6 strips per rope.
|pile of strips....aren't they lovely|
Step 3: Take your 6 strips and lay them on top of one another, tie a knot near one end.
|tight knot a few inches from the end|
Step 4: Begin braiding VERY tightly holding two strips together for each part of the braid, the tighter you braid the longer it will last and the less little pieces of fleece your dog will eat (they will probably eat some but it comes off in small bits and passes right though, their doodoo will be quite colorful though).
|the tighter the better when you braid!|
|Two knots to secure the braiding nice and tight|
Step 6: Braid another 2 inches or so and then tie another pair of knots as in Step 5. This is creating a nice tight core area where we will make a center knot later.
Step 7: Braid for another 4-5 inches and tie off with a large knot just like you made at the beginning, I sometimes will tie a smaller knot with a couple of strands just to make sure my braiding doesn't loosen up while I'm tying this knot. Pull it as tight as you can get it!
Step 8: Tie a knot in the middle where your two smaller knots are. This adds strength and durability to the finished item and protects your hands a little more when playing tug.
|Tie a knot in the center|
Step 9: Trim both ends to be nice and neat. All done!
|Izzy loves the new fleece rope toy!|