Stocking stuffers: homemade dog toys

Disclosure: Our recommendations are based on our testing, research and analysis. We may earn a commission on products purchased using links on this page.

Make your own homemade dog toys from recycled materials

By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Blogger and crafty person

Dog toys can come in all shapes and sizes. Good dog toys don’t have to come for the pet store; you can make great toys for your best friend at home.

Stuffed Sweater Toys


  • Old sweater, long sleeved shirt, or sweatshirt pants (acrylic washes easier)
  • Pack of Squeaks
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Straight pins
  • Stuffing
  • hand needle
  • Scissors
  • Pattern

Cut up the shirt or pants so they lie flat.

Pin on the dog bone pattern or make up your pattern.

Cut around the pattern. Make sure you have two of each shapes for a top and a bottom.

Pin the top and bottom together so the pattern you want on the outside of the finished toy is facing in.

Sew around the edge leaving a 2 inch hole.

Turn the toy inside out and add stuffing and add a squeak.

Hand sew the hole shut.

Give to your dog.

Modification: if you plan on using the same pattern multiple times, cut it out of card stock and trace around the pattern with chalk or marker. Use your imagination, for the pattern Hearts, Circles, or it does not have to look like anything (your dog won’t mind)

Sock Toy


  • One Sock (big enough for you bottle to fit in)
  • Plastic drinking bottle (empty and without cap)
  • Needle and Thread

Put the plastic bottle in your sock.

Sew up the end of your sock and give it to your dog.

Modification: Sew on Velcro to the end of your sock so you can reload plastic bottles

Rope Toy


  • Old Jeans, fleece or sweatshirt
  • Scissors
  • Needle & Thread

Cut the jeans, or material into nine 1 inch strips.  The finished product will be smaller so if you want a about a 12 inch rope toy, cut the strips to be about 24 inches long (will vary depending on thickness of fabric and tightness of braid).

Stack the strips on top of each other and sew one of the ends together.

Braid the strips, three at a time.  Then braid the three braided strips together.

Sew the end pieces to prevent unraveling and trim off excess.

Modification:  Sew the end two inched in from the edge of the fabric, and end the braid two inches from the end for a “frayed” end look.

Plastic Bag Leash


  • About 20 of the heavy plastic bags
  • metal leash clip (saved off of an old leash)
  • Scissors
  • Iron (and ironing board)
  • Aluminum foil

Cut the bags in three sections.

Braid the bag together adding more bags by tying or looping them thru the previous bags.

Continue braiding and adding bags till you have a long strand about 7feet long.

Repeat till you have three braided strands. Then braid the three braided stand together, forming one long rope.

At one end loop one of the strands thru the metal leash clip and loop the other two stands the other way thru the leash clip.

Wrap the loose ends with unbraided, sections of the cut bag and tie off. Form a loop and the other end (for the handle) Keep in mind how long you would like the leash to be.

Cut off the extra bags, to your leash length leaving a two or three inches overlap to wrap the handle with. Wrap the loose end to the leash base with some more bag strips to form the loop handle.

Turn you iron on to high. To finish you’ll need two sheets of aluminum foil, if you have some pre-used foil use it (you will end up destroying it anyway).

Between the two sheets place the parts of the leash were you wrapped the bags (either the handle or the clip, you will do this for both.) and iron it. The point is to melt the plastic, keep turning the leash till all the wrapped bag has fused together. The bags on the inside of the braid will still be flexible.

Be careful the iron and the metal clip will be hot! Cut off any hanging bits and test out the strength of the seams indoors before you go on a walk outside.

Jean Leash

  • old pair of jeans
  • metal leash clip (saved off of an old leash that was destroyed)
  • Heavy duty needle and thread
  • Scissors

Cut along either side of the seam of a pant leg.  You want a long strip of the part of the jean that has been stitched together.

Repeat this with the four seams.

Sew the seams together to create one longer strip of fabric.

At this point determine how long you would like you leash to be, standard leashes are 5 or 6 feet long.  Add 10- 12 inches on to your desired length for the handle.

Loop one end thru the leash clip and over itself; then sew it shut.

With the other end, measure about 10 inches and loop the jean over itself.

Sew it together so it forms a handle.

Test out the strength of the seams indoors before you go on a walk outside.

You can sew this on a sewing machine; just make sure you have the correct needle and machine setting.

Stepping Stone


  • Portland cement
  • sand
  • bucket
  • stirring stick (we use the paint sticks)
  • water
  • molds (use plastic containers fro frozen food or vegetables, paper buckets, anything that can be ripped apart if the stone does not come out)
  • Things to put in the stone (broken plates, glass…)

Mix the cement and the sand thoroughly together with a 1:1 ratio.

Add water, about a cup at a time, it will look “dry” when it is mixed. It will be crumby but when squeezed in your hand form a loose ball. It is better to be too dry than too wet.

Scoop it out into your molds and level off with your stirring stick.

Add your design; write in the cement, make a mosaic with the glass or plates bits. Be creative)

Let dry 48 hours before removing the mold. Keep out of the sun when drying- the top will cure unevenly and can lead to breaking. If planning on keeping outdoors in the winter paint on concrete sealer to keep it from cracking.

Did you enjoy this post?  Get more great canine information by signing up for Spike’s Dog Blog by Acme Canine

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Please give us feedback on this post:

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?