T-shirt “yarn” makes a durable dog toy.
The material is stretchy enough for a good game of tug of war. But when the yarn is braided, it’s durable enough for even the largest of dogs to sink their teeth into.
And since this toy is made from T-shirt material, cleaning is a snap; simply toss it in the washing machine.
WHAT YOU NEEDScissors
WHAT YOU DO
1. Wash and dry all shirts.
2. Place a T-shirt on a large cutting mat. Using a rotary cutter, cut across the body of the shirt from armpit to armpit. Also remove the bottom hemmed edge of the T-shirt. (See notes.) You’ll end up with a large rectangle that’s free of any hemming.
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3. Place the T-shirt flat, with the open ends on either side, and the flattened, folded edges at the top and bottom. Starting at the bottom edge of the shirt, use scissors to cut 1-inch-wide strips across the entire rectangle — but without cutting all the way through the top edge. Stop cutting about 1 inch from the folded edge at top. When you are finished, the shirt should be one intact piece with a line of looped fringe.
4. To turn the T-shirt into one long strip of fabric, slide your arm into a side opening of the cut T-shirt. Position the uncut portion on your arm. The straight cuts will match up, with a few inches of uncut T-shirt fabric between them. Instead of cutting straight to continue the cuts (which would create individual, separated loops), cut diagonally to connect each cut to the cut above and to the left. This method will give you one long continuous strip of T-shirt material.
5. Once the T-shirt is cut, you’ll be left with one long strip of fabric that’s about 1 inch wide. To turn the fabric into yarn, pull and stretch the fabric. If you’re using a plain cotton T-shirt, the material will stretch to double the original length.
6. Cut 12 pieces of 60-inch strips of T-shirt yarn and knot the pieces together at the top. Pull the knot as tight as possible.
7. Separate the yarn into four bunches with three strands each, and braid each three-strand section.
8. When each section is braided, hold the knot in one hand and adjust braids to be opposite of one another in perpendicular lines.
9. To create the final braided toy, braid all four of the smaller braids together. We found it helpful to think of each strand as a direction. When the strands are laid out in two perpendicular lines, assign each strand a direction following the north, south, east, west pattern. Place the north braid to the south, making a small loop. Place the south braid to the north, making another small loop. Then weave the east braid over and under to the west and weave the west braid over and under to the east. Tighten the strands and repeat this pattern until the length of your dog toy is complete.
10. When you reach the end, tie all of the strands together to form one big knot like the one at the original end of the toy. Make sure the knots are pulled tight. Trim uneven strands and engage your dog in a game of tug of war.
Notes: We did not have a cutting mat or rotary cutter. You can do all of the cutting necessary with scissors. It will take more length to tie the final knot than you might think. If you braid the toy too far, unbraid far enough for the length you need to tie the final knot.
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