Thursday, 15 December 2016
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DIY Woven Fleece Christmas Wreath Dog Tug Toy

DIY homemade Christmas wreath dog tug toy (red and white, with green bow)

The materials and craft supplies used in making the tug toy shown are:
  • Polar fleece fabric
  • Scissors

✂️  Caution: This project is not recommended for beginner weavers. It can be tricky to gauge the scale if you're unfamiliar with making tugs and you will need to manipulate the shapes of the tug, as well as weave a basic box knot. Beginners might prefer starting with a simple festive coloured tug to get comfy with the techniques before experimenting with some of our crazier projects.

Making the wreath loop:

  • Cut four long strips of fleece (two red, two white) for the wreath and four long strips of green fleece for the bow. Length and width are at your discretion to scale the toy for your pet. 
The round wreath shape in this toy is made exactly the same way as the O in our Valentine XO tug toy - see the Valentine tug post for detailed step-by-step tutorial with pictures for making and closing the circle.  Brief instructions are also included below:
  • Tie a temporary knot securing both strips near one end.  This knot will be undone before connecting your circle, so not too tight!
  • Using a basic box weave knot the fleece as follows:
  1. Spread the strips in a cross (+) shape (red and white opposite)
  2. Fold the top of the vertical strip towards the bottom
  3. Fold the bottom of the vertical strip towards the top
  4. Fold the right end of the horizontal strip towards the left, passing over then under
  5. Fold the left end of the horizontal strip towards the right, passing over then under
  6. Pull to secure.
  • Repeat the steps until you start to approach the end of your strips.
  • If you have not already done so, undo your temporary knot.
  • Align the ends so that the colour patterns line up and incrementally tie some of the strands to secure your circle, taking care to try an create a uniform look that ties in with the existing weave.  This may involve pulling some strands through to the opposite surface. Not all strands need to be tied - just enough to close tightly and secure. 
  • Cut your ends, leaving enough excess to allow you to tuck them into the circle, taking care to follow the pattern of the weave where possible. Don't worry if the closure point is somewhat visible - this joint is going to be hidden under our bow.

Making and adding the bow:

 DIY homemade Christmas wreath dog tug toy, step-by-step how to make

  • Loop the green fleece around the joint so that it is centered with equal stands of fleece on each side and pull through itself into a half knot at the top to secure.
  • Using the same basic box knot as the wreath, weave one side of the strands and then the other to create two roughly equal lengths of woven tug that are lust long enough to fold back to the starting point (each will form a loop for the bow).  Don't overdo the length of the tugs - you will need the excess material in your strands to secure the bow.

DIY homemade Christmas wreath dog tug toy, step-by-step how to make

  • Bend one tug into the center and pull one of the three strands through the loop around the wreath. Repeat for the other tug to form the second half of the bow tug.  These pulled through strands of fleece will form the dangling ends of "ribbon" for the finished bow.
How you tie and finish the toy is completely up to you. It can be as simple as a knot and trim/tuck or as fussy as you please. Here is how the pictured tug toy was further tied and finished (as shown in the collage above) for a pretty pre-play wreath tug:
  • Position the remaining three strands of each tug to the top/rear of the toy and arrange the bow so that you are happy with alignment of your weave and positioning of your bow tug loops.
  • Take a strand from one bow tug and feed it through the center of the bow, wrap across the base of the opposite side of the bow, to the back, and pull it through through the center loop to secure. Repeat for the other side of the bow tug. Tie these strands securely at the back, trim excess if/as needed, and tuck the loose ends into the tug.
  • Of the four remaining strands at the top/rear, tie the lower two together securely at the back, trim excess if/as needed, and tuck the loose ends into the tug.
  • Take the two remaining strands, wrap over the center loop all the way from their starting point at top rear, around the wreath, and up the front. Tuck in deeply to secure. This wrap may come loose during play (it can be re-tucked if you wish) but it helps to finish the pre-play rear of the tug into a neatly covered loop instead of having visible knots.
  • Trim the ends of the dangling ribbons if/as you wish, and enjoy!

Dalmatian dog playing with homemade Christmas wreath dog tug toy

Safety first, furfriends! Remember, no matter what a toy is made of or how it's made, toys are meant for supervised interactive play. Know your dog before giving him/her any new toy. Some dogs try to eat toys/parts (whether bought or handmade) and that's dangerous. Toys are for playing, and playtime is always safer (and more fun!) with you involved. You can read more on our dog toy safety page, including tips and some helpful links for safer playtime. Have fun and play safe!

DIY homemade Christmas wreath dog tug toy (red and white, with green bow)

We have a Christmas post for you every weekday between now and the start of our offline holidays, with toys, decorations, treats, and more so stay tuned! We'll see you again tomorrow for our final pre-holiday post, furfriends!

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