Friday, 27 January 2017
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DIY Twisted Double Spiral Woven Fleece Dog Tug Toy

Dalmatian dog playing with a double spiral woven fleece homemade Valentine's Day tug toy

The Double Spiral weave starts with a Double Box Knot, which is just two Basic Box Knots next to each other, both tied using the same up/down strands.  From that starting point, the weaving style switches to Circle Twist. Since we have two sets of horizontals with shared verticals, the two woven circles conjoin into a spiral around each other as the tug is knotted, creating the Double Spiral. Here's how to make it!

DIY double spiral woven fleece homemade Valentine's Day tug toy (pink, white, and red ) with craft supplies

The materials and craft supplies used in making the tug toy shown are:
  • Polar fleece fabric
  • Scissors
✂️  It is easier to learn this weaving method if you've already woven the simpler four strand single spiral circle twist weaving method. The single spiral using the same weaving method but with only one pair of horizontals so it's easier to keep track of what's moving where while you learn the weave than trying to learn by diving straight into a double. 

DIY double spiral woven fleece dog tug toy, step-by-step how to make



  • Cut fleece to create six strands of fleece, two of each colour.  Since this was made for Valentine's Day, I used pink, white, and red. The horizontals (red and white in my example) are the same length, but the verticals (pink in my example) should be roughly one and a half times that length. All strands are equal width. You can scale the length and width to suit.  
  • Tie a knot near one end of your strands. Arrange to prepare for weaving into verticals (up/down) and horizontals (left/right upper, left/right lower).
  • You can arrange your strands and jump straight into the spiral weave, but you may find it easier to tie a single Double Box Knot, which is two Basic Box Knots next to each other, both tied using the same up/down strands. This will create the "tidy" starting strand configuration for your spiral weaving as shown in the diagram below.
DIY double spiral woven fleece dog tug toy, step-by-step how to make
Diagram for weaving a DIY double spiral fleece dog tug toy

  • The remainder of the tug is woven using two Circle Twist Knots  adjoining each other, tied using the same up/down diagonal strands. Circle twists are woven on a diagonal to opposing corners instead of straight like a basic box knot.  If your starting configuration is top strand right (as shown in my example) weave as follows. If your starting configuration position is top strand left, it's simply the opposite sequence.  
    • As you prepare to tie the loops, fold your vertical strands (pink in my example).  The top right vertical bends to bottom left, bottom left vertical bends to top right.
    • Weave your upper horizontals (white in my example) so that they "trade places". The very top strand at the upper left bends across and down to the starting position of your upper right strand, weaving over the under. The strand at the upper right bends across and up to the starting position of your upper left strand, weaving over the under. 
    • Weave your lower horizontals (red in my example) so that they "trade places". The lower left bends across and down to the starting position of your bottom right strand, weaving over the under. The very bottom strand at the lower right bends across and up to the starting position of your lower left strand, weaving over the under.
    • Incrementally and evenly tighten the weave into a knot. 
  • Repeat the same sequence to weave the remainder of tug. It's way easier to do this (and any fleece toy weaving) with the working end secured.  I like to nip mine between my knees, as shown in the extra pics above. This allows me to freely flip the strands to the front, back over a shoulder, and from side to side.  If unsecured, it's very hard to weave neatly in a fixed pattern/sequence.
  • Loop and knot the end.  Trim excess if/as needed.

Dalmatian dog playing with a double spiral woven fleece homemade Valentine's Day 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 double spiral woven fleece homemade Valentine's Day tug toy (pink, white, and red ) with craft supplies

4 comments:

  1. Your website is so fantastic, thank you for helping me learn how to make these fantastic toys! They have been so much fun to make during this time and it's allowed me to keep contributing to the animal shelter at a time when they are not allowing volunteers to visit the shelter.

    I would love to make some "tougher" toys and saw this neat figure-eight one online but it's no longer for sale :( https://www.etsy.com/listing/688575717/tug-o-infinity-handmade-durable-dog-toy?show_sold_out_detail=1&ref=anchored_listing Do you have any idea how you could combine the center in the way that they have done? I think that the way that they combine the center would make for a great durable toy! Thank you!

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    1. Yay! I'm glad you are finding our site helpful - connecting and supporting fellow animal-lovers makes the sharing worth the effort indeed. :)

      To create an infinity loop is not a tricky as you might think. In your example tug, at the joint, some of the strands are woven into the other tug as they the crossover. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the bluey-purple fleece from the upper loop making the transition between both tugs.

      Hope that helps! Fleece is pretty forgiving, so you can experiment and unpick for a redo if needed. Not that the dogs will care if it isn't quite perfect! Haha!

      Stay safe and well out there. Hopefully you'll be able to be back volunteering at the shelter again soon.

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    2. Yes, it's SO helpful!

      Thank you so much for the information about the infinity connection - I'll give it a shot! I think I had been overthinking it when I tried and kept trying to do some french braid of sorts that was just not working out. Do you know if it's just one strand that you weave into the adjoining 4 strand body or if it's 2 strands? It seems like it would just be that one blue/purple one, but I just want to make sure.

      And yes, there has been lots of unpicking and redoing - I knot mine pretty tightly so sometimes after undoing them my thick fleece strips end up looking like thin pieces of string :).

      Thank you again, you all keep safe and healthy as well!

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    3. I had a think about this over the weekend and decided to create a post for you with two methods to make a double/infinity loop. Supporting your charity efforts long distance. It's a rainy winter holiday Monday here in NZ, so I pulled out some fleece form my stash and made a few toys this morning. Humphrey is currently happily snoozing of his new tug playtime and photos. I'll write up a post and share it here on the blog in a day or two, time permitting. Stay tuned!

      As a heads up, I've made them in the ways I would typically make a tug toy intersect, not the specific method in your example. The methods I'll post about are pretty easy to weave and still very solid joints. I would feel bad giving precise directions on how to make something that someone was selling as a small business/crafter - sorry. It just doesn't feel right. Understandable, I hope. :)

      If you're still smitten with the mystery toy, with all of your weaving experience making charity toys, you will probably soon be able to see the pattern in your example toy. As a hint, take a close look at the the spirals, look for the variations in the direction and thickness for clues. Worst case, you might create something different and totally amazing whilst experimenting. Always a fun outcome!

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