Wednesday, 19 April 2017
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DIY Wrapped Birthday Present (Cube Softie) Dog Toy

Homemade dog toy shaped like a wrapped birthday present with bow and initial on the gift tag

Our beautiful boy Oli turned 11 this week, and we (of course!) had to celebrate with a pawty and some special treats and toys!  This homemade "birthday gift" softie toy is part present, part ball, and all fun.

The materials and craft supplies used in making the toy shown are:
  • Polar fleece fabric
  • Scissors
  • Stuffing
  • Sewing Supplies Can be fully hand sewn if you wish, but will be much quicker/easier if you have a sewing machine. 
Tip: Fleece is fun and easy to sew, but if you'd prefer a stronger toy, you can swap the base fabric (may require modifying the toy to conceal the seams) and embellish with fleece instead.

To make your own cube toy, you will need fabric, complementary coloured thread, stuffing, squeakers (optional), and scissors/sewing tools. Softie dog toys follow the same basic principles as you would use if sewing (or buying) for a small child - no loose parts to nibble free and everything securely stitched into a sturdy toy.  I made this cube "gigantic" for a special soccer ball sized birthday pressie softie for Oli, but the general process is the same no matter what the desired size the final cube.  I used fleece as it's Oli's favourite (he loves the soft softies) even though I know it means the toy won't be as tough or long lasting as it could be with a sturdier fabric.  Unlike many of our softies, I did not include any squeakers as we're using this as a big ball-type toy...all be it a squarish one! :) 

DIY birthday present dog toy with stuffing and squeakers, step-by-step how to make
  • Cut six equal squares of fabric for the side of your cube, in the size you'd like you finished cube plus seam allowances on all edges. 
  • Cut eight equal strips of fleece/ribbon embellishment for your cube (one each side, two crossing top, two crossing bottom).  Length is the same as your square panels, and width is st your discretion. Cut and additional strip for the top bow (optional).
  • If adding a tag (optional) cut scraps of fleece to suit. 
  • Layout and group your panels and embellishments.
  • Sew the ribbon strips into place, taking care to ensure that they are centered on your panels.
  • Sew to securely attach the bow strip (optional) to the center of your top panel at the ribbon intersection. Sew the tag (optional) into place on the top panel.
DIY birthday present dog toy with stuffing and squeakers, step-by-step how to make
  • Starting with the top of your cube layer the first side panel right-side-in, taking care to align the "ribbon" joint for a nice finish, and sew together along the seam allowance. Remember to ensure you leave allowances free at each end of the seam for when you later join the sides of the cube together!  Repeat to join the four sides of the cube incrementally to the top panel, sewing only the adjoining top-to-side panel edge together along the seam allowance.
  • Layer the bottom panel right-side-in with one of the sides, taking care to align the "ribbon" joint for a nice finish, and sew together along the seam allowance.
  • Fold the top panel on the diagonal right-side-in to help you align a side seam to sew together right-side-in.  Repeat to join all of the the sides of the cube incrementally, taking care to align the "ribbon" joint for a nice finish.
  • Carefully align right-side-in and sew the free edges of the bottom panel to the sides.  Important: where there is one seam left to join, sew only part way, leaving a gap for inverting and stuffing.
  • Trim any excess threads/material and invert to right-side-out.
  • Add stuffing and (optional) squeaker(s). Don't over-stuff or it will be difficult to close the toy.
  • Fold the gap seam allowance into the toy and sew the toy closed. 
  • Trim any threads if/as needed and enjoy! 

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 helpful links for safer playtime. Have fun and play safe!

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