Friday, 16 June 2017
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DIY Ladybug Stuffed Squeaky Softie Dog Toy

It's almost summer for our northern hemisphere furfriends and here's a summer squeaky toy to celebrate your equinox, midsummer, summer holidays, or just because! Ladybugs are one of our favourite garden helpers and are well-suited for a very cute and simple toy design. I have to confess that I also made a happy little honeybee summer squeaky but forgot to insert my stinger piece before sewing it together so it wennt straight to the toybox instead of blog pictures. :)  Also, many of you will be celebrating Father's Day this weekend too, and we'd like to wish all the Dads, Fathers, Furfathers, Poppies, Grandpaws, and other Father figures a wonderful weekend!  Our Father's Day is celebrated in September, but you can find a few pawesome Father's Day ideas in our archives.  

Dalmatian dog playing with a ladybug shaped dog toy

The materials and craft supplies used in making the toy shown are:
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Stuffing
  • Squeakers
  • Sewing Supplies Can be fully hand sewn if you wish, but will be much quicker/easier if you have a sewing machine. Basic sewing skills are needed - nothing too fancy or difficult!

To make your own ladybug toy, you will need pre-shrunk/washed sturdy fabric, mixed fleece scraps for embellishments (a great use for offcuts!), complementary coloured thread, stuffing, squeakers (optional), and scissors/sewing tools. The toy can be hand sewn, but will be much easier if machine sewn, other than the closing gap. 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.

DIY ladybug stuffed dog toy, step-by-step how to make

  • Cut two identical circles of sturdy base fabric (don't forget to include seam allowances). I used ladybug red, but the front/embellished side will be covered so any colour will work in this design. You can use black for a slightly less embellished top if you prefer. You can shape and scale your toy to best suit your fabric and your pet. A plate or bowl makes an easy circle template.
  • Cut a "D" shaped partial circle of black fleece (around 1/3 coverage) for the lady bug's head/face. Cut a long narrow strip of black fleece for the center wing gap.  Can omit these pieces if working on a black fabric base.
  • Cut two large pieces of red fleece for the wings. An easy way to create wings is to cut a "D" shape partial circle around 2/3 coverage (just slightly more than the circle-less-face), cut it in half at the centre, and then trim to a slightly rounded wing shape that suits your ladybug design.
  • Cut scraps of fleece for eyes, mouth, spots, and (optional) other embellishments.  
  • Position, pin, and sew the black center gap and face/head pieces to the right/finished side of one of your base circles.
  • Position, pin, and sew the wings onto this base.  
  • Carefully sew the eyes, mouth, spots, and other embellishment pieces securely onto the design. 
  • Layer your pieces right/embellished side in.  Pin to secure.  
  • Sew together along the seam allowances, leaving an opening gap for inversing and stuffing.
  • Trim any excess threads/material and inverse to right-side-out. 
  • Add stuffing and (optional) squeaker(s).
  • Sew to securely stitch closed the gap. 
  • Trim any threads if/as needed, and enjoy!

Dalmatian dog playing with a red dog 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 helpful links for safer playtime. Have fun and play safe!

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