Sewing DIY Dog Toys
Dog Toy Safety
Stuffed 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. It is particularly important to know your pet and how they play before making or buying toys. Not all toys are suitable to all pets. Check out our post on toy safety for helpful links and resources.
Making a DIY Squeaky Stuffed Cactus Dog Toy
Supplies and Materials
To make a similar DIY cactus dog toy, you will need:
- Green fabric
- Stuffing for filling for the stuffed toy
- Squeakers (optional but so much fun!)
- Complimentary coloured thread
- Sewing machine and general cutting / sewing supplies
My cacti are made with dimensional minky dot fabric. It’s not as durable as some of my preferred toy making materials, but the texture was too cute to resist. For a stronger toy, use a different material.
I try to salvage squeakers in our DIY dog toy hospital for reuse when possible, but I also have purchased packs of replacement squeakers in different shapes, sizes, and sounds. Squeakers can be tricky to find in shops. Try the toy section of large craft shops or look online at specialist suppliers or large retailers like AliExpress or Amazon. You can check out the replacement dog toy squeakers on Amazon (affiliate link) for product examples and ideas.
Making a DIY Cactus Dog Toy
One of the fun things about making a cactus toy is that the shape options are very flexible. I made two very different shapes. One was a long folded cactus, and the other a two-piece armed cactus.
Cutting the materials:
- Cut two identical cactus shapes (i.e. each the full size for your finished toy, plus seam allowances). Cacti are easy to freehand, but if you aren’t comfortable free-handing, draw it first on paper to make your own template or download a free template.
Sewing and stuffing the cactus toy:
- Position the cacti pieces together right-side-in to prepare for sewing. Pinning is optional.
- Sew together, stopping with a large enough gap to invert and add fill.
- Trim threads and excess material if/as needed.
- Invert through the gap so that the seams are inside and your fabric is right-side-out.
- Stuff and (optional) add squeakers.
- Sew the toy closed, trim any threads if/as needed, and enjoy!
Puppy Fiesta Fun!
When this post was first shared many years ago, it included several DIY ideas for puppy fiesta fun, including a fringed poncho-style bandana. Humphrey and Oli had them on whilst playing in the garden with their new toys, but the play was too wild for any decent photos of them with both the bandanas and the toys. Haha! Tiger had his own little mini cat-sized bandana, too.
As part of our reorganisation of content when the website was transitioned, this post was revised to focus on the toy. But never fear, furfriends! We have you covered (literally). See our post on making a fringed flannel bandana for DIY instructions. That bandana uses binding trim at the neck, which eliminates the annoying fringe bits at the knotting point. The orientation is different relative to the weave, though. I rather like the fuller fringe at the point of these bandanas. All a matter of personal taste (and material efficiency), though.
🚨 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 or her any new toy. Some dogs try to eat toys or 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 in our dog toy safety post, including tips and helpful links for safer playtime. Have fun and play safe!