Hello December, hello summer, hello countdown to Christmas! And hello, squeaky Santa! It has been a while since our last toy post, so I thought I’d kick of the Christmas fun here on the blog with a new homemade toy. And there are more doggone great DIY dog toys coming up, too. This DIY Santa Claus dog toy is the first of three new triangle toys created for this Christmas. Triple the squeaky holiday fun!
There were no play pictures in this post when it was first shared. Humphrey was still counting down the days until his Christmas morning squeaker fest at the time. When the post was updated for transfer to the new website, I went back into my family photo files and pulled out some behind the scenes photos of the blog dogs of Dalmatian DIY on Christmas morning. Such a happy day, so many happy memories!
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.
Creating Your Own Custom Dog Toy Designs
One of the great things about making your own toys is that’s is a fun opportunity to get a little creative. We share DIY ideas, but you can take those inspirations and adapt them to your own unique crafts to suit your skills, pet, materials, and style preferences. The real Santa Claus has the magical ability to look just right all over the world, in many different special costumes and skin tones. Squeaky Santa does too!
How to Make a DIY Squeaky Stuffed Santa Claus Dog Toy
Supplies and Materials
To make a similar DIY stuffed squeaky Santa Claus dog toy, you will need:
- Sturdy red fabric or other colour of your preference
Sturdy beige fabric or other colour of your preference
- White fleece for the beard and hat trim
- Scraps of mixed fleece for facial features and embellishments
- Stuffing for filling for the stuffed toy
- Squeakers (optional but so much fun!)
- Non-toxic pink makeup or tint for the nose and cheeks (optional)
- Complimentary coloured thread
- Sewing machine and general cutting / sewing supplies
I used a red base fabric for the front of my Santa, so this is visible in the design of the finished Santa toy. The rest of the toy is layered on with other materials to create the Santa design. The beige for Santa’s face is sturdy fabric. All of my other embellishments are fleece.
Because fleece is colourfast and doesn’t fray, it’s an easy option for embellishments on dog toys. I keep fleece off cuts from other sewing projects and tug toy ends for embellishment supplies. It’s also very forgiving to sew, since the stitches of coordinating thread often seem to disappear into the fluff, but it’s important to make sure that any embellishments are very securely attached. No matter what the material or technique, security and safety trump looks for toys.
I try to salvage squeakers in our DIY dog toy hospital for reuse, but I also have packs of replacement squeakers in different shapes, sizes, and sounds. Squeakers can be tricky to find. Try the toy section of large craft shops or look online at specialist suppliers or large retailers like AliExpress or Amazon. Check out the replacement dog toy squeakers on Amazon (affiliate link) for product examples and ideas.
Designing the Santa Dog Toy
Santa’s triangular shape was inspired by our original triangle toy, the DIY witch dog toy. Humphrey loved that toy shape! Triangles are easy to sew and efficient to cut, so I’ve used the shape again. The triangle shape is a great fit for our style of Santa Cause with his long hat. Santa’s facial features were loosely based on the style I created for our round squeaky Santa dog toy. I decided to have the toy finish on his tunic instead of at the beard. It allows me to include more style features on the design or the toy, and I think it suits the triangle shape better. Additionally, since I was planning to make a matching elf toy, I wanted them to be similarly scaled. Both have the tops of their outfits visible.
Making the DIY Santa Claus Triangle Dog Toy
Cutting and shaping the materials:
- Cut two identical triangular pieces from sturdy base fabric. Don’t forget to include seam allowances. You can shape and scale your toy to best suit your fabric and your pet. If you are working from a large piece of fabric, you can also cut the toy as a large diamond and fold at the bottom instead of having a seam.
- Cut a piece of sturdy beige fabric (or fleece) for the face. It should be tall enough to go from under the hat to under the beard, and wide enough to span the toy so that the edges are all well attached and hidden underneath the fleece embellishments.
- Cut white fleece for the pompom, hat band, beard, moustache, eyes, eyebrows, and jacket trim (optional).
- Cut a small piece of pink or red fleece to position as the mouth behind the moustache/beard. I used pink, as there’s already lots of red.
- Cut small pieces of fleece for the irises, pupils, jacket button (optional) and any other embellishments you might like to include on your own unique Santa design.
If your base fabric is red, this will be the visible portion of Santa’s hat and jacket. If it is a different colour, you can cut red fleece to cover these sections. If used, sew these into position before attaching the other embellishments detailed below. I used one triangle of green and one triangle of red for each of the three toys in this coordinating trio, so the back of my Santa is green.
Adding embellishments to create the Santa design:
- Sew the jacket trim (if using).
- Position the beige face, pink mouth, and beard. Pin to secure and sew the beard securely into place.
- Position the moustache and sew securely into place. I added extra lines of stitching to the moustache, which are primarily for looks, but also ensures the pieces are very well attached.
- Sew the hat band into place, ensuring that the band covers the top edges of the beard and face.
- Sew the pompom piece to the top of the hat.
- Continue layering to best suit your embellishment placement, incrementally sew the eyes, eyebrows, button, and any other extra embellishment pieces securely to the base.
Sewing and stuffing to finish the toy:
- Layer (or fold) your triangular pieces so that the witch is right/embellished side in. Pin to secure.
- Sew together along the seam allowances, leaving an opening gap for inverting and stuffing.
- Trim any excess threads and/or material if/as needed. For thick materials, you can trim or notch excess material in the seam allowances at the corners if you want them to turn pointed.
- Invert to right-side-out
- Add stuffing and (optional) squeaker(s).
- Sew to securely stitch closed the gap.
- Optional: If you wish, rub the nose/cheeks of your Santa with a bit of lip tint, blush, or other non-toxic tint to create a slightly rosy glow.
- Trim any threads if/as needed, and enjoy!
The Christmas Triangle Toy Collection
Our squeaky toy trio is not only a cute combo. It was a very efficient way to cut multiple triangles with less fabric waste. Win for momma, win for Humphrey! Merry Christmas, indeed. Check out the full Christmas squeaky toy set for other fun DIY Christmas dog toy ideas:
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 doggone 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!