Showing posts with label just for fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label just for fun. Show all posts
Monday, 27 January 2020
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Hand Stamped Valentine's Day Jigsaw Puzzle Dog Treats

Stamped Valentine's Day jigsaw puzzle piece homemade dog treats

With Valentine's Day coming up and Puzzle Day later this week ( I love these crazy days), today's post is a cute DIY decorating idea for homemade dog treats. Stamping is one of my favourite ways to dress up a treat, and it's an easy way to make cute treats without adding icings or glazes that require extra time/ingredients and may affect the portability, storage, and/or shelf life of the treats. They look fancy, but stamped designs can be deceptively easy to make (and fun).

With all the crazy treats we create and share, you might be surprised to read that we do remakes/bakes of existing recipes. Sometimes this is because it's a simple go-to favourite (like beef jerky or broth gummies), sometimes I'm testing with different ingredients or substitutions, and sometimes it's just because the mood strikes.  With our transition to the new Dalmatian DIY domain, one of the long-term very slow tasks on my to-do list is going back through our recipe archives to recheck old recipe details and make adjustments for accuracy/clarity if needed. To keep it fun for my crazy creative self, these rebakes are a great opportunity to have a little fun with the shape and style of the treats and occasionally you'll see them pop up here on the blog as DIY decorating ideas that you can use with you own favourite dog treat (or human cookie) recipes from here or elsewhere. If you have suggestions or special requests, drop us a comment. No promises, but you never know! :)

Dalmatian dogs staring at a heart-shaped Valentine dog treat

To make true puzzle treats, you will need some form of puzzle shaped cookie cutter (I used a standard puzzle piece and a two-piece puzzle heart); however, any shape of cookie/biscuit cutter can be used with a patterned dough for a puzzle-inspired look. It's the irregular mosaic stamping on the dough that really makes these treats their jigsaw look. I used a combination of smaller cutters as my stamps, but dough can be stamped with any clean food-safe items.

Dough can also be rolled with a patterned rolling pin or by placing a textured food safe sheet (e.g. lace) over the partially rolled dough before rolling over the top to create an impression prior to cutting. I've used this technique to create and cut patterned clay. This type of regular pattern is less puzzle-like, but also cute.

Step-by-step how to make patterned jigsaw puzzle dog treats

Any roll-and-cut dog treat dough that you and your dogs enjoy can be used to make similar treats; however, a smooth dough that will take a tidy impression and cut cleanly without chunky/lumpy add-ins can be helpful.  You can read more about stamping treats in our dog treat decoration post.

If using words or large shapes in the pattern, extra attention to cutter placement and orientation can be helpful to optimise the cut shapes. For example, I cut the puzzle hearts first (large cuts, taken together as a matched set). Puzzle pieces (unmatched) were taken if/as suited, and then puzzle bones before re-rolling and stamping a new mosaic. Depending on your cutter(s), puzzle pieces can be carefully cut to fit together if you're keen to try; however, any misalignment in cutting, small variations during cutting and positioning on the pan, and/or changes during baking can affect the fit. Not that the dogs will care about assembling. My boys are keener on disassembling! Hehehe...

Two Dalmatian dogs sharing a heart-shaped Valentine dog treat
Monday, 16 December 2019
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Homemade Christmas Dog Treat Biscuit Bars and DIY Wrappers

DIY segmented bar dog treats with homemade Christmas wrappers

Happy almost howlidays, furfriends! Today's post shows how to bake a segmented bar of homemade dog biscuit/cookie style treats as well as a fun option for wrapping little DIY dog treat gift bars for presents.

This will be out final post of 2019 before our Christmas/New Year's blog break, but we'll be popping up from time to time on our social media, so please join us if you're not already following the fun. Thank you for all the love you've shown to Oli and Humphrey this year, your kind words of condolence when our elderly cat, Tiger, passed away, and the support you've given to us and our Dalmatian DIY blog, especially when we took the leap of transitioning to our own domain. Happy holiday wishes and may your 2020 be filled with health and happiness. ~Laura, Oli, and Humphrey 

Monday, 7 October 2019
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{RECIPE} Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog (Trick or) Treats

Dalmatian dog begging for homemade Halloween dog treats in a small orange treat bag, with bone shaped treats stamped "TRICK" and "TREAT"

Mmmm....pumpkin! Harvest is here for our northern furfriends and with it the silly season of all things pumpkin (and pumpkin spice), but here in New Zealand we like to enjoy pumpkin all year round. Pumpkin is delicious and nutritious, and we like to keep some cooked cubed pumpkin on hand in the freezer for quick and convenient use in baking/cooking for both humans and dogs.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019
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Decorating Homemade Dog Treats

Stamped and shaped homemade dog treats on a black polka dot table cloth

Our current FAQs, Tips, and Troubleshooting mini-series is all about DIY dog treats and today we're talking about decorating homemade dog treats. Baked biscuits can be made and decorated in such a wide variety of styles that we split this treat type into three separate posts: our introduction to making homemade baked biscuit (cookie) style dog treats, today's decorating details, and tomorrow's shelf-life and storage post closing out the mini-series.

Monday, 2 September 2019
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Dress Shirt Dog Collars (Plus How to Adjust Collar Size)

Dress shirt collars and sewing supplies

We're starting September with a special week long mini-series using materials salvaged from old shirts (the same shirts as were cut apart to make our "Pillow Daddy" recycled dress shirt cushion covers) for a combination of sew and no-sew projects. For years, I've had the occasional giggle from putting one of my husband's laundry-bound shirts onto Oli (and now Humphrey), buttoning the collar and leaving the shirt flapping like a Daddy-scented cape. :) When the time came to cut apart some old shirts, of course I was going to keep the collars for the dogs. Hehehe... How cute do they look in this Father's day photo, recently shared on our Facebook page?

Monday, 26 August 2019
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Recycled Dress Shirt "Pillow Daddy" Cuddle Cushion Covers

Dalmatian dog cuddling with DIY pillow case made from owner's old shirts.

No matter how many walkies we take or treats I bake, Daddy is our boys' favourite human. Over the years, when he has been away on work or other travels and they miss their Dad, I've been known to tuck one of his worn t-shirts into their nests. This was the inspiration for our patchwork t-shirt quilts (still in use) and when he recently sorted through his old dress shirts, I could feel a new project coming on! The ones that were unsuitable for charity donations were kept for my cutting table to be trimmed into usable parts, usable fabric, and workshop rags. Less waste, more use, more creative recycled crafting fun! I have some awesome recycled shirt crafts to share in future posts, but first up are our "Pillow Daddy" cuddle cushion covers in honour of Father's Day in our part of the world this coming Sunday. These pillows were made for our dogs to have virtual snuggles with their Dad, but the same easy DIY could be used with any special fabric and memory/relationship.

Monday, 13 May 2019
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DIY Faux Fire Hydrant Garden Pee Post for Dogs

Shiny red fake fire hydrant pee post mounted in the garden

One of the things we wanted to try at the new house was teaching the dogs to use a designated location as their preferred toilet area, which for our dogs would require some sort of potty post. A fire hydrant would be perfect: great for any dog, but even more so for Dalmatians. Unfortunately, New Zealand doesn't use that style of above-ground hydrant, so buying an old/surplus hydrant, while a cool idea, wasn't an option. We decided to make one. 

Monday, 8 April 2019
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{RECIPE} Stained Glass Yogurt Gummy Easter Dog Treats

Dalmatian dog staring at a colourful gelatin gummy dog treat

Anyone else remember stained glass Jell-o jigglers from childhood? Here's my dogified version made with yummy yogurt, healthy gelatin, and colourful add-ins. Because I simply can't resist doing these crazy things. Haha!  The dogs totally don't care about the colours, but they do love gummies!

Monday, 1 April 2019
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{RECIPE} Pretty Pastel Pupsicle Easter Dog Treats

A bowl of colourful frozen dog treats with pastel polka dot napkins and ribbon

Pupsicle season is nearing an end here, just as things start to warm up for our northern furfriends. This may be our last batch before chilly weather arrives. Boo! These simple treats were created as an add-in to our posting cycle to go along with our stained glass gummies which use similar natural add-ins for colour - but you'll have to wait until next week's post for the full details. Moohahha...

Monday, 4 March 2019
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"Gold Dust" St. Patrick's Day Gelatin Gummy Dog Treats

This little gummy is a just-for-fun adaptation of our simple green gummy treats that takes advantage of the way turmeric powder tends to partially settle in gummy treats to create a dusting of golden flecks. 

Dalmatian dog staring at a green and gold gelatin gummy dog treat

Monday, 11 February 2019
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Making a Favourite Dog Treat Recipe into a Special Valentine

Dalmatian dog eating a hot pink paw shaped gelatin gummy dog treat

It's almost Valentine's Day, furfriends! We have lots of recipe ideas in our blog archives, but if you have a tried-and-true recipe or want to make your dog's favourite treat into a special Valentine, two VERY simple ideas are to just play with the shape and/or colour of your go-to treat recipe.  Here are some tips and inspiration:
Monday, 17 December 2018
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{RECIPE} Strawberry Carob Christmas Spice Dog Treats

Christmas dog treats shaped like bones, trees, gingerbread men, and snowmen

In confession, I simply couldn't resist pulling out the plunger cookie cutters to make a few final holiday treats.  My go-to carob powder smells a lot like cocoa powder to my underpowdered human nose, but in flavour  it's subtly sweet, a little nutty, and sort of reminds me of gingerbread. (I've tried it in human baking....not taste-testing dog treats, although I've been tempted! Hehe...) With spice and all things nice on the brain, I adapted our strawberry carob recipe to make a treat spiced up with a hint of cinnamon, ginger, and the rich scent of blackstrap molasses. Cue the drool! 

Monday, 29 October 2018
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Halloween Mummy Recycled Paper Tube Treat Holder

Paper tubes with mummies drawn on them and ends folded to make pillow boxes filled with dog treats

There's definitely nothing fancy about these Halloween mummy treat holders, but there's tons of riptastic fun! They're free, recycled and recyclable (depending on your local area recycling programs), and very simple to make. Our boys LOVE ripping and puzzle opening, and a cardboard tube, empty box, or egg carton can compete with the fanciest of dog toys. The empty white cardboard tube was just begging to be mummified. Woofs!

Monday, 22 October 2018
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Frankenbone Homemade Halloween Dog Treat Decorations

Halloween isn't really a done thing down here in New Zealand, but we'll take any excuse for a treat of two! Last year's mummy bone dog treats were one of my favourite treats to create and decorate (definitely something I would do again). These Frankenbones simplify monster treat decorating for a fast way to make a fun batch of treats and it's easy enough for the kids to help with making special Howl-oween dog treats for their furry friends.

Dalmatian dog begging for dog treat that is shaped like a bone with stamped monster eyes

Monday, 19 February 2018
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{RECIPE} Doggone Delicious "Chocolate Lab" Dog Treats

Brown dog treats shaped like dogs, bones, and small circles

A wee nibble of "Chocolate Lab" anyone???  I couldn't resist sharing these dog shaped treats as our first recipe post of the Year of the Dog Any roll-and cut recipe (ideally, smooth if you're going to make a design on the treats as shown) can be used with the techniques below to make dog shaped treats or human cookies, but I couldn't get chocolate labs out of my brain when I was walking home with my newly purchased "had to have it" cookie cutter. I'm sure I'll make some speckled Dalmatians in the future. Hehehe. Dalmatians aren't such a common high-demand breed but they share a very similar body type so Labrador Retriever will do just fine for my Dalis.  I paid waaaaay more for it than I should have (shhhh...don't tell hubby) but I also got the instant gratification of putting it straight to use with no wait for delivery (can be quite a wait down here!).  If you prowl online you can find tons of fun doggy shapes.

Monday, 8 January 2018
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{RECIPE} "Cat Poo" Poop Emoji Dog Treats

What? Poo??? Shudder... 💩 As much as my little darlings are beyond well fed, they still have a disturbing longing for their cat brother's litter box. Fortunately, they are big dogs that can be blocked/barriered without obstructing poor Tiger's access to the facilities. Strictly cats only! Ick. Santa Paws laughingly tucked a poop emoji cookie cutter under the tree in my Christmas stocking (the elves mush have been reading our gift ideas for dog owners), and I joked that the dogs would be eagerly awaiting cat poo treats.  Little did the family suspect I might actually be (almost) serious. Hehe.

Homemade dog treat dough on a rolling mat with a poo emoji cookie cutter

Friday, 22 December 2017
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Easy DIY Holiday Scarves for Matchy Matchy Family Photos!

Smiling Dalmatian dog wearing a plaid scarf

I set myself the challenge this year of trying to get a furfamily Christmas photo.  Our dogs love posing solo, but are definitely not interested in posing together as you would have seen in a few funny shares here on the blog and our social media over the years.  Like typical kids being forced to pose for pictures by Mom, and all the more grumpy faces if they are (gasp!) forced to pose in matching outfits.  The horror!  Add the cat to the mix and it's total chaos. 

Monday, 4 December 2017
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DIY No-Sew Ugly Christmas Sweater Dog Bandana

Smiling Dalmatian dog wearing an ugly Christmas sweater bandana

Let's face it...this handsome spotty little elf would be cute in anything, even an ugly Christmas sweater, or ugly Christmas sweater bandana as the case may be.  In our part of the world, it's far too hot for a holiday jumper and even in colder areas it's expensive with big dogs, like ours, to buy or embellish a doggy sweater for the once or twice a year that they might wear it. This no-sew DIY doggy bandana is an easy and inexpensive way to rock the holiday ugly sweater party. Bonus points if you make yourself a matching t-shirt. Please share photos with us! Hehe!

Monday, 9 October 2017
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Mummy Bone Homemade Halloween Dog Treats

Homemade dog treats shaped like mummy faces and mummified bones

These mummies are a fun way to decorate a special batch of  Halloween dog treats. You can use the same technique for human cookies too...just make sure your chosen recipes and flavours are human-friendly. Since these treats are decorated without doggy icing, the finished treats look fancy but are still "plain" enough to be freezer-friendly and/or hold up well during handling, which makes them great for gifting to your favourite furfriends.  Doggy bag anyone?  My mummy munching defenders were more than happy to save me from these little monsters:

Friday, 26 May 2017
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Red White and Blue Marbled Star Treats for Patriotic Pups

These red white and blue treats for patriotic pups show how simple it is to adapt the same marbling technique as our Unicorn Bones to other fun treats. We're really feeling rather jealous of our American furfriends who will be having a long weekend for Memorial Day, but we're very good and giving dogs so we're going to share a special post for them all the same. :)  Don't forget to take some time in tribute to the reason for the holiday - see our Remembrance Day Dog post for some inspiring history.   Have a wonderful weekend, and stay safe furfriends!

Homemade red white and blue dog treats shaped like stars in a blue drawstring dog treat bag