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July 16, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Pamper Your Pets With Homemade Gifts

By Kristin McKinney More Blogs by This Author

Buying fun gifts for pets can get pretty expensive, so it's best to save any way you can. Making things yourself can be one of the best ways to save a dollar.

dog toy

Fleece Dog Toy:

Supplies:

  • 3 strands of fleece, ¼ of a yard long
  • Scissors
  • Two rubber bands

Instructions:

  1. Cut 4 inch wide strips from each of your three selected fleece fabrics.

  2. Stack the three strips on top of each other, and tie a rubber band around them 5 inches from the end.

  3. Begin braiding the strands. Make sure you braid it tightly. Keep braiding until the braid is about 20-27 inches long. Then wrap the second rubber band around the end of the braid.

  4. Make a knot at both ends, right where the rubber bands are, and cut the rubber bands off.

  5. Trim the excess fleece below the knots so you have about 3 inches left. Create fringed ends by cutting strips into the fabric below the knot.

  6. If the rope is too long, tie a knot or two in the middle.

Doggie Bow Tie:

bow tie

Supplies:

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Thick velvet ribbon
  • Velcro squares (the ones with sticky backs)
  • Hot glue gun

Instructions:

  1. Measure your dog's neck or the size of their collar. Make sure you don't make it too small. Use your measurements to cut out the length of ribbon needed.

  2. Cut a piece of fabric that is 4x9 inches for the bow. If you're doing this for a very large dog, you may want to make it bigger.

  3. Cut a strip of fabric about 2x5 inches, and set it aside.

  4. Take your 4x9 piece of fabric, and fold the top and bottom inward horizontally so they're slightly overlapping.

  5. Fold the left and right ends in toward the middle. Overlap as much as desired, depending on how big you want the bow.

  6. Pinch the center of your folded fabric to create a bow shape. Then tie the skinny strip of fabric around the middle. Tie off tightly, or use a hot glue gun if you want to make sure it's secure.

  7. Use the hot glue gun to attach the bow to the middle of the ribbon you cut earlier.

  8. Take a piece of velcro (the scratchy side), and stick it on the right end of the ribbon on the side the bow is on. Then, take the other half of velcro (the soft side), and stick it to the left end of the ribbon on the opposite side of the bow.

  9. Now you're all set, and you're dog is stylin'.

Recycled Toys: You can take a lot of things that are just laying around the house, and turn them into amusing toys for your dog.

  • Take an old stuffed animal, and open up one of the seams. Remove all the stuffing, and sew it back up. This makes for a great toy for your dog to tear apart, but you won't have to worry about stuffing getting strewn all over your house. You could also add your own squeaker to the stuffed animal. These can be purchased online in bulk.
  • Take an old sock and a tennis ball. Put the tennis ball in the bottom of the sock, and knot the sock right above the tennis ball. You could also stick a plastic bottle into an old sock for a noisy toy.
  • Make the fleece rope toy from above. Then take a tennis ball, and cut a hole into each side big enough for the rope to fit through. Pull the rope through the tennis ball. If your fleece rope is too thick make another one, but make the strips thinner next time so your rope isn't as thick when you're done.

Feather Cat Wand:

Supplies:

  • Scissors
  • Wool Felt
  • Iron
  • Jingle bells
  • Satin cord
  • Jump ring
  • Wooden dowel

Instructions:

  1. Cut out a medium-sized and a small-sized feather from two different colored pieces of felt using this template.

  2. Using your iron, press a crease down the center of each feather.

  3. Attach a jump ring to the bell, then slip a 1 yard length of cord through the jump ring. Knot the end of the cord by the bell.

  4. Tie the end of the cord to your wooden dowel. Now you have a fun interactive toy to play with your cat.

suitcase

Vintage Suitcase Cat Bed:

Supplies:

  • Vintage suitcase (a nice, thick, hard shell one)
  • 1 inch wide painters tape
  • Spray paint
  • Pillow
  • Drill
  • 4 old furniture legs

Instructions:

  1. Start by cleaning up the inside of the suitcase and removing any fabric lining from the lid.

  2. Next, use the tape to create a pattern on the inside lid of the suitcase. Spray paint with one color. When dried, use tape to cover up the design you painted and spray paint with another color.

  3. Drill holes in the bottom of the suitcase, and attach the furniture legs.

  4. Place pillow inside of suitcase, and you're done. You could also cover the pillow in a soft fabric to give it a little extra pizzaz.

catnip

Felt Catnip Toys:

Supplies:

  • Felt
  • Embroidery floss
  • Catnip
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Cut out two feather shapes from a piece of felt. Using embroidery floss, stitch angled lines going up the feather to give it some detail.

  2. Place your feathers on top of each other, and sew together one side. Stuff some catnip into the opening, then sew the rest of it together.

  3. You could easily cut out any shape you wanted following the same steps.

rabbitRecycled Rabbit Toys: Sometimes we forget that rabbits like getting out of their cages and playing with toys too. My family used to have a rabbit that loved tearing and chewing through anything she could. If your rabbit is similar, here are some ideas to keep it entertained.

Take an old paper towel tube, and tape one end together. Fill the tube with some of your rabbit's favorite treats, and tape the other end. See how long it takes your rabbit to chew through the tube to get to it's treats. Try to find a non-toxic paper tape to use for this. The sticky residue from normal tape can be harmful.

Old towels or rags can be placed in the cage as bedding. The rabbit will have fun digging and pulling at the old fabric. You could also take strips of old towels, and knot the middle of them for little toys to leave around their cage or when they're out in their pen. If the fabric starts to get really ripped up, remove it. The fabric particles aren't good for them.

Take old newspaper, and twist it into long strips. Place in the rabbits cage to give it something to tear apart.

Use old boxes and build your rabbit a play pen that it can crawl through. Cut holes in the side and use smaller boxes to create tunnels between the bigger boxes.

Always make sure you are supervising your pet when they are playing with certain toys.  

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