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My husband goes through a lot of white undershirts. Every couple of years, I’ll buy him a few weeks’ worth of new shirts, and then he will wear them until they are stained, shrunken, and threadbare. I absolutely HATE waste, and while I could donate the shirts, they are in awful condition and at the end of their lifetime. I tried making t-shirt yarn out of some of them, but the yarn was so off-white I couldn’t find anything to make with it that was aesthetically pleasing. While I wasn’t in love with any of the potential end products for me, I figured the dog wouldn’t mind some upcycled creations! And that is how she ended up with 7 new DIY dog toys.
These were super simple to make, and since our dog doesn’t mind the quality of the shirt or how straight and equally I cut the pieces, there was no measuring involved…major time-saver!
Materials for DIY Dog Toys:
All you need is an old shirt and some scissors. Really, this upcycle craft is that easy!
Old T Shirt Dog Toy How-To
I first started with the shirt laid out on the floor. The bigger the shirt, the better for making a nice, long dog rope!
I then cut the entire shirt into strips width-wise. Each strip was around 3 inches in width, but any reasonable size will do. I didn’t cut around the sleeves or use the collar. I’m going to save these scraps for another project later. If your shirts are smaller, you can cut strips length-wise. This makes for a longer toy. I tried both ways.
I took 6 strips and tied them into a knot at one end. Make that knot nice and secure!
Then, I divided the 6 strips into 3 sets of 2 strips each. I braided these 3 sets. Leave a little bit of room at the end, about the amount that will be in the second knot.
I then tied a knot at the other end of the braid and gave it a good tug on both sides to make sure the pieces were secure. And that was it! I test-made some toys from cutting the shirt length-wise, some width-wise, and some from using only three strips total instead of six for the braid. All of these turned out well, just different lengths and widths.
The shirts still smell a little bit like my husband, so they have definitely been a hit with the dog! So far they have withheld several games of tug-of-war. What is your favorite way to upcycle used t-shirts? Check out some of our other ideas for upcycled t-shirts here!