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JoAnna Lou
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Weekend Recycling Fun
Turn your unwanted t-shirts into tug toys.

Last weekend I was cleaning out my closets and quickly created a pile of t-shirts that I didn’t need. Over the years I’ve collected my fair share of wearable memorabilia from college events, walk-a-thons, and vacations.

Before I brought the clothes to the Salvation Army, I wondered if there was anything crafty that I could do with the shirts.

Inspired by Genuine Dog Gear’s Jersey Tugmaster, I decided that I’d try my hand at making a tug toy for my pups. I picked out a blue t-shirt that I hadn’t worn in years and started by cutting it into strips.

The width you cut depends on how thick you want the tug toy to be. My dogs like thinner tugs, so I cut the strips about 2 inches wide. I took six strips and doubled them up to make three strands. Then I bunched them together, tied a knot at the end, braided the middle, and tied another knot at the other end.

The toy actually came out better than I thought. And since I had extra material left, I decided to try another version with a handle. This time I cut longer strands and didn’t double up. As I got to the end, I made a loop and wove the unbraided end into the braided section and tied a couple knots to secure the handle.

Tug toys aren’t cheap, and because I bring them with me to agility trials and to class, I’m always misplacing them. Or if I’m not careful, my pup Nemo finds them and makes the tug toy into a chew toy. This craft is an easy way to reuse old t-shirts while making an affordable toy for the dogs.

Do you have any favorite doggy craft projects?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

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