DIY Dog Rope Toy Tutorial



Jocelyn Okamoto

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DIY Dog Rope Toy Tutorial

  • Difficulty: Medium


  • 3 colors of T-shirt yarn (can be purchased or made from old knit clothing)
  • Old tennis ball (optional)


For this DIY project, you will need to cut four strips of three different colors of T-shirt yarn.

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You can buy this from a craft store or repurpose old T-shirts or clothing as long as they are made with knit fabric. I used a combination of the two. 

DIY Dog Rope Toy

If you are using clothing, first cut strips of fabric. Mine were about ¾ inch strips of fabric. I wouldn’t recommend going much smaller than this, but feel free to go as thick as you want to!

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Once you have your four strips cut, stretch them out to make them into rope strings.

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I also cut a pair of old black pants for this. Since this was my shortest piece of fabric (it came out to just shy of 3 feet before being pulled), all my other rope strings were cut to this size. 

Separate your strings into four groups of the three different colors. Tie a loose knot and braid each group making sure to tie a loose knot at the end as well.

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Next tie the four braids together at one end and undo the loose knots once secure.

Weave the four pieces of braided rope together in a box knot.

Start by separating four braids into a plus sign. Pull the top rope down and the bottom rope up and form two loops.  

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The left rope is going to weave over and under, and we will do the same for the right rope.  

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Pull all four braids until you see a square form and tighten them until all of the braids are laying flat. The first one should be the hardest; once you have your base, it should be easier to create this knot.

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Continue creating these knots until you reach the end of the rope. Untie the individual braids and tie all of the rope together in a knot to finish your toy!

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Next up is a version using an old tennis ball.  

First, cut holes into the tennis ball so we can weave the rope through it.  Eyeball each side and mark a dot with a pen. I used an X-acto knife to cut a criss cross line where my dots were. 

Next, cut out a hole shape like a square connecting the lines and carve out excess rubber on the inside. My hole was around 3/4 inch wide. Do this on both sides and shake out the excess rubber pieces.

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This is the same rope pattern, so you’ll need four braided rope pieces tied together on one end to start.

To get an idea of where the tennis ball will sit, fold the rope toy in half and tie a small piece of scrap fabric to one of the strands.

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Begin weaving the rope toy together in the same pattern as the first. When you get close to the half-way point, pull the last weave tight and then tie all strings into a tight knot. 

Note the big knots take up space, and the marker is at the middle of the tennis ball, so you want to do this step a few inches before you reach it.

Next, pull each braided strand through the tennis ball one at a time. To do this easily, fasten a large safety pin through the end of the braid and pull it through the tennis ball. Use a skewer to help guide the pin out of the other side when needed.

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Once you have all four braids pulled through the tennis ball, tie another tight knot. Continue to weave and complete the rope as you would the first.  

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This is a great way to reuse old clothes and my dogs definitely had fun playing with these!

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Have you done this DIY dog rope toy tutorial? What were your results? Let us know in the comments!

Interested in making more doggie DIY gear? See our guide to DIY dog toys to see other fun gear you can make your dog!

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Jocelyn Okamoto

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