Wednesday, 19 April 2017

DIY Wrapped Birthday Present (Cube Softie) Dog Toy


Our beautiful boy Oli turned 11 this week, and we (of course!) had to celebrate with a pawty and some special treats and toys!  To make your own cube toy, you will need fabric, complementary coloured thread, stuffing, squeakers (optional), and scissors/sewing tools. The toy can be hand sewn, but will be much easier if machine sewn.  Softie dog toys follow the same basic principles as you would use if sewing (or buying) for a small child - no loose parts to nibble free and everything securely stitched into a sturdy toy.  I made this cube "gigantic" for a special soccer ball sized birthday pressie softie for Oli, but the general process is the same no matter what the desired size the final cube will be.  I used fleece as it's Oli's favourite (he loves the soft softies) even though I know it means the toy won't be as tough or long lasting as it could be with a sturdier fabric.  Unlike many of our softies, I did not include any squeakers as we're using this as a big ball-type toy...all be it a squarish one! :) 

  • Cut six equal squares of fabric for the side of your cube, in the size you'd like you finished cube plus seam allowances on all edges. 
  • Cut eight equal strips of fleece/ribbon embellishment for your cube (one each side, two crossing top, two crossing bottom).  Length is the same as your square panels, and width is st your discretion. Cut and additional strip for the top bow (optional).
  • If adding a tag (optional) cut scraps of fleece to suit. 
  • Layout and group your panels and embellishments.
  • Sew the ribbon strips into place, taking care to ensure that they are centered on your panels.
  • Sew to securely attach the bow strip (optional) to the center of your top panel at the ribbon intersection. Sew the tag (optional) into place on the top panel.
  • Starting with the top of your cube layer the first side panel right-side-in, taking care to align the "ribbon" joint for a nice finish, and sew together along the seam allowance. Remember to ensure you leave allowances free at each end of the seam for when you later join the sides of the cube together!  Repeat to join the four sides of the cube incrementally to the top panel, sewing only the adjoining top-to-side panel edge together along the seam allowance.
  • Layer the bottom panel right-side-in with one of the sides, taking care to align the "ribbon" joint for a nice finish, and sew together along the seam allowance.
  • Fold the top panel on the diagonal right-side-in to help you align a side seam to sew together right-side-in.  Repeat to join all of the the sides of the cube incrementally, taking care to align the "ribbon" joint for a nice finish.
  • Carefully align right-side-in and sew the free edges of the bottom panel to the sides.  Important: where there is one seam left to join, sew only part way, leaving a gap for inversing and stuffing.
  • Trim any excess threads/material and inverse to right-side-out.
  • Add stuffing and (optional) squeaker(s). Don't over-stuff or it will be difficult to close the toy.
  • Fold the gap seam allowance into the toy and sew the toy closed. 
  • Trim any threads if/as needed and enjoy! 

Remember, toys are for supervised interactive play. Know your dog before giving him or her any new toy. Some dogs would rather eat their toys (whether store bought or handmade), and that's dangerous. Toys are for playing and playtime is safer (and more fun!) with you involved.  You can read more about dog toy safety here.

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