Fleece Rope Bones
I love my dog, and I'm always on the lookout for crafty projects I can do for my dog. It nicely combines two of my favorite things. So I thought I'd make my pup some rope bones out of some leftover fleece.
Fleece (a scrap that's about 24" by 6" will make one rope bone)
something to cut the fleece with (scissors or rotary cutter)
and something to anchor your rope (like a binder clip or a safety pin)
I cut some of the fleece 1 1/2 inches thick for my sister's dog (who's about 10 pounds) and some 2 inches thick for my dog and my parent's dog (who are between 15 and 30 lbs). You can cut the fleece even thicker for larger dogs.
After the pieces have been sliced up, you can choose how long you want your rope bones--they end up about 2/3 the length after they've been braided. Once you've cut three pieces the same length, tie a knot in one end and attach it to something so it doesn't move. You could use a binder clip or even a clipboard, but I decided to go with the good old tried and true friendship bracelet making method of safety pinning it to my awesome yoga pants. Hey, it may not be pretty, but it worked.
Then braid away. There is usually one side of the fleece that wants to be braided first based on how the knot has made them fall--just go with it and it should lay flat. The only tricky part of this project was tying the knot at the end. It took a little practice to figure out just how much space I needed to leave myself to be able to tie the knot (note: it was more that I thought).
After you've tied your knot, trim the excess and slice it into smaller pieces to create a tassel as shown in the picture above. Then you've got yourself a washable dog toy that won't shed strings, not to mention it being completely customizeable to your dog, easy, and cheap since it can be made with scraps.
As you can see in the photo above--about 24 inches of fleece gave me a 16 inch-ish rope bone. Just the right length for playing tug-a-rope with your pup! But your mileage may very--thicker fleece seems to shorten more. Long or short, our dog Molly loves these rope bones!
Update Notice: This project has been revisited. Check it out here: Crafting Revisit: Fleece Rope Bones