No-Sew Dog Toys Service Project

This spring, I have been coaching the Girls on the Run program at our elementary school.   This is a running program for girls in grades 3-5.  Girls on the Run inspires girls to be happy, healthy and confident, and integrates running throughout the program.  At the end of the 10-week program, the girls run a 5K race.  As part of this program, there is a Community Impact Project.  The girls decide what group they want to help, how they will help, and then they do a project to help their chosen group.  

Our girls decided to help homeless animals.  The service project had to be completed during one of our after-school practice times, so they had to come up with a project that could fit this requirement.  The way they decided to help these animals is by providing dog toys to a local animal shelter.    I found a no-sew dog tug toy that would be a great project for these girls to complete.  Just fleece fabric is needed.  The girls quickly learned how to braid the fabric strips into an irresistible tug-toy for dogs.

Wearing the latest in dog-toy fashion. :)

 - Fleece Fabric (this fabric is durable and does not fray)
 - Large Binder Clip to hold the braid in place while you work.  Our team used partners to help hold the fabric while the other girl braided.


1.  For each toy, you will need to cut three strips of fabric from selvage-to-selvage (cross grain) at 3.5" wide each.

  • First fold the fabric in half so the selvages are together, then trim away the selvage edge (the fabric that was attached to the loom).  

  • Use your ruler and rotary cutter to measure and cut a 3.5" strip. 

  • Repeat two more times.

2.  Trim the edges if the three strips are different lengths.
Different fabrics may be different lengths. 
Make them even.

3.  Find the center of each fabric strip and stack the strips together.  Use a binder clip (or a partner!) to hold them.
Find the center point and stack the fabrics. 
Use a clip to hold the fabrics while you work.

4.  Braid the center loop handle.
  • Begin braiding by first curling the strips a bit so the edges are not showing.  

  • Braid about 6" from the center.  (The pen is shown in the photo to show size). 

  • Move the binder clip to the bottom of the braid to hold it. 

  • Turn the project over and braid the other 6" or so from the center start point. 

  • When done, fold the braid in the center.  The tail ends should be about the same length on both sides.

5.  Braid the rope.
  • Match a fabric from the left side with a fabric on the right.  Match colors if the fabrics are different.  If the fabrics are the all the same color, it does not matter which piece you match on either side.
    Match fabrics.
  • Lay the two matched pieces together to form one.  Curl them so the edges are not showing. 
    Lay the two strips together and curl so edges do not show.
  • Braid the now-thick three strips together.  Try to braid the fabrics tightly. Stop when you near the end.  

6.  Knot the end.
  • Take the whole top and loop to make a knot.

  • Slide and pull the knot tight to the end. 

  • Use scissors to trim the edges even.

You are done!!

Our girls made plenty of tug toys to donate.

They also made extras for their own dogs.  Pets approve of them!


  1. HI there. Curious how long the the actually length of the strips are? I understand they are 3.5" wide. Thank you for you help. I am also a GOTR coach!

    1. HI. The strips are cut along the width of the fabric.
      Go GOTR! :)


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