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10 DIY Dog Rope Toy Plans (Cheap & Easy) (With Pictures)

Written by: Lindsey Lawson

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

a golden retriever dog with a colored rope toy in his teeth

10 DIY Dog Rope Toy Plans (Cheap & Easy) (With Pictures)

Toys are a great way for your dog to get in some activity through playtime and engage in some mental stimulation. We all know that most dog toys tend to be short-lived. Dog owners with heavy chewers know the pain all too well. Dog ropes are among the most popular toy varieties for dogs and for good reason: who doesn’t love a good game of tug-o-war?

If you feel like you are throwing too much money away by buying rope after rope, we have some great news for you. There are plenty of DIY projects that will allow you to create your own homemade ropes that are easy to make and are made using inexpensive materials you can find in your home.

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The Top 10 DIY Dog Rope Toy Plans

1. DIY Fleece Tug Rope by Raising Your Pets Naturally

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: Raising Your Pets Naturally
Materials: Fleece
Tools: Scissors, carabiner clip(optional), cutting mat (optional), rotary cutter, (optional), edge ruler (optional)
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY fleece tug rope for dogs is not only easy to make, but also requires minimal tools and materials. As long as you have some fleece and scissors, you are all set. Of course, if you want to add in some extras to make the process easier, that’s okay too.

All you have to do is cut off some fleece and follow the braiding instructions and boom, you have your own homemade fleece dog rope. You can make it simple or you can get creative by adding a variety of colors and themes. Not only are they great for your dog, but you can even make these as gifts for fellow dog lovers.

The only downside to the fleece rope is that some of the heavy chewers with powerful jaws may be able to shred through this quite easily. Something to keep in mind depending on your dog(s).

2. DIY Upcycled T-Shirt Dog Pull Rope Toy by Third Stop on the Right

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: Third Stop On The Right
Materials: 2 or more old t-shirts
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

Most people have plenty of old t-shirts laying around the house. In this case, you don’t have to worry about throwing them away. We have the perfect use for you. To make a successful dog pull rope toy by using upcycled t-shirts,you will need at least two shirts, some scissors, pliers, and maybe even a lighter to handle fringe.

You will cut the shirts into strips about 20 inches long and one to two inches wide, and you will need about 12 strips per rope. You just follow the instructions provided for the braiding process and use that lighter at the very end to burn off the extra fringe. It’s recommended to use pliers to help in the process.

3. DIY Dog Rope for Heavy Chewers by Instructables

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: Instructables
Materials: Heavy-duty rope, zip ties
Tools: Scissors, pliers, lighter
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Some relief for the owners of the super chewers? Here’s a DIY for those strong-jawed pups. You. can either grab a heavy-duty rope from the house or the local hardware store, some zip ties, scissors, pliers, and a lighter and you’ll be good to go.

You can make a variety of shapes with this project and the instructions will show you just how to do this with the different braiding techniques. Those zip ties go in place for extra security to help the rope keep its shape.  Of course, the lighter comes in handy for the leftover rope fringe that results from cutting.

4. DIY Simple Dog Rope Toy by Instructables

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: Instructables
Materials: Cotton rope
Tools: Ruler, scissors, comb
Difficulty Level: Easy

Are you looking for a DIY for the more traditional cotton dog rope? It’s easier than you’d think. You’ll need to make sure you get a nice cotton rope that suits your dog’s size. It’s nice to keep a ruler handy for measuring when you first begin. Of course, you’ll need those scissors for cutting and a little comb to untangle the ends of the rope when the project is complete.

The instructions will walk you through the braiding and knotting process and you can have your homemade cotton rope in less time than it would take you to drive to the store and purchase one.

5. DIY T-Shirt and Tennis Ball Dog Rope Toy by Blog by Donna

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: Blog By Donna
Materials: Old T-shirts, tennis ball
Tools: Scissors, drill
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you want to get fancy and add a tennis ball to your DIY dog rope, this method is ideal. We give a moderate difficulty level only because you need to use a drill and have the skills to use it safely and effectively, but it’s still a very easy little project provided that you have experience with the required tools.

You can use some old t-shirts and will need some scissors to cut them. You will drill some holes in the tennis ball, use your braiding and knotting skills and work your magic. The instructions will give you the step-by-step directions to ensure it’s put together properly. This is a favorite among those avid ball-chasers.

6. DIY Old Jeans Dog Rope Toy by House That Barks

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: House That Barks
Materials: Old jeans
Tools: Scissors, cutting mat, ruler (or measuring tape)
Difficulty Level: Easy

Do you have a pair of old jeans lying around? Well, if you do this DIY would work great for you. This super easy project just requires some jeans, scissors, a ruler, and a cutting mat if you prefer. Make sure you have some heavy-duty craft scissors that can slice easily through denim, though.

The directions will show you how to braid and knot the rope properly and before you know it, you have a sturdy denim dog rope that your pup can enjoy.

7. DIY Floating Rope Dog Toy by Sew Historically

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: Sew Historically
Materials: Polypropylene rope
Tools: Scissors, lighter
Difficulty Level: Easy

Unlike a lot of the other ropes, this floating rope dog toy isn’t made using crown knots but half-square knots. If you are unfamiliar with knotting, no worries, the technique is covered in the instructions for this project. This makes for a very sturdy rope and only requires a polypropylene rope, some scissors, and a lighter to burn that excess fringe.

Your dog is sure to love the floating rope toy and this one will be strong enough to hold up in a vigorous game of tug-o-war. On the plus side, once your dog has worn it out, it’s going to be quick and easy to create a new one.

8. DIY Rope Ball Dog Toy by Instructables

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: Instructables
Materials: Cotton rope, lacrosse ball, electrical tape
Tools: Scissors, knitting needle, needle nose pliers
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This DIY rope ball dog toy is made using only some cotton rope, a lacrosse ball, and some electrical tape. It’s a moderate difficulty level because it does require some knot work in order to secure the ball in place, but the instructions show you how to do just that.

When you’re finished, this toy will also have a long tail that makes it easy to swing around, throw, and play tug-of-war with your dog. It’s great for outdoor play at the park, the beach, or in your own backyard.

9. DIY Double Tennis Ball Rope Toy by

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: Pet DIYS
Materials: 2 tennis balls, rope
Tools: Drill
Difficulty Level: Moderate

For some extra tennis ball entertainment, look no further. This DIY rope toy includes a tennis ball on each end of the rope. You will have to bring out the drill for this one so that you can drill a hole through the two tennis balls. As long as you are savvy with a drill or plan to learn, you really can’t go wrong here.

The rest of the process is quite easy. You will simply thread a piece of your chosen type of rope through one tennis ball, then knot the rope on either side of the ball, then thread the second tennis ball onto the other end of the rope and knot it in place.

10. DIY Monkey Fist Knot Rope Toy by Hands Occupied

DIY Dog Rope Toy
Image By: Hands Occupied
Materials: 105 inches (8.75 yds) of 1 inch-thick cotton rope, twist ties
Tools: Scissors or knife
Difficulty Level: Easy

Last but not least, the DIY monkey fist knot rope toy is a go-to for doggie DIYers. You just need something to cut with like scissors or a knife, some twist ties, and a one-inch-thick cotton rope. For this particular project, it is recommended to use about 8.75 yd (or 105 inches) worth of rope to properly knot and make a successful toy.

If your dog is a ball-loving fiend that also likes to indulge in some rope chewing, this monkey fist knot rope will make an ideal toy to add to your arsenal. Another perk? The instructions include a detailed picture guide on how to flawlessly create it.

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A Word of Caution

As dog owners, it is our responsibility to keep our beloved pups safe, even from their toys. That being said, there can be some dangers associated with rope toys so you must be aware of these dangers so that if you choose to make a DIY rope toy or purchase one from the store, you can do what you can to keep them safe.

Risk of Swallowing Material

If your dog tends to destroy ropes and let’s face it, that’s usually their ultimate goal, you do run the risk of portions of the rope being ingested. While foreign objects can sometimes pass through the digestive system uninterrupted, they can also be very dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

Potential Dangers of Rope Toys

Since ropes are constructed of longer material, this can pose a serious threat if they were to become stuck in the stomach and/or intestines. Getting a piece of rope lodged in the digestive system can not only cause damage to the stomach or intestines, but it can also lead to an obstruction.

Obstructions and damage to the vital organ of the digestive system are not only painful for your dog, but they can also prove fatal if left untreated. Veterinary intervention is imperative and treatment can involve a very extensive surgery to remove the material. Always reach out to your veterinarian immediately if your dog has swallowed a foreign object to get further guidance.

clean dog teeth rope toy
Image By: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

Signs of a Potential Obstruction

Here’s a list of some of the telltale signs of an obstruction.

Make sure you call your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of the following:
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Straining or inability to defecate
  • Painful, tender abdomen to the touch
  • Whining
  • Bloating
  • Restlessness
  • Defensiveness when the abdomen is touched

Keeping Your Dog Safe

It’s unsettling to know that your dog’s beloved toys can potentially cause serious health concerns but knowledge gives you the power of awareness and the ability to do your best to keep them safe.

Here are some helpful safety tips for dog-loving DIYers:
  • Use only safe, sturdy materials to construct any toys
  • Do not provide super-chewers with material that is easy to shred
  • Supervise your dog while they are playing with their toys
  • Call your veterinarian immediately if any foreign object is ingested or you notice any unusual symptoms



There are some quick and simple DIY dog rope projects that will not only be rewarding for you to create, but your dog will love it. Thankfully, these projects require minimal, inexpensive materials and are not very time consuming to construct. Make sure to keep safety in mind when making or purchasing any new dog toy and do your best to ensure no material is ever swallowed by your dog.

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Featured Image Credit: Kashaeva Irina, Shutterstock

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