As a dog parent, I love playing with my two pups, a lab and a Belgian Malinois.

Since the nickname for the Malinois breed is "maligator" thanks to their powerful jaws, you can imagine we've gone through more than one (or two dozen) "strong" chew toys.

Same with the lab - he's got to find that squeaker and destroy it.

Anyway, anyone out there with a dog understands this, I think.

So I cringe when I go to the pet store and new rope toys and chew toys are on sale for 10, 20, even 25 dollars.

Luca also loves his new DIY dog toy that didn't cost me anything but a few old t-shirts!

I found this DIY t-shirt dog toy on Pinterest, and just had to try it.

With the tails wagging, the results were in, and the toys have even survived several weeks with my two boys.

I found two, really easy, versions of the t-shirt dog toy. Here's how to make them.

Materials:

The materials you'll need for DIY dog toys: t-shirts, scissors, tennis balls, and the ability to braid. If you have those you're all set! 

old t-shirts (bonus! you can clean our your closet, your husband's or your kids'!)

scissors

tennis balls (optional)

That's it!

Directions:

1. Begin by cutting along the chest portion of the t-shirt to make it into a square. You're basically cutting it off along the chest to get rid of the collar and arms. You're left with a rectangle of fabric.

2. Cut the rectangle in half, then in half again, perpendicular to your first cut. You want two long strips of fabric.

3. Place t-shirt strips on a table or flat surface in an "x" shape. Place a tennis ball in the middle of the x.

4. Wrap the t-shirt tightly around the tennis ball so it looks like an octopus. Tie a small piece of t-shirt fabric around the ball to secure it.

Braiding the ends of the tennis ball DIY dog toy.

5. Cut the remaining strips hanging off the covered tennis ball, and braid them together (as thick or as thin as you like).

6. All set!

One version of the DIY dog toy uses old t-shirts and a tennis ball. 

Alternate DIY Dog Toy:

1. Begin the same way by cutting along the chest portion of the t-shirt to make it into a square. You're basically cutting it off along the chest to get rid of the collar and arms. You're left with a rectangle of fabric.

Materials needed: t-shirts, tennis balls, scissors, and a dog to supervise work.

2. Cut every two to three inches at the bottom hem of the shirt. Your cut only needs to go up about two inches.

3. Rip the t-shirt fabric (with two hands - one on each side of fabric) from your cut to the top. You should end up with a dozen or so strips of t shirt fabric. It's fine if they roll up a bit as you rip them.

Shred the t-shirts into strips. You can make a small cut in the bottom of the shirt and then rip towards the top.

4. Gather enough strips together to make three one inch or so (up to you) segments. Tie them together at the top with a strip of t-shirt.

5. Braid your three segments together.

Braided DIY dog toy.

6. Tie the bottom of your braided t-shirt "rope" toy together the same way as you did at the top.

Cairo really loves his new DIY dog toy! 

There you go! You've got new toys for Fido and they didn't cost you nearly as much as the fancy pet shop version.