NATIONAL CRAFT FOR YOUR LOCAL SHELTER DAY
Today is National Craft for Your Local Shelter Day. We could expand that to include our local Greyhound adoption groups. Foster parents are always appreciative of items for their charges, such as toys and blankets. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Erika Lindquist is the owner of the “Sew Doggy Style” blog and the founder of National Craft For Your Local Shelters Day, celebrated on July 21st this year. Inspired by her rescue dog Sebastian, she started the holiday in 2012. “I wanted to come up with a way for people to give/donate to their local shelters that would be fun and affordable,” says Lindquist. “If someone is unable to help their shelter financially, they can help by making simple, yet meaningful, items for the animals.” This includes making beds, toys, vests and bandanas that say "adopt me," leashes, and more! Using fabric or recycling old clothing or linens that you have around your house, you can make a difference for furbabies in need.
Before you begin, be sure to contact the shelter or rescue group you’re considering donating to and confirm that they can take your donation! Also, they may be more in need of some things than others. For those of us who can’t offer the entire day - we can work on one of these projects at the end of the day while we catch a little late night TV before bed.
“ADOPT ME” BANDANA
Bandanas that say “Adopt Me,” are very popular at shelters and with foster parents for making pets more photogenic for adoption pictures. These can be made from old shirts or colorful fabric. The words can either be embroidered, painted, drawn on with fabric pens or use fabric glue and letters cut out of felt. Find a Greyhound-sized pattern and instructions here https://www.instructables.com/Over-the-Collar-Dog-Bandana/
Make a pillow that a lonely Greyhound can cuddle with until they find their forever family. Take an old towel; fold it in half and cut along the fold line. You should have two approximately square pieces of cloth. Now cut a fringe around the four sides, making your cuts about 3” long and about ½” apart. Put the two pieces back-to-back and knot the fringe pieces together all the way around, leaving a gap on one side. Stuff old t-shirts in to fill your pillow, and then tie the rest of the fringe pieces. Bonus: this pillow is washable.
Tug toys are super easy to make and help enrich the lives of dogs living in shelters and foster homes. Old dish towels, bath towels, beach towels, even fleece blankets or clothes will work. Cut them into strips about an inch wide. Tie them together at one end. Braid the pieces and then tie them off at the other end. For an extra special touch, cut a hole through a tennis ball and braid it into the toy. For a larger toy, braid multi-strands together.
For more DIY dog toy ideas, check out this article https://bit.ly/DogToystoDIY
Blankets are another popular option. Shelter cages can be lonely. Having their own blankie to curl up with will give them some comfort. Those blankies can often become something special to the animals, and can go to their forever homes with them. Fleece blankets are easy to make, but blankets can also be made from quilting fabric or old linens. Simply take two pieces of cloth, fringe the edges and tie them together.
ANTI-ANXIETY DOG BED
I came across this idea on Instructables.com and thought it would be great once a foster dog has become a little bonded to their foster parents (like for a long-term foster). Recycling old jeans/sweatpants and pillows that smell of their people, it’s easy enough to construct a “lap” for the dog to curl up in. Put your blankie on top and you’re set!
NO-SEW DOG BED
You can easily make a comfy bed for furbabies. No sewing is required! You can recycle sheets, blankets, dish towels, beach towels, t-shirts and pillows (or make a trip to the thrift store). You can use the fringe/knotting technique if the fabric does not fray, or use a hot glue gun. The hot glue method will make the bed disposable, as it does not wash well. Cut the pieces to the desired size, knot or glue three sides and stuff with old t-shirts, blankets or pillows, then knot or glue the last side.
Hopefully, you will find something here to inspire you to create something to comfort a houndie waiting for their forever home. Crafting is fun and can be enjoyed by the whole family, on a crafting night with friends, or on our own in front of the TV. No matter how people participate, know that whatever you make will give much comfort to pets while they wait for their new families.
Great article! Thank you for sharing all these wonderful ideas to help local shelters. I am loving the anti-anxiety dog bed and will have to give this a try. The Greyhound breed holds a special place in my heart, growing up our family rescued a number of them.