Learn to Make A Squeaky Dog Toy For Under $5.00

OCT 4, 2016 updated Nov 8, 2021

Updated February 25, 2021
Eco Canvas was retired on February 25, 2021 but you can recreate this project with Spoonflower’s Recycled Canvas. Learn more about Recycled Canvas, a woven canvas featuring REPREVE® recycled polyester suitable for seasonal outdoor use.


Did you know October is “Adopt a Shelter Dog Month”? My very own adopted shelter pup, Olive, loooooves playing with absolutely anything that squeaks, and I’ve long had it on my list to make her a custom squeaky plush. I figured this was the perfect reason to quit pro-crafter-nating (totally a word) and finally make it happen! Now, I know what you might be thinking… “my dog is going to demolish that in seconds flat. So why would I spend the time to make my own?” Of course every dog has a unique “rate of destruction,” and I’m not saying these will last forever by any means, but by using durable Eco Canvas material, polyester thread, and reinforced stitches, your pup should enjoy some solid play time before this toy gives in (and uh, is my dog the only one out there who gets just as much enjoyment out of playing with the plain poly-fill and deflated fabric far after she’s already destroyed the toy?). This project is quick to sew up, it should only take you about 15 minutes per plush! I think your pup will agree that’s some time well spent (besides, don’t you have some Project Runway episodes to catch up on while you sew!?). 

small brown dog laying on white shag carpet
*Le sigh…* ennui has set in. Bored of her once beloved tennis ball, Olive is ready for a squeaky upgrade

You can really have fun customizing this project, and you know… your dog can definitely tell when you give them handmade stuff and they’ll love you more for it, trust me!  It’s also more affordable to DIY, yes, even with custom-printed fabric. In this tutorial, we’re using a cut and sew kit from Wanart that will get you 9 plushies in just one fat quarter of Eco Canvas. That’s just $1.80 per plush (I dare you to find a cheaper, cuter store-bought option!). You likely have all the other materials already, except maybe the squeaky inserts, which are also super affordable (see what we suggest below).  These can of course be customized with whichever fabric you feel suits your pooch’s personality best. Follow along with our tutorial and prepare to make your doggie’s day! 

Gather your materials:

  1. squeaky inserts. We used this pack of 20, but if you don’t plan to make very many, this pack of 6 is just $2.00.
  2. poly-fill (depending on how many toys you make, you won’t need much)
  3. Eco Canvas fabric. We used a fat quarter of “We Belong Together” plushies by Wanart. With this cut and sew kit, you’ll be able to make 9 plushies. At $17 / fat quarter, that’s less than $2.00 per plush!
  4. scissors
  5. sewing machine
  6. needle and thread


Step 1: Cut out your shapes



Step 2: Pin your pieces, right sides facing


Step 3: Sew around the edge, leaving about 3 inches open. Don’t forget to backstitch!
Use a short stitch length, and you can even double stitch over the first seam for added durability
Step 4: Turn your pieces right side out, insert your squeaker and poly-fill


Step 4: Machine stitch your opening closed, or hand-stitch using a whip stitch or ladder stitch for an invisible seam.


You’re done! *Tip: Select a thread color that matches the edge of your fabric. Polyester thread will be more durable than cotton.

hand stitch the plush toy using needle and thread



Olive playing with plush toy
Hey! Be gentle, please… that’s handmade!
dog playing with toy
pup tested, pup approved
dog playing with a bacon plush toy
“Thanks maaaaaahm.” (Despite being born and raised in North Carolina, Olive has a Boston accent. No one knows why.)
dog with stuffed toy
Inevitably, open heart surgery on the plush toy begins…

Check out more of our favorite DIY pet projects here (if you really want to amuse yourself and your pet, make them a doppelganger pillow!)

Happy Making!

XO – Theresa & Olive

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