Easy DIY Tennis Ball T-Shirt Dog Toy

Yellow and gray DIY tennis ball t-shirt toy.

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Does your dog love to play with tennis balls? If they love tennis balls, there’s an easy way to give them some variety while still playing with a tennis ball.

All it takes is a couple of t-shirts and a tennis ball.

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Pin image of a yellow and gray DIY tennis ball t-shirt toy.

How to make a DIY Tennis Ball Toy

First, gather your supplies. You will need:

A gray t-shirt and a gold t-shirt with a tennis ball.

2 t-shirts (the ones without the side seam)

1 tennis ball


Once you have your supplies, take your t-shirts and cut off the bottom hem.

A gray t-shirt layed out on a cutting mat with a clear ruler on top of it.

Then cut a strip 10 inches wide out of each t-shirt. I cut mine at 8 inches and found that it was just a little too short. After letting Luna play with it for a few minutes, one side started to pull out a little. Cutting it 10 inches wide should provide enough width to prevent this from pulling out so quickly.

A gray t-shirt layed out with a clear ruler lined up at 8 inches.

Also, cut one strip one inch wide, this is to tie the t-shirts around the ball.

A 1 inch strip of a gold t-shirt.

Next, cut the strips on one side so you have a single strip that lays flat.

A scissors ready to cut a wide strip of a gray t-shirt.

Then lay one strip in a straight line and then lay the other strip crosswise across the first strip.

A wide gray t-shirt strip laid across a wide, gold t-shirt strip.

Place the tennis ball in the center of the two strips.

A wide gray t-shirt strip laid across a wide, gold t-shirt strip with a tennis ball on top in the middle.

Then fold the two strips up around the tennis ball and pull tight. 

Then take your one-inch strip and tie it around the large t-shirt strips at the base of the tennis ball. Make sure to get all of the loose t-shirt material under the tie. Tie it tightly with a knot.

A gold t-shirt strip knotted around the t-shirts that are wrapped around a tennis ball.

Next, cut the wide strips into narrower strips, roughly an inch wide. You can stop here or continue on to the final step.

Gold and gray t-shirt strips below the covered tennis ball.

Finally, take those strips and divide them into groups for braiding. I used six strips in each braid, but you can use as many or as few as you want. 

A DIY tennis ball t-shirt toy with the t-shirt strips braided into 5 braids.

Once you have braided all your strips together and tied knots at the bottom, your DIY tennis ball t-shirt toy is ready to be played with.

A German Shepherd playing with a DIY tennis ball t-shirt toy.

You can toss it for your dog to chase and play fetch with. Or you can just let your dog play with it by themselves. 

For added fun, you can use a squeaky tennis ball if your dog loves squeakers.

Additional Info

Depending on your dog the DIY tennis ball toy will wear out at some point. More destructive dogs may wear out the t-shirts faster than less destructive dogs. 

The nice thing with this toy is that you can just cut off the t-shirts once they are worn out and make a new one (assuming the ball is still in good condition) or just give your dog the ball without the t-shirts. 

Like all dog toys, please supervise your dog when they are playing with this toy.

If you enjoy making toys for your dog, check out these other posts:

DIY T-shirt Tug Toy

How to Make a Snuffle Mat

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