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Picture of How to Make a Woven Rope Bone Dog Toy

My dog loves rope toys. Tying knots is a hobby of mine, so it just doesn't feel right buying them. Instead I order my own rope and make ones that are much better than the ones you can get in a store! I make all kinds of different toys, but in this instructable, I'll show you how to tie a woven rope bone. I'll be showing you how to do it with 3/8" cotton rope which makes a toy suitable for large to extra large dogs. I've also tied this knot using 1/8" cotton rope which is suitable for small dogs.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1. 60 feet of 3/8" cotton rope. You can get soft cotton rope from Knot and Rope supply by the foot: I also buy it by the spool (400') from Koch on Amazon: The Koch rope is twisted tighter which can be good for some purposes. In this case, either would do fine.

2. Two lacrosse balls. They can be used or new. I suppose tennis balls could be used, but they are a bit bigger.

3. Cardboard. An old cereal box is perfect. We'll use this to make a mandrel to tie the knot around.

4. Duct Tape. You may also want some clear tape for taping the knot grid to the mandrel (see step #3).

5. Pins. In some of the pictures you'll see that I'm using threaded pins that I got from T-pins are actually a bit easier to use and more accessible!

DonaldC848 months ago
One more question: Do you think it make a difference if you use braided rope instead of the twisted rope? I'm thinking there would be less potential loose threads for my dog to (eventually) pull out. But I haven't worked with rope for this purpose, so I'm relying on your experience instead of just blindly experimenting. : )
allwinedesigns (author)  DonaldC848 months ago
Unfortunately, I’ve never used braided rope. It may hold up a little better than twisted rope once a strand is broken, but you’ll have to experiment.
DonaldC848 months ago
Would it work to replace the mandrel with a plastic water bottle? My bulldog gets excited by the crinkly sound and he LOVES water bottles. It's funny because he helps clean up the neighborhood when we go for a walk. He'll pick up and bring home any bottles left lying around, then I drop them in recycling when we get home. : )
allwinedesigns (author)  DonaldC848 months ago
The mandrel is used to tie the knot, it doesn’t stay in the knot, so your dog still wouldn’t get the crinkly sound when completed. You could potentially replace the lacrosse balls with small water bottles (the 8 ounce kind).
crazyeric3 years ago
I made a similar simpler one by backsplicing both ends of 3 ropes then tieing them in the middle with a square knot. Only took my dog a couple months to ruin it.
borgem4 years ago

I'd like to see how to do the two that you have with loops/handles (top-left and bottom-right of the grid)

beme20136 years ago
Lacross balls? Really?! :D lol
I've done something similar for my dogs in the past. One was a bone made of two monkey fists connected by a short length.

The all time favorite is the monkey fist chain. Dogs love it because it's almost as hard as wood, but they can sink their teeth into it. And when it's reefed as tight as possible it takes months to chew through. It was 5 or 6 monkey fists intertwined. When it was all reefed down it was a knobby stick. I should make some instructables, that's a good one to start with.

I can try to explain. With a 30-50 feet of 3/8 rope make a loose monkey fist.
make another loose monkeyfist with the outside wraps going under the wraps of the first.
Reef down the first fist, and repeat until it's about a foot long. The 'knobs should be about the size of golf balls when done. When you can't squeeze any more slack snip off the excess and you're done.

The more work you take in reefing down the knots and removing slack, the stronger and longer lasting it will be. It takes me less than 20 minutes to tie one, but an entire evening in front of the TV reefing it down with a Marlinspike

allwinedesigns (author)  Angus MacGyver6 years ago
Cool! I'll have to try the monkey's fist chain.
final question, at the end, do I just cut the excess rope off? will it stay secure? sorry for all the questions, this is my first time giving this rope weaving stuff a go
Yes, you can just cut the excess rope off and tuck it down into the knot so you don't see the ends. It can come out if that one strand is tugged on, which is a real possibility, but I didn't worry about it. If you want it to be a little more secure you can tuck it under several strands before trimming it. Another option is to sew it to neighboring strands with white thread.
final question, at the end, do I just cut the excess rope off? will it stay secure? sorry for all the questions, this is my first time giving this rope weaving stuff a go
yep all good cheers :) does this knot have a name?
I don't know of a name for it, besides it being a Turk's head which is very generic.
this is fantastic! cant wait for more. what do you mean in step 7 by "follow the knot around"? thanks
Thanks Lindsay! Just like in step 5 you're going to weave another pass (step 5 adds the second pass and step 7 adds a third). Since the knot has already been tied, you just need to go over and under strands exactly how the first pass does, essentially you're following the knot. Let me know if it's still unclear!
handprints6 years ago
love it!!!
tmoney4386 years ago
That ball looks do able.
cglass6 years ago
Prior to the pic of your puppy, there is a toy with a ball on the end. My pitbull and I would love to know how to make it. Thank you in advance.
How did you make the monkey fist on a rope?
Are you talking about this one? If so, it's actually a 3 part 3 bight Turk's head. I unraveled the rope several feet, and tied a Matthew Walker knot to prevent further unraveling. Then I covered a lacrosse ball with the Turk's head.
scooterB6 years ago
Please do the monkey fist next. Thanks and awesome work.
BigWeezy6 years ago
Would love to see the monkey ball one, as it has practical uses in rope dart
knotty1526 years ago
I'm hooked! How did u tie the knots on step 8? Can't wait to tie them myself! Thanks!
allwinedesigns (author)  knotty1526 years ago
I'm glad you like them! I'll be putting more instructables together soon. If there's one in particular you want to learn, point it out and I'll do that one next!
HollyMann6 years ago
Great job - how long did it take to make it? :)
allwinedesigns (author)  HollyMann6 years ago
Thanks! It probably took 1-2 hours, but I didn't keep track.