Volunteering to change the world

Volunteer From Home: DIY T-Shirt Toys for Shelter Dogs & Earn Community Service Hours


Volunteer from home and help shelter pets at the same time! Dogs are the BEST, and every dog deserves a good home.  Did you know there are hundreds of thousands of homeless dogs right now waiting in shelters for their forever families to find them and bring them home? 

Shelters are quite scary and confusing for our furry friends, but you can help make things better for them from the comfort of your own home.  Our DIY t-shirt toys for shelter dogs are easy and fun to make for adults and children alike!   



  • Two gently used t-shirts.  
  • A pair of scissors

All you need: 2 t-shirts and a pair of scissors



  • Use contrasting shirt colors if you want a more colorful toy.
  • Don’t know how to braid? Twist the sections instead.
  • When tying off the ends of the toy with a strip of fabric, please be sure the ends are tied tightly so the extra strip of fabric doesn’t come undone.
  • Want a make a toy for a smaller dog? Cut thinner strips of fabric.  For a BIG dog, cut wider trips of fabric.
  • For a different toy, tie the ends of the toy together to create a loop. They’re really cute!
  • Are you a student who needs credit for volunteer service hours?



  Step 1:  Cut slits into the base of the tee approximately 1 inch wide and 3 inches deep.

Cut slits in the fabric

Step 2:  After the slits are cut, rip the tee along the slits so that you have strips of t-shirt fabric.

Step 3:  Gather approximately 18 strips of fabric together and tie them off at one end with a strip of fabric.   

Tie off the strips

Step 4: Divide the strips into three equal sections and braid them together.

Divide the strips into 3 sections and braid them together

Step 5: Once you’ve braided to the end of the toy, tie the bottom off with a strip of t-shirt fabric.

Tie off the bottom strips

Step 6: Trim the ends of the toy so that there are no straggling pieces of fabric.

Step 7: Your toy is ready for FUN! It’s just that easy!  



Donate your DIY toys to a local rescue or shelter.  

If you can’t donate your t-shirt toys locally, we know two nonprofit organizations who would love to pass them on to dogs in need.  Please feel free to mail your dogs toys to:

•Pasadena Humane Society, 361 South Raymond, Pasadena, CA 91105

•Small Acts Big Change, PO Box 1374, La Canada, CA 91012 Thank you for making a difference in the lives of animals in need. 



Small Acts Big Change, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, will certify one hour of volunteer time for every 5 toys they receive – see below for address information.  Please send an email to [email protected] for more information.



If you would like to learn about more DIY volunteer from home projects like these, please subscribe to this page and follow Small Acts Big Change on FB. https://www.facebook.com/smallactsbigchangeus/



Thank you for bringing joy to shelter dogs waiting to go home with their forever families. <3 



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Small Acts Big Change presents Make a Difference From Home. This blog is filled with fun DIY do-good projects to help people of all ages volunteer from the comfort of their own homes. Students can earn service hours on many of our projects. Thanks for making a difference!

1 Comment

  1. AffiliateLabz

    Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

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