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It was at summer camp where I first learned to use plastic gimp string to make keychains and bracelets. Fast forward a few (short) decades later and it occurred to me that I could use the same knotting technique with strips of old t-shirts that were taking up valuable closet space. The rope-like result was an instant favorite for my dogs. I made a few more of these t-shirt toys and gave them to friends with dogs. 


Once I successfully upcycled all my (and my husband’s) old t-shirts into toys, I put out a request on my neighborhood Facebook page. The old company, college, sports team, and vacation destination shirts came pouring in! So many folks were happy to offload their clutter for a good cause, and I was ecstatic to have more color variety and an abundant supply of shirt material for dog toys! 


Because I made toys as I walked around the neighborhood, it wasn’t long until every dog in our neighborhood was outfitted with my handmade dog toys (and I was dubbed “The T-Shirt Dog Toy Lady”). I received “pawsitive” reviews mostly in the form of happy “pupstomer” pictures and videos. What can I say? Seeing dogs happily enjoy my t-shirt toys was addictive!  


Homeless animals hold a special place in my heart, so it was only natural for me to donate a large portion of the profits to local animal rescue organizations/shelters. My win-win (upcycled waste - happy dogs) became win-win-win (upcycled waste - happy dogs - money for animal rescue)!


And now it’s time to take this little, tree-hugging, upcycling craft to the next level and offer kNot-Tee’s to dogs all over the United States! 

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