Sock Pumpkins: A Sustainable DIY Dog Toy And Festive Fall Decoration

This Halloween, all you need are some old socks and a few minutes to create these easy, no-sew sock pumpkins. Perfect for a dog toy or festive fall decoration.

orange and purple diy sock pumpkin dog toys sitting in tree

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Do You Believe in Magic?

Halloween is right around the corner, which means it’s time to work a little magic. But don’t worry; you won’t need a Fairy Godmother wand for this enchanting DIY project.

Rather, all you need is a pair of scissors to turn a humble sock into a pumpkin!

Get the instructions

Just want to dive right in? I get it. Skip right to the full instructions. Or if you don’t have time to get crafty now, save the below pin for later.

title of diy sock pumpkin dog toy with image of mini dapple dachshund dog standing next to diy sock pumpkin dog toy

Yes, the pet stores are already packed with every kind of Halloween pet toy imaginable…so there’s really no need to spend time on a homemade pumpkin dog toy, right?

Well, if your dog is anything like mine, that brand-new, store-bought toy would be shredded and in a landfill well before the stroke of midnight on Halloween. 

halloween dog toys at pet shop

So, in the spirit of sustainability, let’s make a toy your pup will cherish just as much, if not more, using items you already have at home.

You’ll not only save a few bucks but also breathe new life into some old, forgotten socks, all while sparing our planet from the burden of additional waste that would haunt landfills for far too long. 

Moreover, let’s not forget that many mass-produced Halloween dog toys might be harboring dangerous materials that could be harmful to your pup. The scary truth is that when it comes to pet toys, there are no standard safety regulations as I discuss here.

orange and purple diy sock pumpkin dog toys sitting in tree

Supplies Needed

To make these simple, cute sock pumpkins, the supplies needed are minimal.

supplies needed to make diy sock pumpkin dog toy
  • 1 calf-high sock – preferably in festive fall colors (but in the end, I don’t think your dog will mind what color you use)
  • A few additional old socks to use as stuffing
  • A pair of scissors

Xtra Eco Tip: If you don’t have enough socks, you can also repurpose old clothes or use stuffing from worn-out dog toys. The goal is to reuse things you already have and avoid using new, non-biodegradable stuffing.

How to Make No-Sew Sock Pumpkins

Step 1: Stuff the Pumpkin

Begin by stuffing the toe of your calf-high sock with the smaller socks or fabric scraps. Add a few until you achieve a basic pumpkin shape.

step in making diy sock pumpkin dog toy

Once you have the desired shape, twist the sock, creating a separation point above the stuffed section. Now, gently turn the entire sock inside out by pulling the top of the sock over the stuffed section. Ensure that the twist stays in place as you do.

Repeat this process two more times, keeping the stuffed part of your sock contained within the sock layers. This helps create a secure shape for your pumpkin dog toy.

step in making diy sock pumpkin dog toy

Step 2: Create the Pumpkin Ribs

Starting from the top of the sock, make a vertical cut, stopping about ¼ to ½ inch (1 cm) before reaching the stuffed section. Repeat this cut on the opposite side, creating equal halves. Ensure each half remains attached to the main sock.

step in making diy sock pumpkin dog toy

Now, take each of these halves and cut them into thirds. This will result in six strands, all still connected to the main sock.

Ensure the third twist mentioned earlier (from Step 2) remains in place; it most likely came apart during the cutting process (as you can see in the image below). But no worries if it came undone…just redo the twist at the bottom of the pumpkin before moving on to the next step.

step in making diy sock pumpkin dog toy
step in making diy sock pumpkin dog toy

Once you have the six strands plus the twist, it’s time to shape the pumpkin ribs. 

Using opposite pairs of strands, bring two from the bottom towards the top of the pumpkin. Pull these strands tight to create a ribbed appearance and the classic pumpkin shape. Secure them in place by tying a double knot. 

Repeat this process with the remaining two pairs of strands, adjusting the spacing between them as needed to achieve the desired pumpkin shape.

step in making diy sock pumpkin dog toy

Step 3: Form the Pumpkin Stem

To fashion the stem, gather the six strands into three groups of two. Create a standard braid by weaving the 3 groups together. Continue braiding until you achieve the desired length for the stem.

Finally, to secure the stem, divide the strands into two groups of three and tie these two groups together into a double knot. Trim any excess material.

step in making diy sock pumpkin dog toy

Xtra Health Tip: Although it would look cute, avoid adding extras, like a pumpkin face or leaves. Stick with a minimalist design without glue or small parts to keep your pup safe.  

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Sock Pumpkins…A Dog Toy AND Halloween Decoration!

In just a few minutes, you now have the perfect festive fall fetch toy, made from just socks and love. 

As a bonus, this makes for a great Halloween decoration too! If you want to make some sock pumpkins that are for you and not your dog, here are a couple of ideas to fancy them up a bit.

Find a sturdy twig or stick, and insert it into the top of your sock pumpkin. This instantly gives it that authentic pumpkin look.

And for a more decorative effect, use green or brown scrap fabric to shape a couple of leaves. Attach them near the stem.

Just make sure to keep the decorative version out of paw’s reach!

mini dapple dachshund dog holding diy sock pumpkin dog toy
mini dapple dachshund dog standing next to diy sock pumpkin dog toy
mini dapple dachshund dog holding diy sock pumpkin dog toy

If your pup loves sock toys as much as Froda, be sure to try out our DIY sock octopus (“socktopus”) as well. And for some more fun fall activities, we’ve got you covered with these eco-friendly outdoor games you can enjoy with your pup.

DIY Sock Pumpkin

DIY Sock Pumpkin

DIY Sock Pumpkin

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: Free
Tempted to buy your pup some new spooky toys this Halloween? Instead, use a little DIY magic to make this simple, sustainable sock pumpkin! With just a couple of supplies and a few minutes, you’ll have a “new to you” pumpkin toy (and/or decoration) to enjoy this Halloween season.

Materials

  • 1 calf-high sock
  • 3-4 small socks

Tools

  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Stuff the toe of the calf-high sock with several smaller socks.
  2. Adjust the stuffing to form a basic pumpkin shape.
  3. Twist the sock to secure the stuffing and pull the top of the sock over the stuffed section. Repeat this process a total of 3 times.
  4. Cut the non-stuffed part of the sock into 6 equal strips.
  5. In opposite pairs, bring the strands together to form the pumpkin ribs. Secure each pair with a double knot.
  6. Using 3 groups of 2, braid the strands together to form a stem and finish with a double knot.
  7. Enjoy some fall fetch with your pup!

Notes

  • If you don’t have enough socks for stuffing, you can also repurpose pieces of old clothes or use stuffing from worn-out dog toys. 
  • Avoid gluing on eyes, drawing a face, etc. Stick with a minimalist design to keep your pup safe.

FAQs: DIY Sock Pumpkins

Are the materials used in making the pumpkin dog toy safe for my pet?

Yes, the materials used in making the pumpkin dog toy, only socks, are safe for dogs to chew and play with…as long as your pup doesn’t have an unhealthy obsession. If your dog has a habit of swallowing socks, it’s best to avoid this particular toy.

And, in general, it’s always best to supervise your dog while they play with toys to ensure they don’t ingest any pieces.

How durable is the pumpkin dog toy made from socks?

The durability of the pumpkin dog toy depends on factors such as the quality of the socks used and the intensity of your dog’s chewing.

Personally, I have found these sock dog toys to be more durable than many store-bought dog toys. They can provide hours of entertainment for your pet when made correctly.

Can I customize the size and shape of the pumpkin dog toy?

Yes, one of the benefits of making a pumpkin dog toy from socks is that you can easily customize its size and shape to suit your dog’s preferences. Feel free to experiment with different sock sizes and stuffing amounts to create the perfect toy for your furry friend.

How do I clean the sock dog toy if it gets dirty?

To clean the pumpkin dog toy, simply remove any excess dirt or debris by hand or using a vacuum cleaner.

Additionally, it can be placed in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with pet-safe detergent. Or you can hand wash the toy with warm water and mild soap, then air dry thoroughly before giving it back to your dog.

Can I add additional features or decorations to the pumpkin dog toy?

No, it is not recommended to add additional features to this toy, as it creates a choking hazard, and increases the risk of your dog swallowing a foreign object

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title of sock pumpkins: a sustainable diy dog toy and festive fall decoration with image of orange and purple diy sock pumpkin dog toys sitting in tree

More Homemade Toy Ideas

Check out my other posts on fun, easy, and sustainable dog toys!

DIY Sock Octopus Toy

DIY Sock Bunny Toy

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