Sisters with Flair

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to Make Hanging Bells to "Bell Train Your Dog"

It's summertime and my kids are bored. How do I know? Let's just say my 7 year old watched me cutting up strawberries and told me the way I was cutting them up was "fascinating" "seriously? fascinating?" I said. "Yes," he replied, "this is the most interesting thing I've done all day."

So of course I decided we'd better find a useful craft project...

Over the past couple of months several of my friends have adopted dog's and all of them have been talking about this bell training method. Jack doesn't bark to let us know he needs go out, he moves the wood shutters up and down to let us know he needs a potty break. Unfortunately, this doesn't bode well for for the one shutter he scratches to make his needs known. I thought the bells might be a better idea and set out to make some. Since I couldn't find any kind of tutorial I pretty much made this up with the help of the two little boys and a couple of easy to find craft supplies.

Ribbon (I used about 42")
Snaps (and snap attacher)
Split rings

I first measured down approximately 11" and then folded the end of the ribbon up 1/2" to hide the raw edge. Next, I folded the ribbon down approximately 5" to make a loop to hang over the door knob. I then secured the folded end with a pearl snap to secure the door loop. This will use your first 11" of ribbon. Next, I measured down approximately about 11 inches and created a snap loop to add my first set of bells. The bells consisted of a split ring attached to two bells to help give it more "jingle." Lastly, I hung the ribbon from the door and figured out about how long I needed to make it so Jack could ring it easily. Then I attached another set of snaps to make the loop on the end and attached the last set of bells so they could easily be rung.

Honestly, this is the hard way to do it. Trying to figure out which way each set of snaps needs to be attached so they're all facing the right way takes a little bit of thinking (not much, just a little). While this may add an additional 4 minutes that it takes to make this it is worth the time because the bells can be removed and the ribbon can be washed. The alternative to adding snaps would be to simply add the split ring and then stitch it closed.

Total cost was approximately $4 which included leftover split rings and two bells. Total time, about 12 minutes. The majority of the time was spent deciding on ribbon.

Here's a picture of Jack. He's very apprehensive of the bells (then again, he's afraid of rain, lightening, rabbits, other dogs...) Since he's a quick learner, especially with treats around, we hope it won't take long until he's using the bell instead of my shutters.

1 comment:

  1. I do the bells with my yorkie!! he's 1.5 yrs old, we trained him pretty early, because we have a split level, and I was afraid I wouldn't see him waiting at the door to go works GREAT!! - I just strung mine on some yarn - but I like this idea better! - I may have to make some new bells for Cullen! ♥