I have been building a toy for my dogs that I found on Pinterest a few years ago. Yes, it has taken me this long to get around to it. And to have the materials to complete it.
Maybe you have seen the video? Bella’s Bottle Game
I have been gathering up the supplies to create it and finally got them all together. I used a pine board, but only because it was laying around. If I had to buy the wood, I would probably go with something a little less expensive, like plywood.
Below is a list of the items I gathered together:
- 3 – 1-liter bottles
- 3/8″ metal bar that is 24″ long
- 3/4″ wood dowel that is 23″ long (I had to cut it down to that length)
- 2 – 9 1/2″ X 3 1/2″ triangles
- 1 – 9 1/2″ X 23″ base
- 6 – 2″ screws to connect the triangles to the base
- 2 – 1″ screws to connect the handle to the triangle (in the picture you see 2 screws with washers – those are if you insert the wooden dowel into the hole drilled in the tops of the triangles, I didn’t end up doing that)
- 2 – 1 1/2″ X 3″ pieces of wood to hold the metal bar in the holes
- 4 – 1″ screws to attach the wood pieces to the triangles to hold the metal bar in the holes
- Wood glue
There were no instructions, that I could find, for putting this toy together. I was kind of playing it by ear. One problem I ran into is having the metal bar set low enough to allow the bottles to spin without hitting the wooden handle above or the wooden base below. So yea, there are a couple of extra holes drilled in some places. You can look at it as not being perfect OR you can look at it as now I have options to change the game up with different sized bottles – I am always looking for the positives in a situation. Besides – the dogs don’t care. They just want to play with it.
Here was my process:
You are going to want to read through all the instructions first because there are some things that can be started and then other things that can be done while you are waiting on something else.
- Soak all the labels off of the bottles. (I would suggest using bottles with paper labels instead of plastic ones. Use warm water and a little bit of white vinegar to help break down the glue and paper).
- Fill the bottles with water, leave the lids off, and place in the freezer overnight. This will give your bottles some strength for drilling the holes. Or you can heat up the metal bar and melt holes in the bottles – I figured I would either burn myself or burn my house down so I opted for the frozen water option.
- Mark your bottle where you want the metal bar to go through. Make sure that the markings line up on both sides so the bar will go through straight.
- I drilled 7/16″ holes in each side. I even added another set of holes below the first set so I could mix the game up a little bit with different spin ratios. (Can you tell I work with a bunch of engineers? Go Evolve Structural Design Engineers! This was their idea. LOL)
- Let the ice melt and empty out of the bottles.
- Cut all the wood pieces to the measurements given above.
- Sand everything.
- Paint or stain the wood – if you want to.
- Drill pilot holes in the base of each triangle for mounting to the base wood piece.
- Drill pilot holes for the handle. I went back and forth on whether I should drill holes big enough for the dowel to sit inside the hole or just butt up against the brace piece. I ended up using the “butt up” option. I drilled the holes about 2″ – 3″ centered down from the top of the triangles.
- Drill a 7/16″ hole for the metal bar in each triangle piece – where you drill the holes will depend on the height of the bottles you will be using. Allow about 1 inch of space between the bottom of the bottle and the base piece. I think I drilled the hole around 8 1/2″ up from the bottom of the triangle pieces.
- I put some wood glue on there before screwing in those base screws. I am not that great at working with wood either so one of the screws I put in the base kind of came ou the bottom. I figure a little duct tape over that will help keep it from scratching other things. The trick to this is making sure that your pilot hole is straight and that you are holding your screw and drill straight as you put the screw in.
And here is the finished product. Ta Da!!
Below is a video with my dog Loki, Megan’s friends’ dog Abe, and one of my other dogs, Roscoe. Roscoe was not a big fan of the game. He was scared by the bottles spinning and making noise. I included him at the end of the video to show that there are other puzzle games that dogs can play. I am not affiliated with nor do I get any money from Trixie Pet, but I am a fan of their products. I found this game online on Amazon.com. I just search Trixie Pet Products and tons of new and different games for dogs & cats come up. They are not over-the-top expensive. They are durable and washable.
I hope you enjoy the videos and instructions. Let me know if you have any questions. I also hope that you will give it a try! The dogs really love this toy. Let me know if you do try it and show me some pictures and video of your dogs using it!