Thrifty Thursday

Thrifty Thursday

August 29, 2019 Off By Tycho Aurora

A Guide to DIY and Cheap Gear Solutions

I will be aiming on Thursdays to add new episodes to this series where we can share creative ideas so you can create some gear on your own to try to see if its something you want to explore. Gear does not make the pup, but if gear helps you or you want to experiment with, there doesn’t need to be expensive entry barriers. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for regular updates

Episode 7: Electroluminescent Wire (EL Wire)

Example of EL Wire on a pup play hood
Photography by Pup Hoodie

EL Wire is a cheap and great way to customise gear. Most hobby electronic stores will have the equipment, usually its a length of wire that you can cut to the desired length and usually attached to a pair of cheap batteries. These wires come in all colours and can cycle between flashing patterns if you really want it to. You can weave them into harnesses sew it into an existing neoprene or leather hood, non toxic and my blue EL wire i have used on an old hood is 4 years old and only needed batteries replaced.

A non destructive way to attach the wire to a hood (or vest edge or harness) is with bulldog clips and after clipping it onto the hood, remove the little metal bits that help you open them up to have a cleaner look.

Episode 6: 2nd Hand Wetsuits & Jackets

When raw neoprene or leather is too expensive or hard to come by to make something from scratch, don’t rule out thrift stores as a source for material. Wet-suits, leather jackets and more are sold really cheap at thrift stores and are a definite source for material. I have bought a few jackets and wetsuits over the years to cut down and reuse for new gear.

Sleeves are great for long strips for harnesses and the back and front panels are great to use to make pup hoods out of. If you work the original materials design into your concept, you can leave original stitching in place and have a more post-apocalpyse/steampunk look to your gear. But because this is all treated material, it will be more unruly and rigid to work with and may require you to hand sew your work than putting it through a sewing machine.

Episode 5: Spaghetti Yarn

Its cheap, its usually 100% cotton, it comes in all colours and its quite a useful material for pup players. Its not quite like string, its a thin width piece of fabric that is folded onto itself to look like yarn. I use this as a cheaper alternative to para-cord (Paracord tends to be polyester so this is also good for those with allergies to synthetic fibres)

So, not only can you weave, braid and sew with this yarn, but you can make rope toys, ones that are washable and soft enough to have in a play space without hurting anyone or yourself. Though I would recommend you don’t take these toys to a mosh or public setting for health reasons, as it can easily transfer bodily fluids if it goes in someones mouth. Either online stores like or your local sewing and haberdashery store should be stocking it in a variety of colours. (also known as t-shirt yarn)

Episode 4: Stationery Piercings

Yeah, you heard me, stationary store is a great place for piercings for pup gear. The nose ring in the image on Episode 3 is actually a ring-binder ring. You don’t need expensive piercings to go into a neoprene hood, and they don’t get dirty in the same way as piercings in skin do. They also don’t need to be sterile since they aren’t getting put into the body. Want piercings but want to try first? see if piercings with different kinds of tacks, rings and clips you find at your local stationary store.

To customise them even further, a simple craft metal file from a hardware store can help you change the shape of any piercing designs you may have so it doesn’t look like your just attaching clips.

Want rings a different color? try the small shrink-wrap tubes from a hobby electrical store, slip some over the ring, close it up and apply heat from either a cigarette lighter or a hairdryer. Bingo, your ring-binder clip now looks an awesome matte pink!

Episode 3: FoamCraft

One of my old Foamcraft Hood Designs

Materials can easily be sourced from your local art crafts stores. As simple as needle, thread, hot glue gun and foam sheets of the colours you want. There can be no limit to your creativity, and the materials for the hood you see in the image cost about $30 of materials.

A note of fragility: A foam craft hood or gear may not be as heavy duty as more common leather, neoprene or rubber but can build you the tools and skills needed to make more advanced gear with heavier and sturdier materials as listed before. But this can be a great way to explore what you want your pup persona physical appearance to look like without spending a lot of money.

You can also use these skills to make “shells” basically a non-destructive way to clip on panels to an existing hood you may have. This is an awesome way to experiment and customise plain neoprene hoods as they are very easily customised with foamcraft.

Episode 2: Pet Stores

Yeah, it sounds weird but remember, intentions! Pet stores have collars, leashes, food and water bowls that can be cheap and more variety than any fetish store. Don’t feel guilty for doing this, I personally know a lot of pups and handler who do this and my favorite leash to use is a neoprene one from a pet store, you will be surprised how many newcomers to experienced community members still use some gear from a pet store.

A note of warning about pet shop toys: A canines mouth is much more hard wearing than any human mouth. A warning is needed about using actual dog toys for your pup play, they are made usually of very hard materials to survive their jaw and dental bone strength and the human mouth can easily break a tooth or three in the fun of play. I recommend to give these a pass for more softer toys.

Episode 1: Paracord Weaving

Paracord weaving is named after the high strength rope called Paracord. It could be substituted for Jute rope, leather cord or any kind of woven rope potentially. It could be made to create gear like harnesses, leashes, rope toys, wristbands, belts, whips.

Channel Paracord 101 is a great resource for many styles of weaving.

Some things to keep in mind when creating something out of rope to wear though.

  • Test it on your skin, some kinds are treated poorly and can have chemical traces.
  • Some can be too textured and leave a nasty skin rash. Either by design of the rope or because its new
  • Don’t wear it if it becomes uncomfortable. Rope can leave bad exposed skin if constantly rubbed against in a bad way.

Paracord should be found in a local hardware store or online and comes in many colours, including florescent. If you explore it further, you could make patterns to include lights, EL wire or metal components, making it from handmade to very much one of a kind piece where you can embody your personality.

A thank you to Kira Rose for the guide name suggestion of the guides name.

Disclaimer: No products or brand names here have been sponsored to be here or sold by us.