I know homemade or craft-type items usually aren't something you'd donate, however, the stigma that goes along with donating homemade items in the "human" world has no place in the land of shelters and rescues! They are more than happy to accept these items, and often cherish them more than their store-bought counterparts.
What kind of things should you make, you ask? Well, the most common, and probably easiest, things to make are toys. Both cats and dogs love toys, and demolish them almost as fast as they get them. Which is why rescues and shelters can never get enough! And making dog or cat toys can actually be super simple and a lot of fun. Often times you already have the items you need at home.
Have any leftover plastic easter eggs from easter? Put a few beads inside, maybe hot glue on a feather for a tail, and voila: cat toy!
For dogs, all you need is an empty plastic water bottle and an old t-shirt. Wrap and tie the t-shirt around the water bottle, then let them at it! (Dachshunds especially love chomping on them.)
Dogs and cats aren't the only ones that can use your homemade items! There are many guinea pig, rabbit, and other small mammal rescues out there that could use some help. Many of these animals prefer sleeping in actual homes or hides. And while homes and hides can be expensive to buy at a store, making them at home is quite affordable.
Handy with a sewing machine? All you need is a little bit of fabric and a whole lotta love. Simple pillow cushions or beds are also always in demand. Small ones for guinea pigs, all the way up to big ones for dogs. A soft bed goes a long way to helping animals feel comfortable.
For more ideas, check these out:
2. Go through your pantry and cabinets for extra items.