How to Make a Dog Collar -
Sew a Fashion Statement for your Dog!
Would you like to learn how to make a collar that really stands out in a crowd? Whether your goal is to save a little money or to pull out all of the fashion stops in "dogue" couture, you can make something that is super cute for your best friend even if you have just a little bit of sewing ability.
Following the instructions below, you can adapt our tutorial to make dog collars that will dazzle the imagination! For dogs of all sizes, from big dogs to little dogs, this sewing project is a fun and easy accessory to make for your favorite dog. Let's get started now so your dog can be sporting a spiffy ribbon dog collar later today.
For an awesome, personalized collar, use your creativity to bling it out for a girly dog collar, or make a boyish tough-guy collar for your boy dog. Let them model it at your next dog park outing and you'll both be stars!
How to Make a Dog Collar - Dog Collar Hardware and Supplies Needed:
You will need to visit a fabric store and a hardware store to get your supplies unless you'd like to order them online. First, measure your dog's neck with a ribbon-style tape measure designed for sewing. Add 6-8" to that measurement to determine the amount of webbing and ribbon to purchase.
- polypropylene or nylon webbing*
- coordinating printed ribbons or grosgrain ribbons in same or smaller width than chosen webbing. Choose something with pizzaz!
- clip-style buckle, sometimes called a "parachute buckle"**
- brass or nickel D-ring - width across the flat side should be the same as your webbing width. (find D-rings on the hardware aisle of your local home improvement store)
- small accent buttons or fancy trims to embellish collar
- coordinating thread
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*Webbing - nylon webbing is softer and thicker than polypro, but can stretch when wet. If your dog swims, either remove the nylon collar before allowing them to swim, or consider polypropylene webbing. If your dog has a sensitive neck, though, nylon is less scratchy and will keep them more comfortable.
Another option for sensitive skin is a cotton or hemp dog collar. These webbings are also available. Decide on a width of webbing that suits the size of your dog. This is entirely subjective, but most people like widths of 1/2" to 1" for tiny dogs, 1"- 2" for medium dogs and 1" to 2 1/2" for large/giant breeds. Webbing can be purchased at your local fabric store.
**Buckle - Although it is possible to find metal side clip buckles, most of the time, these are plastic. They are the same type of buckle that is found on backpacks and fanny packs, and are easily found in your local sewing notions department. The buckle size needs to match the width of webbing you are going to use. For best results, see what sizes of buckles are available before you select webbing.
How To Make a Dog Collar
Completed Project Photograph:
Step 1 - How to Make a Dog Collar
After purchasing your supplies, you will thread your machine with coordinating thread to the webbing and ribbon that you've chosen, and cut a piece of webbing that is six inches longer than your dog's actual neck measurement. Cut a piece of ribbon that is seven inches longer than the neck measurement.
Instructions here are for the simplest type of dog collar - one that is not adjustable. If your dog is fully grown, this collar will last you a very long time. If your dog is a puppy or still growing, make this style first to learn how to make a dog collar (basic style) and later you will be able to understand more complex instructions for adjustable collars
Before you begin sewing, you can heat seal the ends of nylon or propylene webbing to keep the ends from fraying. WARNING!! Do not try this with any natural material (cotton or hemp) or you WILL start a fire, and only try this if you feel totally comfortable and are an adult or have an adult present!). This only works with non-natural materials like nylon or polypropylene. To heat seal the end, use a lit candle with an open flame, and bring the cut edge of the webbing close to the flame. It does not actually have to touch the flame to melt the webbing edge and seal it. Once you see the edge of the webbing melt a little, take it away from the heat source and allow a few seconds to cool. Repeat with the other edge of the webbing, if desired. Please do this process only if desired, and understanding that it is done at your own risk.
Layering your choice of grosgrain or printed riboons over the webbing so the "right sides" are both facing up, you will see that there is a 1/2" overlap of the ribbon at each end. Pin these ribbon ends over the edges of the webbing, and then turn the pinned strip right side up on your sewing surface to begin to sew them together. Sew each edge of the ribbon to the webbing, staying close to the edge, but making sure that you sew through both ribbon and webbing. (Figure 1)
Step 2 - How to Make a Dog Collar
After you have stitched the ribbon to the webbing and the ends of the ribbon have been folded over the webbing and stitched, you are ready to progress to Step 2.
Unclip the buckle, noticing the slight curvature to the pieces. The buckle should have a slight outward curve as it clips around your dog's neck when the collar is completed.
Take the "male" end of the buckle and thread the right side of the sewn piece through the opening of the buckle, making sure that the buckle curve is followed correctly. Pull the webbing through the opening and loop back through, with about three inches that will be sewn down. (See Figure 2). You can flip the collar to the right side and sew across the width of the collar to secure this first half of the buckle.
Step 3 - How to Make a Dog Collar
Next, flip the collar over again and sew across the width of the collar one more time to secure the 3" flap. (NOTE: In my photo - See Figure 3 - the flap is shorter than three inches, but I make them longer now).
Step 4 - How to Make a Dog Collar
You're almost halfway finished with the tutorial on "How to Make a Dog Collar!" See, it isn't hard, when you follow along step-by-step, right?
This next step has a few different parts....
First, thread on the D-ring and let it fall somewhere in the middle of the collar. The other end that you sewed already will keep it from falling off completely. Then, thread on the remaining "female" end of the collar buckle and loop about three inches back through to the back of the collar. (See Figure 4) Remember to follow the curvature of the buckle. Now, go find your dog!
Before you sew this step, fit the collar to your dog's neck. It should be comfortable, and not easily slip off his/her head. Usually, it is advisable to fit two fingers under the collar to ensure that it is not too tight, but you can use your own judgment for your dog. Once you have it fit properly, carefully pin the collar so you will not lose the measurement.
NOTE: If you have a dog that has a smaller width head than neck, you will need a different type of collar entirely - a martingale collar - a style that is designed for Greyhounds and other sleek-headed sight hounds
Step 5 - How to Make a Dog Collar
Once you have your dog collar pinned for the proper fit as described above, go back to the sewing machine and sew across the width of the collar to secure the female end of the buckle in its proper position.
Then, stitch another parallel line across the width of the collar about 1/2" away from the stitching line you just made. This helps to space the D-ring away from the buckle, so that they do not conflict with each other.
Now, slide the D-ring in place next to the seam you just stitched (Figure 5), sandwiching the D-ring in place and stitching just on the the other side of it to secure it.
Step 6 - How to Make a Dog Collar
You could actually stop at this point and go clip it on your dog, but Step 7 is so much fun, I am sure you will want to keep on going! (See Figure 6 for the complete, yet un-embellished collar.)
Step 7 - How to Make a Dog Collar
Now comes the really fun part! Use tiny buttons, rickrack, jewels, chain- anything that you can sew on by hand- to make your dog collar really cool. I chose little pink buttons, and sewed them on to the center of every other flower (see Figure 7). Your ribbon design might help you decide what embellishments to choose.
That's it! Ta Da!! You have a unique, fashion collar for your favorite furry friend- and you made it yourself at a fraction of the cost of a store-bought collar!
We hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and will check back soon for more cool stuff from our website.
See you at the dog park!
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