DIY Dog Bandanas

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DIY Dog Bandanas

Photo by Teresa Berg on

Are you considering a bandana for your pup or creating a tailor-made design with a scrap piece of fabric? DIY dog bandanas make excellent accessories for your dog. Whether you have a specific design in mind, they are easy to make or leftover fabric from a previous sewing project.

DIY dog bandanas are easy to make, and you’ll have lots of options based on the tools and equipment you have available at home.

Choosing a Fabric for a DIY Dog Bandana

When creating your DIY dog bandana, the first choice you’ll make is the fabric type and design. You may have many scrap pieces of fabric or clothing to work with, or you may find a unique pattern at your local craft store. It’s essential to choose a material that’s easy to work with, especially if you choose a pattern that involves sewing or attaching custom designs.

Creating a Dog Bandana Without a Sewing Machine

You can create a fashionable dog bandana quickly if you have a piece of fabric without a sewing machine. It’s best to find a piece of fabric that doesn’t fray or wear fast, such as fabric that’s trimmed with pinking scissors, which keeps the edges uniform and less prone to fraying at the ends.

Great Fabric Ideas

If you’re looking for a great fabric to create a dog bandana, you’ll find many great ideas around your home if you have older clothing made of polyester, cotton, or a blend of natural and synthetic fibers.

Whether you’re looking to create a no-sew bandana or use a sewing machine, you’ll find many creative options, including old seasonal sweaters from Christmas, Halloween, or Valentine’s Day.

A checked tablecloth, shirt with a unique pattern, or a similar lightweight fabric makes an excellent option for a DIY dog bandana.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

The items you’ll need to create a dog bandana depends on whether you plan on using a sewing machine or pinking shears without sewing the edges of the fabric:

Optional, if you’re sewing your dog’s bandana:

It’s essential to ensure your chosen fabric is washed and pressed. Some materials wrinkle fast, making it easier to press before measuring and cutting the fabric to have an exact shape and size.

Preparing Your Chosen Fabric for a DIY Dog Bandana

When you measure and trim your dog bandana, it’s vital to choose enough fabric to make sure the fit is comfortable and loose. Using the rotary cutter and mat, cut a piece of material in a triangular shape that suits your dog’s size, approximately 20 inches for small to medium dogs and 30 or more inches for larger dogs.

If you’re uncertain which size works best for your pet, try a larger size and “fit” the fabric around your dog to determine which is ideal.

Sewing a Trim Around Your Dog Bandana

If you choose to sew the trim around your dog’s bandana, fold approximately ¼ inch from the edge, inward towards the back of the fabric. Pin down evenly with clips before you sew, and proceed slowly to ensure you’re sewing in a straight line.

Using Pinking Shears

An easier way to trim the edges of your dog’s bandana without using a sewing machine is with pinking shears. Before you cut the edge of the fabric, measure accurately to ensure that the shape and size are consistent across all sides of the triangle shape. To keep the shears cutting evenly, draw a line with a ruler and pencil and follow carefully when trimming the edges.

Customizing Your Dog’s Bandana

If you’re looking to create a more customized style with your DIY dog bandana, you can try a few options to create patterns, use fabric dyes, or attach the trim to “dress” up your pet’s favorite accessory. One of the easiest ways to create a unique look is with fabric dyes or paints, and this treatment should be applied to the fabric before you measure and trim the material.

Tie-Dying Your Dog’s Bandana

If you’re looking to get creative with colors, a tie-dye kit is ideal for this fun activity. Tie-dye kits include a variety of fabric-friendly paints, soda ash, and supplies so you can create custom designs on any shape of the fabric. When you use these types of dyes, they will only work well on 100% cotton or natural fiber material.

Tie-dye kits include instructions, which often require the die sets in the fabric for approximately 24 hours, then be rinsed and washed in a separate laundry load.

Fabric Paints, Buttons, Collars, and Trims

If you want to paint or draw a specific design or lettering on your dog’s collar, you can buy a stencil kit with non-toxic paints, ideal for any canvas, including fabric decorating. These kits are also great for kids and make an ideal family project. Some kits include silver and gold shirt paint, which is excellent for seasonal designs and custom designs.

If you sew a loop around one of the sides of your dog’s bandana, you’ll have the option of attaching your dog’s collar easily. There are many great buttons, trims, and design ideas at your local craft store or online, which can be added to the edge of your dog’s bandana, or as décor around the collar. It’s essential to choose items that your dog isn’t likely to pull off or chew and that they don’t interfere with your dog’s enjoyment of the garment.

Patchwork Fabrics

Do you have an old patchwork fabric, or are several fabric scraps sewn together to create a unique design or dog bandana pattern? This is a great way to create a bohemian-style bandana for your dog, whether you sew smaller fabric scraps together or use a ready-made bandana style for your pup.


DIY dog bandanas are easy to create and make a great family project if you want to add creative designs, patterns, or your pet’s name. Dogs enjoy wearing clothing and accessories as long as they are comfortable, and bandanas are a great option for any sized dog and a fun way to add to your pet’s wardrobe.

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