How to Make Dog Bandanas

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Creating a homemade dog bandana is a fun way to accessorize your pet’s wardrobe using scrap fabric and unique patterns from your storage closet.

How to Make Dog Bandanas

Photo by Leah Kelley on

Dog bandanas are a stylish accessory that’s perfect for your pet. When you consider all the pet-specific clothing, footwear, scarves, and boots, bandanas are a great accessory that’s easy to create with a piece of extra cloth or fabric scraps from a previous sewing project. You’ll find everything you need to get started with creating a dog bandana at home or at your local craft supply store or bargain shop.

What You’ll Need to Make a DIY Dog Bandana

If you have a piece of flannel or an old scarf with a unique pattern, you may want to set it aside for your dog’s first bandana. There are a few essential supplies you’ll need to sew your pet’s custom dog bandana:

Once you have everything ready, you’ll want to prepare your fabric with your next laundry cycle. Depending on the type of fabric, you’ll want to press the freshly dried scraps to provide an easy surface to work with when you begin to sew.

Preparing the Fabric for Sewing Your Custom Dog Bandana

Your choice of fabric and the size should be large enough to fit loosely but comfortably on your dog. A triangular fabric shape of 18 to 20 inches may be enough if you have a smaller dog, though a medium or large dog may require 30 inches or more.

Using a mat and rotary cutter, measure and cut your fabric into a triangle, and ensure that all the sides are straight and even. If you’re unsure which size you want, cut the triangle larger, then “test” or fit the fabric around your pet to get an idea of how well it fits.

Sewing Your Dog’s Bandana with a Machine

Once you have the correct size for your dog’s bandana, fold about ¼ inch of the fabric of each edge towards the back of the fabric and pin it down with pins or clips.

Place the fabric into the sewing machine and carefully sew each side to ensure they are even and consistent around the perimeter of the triangle. This step is best performed slowly to ensure each side is folded evenly.

Check for loose threads and trim with scissors or fabric shears when the sewing is complete.

Creating Your Dog’s Bandana Without a Sewing Machine

If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can sew each side of the fabric with a needle and thread. Using a pencil and ruler, draw a straight line along each edge, and follow with a thread and needle to keep it even. While this process may take a bit longer, it gets easier to follow the line, which can be washed and pressed for a more uniform appearance.

When you’re sewing by hand, it’s essential to use a strong enough needle to handle the fabric. The thread should be close to the fabric to blend into the pattern or color for best results.

If you’re looking to add a few extras to your dog’s bandana, you can consider adding one or more buttons, sequins, beads, or patches. It’s essential to add items that your dog won’t chew or pull off the bandana. Alternatively, you can dye the fabric or combine several scraps to create a patchwork pattern.

Style and Fabric Options for Your Dog’s Bandana

Is there a unique style or fabric in your storage closet that could make a great scarf or bandana for your pet? You might have a piece of felt, a frayed scarf, or worn denim that could create a one-of-a-kind bandana for your dog.

While some fabrics look stylish and fun for a DIY dog bandana, it’s best to find a scrap of fabric that’s easy to work with, so you can easily create this accessory:

  • Choose a fabric for your custom dog bandana that’s not too thick, as it can be difficult to trim with shears or sew the edges. Examples of these fabrics include heavy felt, quilted fabric, and knits.
  • Denim is an excellent option if it’s thin and worn. You can skip sewing the edges and opt for a raw edge and frayed look instead
  • If you plan on dying or tie-dying the fabric, this should be done before sizing, trimming, and sewing your dog’s bandana. Cotton fabric or all-natural fabric should be used for this purpose

If you have regular bandanas that are large enough, you can use one of these or use an old t-shirt or clothing with a unique design or texture for your dog’s new accessory. Creating a dog bandana from leftover fabric or unique clothing scraps can be a great way to reduce waste while adding a bit of style to your pet’s wardrobe.

Add a Dog Collar to Your Pet’s Bandana

You can easily add a loop to one of your dog’s bandana’s edges to create a space for a dog collar. This process makes it easy to thread a one or one-and-a-half-inch thick collar quickly to attach the bandana to the dog collar when it’s worn.

Dog Bandanas with Special Themes

When you’re choosing scrap material to create your pet’s new cute bandana, you can decide if you want a plain fabric so that it can be customized with your design or used as-is. A plain bandana is an excellent opportunity to create a holiday or birthday-themed accessory with a set of stencils and fabric paint.


Choosing the suitable fabric and creating a bandana for your dog is easy to create inexpensive accessories for your pet. You can choose to keep it simple with a triangular pattern, attach the fabric to a collar, or combine several smaller scraps for a more unique and customized patchwork project.

Dogs love wearing clothing, especially enjoying something made just for them. Keeping a small pile of scrap fabrics and accessories handy is a great way to get creative while saving money on your pet’s fun wardrobe.

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