Creative DIY Dog Clothes Ideas

In my mind, homemade dog clothes offer several advantages over those you can buy at a pet store.

These include such things as lower costs, greater control over fabrics and designs, and something that can be made to fit properly.

I’ve experimented mostly with items made out of fabrics and yarns.

Visitors to our site have contributed their creations here as well as on various homemade dog clothes pages.

Homemade Dog Shirts

Comet, a german shepard dog, standing for dog shirt fitting.

The first step is to take your dog’s measurements – the more accurate the better the result. Redo as many times as needed. Be sure to write them down!

The next step is to make or find a pattern.

Fittings are another recommended part of the process of making homemade dog clothes. This is where you check for the correct fit after cutting out pieces and pinning them together.

Do avoid poking your dog with pins if you want to keep using him or her as the model!

Why not start with a free dog clothes pattern to make a dog shirt? Once you have one pattern made that is tailored to your dog, you can use it for all sorts of other homemade dog clothes of this type!

DIY Dog Dresses & Skirts

Aqua colored dog dress on a Westie dog.

Looking for a good way to save on doggie dresses? Check out our discount dog dresses and skirts page.

Website visitor Cynthia from California sent in very detailed instructions for a dog harness dress she created for her Westie, Allie.

Homemade Dog Coats

For rainy or snowy weather, make a homemade dog coat out of waterproof vinyl.

Learn how to make a dog raincoat that will last your dog for years.

A blue homemade dog rain coat for a Chiweenie
A simple homemade dog raincoat from
a piece of vinyl.

See my free dog coat patterns with instructions to make a coat out of fleece, or make a homemade dog coat by knitting, crocheting or weaving one and then lining it with a solid material to provide warmth.

More Homemade Dog Clothes Ideas

Dog Sweaters

A Chiweening wearing a knitted dog sweater.
Pebble’s autumn sweater

Homemade dog sweaters are another way to keep your dog warm on those wintry days. 

View some of my original designs, including the knitted autumn sweater for Pebble,  as well as a collection of free patterns for:

Dog Ponchos

Taylor from Canada gave us the following instructions for making a doggie poncho:

  • Get a large piece of your favorite design of cloth. Use scissors and cut it in a large diamond. Then cut a hole that will fit your dog’s head in it. 
  • Carefully cut a triangular design on the rim of the poncho. Use a material strap and use it to fasten the circle so it’s a perfect fit. And that’s basically it.

Here are some comments on the poncho idea:

I think this could also work to make a simple, last-minute dog costume. You could turn your dog into a Christmas treeghostshamrock, heartbeach bum or magician (if you add a top hat).

Shenny adds:

Thanks for sharing this post. I had searched many sites to get a method to make the doggie poncho myself, but I didn’t get it from anywhere. You have given me the opportunity to learn how to make it and I am very grateful to you for that.

DIY Dog Vests

And how about making a dog vest pattern? Although my design is for a therapy dog vest, it can be used for Halloween outfits, wedding tuxedos to be part of any canine dress-up occasion or outfit.

Dog Socks & Leg Warmers

Dog socks or leg warmers are homemade dog clothes that can be knitted or crocheted to help keep your pooch even warmer.

They can also cover a bandage or let you show some team spirit for the sport of your choice!

Make Dog Clothes from Your Old Stuff

Making dog clothes from stuff you no longer wear is very simple, according to several of our visitors. 

Below are ideas and directions that they have contributed to our website. Enjoy!

Puppy One-zzz by Xzavia from Detroit, MI, USA

Well, I could not keep paying for these outrageous prices for a doggie dress for my Velvet.

So I went home and took apart a previous outfit that I had purchased.

I made a pattern from it and the rest is history. 

Tell me what you think!!!!! 

(Thanks Xzavia. Want to comment on this? Simple contact us here!)

My Homemade Doggie Dress by Daisie from Grundy, VA, USA

I made a dog harness dress out of my clothes for my dog Lilly!!! 

It is pink with flower print on it. I also used pink ribbon and some princess crown pins which don’t hurt the dog or come off – we made sure of that 🙂 

I also made a collar – it is pink and has a liitle charm that came off a necklace of mine. I tried it out so it won’t come off 😀 

An image of a pink dog dress made from old human clothes.

Make Your Own Dog Clothes by Sandy from Reading, PA, USA

Making dog clothes yourself is so easy!

I have a pitbull and I get my son’s old toddler clothing and put it on him. On my toy poodle I use recycled baby clothing. (I got my first dog five years ago and learned how to make dog clothes for him ever since).

I just roll up the sleeves or cut them so they fit the length of the dogs’ legs. Right now a shirt was a little too long so I cut a v-shape in the shirt where the dog’s stomach would be so he wouldn’t soil it. 

I was also thinking of buying that double sided tape you iron on for clothing to adjust the waist, since I don’t sew.

Poncho and shirt from old and raggy clothes! by Brigette, USA


You need a small blanket shorter than the dog. Then sew buckles, two on the front and two more buckles on the girth area. Buckle loosely around the chest and a little tighter than loose comfort around the girth.

Usually, you want to put this on after a bath, cold night, on an older dog, or just for kicking back.


Take any shirt that isn’t too important to you anymore.

If you put that shirt on your dog the way it is it may hurt your dog and won’t feel too comfortable. To make it feel better, cut a little bit of the armpit area about 3 to 5 inches. And cut a V by the neck. I have two large golden retrievers so I just use slightly smaller shirts on them, but if you have a smaller dog it’s just so easy- just cut it in half.

Sweaters and Clothes
by Theresa from Excelsior Springs, MO, USA

We are always making dog clothes for our Doberman and Pitbull because they have short hair so they get too cold in the winter.  (These instructions are not for smaller dogs such as Yorkies.)

For female dogs:

Purchase little girl clothing such as tops or skirts. For large dogs, size children’s 6 and 7 usually fit; for medium 4 and 5; for smaller dogs, 2 and 3. Find them at thrift stores and garage sales to save money on them – tops that have spaghetti straps usually do not work well.

For male dogs:

Purchase boy clothes in sizes 7 and 8 for large dogs, 5 and 6 for medium, and 4 and 5 for small.  

After making sure the top fits the dog mark on the belly just under the arm pits and cut a square out so that when the dog urinates he won’t pee on the top. Hem around the hole to complete.

Homemade Skirt for Dogs
by Abby B., Atlanta, GA, USA

This is kind-of funny but I guess it’s worth it! 

  • First you take any old shorts or pants you have or you can buy some at a thrift store.
  • Cut the two seams that are in the middle.(If you were wearing them it would be the ones that were on the insides of your legs.)
  • Then you sew them to the opposite legs so they look like a skirt.
  • If the waist band isn’t elastic sew a piece in the waist band, then put it on your dog. This is difficult for me because my dog Emma seems to wiggle out of everything 🙂
  • There you have it, a skirt for dogs!

Making Dog Clothes
by Noriz, Philippines

This idea for making dog clothes is so easy (and inexpensive!) that you could even open some sales from it.

Just get an old but clean piece of clothing (or a new one that you don’t need).

You may use baby clothes for small dogs, children’s wear for medium-sized dogs, or teen/adult clothing for those big canines.

If the clothes don’t fit to your satisfaction, you may resew them. Be sure your dog likes the size too. 

Decorate if necessary, and just throw it on your fuzzy dog!

Dog clothes out of old shirts and pants by Mary Beth, USA

Well, I had just got my sewing machine for Christmas. I was so excited that I couldn’t wait for my mom to take me to WalMart to go get some fabric. So I went through my closet and got out some old shirts and pants that don’t fit anymore and I cut them up into sheets of fabric and used that making dog clothes for my dogs.