How to Make DIY Dog Bandanas

Lolly pop from Edmonton, Canada, suggested: 

“Buy a bandana from a Rexall or dollar store. Tie it fairly loosely around your dog’s neck. Use glitter glue to decorate or write your dog’s name on it. It takes a day to dry.”

Then Jasmine from the U.S. wrote and said: “Take a square piece of cloth, and fold it over so it’s now a triangle; then tie it on your dog’s neck. You can use any pattern as long as it is not too big or small.”

Well, I tried those ideas, but they didn’t fit Comet well, perhaps because he had a thick neck. So below are instructions for how to make a dog bandana that fits dogs like him.

I came up with two ideas: a single or double layered bandana. Doubling the layers makes for a more durable bandana, and you can make each side a different color or pattern so you can reverse it when you put it on (and perhaps stretch time between washings).

Make a Single Sided Dog Bandana

This dog bandana pattern allows you to make a single layer bandanna, meaning you will end up with a right side and a wrong side.

Materials to Make a Dog Bandana

  • Rectangular piece of cotton fabric or equivalent – sized as follows:

           Length = Circumference of dog’s neck + 18″ (355 mm)

           Width = Small – 10″ (255 mm); Medium – 12″ (305 mm); 

                        Large – 14″ (355 mm)

  • Pencil or fabric pen (I used a black marker for demonstration)
  • Straight pins
  • Needle (or sewing machine) and thread to match your fabric

Cutting out the triangles

  • Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with the wrong side facing out.
  • Draw a diagonal line from one top corner down to the opposite bottom corner.
  • Use fabric scissors to cut along the line through the two layers.
  • You should end up with a long, narrow triangle that will become your bandana. The remaining fabric can be used for another project.

Pinning the Seams

  • Fold each raw edge over about 1/4″ (6 mm) and then fold that edge over another 1/4″ and pin it. this will prevent the raw edges from unraveling.
  • Try to keep the top point in the center.
  • Cut off excess fabric from the bottom corners before folding the ends to make the points. This is so they don’t become too bulky and difficult to pin and sew.

Finishing the Bandana

  • Sew the pinned edges down by hand or machine about 1/8″ (2 to 3 mm) from the edges, removing pins as you go.
  • If you like, iron the bandanna before trying it on your dog.

Make a Double Sided Dog Bandana

With a double-sided bandana, you will always have a right side facing out so if one side gets dirty, you can flip it over.

As mentioned, instead of one color or pattern, you can use two different pieces of fabric for each side to make a two tone bandanna.


You’ll need fabric the same length as mentioned above, but twice the width. Iron or press the cloth before working with it so that you can line things up properly.

Cutting out the Fabric

  • Fold the fabric in half along the width, right sides facing outOR if you have a pattern where it matters which way is up, like the doggies in my photo, you will need to cut two equal pieces of fabric and place them back to back.
  • Pin together any raw edges and double check to make sure the patterns are centered and the right way up.
  • Now fold the two layers in half lengthwise, and mark the top center point with a pin or marker.
  • Open up the layers back to their full length again.
  • Draw a diagonal line with a straight edge (or hard cover book as I did) from the center point to each bottom corner.
  • Cut along the diagonal lines. You should now have a triangular, double layered bandana.

Pinning and Sewing the Edges

  • Fold each raw edge inward about 1/4″ to 1/2″ (6-12 mm) and pin. 
  • Sew the edges together, about 1/8″ to 1/4″ (3-6 mm) from the edge.
  • Iron the seams.
  • Time to try it on your dog!

So there are some ways to make a dog bandana – most likely there are several more.