Make your own dog collar from scratch or decorate an existing one!
The instructions on this page are for making a decorative collar using a pretty fabric. The collar can be of a flimsy material, in other words, purely for decoration, or you can use your dog’s regular collar and cover it with the fabric of your choice.
We also include links to other options for stylish collars further down the page.
To make the above decorative collars from scratch, I used plastic from discarded containers.
- Before you start, measure around your dog’s neck and add about two inches (50 mm). This is the circumference measurement.
- Decide how wide you want the collar to be. If you make it wider than normal, it will show off the fabric better (and may look better on your dog). Do a preliminary check with a strip of fabric placed around your dog’s neck.
Fabric can be as thick as upholstery fabric or lightweight and silky. Just be sure it’s not see-through. You can add beads, rhinestones and sequins, as long as they can be securely sewn or glued onto the fabric.
Materials and Tools
- A discarded plastic margarine or 32 oz yogurt container, or your dog’s regular collar
- A piece of fabric as long as the circumference and double the width you want to end up with. Be sure to add an extra half inch or inch (12 to 25mm) to these measurements for your seam allowances
- A strip of self-adhesive Velcro about two inches (50mm) long
- Marking pen that will show up on the containe.
- Needle and thread or a sewing machine
- Scissors that can cut plastic
- Masking or duct tape (optional)
- Super glue or equivalent
Cutting The Plastic
- Mark your container with a width a tiny bit less than you want the collar to be. Do not include the rim.
- Use scissors to make a vertical cut through the rim to the bottom.
- Starting just below the rim, use the scissors to cut horizontally all the way around the container.
- Now cut along the line you marked for your width.
- You should have a plastic strip that is fairly even and a little less wide than your collar will be.
- If the strip is not long enough, cut another strip the same width and add it to the first strip with some overlap using masking tape or duct tape.
- Trim to size
Sewing The Fabric
- Fold the fabric over the strip, wrong side facing out
- Make sure the plastic strip is tight against the fold
- Pin the loose edges of fabric together tightly along the bottom edge of the strip
- Sew a seam just underneath the pins by hand or machine
- Sew one end closed
- Trim the fabric edges to within a 1/4 inch (6 mm) of the seams
- Take the plastic strip out
- Turn the fabric outside in so you have a tube with the right sides facing out
- Put the strip into the tube
- If it hangs up anywhere, trim the plastic to fit
- Make sure it fits snugly against the closed end
- Tuck in the remaining end and sew it closed
See it really is easy to make your own dog collar – you’re almost done!
Adding The Velcro
- One side of the velcro has hooks, the other is fuzzy. Glue is added since often the self-adhesive is not strong enough
- Add glue to the back of the self-adhesive velcro strip with the hooks
- Place it on the outside of one end of your collar
- Check to make sure the corners are glued down – add more glue as needed and press firmly
- Take the fuzzy velcro strip, add glue on the back, and place it on the inside of the other end of the collar
- Check to make sure this strip is also firmly attached
Time for your dog to show off your handiwork!
Other Options for Making Stylish Collars
You can also braid a collar out of yarn – the instructions are for smaller dogs.
If you’d like to make your own dog collar that is sturdy and has a distinctive look, you can purchase specially colored polyester webbing to sew a dog collar. The plastic or metal hardware is easy to add.
For strong dogs, we recommend you go with metal hardware. Comet (70 lbs) once broke the plastic snap on a Halti collar with a single lunge.