How to Make Personalized Dog Leashes

Personalized dog leashes make for fun and easy projects!

There are many ways to add a personal touch to a store bought leash by gluing or sewing on items to an existing nylon lead. Some examples include charms, fabric paint, embroidery, or rhinestones. 

You can also experiment with fibers and fabrics to make a leash from scratch. This page focuses on directions to make a dog leash out of woven yarn.

Personalized Dog Leash Out of Yarn

My dog leash made of woven yarns

I developed my own technique for braiding the leash in two contrasting colors shown in the photo.

I also created a matching unique collar design, using a different type of custom weave.

This leash is recommended for small dogs only – up to 25 lbs.

Materials and Tools 

  • 1/4 skein lighter colored yarn (LT)*
  • 1/4 skein darker colored yarn (DK)*
  • A sturdy metal snap
  • A yarn (darning) needle or crochet hook
  • Rubber bands or ties

*Average thickness recommended.

Suggested color combinations are as follows:

  • Light blue with dark blue or light green with dark green
  • Pale pink with hot pink or lavender with a darker purple
  • White with black, blue, red, green, orange, purple and more
  • Tan, beige or yellow combined with darker colors such as navy blue or brown
  • Any combination that pleases you!

Personalized Dog Leash Instructions

Setting up the strands of yarn to make the personalized dog leash

I’ve dubbed this the “railroad switch” braid – it may be more difficult to grasp than the weave for the collar. Remember to take a break if you get tired or frustrated and to take your time.

  • Cut 8 strands, four LT and four DK, each 108″ (2500 mm) long.
  • Knot the strands together at one end. Tape firmly to your work surface.
  • Separate the strands into pairs of each color i.e. 2 DK 2 LT 2 DK 2 LT.
  • Take one LT pair straight out to the left, with the other to the bottom as shown above.
  • Put one DK pair to the right, with the other flipped straight up over the knot.
  • Tie the loose ends of each pair of strands into a bundle with rubber bands or ties so that you only work with shorter lengths of strand. Loosen as you go along. 

You should now have 4 pairs of strands arranged like a plus (+) sign, per the above photo. Always return to this configuration in between plaiting or braiding sets of pairs.

IMPORTANT: After you do the first set as described below, the two pairs will be in reverse order from when you started.

A.  Braiding the first sets of pairs:

You are just working with the top and bottom:

  • Bring the top DK pair of strands down and hold them with your right hand.
  • Hold the bottom LT pair in your left hand.
  • Grab the DK left strand with the thumb and forefinger of your left hand, pull it under the LT left strand, then hold it in your left hand.
  • In the same way, pull the DK right strand under the right LT strand, then over the LT left strand and hold it with your left hand.
  • The DK pair should now be angling out to the left, and held in your left hand; the LT pair should be angling out to the right.
  • Pull firmly on each individual strand.
  • Flip the LT pair up over the knot.
  • Pull the DK pair straight down.

You are done with these two pairs for now.

B.  Braiding the second sets:

You are now working with the side pairs only:

  • Hold the LT pair in your left hand; the DK pair in your right.
  • With left thumb and forefinger, pull the upper DK strand underneath the upper LT strand.
  • With the fingers of your right hand, push the lower DK strand under the lower LT strand and over the upper LT strand and lay it next to its partner.
  • Pull firmly on individual strands till everything looks tight.
braiding the yarn of the leash
another picture of the dog leash being braided together.

As the photo indicates, you should now have one pair of strands out to the left and the other pair out to the right. The pairs should have switched sides. 

Continue with Steps A and B until the leash is about 80″ (2000 mm) long. You need to allow extra length for the handle.

Finishing the Handle

The handle of the dog leash nearly finished.

The handle of these personalized dog leashes is quite simple.Make a loop the size you want out of the last part of your braid.Weave each remaining loose strand into the main part of the leash, trying to match up colors. Go down about 3/4″ (20 mm) and then back up into the handle for about an inch (25 mm) or more,  and pull firmly.
Try to distribute the places where you weave.When all eight have been woven and pulled firm, test the handle for strength. Reweave any weak strands.Clip off protruding ends – add a dab of glue to any still visible and tuck them out of sight.

Adding the Snap

The clip attached to the dog leash.

The final step for making this personalized dog leash is to add the snap. 

I suggest you use metal – the plastic one in the photo is for demonstration purposes only.

  • Undo the top knot at the other end of your leash.
  • Pull the strands through the bar at the base of the snap.
  • Weave each individual strand into the braid, going down into the leash and then back up as you did with the handle.
  • Tighten and test to make sure it will not come loose.
  • Cut off any remaining yarn ends.

Ta da! You’ve made your own personalized dog leash! 

Now it’s time for the final test – attach it to your dog’s collar and see how well he or she does with it. Be sure to do this in an enclosed space so that if something breaks, you can easily retrieve your dog.