How to Easily Make Bandanas for Dogs
Make a Bandana for Rescue Dogs!
I've been sewing for decades, but I'd never had an opportunity or reason to sew dog bandanas until a few years ago. The local Humane Society sometimes outfit their rescue dogs in doggie bandanas. I decided sewing bandanas would be something I could contribute.
Of the resources found online, a tutorial found on Childmade was the dog bandana template I chose (with slight modifications) to make a bandana for dogs. You can make a bandana for dogs by sewing a few straight seams. It's really as simple as that. This is a worthwhile DIY project which can be completed by those with all levels of expertise in sewing.
This page outlines the steps I used to make my first dog bandanas. This style of dog scarf has a simple casing for the dog collar to slip through, which is a very practical and safe design for the animal. I opted to make the dog bandanas with doubled fabric, which should hopefully lengthen their usefulness.
The Best Fabric
Choose washable cotton or cotton blend fabrics to make dog bandanas.
Make a Bandana for Dogs in Different Sizes—Small, Med, Large and Extra Large (Not Shown)
The sizing of the initial fabric blocks for the dog bandanas was a little confusing at first. Obviously, the size of the dog collar is relative to the size of the dog. So, measuring the standard "height" of dog collars (top to bottom edge—NOT the length of the collar), I decided to create fabric blocks for dog bandanas in the following measurements:
- To make Small dog bandanas: Cut two blocks 6" square (for the skinniest collars)
- To make Medium dog bandanas: Cut two blocks 8" square
- To make Large dog bandanas: Cut two blocks 10" square (for collars around 1" or larger...our dog in pic is wearing a Lg size)
- To make Extra Large dog bandanas: Cut two blocks 11" square
Make a Bandana for Dogs—Step 1
Once the initial fabric square is cut, make sure to lay the two blocks on top of each other with WRONG sides touching. (It's important both sides visible are the right side or "dress side" of the fabric.)
With this style of dog bandana, you will need to construct a casing for the dog collar to slip through upon completion. To do this, fold in two opposing corners of the two-layer fabric square and press with an iron. Here's how to decide how far to fold in these corners:
Look closely at the picture above, and you'll see I've placed slips of paper near one corner of each of the squares. Point the tip of the corner towards the center of the square and using a measuring tape measure SIDE to SIDE until the length of the fold is 2" for Small, 3" for Medium and 4" for both Large and Extra Large.
Make a Dog Bandana—Step 2
With a straight stitch, sew close to the edge of both inverted corners. Backstitch at beginning and ending to secure.
Make a Bandana for Dogs—Step 3
The dog bandana fabric square should be smoothed out flat with the sewn corners facing UP towards you before completing next step.
Make a Dog Scarf—Step 4
Fold fabric square in half with raw sewn corner edges visible to you. Press with an iron. (Don't worry if sides don't meet exactly, this is not a rocket we're building. Remember we are making a bandana for dogs.)
How Not to Make a Bandana for Dogs
The Oooooops Step
Just wanted to demonstrate how NOT to fold the fabric squares. You'll notice the raw sewn corners edges are facing the inside? (I'm showing you this because I myself wasn't paying attention and actually folded AND sewed the bandana together incorrectly the first time.) So DON'T DO THIS!
Make a Bandana for Dogs—Step 5
Sew a 1/4" seam along raw edges of the fabric triangle. (From bottom edge of right side folder corner to bottom edge of left side folded corner.)
Make a Dog Bandana—Step 6
Turn dog bandana using the opening in one of the folded corners.
Make a Bandana for Dogs—Step 7
Once the dog bandana is turned, press flat with an iron before proceeding to the next step.
Make a Bandana for Dogs—Step 8
To form the casing for the dog collar, I used a pencil and ruler to draw a straight line from the bottom of one corner fold to the other and running parallel to the top fold of the dog bandana.
Make a Dog Bandana—Final Step
At the sewing machine, stitch exactly along the pencil line drawn in the previous step. This stitch creates the casing for the dog collar to slip through to complete the dog bandana.
More Dog Bandanas
To make a bandana for dogs, choose a washable cotton fabric in the design and color of your choice. For the rescue dogs at the Humane Society, bright cheerful colors are great, but I'm sure they would gladly accept dog bandanas in any color.
These dog bandanas are easy to remove from the collar and launder when needed. (The double-sided fabric allows the dog bandana to be flipped over if one side gets soiled before laundry day.) I feel this design is also very safe for the animals because the collar is slipped through the casing. There are no ties to worry about the dog catching on something, nor do you have to worry about losing the dog scarf.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
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© 2012 Pam Irie