Introduction: Make a Dog Bandana Collar Slide

About: Hello, I'm Colleen, a designer and maker-extraordinaire from Atlanta, GA. You may have seen me around the internet from my side project turned business Wearable Planter. When I'm not 3D printing things for wor…

It's a scientifically proven fact that dogs are 75% cuter when they are wearing a bandana. Well, not really, but if you scroll through any of the dog hashtags on Instagram, you'll see that the dogs with the most likes are probably wearing an accessory of some sort.

This instructable will show you how to sew a custom dog bandana based on the circumference of your dog's neck and the size of their collar. In this tutorial, I'll show you all the tools and materials that you will need to complete this project. Total time to complete this if sewing with a sewing machine is roughly 30 minutes. Depending on the size of your dog, you will probably be able to use scrap or remnant materials for this project.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Tools

To make this bandana, you'll need the following materials:

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Paper

And these tools:

  • Needle or sewing machine
  • pins
  • pen
  • ruler/ straight edge
  • iron
  • ironing board
  • tape measure
  • scissors or rotary fabric cutting tool
  • cutting mat (if using rotary tool)


  • A dog to custom make a bandana for! If you don't have a dog, you can estimate the size of the bandana. My 15lb chiweenie has a 10" neck, and his 60lb boxer friend has a 16" neck. If your dog is smaller or larger, you can do up or down from these two measurements if you know the approximate size of the dog you're making a bandana for.

Gather your materials together. I find that having everything together and organized all at once makes the project easier and quicker to complete.

Step 2: Make Your Pattern

First, measure your dog's neck, and the height of their collar. You'll need these two measurements to custom make a pattern. If you don't have a dog to reference, look up the dimensions of collars online to get an idea of dog neck circumference and collar height.

Take these two measurements and draw your pattern. The circumference of the dog's neck minus 1" (or 2.5cm) will be the length of the pattern (this allows easy access the collar snap or buckle). Use this dimension as the hypotenuse of an equilateral right triangle. Once you have your triangle, add a rectangle on top of it where it's height is double the height of the collar + .5" for seam allowance. See the illustration above for a visual example. Draw this pattern on a piece of paper and cut it out.

Step 3: Cut and Pin Your Fabric

First iron your fabric. Then, cut two pieces of fabric according to your pattern. Pin them together with the two "outsides" facing inside touching each other.

Step 4: Sew Your Bandanna

Take your pinned piece of fabric and sew around the edge of it with a 1/4" seam allowance. Leave a gap of about 1.5" so you can pull your fabric out right-side out. Pull the fabric out and iron the edges to make the edges crisp.

To make a clean, durable seam, you're going to sew around the edge of the bandana. This time you'll go all the way around the edge and use a 1/8" seam allowance for clean edge.

Once you've sewn around the edge, cut your threads. Heat up your iron again, and you'll iron down the seam for the collar slide. Pin this seam down to make it easier to sew. Sew down this seam to finish your bandana. If you are using a sewing machine, remember to add a reverse stitch at the beginning and end of the stitch to create a lock stitch so you're seam is more durable.

Step 5: Put the Bandana on Your Dog and Model It!

Now is the time to show off your work! Slide your dog's collar through the bandana, and you're done! Admire how much cuter they now look, and snap a few photos!