DIY Dog Bandana

Over Halloween my nephew wanted me to put a Bandana that had been kicking around in the kid’s toy box on Tom. So I obliged, and Tom sported spooky ghosts and jack O lanterns for the next couple of weeks. He looked so cute and got many compliments so I thought I’d see about getting him a few more. Well, the cost was more I was willing to cough up, so time to figure out how to DIY some doggie bandanas. Now there are many other even cheaper and less involved ways to make these, but the plan I came up with was budget friendly enough and met my criteria for easy to maintain. Also I decided I liked having the colorful fabric pattern on both front and back of the bandana and not having to make any cuts beyond the first sizing one. I think they came out just as I was hoping. And Tom looks adorable. Goal met.

Zora sitting next to Tom who is sitting wearing a light blue bandana with penguins and polar bears on it

Step 1: figure out the size. I measured Tom’s neck loosely plus an inch and got 24″. Using the bandana he currently had as a base to work from I figured out fabric sized 24×18″ would work well as I wanted a thicker collar like band at the top which would take additional fabric folds. The thicker collar type top I figured would help the structure of the bandana hold it’s shape even with daily wear. We shall see how that thought pans out in real life over time.

Step 2: after establishing which way I wanted the fabric pattern to go, I placed the fabric pattern side down. I marked 5″down from the top long edge. Then folded down the top edge 2″ and ironed it. Then folded in each side about 1/4″ to the mark I made and ironed that. Finally folded up the bottom long edge about 1/4″ and ironed at.

Fabric on desk folded as described in instructions

Step 3: first bit of sewing. With my sewing machine I sewed the bottom edge, and the top 2 sides down to the mark. Did not yet sew the entire top long edge.

Step 4: fold down the top edge once more, this time to the mark, and iron. Then take the bottom left corner of the fabric and fold it up to the center meeting the bottom of the folded down top crease. repeat for the right edge. The right edge should overlap the left slightly. Iron smooth. You should now have your fabric in the shape of a bandana with triangle bottom.

Fabric on desk folded as in instructions
Fabric on desk folded as in instructions

Step 5: back to the sewing machine. Sew along the 2 sides of the triangle that will make the hanging part of the bandana, do not yet sew the top edge.

Step 6: more folding and ironing and sewing. One last time fold down the top edge. About 1.5″. Iron that fold. Then sew the top fold. This fold creates a tab on either end of the bandana out past the hanging pendant which you can then use for the closure.

Fabric folded and sewn as in instructions

Step 7: closure. I decided to sew my bananas closed, and just slide them on and off Tom’s head. If you wanted to use hook and loop or snaps you could instead. Or could use fabric length long enough to be able to tie it closed. A couple of different bandana plans I found created a pocket to thread a collar through, but as my dogs don’t wear collars in the house and the collar Tom does have doesn’t have a buckle that type of bandana wouldn’t work for us, hence my sewing it shut and creating a bandana with a more collar like top band for structure.

Close up of fabric in sewing machine

4 bandanas of varying patterns on a wood desk

2 thoughts on “DIY Dog Bandana

  1. When I’ve made Dog bandannas in the past I’ve merely place two triangles together right sides facing and stitched ‘round all but three inches, Turned and then top stitched all the way round closing the opening while I was at it. This type requires tying around the dog’s neck, though, which you may not want.

    1. I considered that but would have taken more fabric than I had. I calculated it out, the way I did it took the least amount of fabric to do a double sided. But meant more sewing.

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