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How To Sew A DIY Dog Collar

I’ve been itching to make Topher a dog collar for a while now. While collars for smaller dogs are a dime a dozen, and come in a zillion collars and patterns, collars for larger dogs seem…not as fun. A lot of the ones I’ve seen at the pet store are either definitely for female dogs (so much pink!), or meant to make my dog look like….I don’t even know, a badass I guess? I don’t need the skull and crossbones motif—most of the time, I’m trying to make Topher look a little less threatening in his Hannibal Lecter ensemble.

Turns out, making a collar is relatively simple, so long as you have all the pieces! To make this DIY dog collar, you’ll need some basic skill with sewing (do you know how to top stitch? Great! You’re all set) and a run of the mill sewing machine. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Nylon webbing
  • Fabric or ribbon
  • Parachute buckle or “dog collar” buckle
  • Bar slide
  • D-ring
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

How To Sew A DIY Dog Collar

Putting Together Your Collar

1. Both your length of webbing and your fabric should measure the circumference of your dog’s neck, plus about 8 to 10 inches extra for the areas you’ll sew together and reinforce. For example, the circumference of Topher’s neck is 21 inches, and I used a 32 inch long piece of webbing to create the full collar. The width of the webbing is dependent on the size of your dog, but we used one inch wide piece, a pretty common size.

2. Sew your fabric to create a strip that’s a little narrower than the width of your webbing. You can do this by folding the fabric in half, topstitching down the frayed edge, and then ironing the piece flat so the seam is on the underside.

3. Pin your fabric to your webbing, and topstitch both sides all the way down. Don’t worry too much about the ends at this point, you’ll finish those off later.

4. With your fabric and webbing stitched together, it’s time to start adding your hardware! Lay your collar on the table in front of you in a loose circle, with both tails facing you and the face of the collar facing away.

5. Thread your D-ring onto the left tail before the female end of the buckle, and then thread the buckle on. Your fabric tail will go through the outer most slot first, then the slot closest towards the buckle, then it will fold back on itself.

6. Thread the bar slide onto the right tail before the male end of the buckle—your webbing will go through both slots of the bar slide, then through the slots of the buckle just like the opposite side, and then back through the bar slide, under the first piece. This is what creates the adjustability of the collar. You can check against a store bought collar to make sure you’ve gotten the threading right.

7. With all your hardware threaded, it’s time to sew everything together. Starting with the D-ring, sew as close as you can to both sides of the ring to sew it into place. Sew a box stitch to reinforce both sides of the D-ring, which will also sew the female end of the buckle in place.

How To Sew A DIY Dog Collar

Is It Cheaper To Make A Collar Than Buy One?

The total for my supplies came in at about $13, a few dollars more than your value pet store collar, but less than most higher end collars. Is it worth it to make your own? That may depend on your dog. For Topher, we trust the quality of his other collars way more than the ones I could make, in terms of strength. For a smaller dog, that may not matter as much. As far as time spent, making a collar like this may take you a few hours in an afternoon—less if you’re pretty efficient with a sewing machine. It’s a great little project you could do for dog owners as a gift, so it’s always worth a try!

Lucy Bennett

Lucy is a writer, artist, and Hufflepuff currently living in Atlanta, Ga. When not making things, she enjoys costuming, tabletop games, and digging in the dirt.

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7 Comments

  • Mariah

    I made this collar for $5.14! So worth it! Thanks for the tutorial!

    September 16, 2015 at 4:08 PM
  • Jenn

    This makes a lovely collar 🙂 How did you finish the fabric ends?

    January 5, 2016 at 11:19 PM
  • Nichole

    Fantastic tutorial! I just wanted to add a quick suggestion for anyone looking for a cheap way to start making their own collars. If you find an inexpensive collar at your local dollar shop, you can cut it apart and reuse the pieces, including the webbing, provided that the initial collar was several inches too large for your dog if adjusted to its longest. It’s a great way to start out without making oo much of an investment – especially if you have a great stash of fabric already 🙂

    January 13, 2016 at 12:35 AM
    • Bethany

      Great suggestion!

      May 16, 2016 at 4:57 PM
  • Emma

    Newbie question.
    What foot did you use for seeing the hardware in place?

    September 25, 2016 at 9:06 AM

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