Making your own dog collars opens up an entire new world of fashion for your pet. Webbing for a backing topped with grosgrain ribbon gives you literally thousands of choices of colors and styles. Your dog will be the envy of the park with his new look.
Wrap a soft measuring tape around your dog’s neck where his collar would lie. Place one finger under the measuring tape to obtain a slightly loose measurement of his neck. Add 10 inches to the neck measurement to make an adjustable collar. Adjustable collars are particularly important if your fur-buddy is a growing puppy.
Use scissors to cut a piece of webbing that extends 10 inches beyond the neck measurement. Cut a piece of grosgrain ribbon three-quarters of an inch longer than the webbing. Use the same width of webbing and ribbon for your collar. The colorful ribbon will cover the entire piece of webbing on the outside of the finished product.
Light a cigarette lighter and pass both short ends of the webbing and the grosgrain ribbon quickly through the flame two to three times. This action seals the ends of the fabric so they do not fray. Do not overdo this step or you will have dark burn marks on your collar.
Insert a #14-16 size denim sewing needle into a sewing machine. Place clear thread in the bobbin and on top of the spool holder. Alternately, you may use a colored thread that contrasts to one of the colors in the ribbon.
Center the ribbon on top of the webbing. Sew a straight stitch around all four sides about 1/4-inch from the edges. Use an interlocking stitch at the beginning and end of the run by going forward a few stitches, reversing a few stitches and then going forward again. Lift the presser foot and pull the collar out of the sewing machine. Cut the excess thread off the collar.
Slide the D-ring on one end of the collar a few inches from the end. Squeeze both sides of the parachute snap and pull the two ends apart. Insert the flat outer part of the buckle onto the end near the D-ring.
Insert the sliding strap adjuster onto the other end of the collar. Insert the inner section of the parachute buckle onto the same end.
Lay a ruler on a flat surface. Lay the collar next to the ruler with the face side down. Fold the excess collar length from the outer part of the buckle over onto the middle of the collar about 1 inch past the D-ring. Secure the tip of the collar to the main part of the collar with a small piece of fusible web and a hot iron.
Pull the excess collar through the other end of the inner side of the buckle until the collar is the same measurement on the ruler as your dog’s neck measurement. Insert the excess collar through the farthest side of the adjuster then through the nearest side. Pull the tail out about 1 inch. Check your collar adjustment against the ruler again. Pull more or less of the tail through the adjuster to get the correct measurement.
Slide the adjuster as far as possible from the buckle. Cut a small piece of fusible web and iron it in between the tip of the collar and the area it touches on the inside of the completed collar.
- Use the same size of hardware as your size of ribbon and webbing. Use a size that is correct for the size of your dog. Toy and teacup breeds usually wear 1/2-inch wide collars. Medium size dogs wear 5/8-inch widths and large breeds wear 1-inch wide collars. A large collar on a small dog will dwarf his size and not be comfortable. A skinny collar on a large dog is too thin to complement his and will not be noticeable.
- Make a dog collar for every occasion with bright colored ribbons. Grosgrain ribbon is readily available at craft stores for every holiday in many patterns.
- Create collars to match your pooch's wardrobe so he is fashionable throughout the year.
- You can use a paint pen to write your pet's name on his new collar or a cute comment.
- If your dog is a chewer, do not place embellishments on his collar. If he gets the collar off, any items that are hot-glued to the collar can pose a choking hazard.
Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.