Quick & Easy: Make Your Own Dog Collar with Fabric Scraps and Nylon Webbing
Want to make something fun for your dog or for a gift AND use up fabric scraps at the same time? Learn how quick and easy it is to make your own adjustable Dog Collar!
To keep the cost down I cut apart a collar I got at a dollar store so I didn't have to spend a lot or search near and far for the the buckle, D-ring and slide. Of course they are available in a variety of sizes, styles and colors so if you don't like what you find, do some investigating!
I used fabric scraps from my Send Me to the Woods fabric collection manufactured and sold by Riley Blake Designs. See more projects here >
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- Collar Hardware (Snap Buckle, Metal D-Ring, Slide Lock
- Fabric Scraps
- Nylon Webbing*
- Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Needle
OPTIONAL (but recommended):
- Fabric Bias Tape Maker (5/8″)
- Spray On Starch (available by laundry detergents in most stores)
STEP 1: Cut your Nylon Webbing
ADJUSTABLE DOG COLLAR SIZES:
|Finished Collar Size||Fabric & Nylon Length|
|16 – 20″||26″|
|20 – 24″||32″|
Using a match or other flame, carefully melt the ends of the nylon webbing to avoid fraying.
STEP 2: Prepare your Fabric
(The images for this part don't show the fabric used on the sample collar. The instructions are the same as for the DIY Dog Leash so I decided not to recreate the wheel!)
*NOTE: Sizing is based on a buckle that is 1″ wide – be sure to measure what you are using and adjust the directions accordingly.
Grab your stash and CUT STRIPS that are 1.5″ wide.
SEW them together to form a piece as long as the nylon webbing.
PRESS seams open.
Next you will transform your 1.5″ wide fabric strip into a strip that has the raw edges pressed under and now measures 3/4″ (1.9 cm) wide.
There are two basic ways to do this – with a bias tape maker or just using your iron.
Here is how to do both ways, and why I think the bias tape maker is worth investing in the tool if you don't have it already!
For both methods, I recommend spraying your fabric generously with spray starch to help the creases really hold. You will be working with a large length of fabric so stability for sewing it onto the nylon webbing is desired.
- Put your fabric strip in a pile on your ironing board.
- SPRAY generously with starch.
- ROLL the fabric around to saturate it with the starch and soak up any wetter areas.
- REAPPLY as you iron if the fabric begins to dry and the folds don't stay crisp.
METHOD ONE: PREPARING YOUR FABRIC WITH JUST YOUR IRON
If you don't have and don't want to get bias tape maker tools, that's ok!
- IRON the full length of your fabric in half.
- OPEN the fabric
- IRON each long, raw edge in to the center line you just created when you ironed the fabric in half.
- TURN over and iron again to remove the center fold line.
PRO: You don't need to buy any equipment (bias tape maker) you don't already have.
CONS: Takes longer.
A lot of heat and steam coming at your hands!
METHOD TWO: PREPARING YOUR FABRIC WITH A BIAS TAPE MAKER AND YOUR IRON
I'm a huge fan of using a bias tape maker for this as it will save you time and over-steamed fingers, totally worth the investment and you will find other uses for the tools for other projects.
Usually sold in a set of 4 or 5 sizes prices can range from about $7-25 dollars depending on what accessories come with the tools and whether it comes in a storage case or not.
While I use a bias tape maker, I take a few liberties with the process for this project.
- I don't cut my fabric on the bias. I simply use the tool to press the fabric more quickly and efficiently.
- I don't use the standard size fabric strip for the bias tape maker tool.
Normally you use fabric that is twice the width of the bias tape maker tip.
For a dog leash using 1″ nylon webbing, we want our fabric to be 3/4″ wide.
Bias tape makers are made in mm – using the 18 mm tool you will end up with bias tape that is 5/8″ wide (that extra 1/8″ makes a difference – see photo)
I played around and discovered that I could use fabric a little wider – 1.5″ – to get the result I wanted. You will need to take a little care to make sure the fabric is folding evening and going into the bias tape maker evenly but it works like a charm!
STEP 3: ATTACHING THE FABRIC TO THE NYLON WEBBING
- CENTER the fabric on top of the nylon webbing.
- FOLD the raw end under and stitch across the top – leaving about 1/8 – 1/4″ of nylon webbing beyond the fabric.
- STITCH 1/4″ from the edge of the webbing down one side, across the bottom (also folding raw edge of fabric under to secure) and up the other side.
- TIP: I like to match my bobbin thread to the nylon so the stitching doesn't show on the back of the collar and it looks more professional.
STEP 4: SEW THE SLIDE LOCK IN PLACE
THREAD the collar through the slide lock making sure the fabric side is out and the nylon webbing is together.
Pull 2″ through and then STITCH together in a square. Add X through the center for extra strength.
THREAD the collar through one side of the buckle so the fabric is facing OUT.
SLIDE THROUGH the slide lock again.
This took a little finessing with the multiple layers of nylon webbing and fabric, especially where the fabric pieces were sewn together, but with a little patience and gentle effort you will get it! And once you adjust it to your dog you won't be moving the slide lock again.
STEP 5: ATTACHING THE D-RING AND SNAP SIDE OF THE BUCKLE
The next and final step is to attach the D-Ring and snap side of the buckle to the collar.
THREAD the fabric through the D-Ring and then the outside opening of the clip half of the buckle. (see photo 1)
THREAD back through the opening closest to the clip half of the buckle. (see photo 2)
PULL ABOUT 4″ THROUGH.
LOOP back through the D-Ring, so the end of the fabric / nylon combo is now sandwiched on the inside. (see photo 3)
Thread the fabric through and CLIP IN PLACE before sewing to make the buckle isn't backwards. (see photo 4)
SEW through the three layers of collar, going back and forth a few times, in two lines, between the Buckle and the D-Ring.
Because of the bulk of the buckle and the D-Ring it is next to impossible to sew a square and X to reinforce so doing two (or even 3) reinforced lines across will make it secure. (see arrows on the photo for stitch lines I did in the sample)
That's all there is to it!
You now have a custom, adjustable dog collar for your four legged friend!
If you make this and share it – be sure to tag me on social media – I'd love to see!
🐶 Tara Reed
P.S. Want to make a leash to match? CLICK HERE to see the dog leash tutorial >
Materials Used in this Project:
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It’s one of the ways I support my site.