In this blog post I’ll show you how to sew a dog leash with fabric scraps – they are a great way to sew your stash and something fun.
Learn how to create a stylish and durable dog leash using fabric scraps and fusible fleece! Whether you’re a sewing novice or a seasoned pro, this tutorial is perfect for anyone looking to add a personal touch to their furry friend’s accessories.
In this step-by-step guide, I’ll walk you through the process of making a custom dog leash from start to finish. How to use directional and non-directional fabric or keep it simple using only one fabric instead of a variety of fabrics and fabric scraps.
I used fabric scraps from my Spring Barn Quilts fabric collection manufactured and sold by Riley Blake Designs. See more projects here >
Disclaimer: Some of the links this post may be affiliate and Amazon Associate links where I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Watch the video & see how easy these dog leashes are to make
🎯 SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS IN THE VIDEO:
00:00 Introduction 00:07 Supplies 01:19 Using directional fabric 03:16 Decide dog leash length 04:06 Sew fabric scraps 05:09 Press seams open 05:29 How to use a quilter’s clapper 06:44 Add fusible fleece
07:54 How to use multiple pieces of fusible fleece 09:15 Press to enclose raw edges 10:50 Sew the leash 11:00 Add swivel hook 11:36 Make the dog leash handle 12:28 Add a D-ring 13:11 Make dog leash from one fabric 13:26 3 ways to make fabric dog leashes
STEP 1: Decide how long you want your leash to be
Dog leashes come in a variety of sizes.
Standard: 6 feet
Hiking, Training or for larger dogs: 10 feet
Hiking, backyard, beach, outdoor play: 15 feet
The best way to decide what size to make is to measure the leash you love! (Or find out what length the person you are making a leash for likes)
Calculate the length of fabric you need: Desired Leash Length + 10 inches
STEP 2: Sew your Fabrics
Grab your stash and CUT STRIPS that are 4″ wide.
TIP: Put your darkest fabric at one end for the handle – it will keep your leash looking fresh and clean longer than if you use a light colored fabric that will show more dirt. If I can I used a piece of fabric that is 4″ x 18″ for the handle and then add a variety of different lengths of fabric to get to my desired length.
If you want to use a directional fabric, make sure the part of the fabric you want showing is in the inner 2″ of the fabric and not the 1″ on either side of the 4″ strip. Also not the orientation / direction of the fabric shown. (figure 1)
SEW your fabric pieces together to form a piece as long as the desired length of your leash + 10″.
PRESS seams open to reduce bulk.
STEP 3: Add Fusible Fleece & Press Leash Fabric
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press. (figure 2)
Open the fabric and place the fusible fleece on either side, fusible side down, lined up against the fold, leaving ¼” at each end. (figure 3)
Fold the fabric back over and press to adhere the fleece to the fabric. Repeat the process the entire length of the fabric.
You will need multiple pieces of fusible fleece for your dog leash so when you get to the end, simply put the next piece down with the ends of the 2 piece of fusible fleece touching each other. There is no need to overlap them since they will be fused to the fabric and then topstitched in place.
After you press the fusible fleece the length of the fabric, open the fold and press the ¼” over on each end of the fabric.
Fold the 1″ section over the fleece and press the entire length. Keep your iron on the fleece half of the leash so you don’t press the original fold. (figure 4)
Next you will press the other long raw edge into the center to meet at the fold / side of the fleece. (figure 5)
Finally, fold on the original fold, now encapsulating the fusible fleece and raw edges inside and forming a 1″ strip of fabric that will become the leash. (figure 6)
I like to use my Quilter’s Clapper or Tailor’s Clapper (the difference is the length of the wood) during this last step to help really set the folds and take some of the heat out of the fabric (so I don’t burn my fingers!) I then add fabric clips to hold the folds together. (figure 7)
STEP 4: Sew your scrappy leash and add the clip and handle
Topstitch around all 4 sides of the leash, approximately 1/8″ from the edges. (figure 8)
If you used a long piece of fabric for the handle, we will make the handle first. (I did it second in the video but it makes more sense to do it first in writing.) Fold the handle over 8″. Add the D-ring if you are going to use it. I like to add them so I or whoever I’m giving the leash to can clip a poop bag holder (I have a tutorial for that), keys, lip balm holder (I have a tutorial for that too) or other clippy thing onto the leash for hands-free walking. Just move the D-ring to the end of the folded handle for now.
Sew a square and an “X” through the square to secure it. Then move the D-ring down to where you just sewed and sew a stitch line on the other side of the D-ring to keep in in place. (figure 9)
Place the leash hook D-ring on the fabric and fold the fabric over about 2″. Sew with a square and an “X” through the square to secure it. If you want to add a tag, this is a great place to do it. (figure 10)
That’s it – you’re done!
Time to grab your sewing machine and embark on this fun and rewarding DIY project.
If you make and post any on social media using these instructions I’d love to see – be sure to tag me!
Spring on the farm is always a good idea – and so is a free quilt pattern! Bring the colors and countryside to your next project with this 60″ × 60″ free quilt pattern. This pattern uses the pillow panel and prints from my Spring Barn Quilts fabric collection from Riley Blake Designs.
If you are a fan of kits where you get everything you need in a cute box, this pattern is also available as a boxed kit. Ask for it where you love to buy Riley Blake Designs fabrics.