Golden retriever with a DIY dog bandana on for the 4th of July

DIY Dog Bandana

If you love your pet as much as we love ours, hopefully, this project doesn’t seem quite as silly. LOL. I would do just about anything for my puppy. Even dress her up a little. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Today’s project is perfect for just that. Raise your pet’s fashion quota with this DIY dog bandana. Works equally well for your cat, parakeet or iguana!

This project is great for beginners who may be new to sewing. It’s also a fun and easy craft for you and the kids to make together. You do not need much fabric so it’s very inexpensive. I bought my fabric at Hobby Lobby, where they do NOT have minimum yardage requirements, in short, you can buy exactly what you need down to the inch. No wasted money or fabric. Love that!

Sewing tutorial for this DIY dog bandana, shown on a golden retriever

Making a Pattern

First, you will need to determine how big you want your bandana. This is completely up to you, obviously, there are no rules.๐Ÿ˜‰ If you’d like a pattern for the sizes that I created, you can DOWNLOAD a free PDFย from the download page. Just sign up (subscribe) in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page. I created three different triangle shapes, one for tiny dogs, one for medium and one for larger breeds like the golden retrievers below. I fit the shapes to a letter size sheet so it’s easy to print. You will need to enlarge or decrease the sizes on a copier to fit your pet just right. Of course, you can adjust the triangle shape or make your own for a custom fit. For the neckband, simply measure your pet’s current collar, double the height and add a seam allowance. (More information below to walk you through this.)

These three sweethearts below were not so easy to coral for a photo, hence the serious looks! Cooper, on the right, is our 10-year-old golden retriever. We were babysitting for Jack (8 years) and Brody (7 months) when I took this picture. What a blast to be in the company of three!

Sewing tutorial for this DIY dog bandana, shown on a golden retriever

Jack, Brody, and Cooper

If you are creating your pattern from scratch, you may want to draw each piece out, with their corresponding measurements to figure out how much fabric to buy. First, determine the size of the triangle bandana piece that fits best. Grab a ruler or tape measure, and have your trusty pet by your side. Use that measurement for the triangle piece and add a seam allowance all the way around. For the neckband, simply measure your pet’s current collar. This is usually the perfect length with enough overlap for Velcro or other closure types. Now take the collar measure, double the height, plus add a seam allowance all the way around the neckband piece.

IMPORTANT: Did you remember to add a seam allowance to your pattern? This is the area between the raw fabric edge and the stitching line on the pieces of material being sewn together. They typically range from 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) wide to as much as several inches. It’s up to you how wide you’d like to make yours. I typically use a 5/8 inch (1.5cm) seam allowance.

After you’ve determined the pattern sizes you need, you are ready to shop for fabric and gather your materials. Take the dimensions, the pattern or your drawing itself to your local fabric store. Their staff will help you figure out the best way to layout the pattern on the fabric and how much fabric you need.

Sewing tutorial for this DIY dog bandana, shown on a golden retriever

Selecting Your Fabric

As you shop for fabric, consider a washable or easy to clean fabric. For added interest, you might want to contrast the neckband to the dog bandana itself.

Golden retriever with a DIY dog bandana on for the 4th of July

Prewashing Your Fabric

Once you have your fabric home, pre-wash it. This will prevent future-fit problems if your fabric shrinks.

Materials for great craft idea for kids, DIY dog bandana

Here are the materials that you’ll need…

Dog Bandana Materials & Sewing Supplies

Cutting Board (or a safe surface to cut fabric on)
Straight Pins
Matching Thread
Paper Scissors
Fabric Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Pencil with Eraser
Straight Edge (if you are drawing the pattern out)
Pattern Paper or Cardboard for Pattern
Free Pattern Download (Optional, Not pictured)
Sewing Machine (Not pictured)
Closure, such as Velcro tabs or Snaps (Not pictured)

(affiliate links above)

DIY dog bandana project, materials and instructions

Cutting out your Fabric

It’s time to cut out your fabric. Layout your pattern pieces, remember not to rush this step. Take your time, consider the direction of the pattern or stripes so they run the way you want and make sure you added a seam allowance. Okay, it’s cuttin’ time!

step by step instructions for a DIY dog bandana. A fast and easy project for kids.

The Neck Band of the Dog Bandana

1. The first step is to iron the neckband. You want to fold and press the seam allowances into the center, and with wrong sides together, press the neckband in half.

The Triangle, Base of the Dog Bandana

2. With right sides together, stitch the 2 triangle pieces together at the two bottom angles, in one continuous stitch. Backstitch at the beginning and the end to reinforce.

3. On the wrong side press seams open.

4. Turn the triangle to the right side and press again to finish edges. Leaving the top of the triangle open and unsewn.

Sewing the Two Bandana Pieces Together

5. Next position the neckband and the triangle pieces, so that the unsewn edge tucks inside of the open band, just within the length of your seam allowance.

6. Pin the neckband closed all the way across, including the top edge of the triangle.

step by step instructions for a DIY dog bandana. A fast and easy sewing craft for kids.

7. To finish both ends of the neckband of the bandana, one at a time, with right sides together, sew a vertical stitch on each end. Turn both ends out so you have a nicely finished edge. You may need to use a pointed tool to gently unfold the corner so it is square.

8. Press both ends of the neckband.


9. Topstitch across the lower edge of the neckband. You can topstitch around the triangle too if you prefer.

10. Sew on Velcro tabs or strong snaps for closing mechanisms. Do one final pressing.

DIY dog bandana project, materials and instructions

You are done. Now, Fido has a fashion accessory. Enjoy your dog bandana!
Please let me know if you try this project in the comment box below. I would love to see what you create! Are you inspired to BLOOM & SEW? Tag me@bebraveandbloom or use #bloomandsew or #bebraveandbloom.

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Sewing tutorial for this DIY dog bandana, shown on a golden retriever
  • Donna Ondler
    Posted at 18:33h, 31 July Reply

    Cindy โ€œCooperโ€ looks adorable in his bandana โค๏ธ Iโ€™m sure she has more than one ๐Ÿ˜‰. She is such a sweetheart.
    I love your blog & have things in my shopping cart for my kitchens suggestions.

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 05:16h, 01 August Reply

      Donna, you are sooo sweet. Thanks for visiting. I really appreciate your feedback too! Cooper says “hello…ruff, ruff!”

  • Juanita Rosales
    Posted at 15:09h, 25 November Reply

    The download for the bandana patterns are not available. Can you please forward link to me at my email?
    Thank you.

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 05:37h, 26 November Reply

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention Juanita! Check your email when you have time.๐Ÿ˜

  • Nancy Lynn Boyd
    Posted at 02:49h, 02 December Reply

    I can’t wait to make a few of these bandana’s for gifts to friends who has pups….

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 04:30h, 02 December Reply

      Nancy, that makes me so happy! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m sure they will love them! Enjoy. Thanks for your message!

  • Carina Anne
    Posted at 11:47h, 03 December Reply

    I would love to get a copy of the bandana pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 04:00h, 04 December Reply

      Hi Carina! You can download a PDF within the post, by clicking the links marked “download”. Just follow the link & password in the email you will receive after signing up. This will subscribe you to my email list. I will also send you the PDF.๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by!

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