Every dog loves playing or lounging outside on a bright, summer day. Help your furry best friend be the star of the dog park with this fun DIY dog bandana from Maker Team member May of @craftwithmay!
Skill Level: Beginner
Time: 2 hours
Ruler or cutting square
Sewing machine (optional)
When it comes to dressing up dogs, my little Dachshund Bandit loves a good bandana! I have found that cutting fabric to create a ‘fold-over’ style bandana that runs through his collar (vs tying a knot) lays nicer, and it seems to be more comfortable as well. Luckily this type of project is simple, easy, and can be recreated in about two hours, or less than one if you utilize machine stitching and keep it simple!
To begin, cut two pieces of fabric in your bandana shape. You can estimate the correct size depending on how big your dog is. My raw fabric is about 9” wide at the widest, and about 12” high from the pointed tip to the top of the raw edge. I cut my cotton natural fabric with an acrylic cutting square often used for quilting - a great way to get that bandana point easily. Once that was cut, I cut up to create straight edges (that will later be folded over to make the bandana fit over the collar) on either side.
Next up, I used my scissors to cut hearts out of three colors of felt. I did this by hand, but you could certainly use an electronic cutting machine, template, or other method to design your pieces.
Once I have my pieces cut, it’s time to design! Use one of your piece of plain fabric as a base, and place any felt or decoration pieces no less than ½” from edges. This allows for the seams allowance in later steps. I selected the super cute cactus ribbon to accent my bandana and bring the cactus theme from the palette I used into my design.
To assemble, first machine or hand stitch the cactus ribbon into place. Keep in mind that the ribbon ends will end up stitched together in the back later.
Once your ribbon is sewn down, place and stitch your felt hearts (or other shapes!) into place, remembering to leave a seam allowance of ½” or more along the sides to allow for the stitching of the finished bandana. I just did a simple stitch, but you could certainly add fancier stitches if desired!
With your decorative felt stitched down, next you will place your decorated fabric and your plain piece of fabric right sides together and pin or clip together. This is so that you can stitch the sides (I did bottom and sides, leaving top open) together before finishing the project. This is done the fastest via machine stitching, but can certainly be done with hand stitching, or even with pinking shears or a raw/rough edge out if you prefer.
Once stitched together, turn right side out and iron flat, pressing all seams so that your project lays flat and lovely. At this point, make sure the raw edge is folded in, then fold the end over until even with the bottom edge of the cactus ribbon. Why? Because at this point your fold is creating the fabric opening for your collar to slide through! So easy!
Stitch along the cactus ribbon top and bottom to secure the fabric looped over, leaving the top and sides alone so that the collar loop is preserved. Be sure to measure your collar (mine is only ¾” high) to ensure you leave enough of a gap for it to be put through!
Once this is done, you can be finished or you can add any finishing stitches as I did here along the bottom edges. Now you’re ready to place the collar and bandana on your pooch – and enjoy.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial this project was so much fun to make I can’t wait to create even more, and use Benzie felt palettes to guide my inspiration on future projects as well.
Thanks to May for designing and writing this tutorial! You can follow her on Instagram @craftwithmay or visit her website. Stay tuned for more Benzie Design Maker Team tutorials from May and the rest of the Team!