How To Make Dog Collars

Learn how to make dog collars with our detailed instructions!

Woven braided small dog collar in light and dark green.

Collars come in a great variety of styles and materials.

Now you can have the fun of making your own using our step-by-step instructions.

Once you’ve mastered some basics, it will be easy for you to add unique touches.

Of course, you can also create your own designs from scratch, especially once you get the hang of it…

Collars can be more than just functional. Consider combining both fashion and function for stepping out in style!

Check out our ideas for a purely decorative collar, or scroll down for more suggestions.

Thrift Store Special

Ms. Sock Lady from Texas sent in her idea for how to make dog collars:

“I have a tip for people out there who don’t like buying expensive collars. Take a belt and measure it around your dogs neck and cut a bit more off than your dog’s neck line should be. Go punch a hole in where the pointy thing goes and make sure two of your fingers can fit between the collar and your dog’s neck.  You can do this for small dogs and big dogs. Your dog will be looking nice in their new collar without the trip to the pet store, saving you lots of money.”

Great Idea – by Lisa 

“What a good idea, Ms. Sock Lady! And so simple. I have worked with the Humane Society in my area and collars and leashes are at a premium. We throw away the choke chains that come with many dogs. I am going to the thrift store to see if I can find a bunch of belts. Thanks for the tip.”

Jo’s comments: You can do this with leather and fabric belts. We prefer metal buckles – test them thoroughly at home first to make sure the buckle and other materials will hold firm if your dog lunges at something while you’re out walking.

Below are instructions for a largesize, red nylon dog collar that costs about USD 5.00 if the materials are purchased new. 

The first collar should take less than two hours to make; later ones will go faster.

This website also has directions and ideas for making dog collars out of other materials such as yarns and fabrics.

Making Dog Collars Out of Nylon: Materials & Tools

Dog wearing a red nylon collar

With a length of red webbing that I had lying around, along with some buckles and sliders from an old backpack, I found it easy to duplicate the basic design sold in stores to make Comet a serviceable collar.

For a fancier look, there is multi-colored and patterned webbing available online (either polypropylene or nylon – nylon is stronger).

Materials

  • A length of nylon or polypropylene webbing 3″ or 75 mm longer than your dog’s neck size
  • 2 Sliders*
  • 1 Plastic or metal buckle* (metal preferred)
  • 1 Metal D-ring*

*Note: Your hardware needs to be the right width to fit your webbing

Red nylon dog collar.

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Matches or gas burner to sear ends of webbing
  • Wet sponge to pinch seared ends
  • Thread that matches the color of your webbing 
  • Sewing needle or sewing machine
The first end of the dog collar.

Instructions

  1. Thread the nylon webbing through the D-ring.
  2. Determine the top side of the buckle.
  3. Thread the webbing through the slot on the receptacle part of the buckle.
  4. Fold the webbing under itself 1 1/2″ (38 mm) past the D-ring.
  5. Start sewing a line about 1/4″ from the end, making sure the webbing lies square.
  6. If using a sewing machine, use Reverse to go back over your line to anchor the stitching.
  7. Sew forward over your line again.
  8. Make a rectangle and cross pattern as shown with the white thread above, going over each line 3 times. (I used white thread to make it easier for you to see what’s happening.)
  9. Using double thread, hand sew the line closest to the D-Ring.

Adding the Slider

How to add the slider to the dog collar.
  1. Decide which is the top end of your slider.
  2. Thread the remaining end of your webbing up through the first slot and down through the second.
  3. Move the slider down about 8″ (200 mm).

Adding the Buckle to the Other End of the Collar

How to add the buckle to the dog collar.
  1. Thread webbing from the bottom through the first slot then down from the top through the slot closest to the prongs of the other half of your buckle.
  2. Slide this part of the buckle down about 5″ (125 mm). 
  3. Pull out a loop of the webbing that is already in the slider
  4. From underneath your slider, thread the webbing up through the further slot and down through the one closer to the buckle.
  5. Make a big loop out of the top webbing between the slider and buckle.
  6. Sew down the end of your webbing onto the lower webbing coming out of the buckle. Be careful not to sew into the top strap.

That’s all there is to this project – now go and try it on your dog!

More Ideas For How To Make Dog Collars

Consider the following:

  • Braid/weave a unique collar out of yarn as in the photo above. See Design Your Own Dog Collar.
  • Crochet one that fits over your dog’s regular collar – perfect for holidays like ChristmasHanukkah, Kwanzaa, Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day!
  • Knit a strip out of sturdy fibers.
  • Making dog collars out of nylon webbing using straps and plastic snaps off old backpacks and bags or using multi-colored webbing is easy to do.
  • Weave a strip with cotton yarn, string, or beads on or off-loom. Emily from Grand Rapids wrote to us that she made a homemade collar in the following manner: “I used weaving string, and all I did was I made the weaving thick. You just weave it or even add charms or anything because it makes the dog feel loved.”
  • Use some old blue jean material and embroider patterns on it.
  • Make a leash to match – hold walks with pride!

How to Make Dog Collars: Decorative Additions

 Reminder: Please keep small items out of reach of dogs that chew.


Training Collars 

At this time we do not have any instructions for making your own training collars. However, here’s a good set of instructions to make a dog martingale collar from the Romp Rescue site for greyhounds.

Note that we do NOT recommend creating your own shock collars. Commercial ones can be effective if used properly where the dog receives only a mild shock and learns to associate the shock with a beep, so that only the beep is needed to affect the dog’s behavior. 

The potential for misuse and unintended consequences, however, is greater with such a collar, and could result in your dog shying away from you or being unwilling to come when called. Patient training is our recommended option.

If you are interested in making other types of training collars, we suggest you scrutinize a manufactured one first to see how it has been constructed, and then see whether it is something you will be able to make yourself.