How to Make No-Sew Over-the-Collar Bandanas for your Dog

This tutorial will show you how to make easy, no-sew dog bandanas that fit right over your dog's collar! No more bulky knots that your dog hates!

Does your dog like wearing a bandana? Millie is tiny and she strongly dislikes the feel of a bunch of fabric tied around her neck! Here's an easy way to create a bandana that fits right over your dog's collar. Best of all, it's a no-sew project! Keep reading for the tutorial.

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I love the look of a bandana on a pup, especially during the summer! So far, all my attempts to keep one on Millie have resulted in an unhappy pup.

My daughter Abby suggested I make her some bandanas that fit over her collar, and I found this great tutorial that was really easy to follow.

It's a sewing tutorial, and I realize that not all of you have access to, or know how to use, a sewing machine.

I wanted to see if I could adapt this DIY into a no-sew version, and I'm happy to say that it worked! I made Millie 5 new bandanas in under an hour, and she doesn't even seem to realize that they're on her!! That's what I call a total win 🐶💗

She even posed so pretty for me so I could shoot a few photos! This little ball of fluff is almost 4 now, and she has been such a blessing! Always ready for a cuddle and to give kisses, soft and sweet 90% of the time lol.

How to make no-sew dog bandanas

You'll need some fun fabric or bandanas. I like to buy the fat quarters from Walmart. You can purchase just one for about $1.50, and they always have lots of variety to choose from.

Wash and dry the fabric and you'll be ready to go!

Supplies for a DIY dog bandana

Step 1 - cut fabric

You want to cut your fabric into a square. Millie is small (her neck measures 10"), and I cut an 8" square. You can find a measurement guide on Ashley's tutorial that I mentioned above. But be aware you might want to adjust it slightly for your own dog. According to the guide, for Millie's neck size I should have cut a 6" square; however I found that made a bandana that looked too small.

Step 2 - fold and press

Fold the fabric from one corner to the other and press with the iron. If you're using an actual bandana, the fabric isn't always perfectly square. As you can see in the image below, one corner doesn't perfectly match. Not a big deal.

Step 3 - press corners

We want to make the sides of the bandana flat rather than pointed. Open the folded square so the wrong side of the fabric is facing up. Measure and fold the tip of the fabric in and press. The point of the fabric should be aligned along the pressed fold. I made my folds at 1-1/2", you may need to adjust for a larger or smaller dog.

Step 4 - secure corners

To keep those corners we just ironed in place, we're going to add some of the magical stitch witchery and steam it closed. This is the same product I used when I altered my son's graduation gown to fit my other son.

Because I was using my Cricut EasyPress (which doesn't steam), I lightly misted the stitch witchery with water before folding the fabric over and ironing it shut. You may need to secure the stitch witchery with a few pins to keep it from moving as you close the fabric over it.

*Designer tip - I followed this step even for the bandanas that I sewed on my machine because it makes sliding the dog's collar through just easier when that fabric is secure.

Step 5 - "sew" bandana closed

Now that the corners are pressed in and secured, fold the entire bandana in half again, along the pressed seam so when it's folded, the wrong sides are facing out. 

Open bandana so it's lying flat and apply stitch witchery along the two edges of one side, using pins to hold it in place. Fold the other half over and steam closed.

*If you're using a sewing machine, fold and pin the bandana together, wrong sides out, and stitch it closed along the two sides.

Your bandana will be a triangle once again, with the wrong sides facing out and the folded side open along each end.

Step 6 - turn right side out

Turn the bandana right side out by working the fabric through the open ends. You can use the pointed end of a paintbrush to poke out the fabric at the pointed end.

Here's a quick little video to show you what I mean.

Step 7 - press and insert collar

Press the bandana again, and insert your dog's collar through the opening.

* if you're sewing the bandana, before inserting the collar, you could sew a seam along the top just to keep the collar from moving around

I hope that was easy to follow! Let me know if you have any questions.

I whipped up several cute dog bandanas for Millie to wear and they're so easy to slip on and off her collar! The red bandana is going to be so perfect for the 4th of July! 

You can make a patriotic bandana and my easy drop cloth flag banner for fun puppy photo shoots!

You can see that I stitched along the top edge of the bandanas with my sewing machine, to create a funnel for her collar, but it's not necessary. The collar stays put without that extra seam, I just prefer the finished look.

Our sweet Millie looks awfully proud to be styling her new bandanas! Or (more accurately), she's excited to pose for her favorite treats!

Millie and I hope you loved this post! Please let us know if your pup would appreciate some cute bandanas without the bulk! 🐶❤🐾💗

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  1. What temperature did you set your Easy Press at to bond the fabric?


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