DIY Homemade Adjustable Fabric Dog Collar Tutorial

DIY Adjustable Dog Collar Tutorial

I am beyond excited to finally be sharing this DIY with you. It combines three of my biggest passions: dogs, sewing and my favourite fabric store ever.

Sometimes DIY projects are a way of making something you might not otherwise be able to (easily) find. Sometimes they’re a way to get what you want for cheaper. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a project idea that gives you both. This is one of those ideas. 

There are a lot of dog collars out there. But they’re often not that cute, not that interesting, and not worth the $20-$30 price tag. If you only got to wear one piece of clothing everyday, wouldn’t you want it to be cute and interesting?

Gorgeous fabric, on the other hand, is much easier to find. That is, ever since Patch opened its doors in Halifax a few years ago.

You can see where this is going.

Cute fabric + a little bit of supplies + a little bit of DIY = adorable, functional and cheap collars for your pooch. I bring you the…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 meter of fabric (I use quilting cotton)
  • Cotton webbing (It needs to be about 12-15 inches longer than the finished collar size)
  • Coordinating thread
  • 1-inch D-ring
  • 1-inch parachute clip
  • 1-inch tri-glide clip (For me, this was the hardest piece to track down.  I finally found them at Fabricville on Bayer’s Road.)

You’ll also need fabric scissors (or, as I prefer, a rotary cutter and cutting mat – it makes it so much easier to get your piece of fabric nice and straight), a measuring tape, an iron, and an ironing board.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Measure one of your dog’s old collars (from the inside of one buckle to the other). This measurement is what I’ll refer to as your “finished collar size”.

2. Cut a strip of fabric with the following dimensions:

Length: Finished collar size + 15 inches
Width: 4 inches


3. Fold the strip of fabric in half length-wise and iron. Then open it up, and fold each of the long, raw edges towards the center. Iron again.

Your strip should now look like this:

4. Cut the cotton webbing so it is slightly shorter than the strip of fabric. Insert the cotton webbing inside of the fabric strip, to the left of the center fold. Then fold the right half of the fabric strip over the left half, so the folded edge of the right half is now on the outside edge on the left.


5. Stitch all the way around the outside of the strip, about 1/8-inch from the edge. At each end of the strip, fold the fabric neatly over the end of the cotton webbing and stitch over it, back and forth a couple of times to reinforce the stitching.

You may also want to stitch a straight line across the raw edge of the fabric:


6. You now have a long fabric-covered strip that will form the base of your collar. I will refer to the side of the strip that has the folded-over fabric on it (facing upwards above) as the “bottom” of your strip.


7. Weave one end of your strip through the tri-glide clip, like this:


8. Fold the end of the strip over, so that the bottom of the strip is facing inwards, and using a narrow zig zag stitch, stitch back and forth across the end of the strip to secure it. Then, using a regular stitch, do one straight line across as close to the tri-glide clip as possible, just to prevent your tri-glide clip from sliding around.


9. Next, pull the other end of the strip through the lower space on the “male” end of the parachute clip, with the prongs of the clip on the top side of the strip.


10. Pull the same end of the strip through the tri-glide clip.


11. Next, put the D-ring on, followed by the “female” end of the parachute clip, with the bulk of the parachute clip piece at the top side of the strip.


12. Fold the end of the strip over, with the bottom of the strip facing inwards, so that the D-ring and the parachute clip piece are both inside of the small space formed at the end.


13. Once again, use a narrow zig zag stitch to stitch back and forth across the end of the strip to secure it.


14. Slide the D-ring towards your stitches, and do another zig-zag stitch between the D-ring and the parachute clip.


15. If you can, slide the D-ring back towards your second row of stitches, and do a third row of stitches on the other side, to create a nice tight space for the D-ring.

That’s it! You’re all done! Unless of course you wanted to stitch on a custom label…

Doesn’t it look great?!


Just think… you can now make a dog collar using any fabric, for any occasion…  And your dog will definitely have the cutest, most unique collars on the block.

So. Good.


61 thoughts on “DIY Adjustable Dog Collar Tutorial

  1. Michele Essenmaher says:

    I have to say I love this!!!! I’m in no way educated in this area and I have found it’s very difficult to find someone that can explain it the way you did. You really made sense and you are very easy to follow! Only thing I’ll say negative is the fabric store you spoke of. They are crazy expensive and really for me I will get material from where I get material to make bandanas for my clients ( I’m a pet groomer of 24yrs lol my shop is Furbaby Bliss Salon). “Walmart” only because I need to practice lol I’m sure before I can do this then I’ll look into finding somewhere to order from. I would like to make things as gifts to my clients that need them. Thank you so very much and I’ll check out the other tutorials. Can’t wait to share this!!!!!
    It will be the first time I wanted to see more from a pin!!!!


  2. Carolyn says:

    I’d been wondering how to make some belts for myself. With a wee bit of modification I think the basic part of the belt could be made quite easily. I’d skip the D ring, but having the adjustable belt could be good–bloating, jeans, etc. to go around. Or…use 2 D rings and skip the parachute clip.


  3. Felicity Duke says:

    Really like the tutorial and for that I thank you, but I cannot see why one would need 12-15” more than the dollar size needed. Wouldn’t something like 6” be enough?


  4. Karissa says:

    LOVE this tutorial! SO excited to make some collars!! I think its going to be a new obsession! I HAVE to know- where do you get the custom labels to sew on!?


  5. Charlotte says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. I kept trying to get the fabric the right size and finally managed it with your help. I am having a slight problem with the fabric being pulled and not being straight when sewing around the webbing. Do you have any idea what I need to be changing on my machine? The thread tension is on 5, but I’m new to sewing and not sure what I need to change to get the fabric straight. Thank you for any help 🙂


  6. Doreen says:

    I got everything so excited to start. Got to the part where you put through the triglide. It’s too thick and doesn’t go through! Frustrated, cannot continue!


  7. melissa chambers says:

    What is the smallest and largest this collar will go for this tutorial? I plan to make one; it needs to be a 20″ finished collar, so I’m wondering how much it will adjust when finished.


  8. Suzette says:

    Very nice tutorial. I made one today and it turned out great. Two things that might help others is that I used Jeans needle in my machine. These are really strong needles and that is important when sewing through webbing and fabric. Also, I used my walking foot which made a huge difference.


  9. sparkleandslime says:

    How do you get the top stitched edges to stay straight? No matter what I do when I’m trying to top stitch something, my line ends up all swervey and jagged


    • Suzette says:

      Two things that might help are to use a jeans needle in your machine and to use a walking foot. Hopefully these tips will help you out. 🙂


  10. Katherine says:

    I’m excited to try this! When you’re measuring for the finished collar size do you measure with the collar as large as it will go or adjusted to the size your pet needs?


  11. LeeAnn says:

    Hello! Your directions are so detailed and the pictures are helpful! I’m new to sewing and I was wondering what size needle needs to be used etc.


  12. barb1225 says:

    Thank you for this post. Directions were easy and I appreciated the pictures as well. I’m more of a visual person so pictures are perfect. I successfully made my dog a collar and ready to make more.


  13. Wera Elisha says:

    Thank you for posting your directions! I just got a new puppy and I’m inspired to make him one. If it turns out nice I’ll have to make more for his play date friends.


  14. Jodi says:

    I absolutely love the tutorial! I was actually making these a long time ago and needed a refresher tutural and yours is perfect! I also have some lovely labels coming too! Thank you for sharing!


  15. Anne Marie says:

    Hi there! I am doing Take 2 of making dog collars as the clasp I bought didn’t hold when my Great Pyrenees wanted to chase my border collie! Do you know where you can buy really strong clasps? I live in Nova Scotia too.


  16. Arieana says:

    I love your tutorial! It has inspired me and I feel confident that I can complete this task! Yay Dottie gonna have a new collar!!


  17. Melanie says:

    So excited to try this! If I use fleece do I still follow the same measurements. Wasn’t sure if a different fabric would be different. Thanks for the great tutorial!


  18. Melanie says:

    Great Tutorial! I can’t wait to try this out. I want to try making one with fleece because my pup is sensitive. Would I just u


    • halifaxdogmom says:

      Hi Erin, I am sorry to hear it didn’t work out. For my dog, who has a finished collar size of 22″, adding 15″ for a total fabric length of 37″ results in a good-sized collar which lots of space for adjustments up or down. I suppose with a smaller collar, adding 15″ may result in a collar that is too big, even with adjustments. Thanks to your comment, I am going to revise my instructions a bit to make this more clear.


  19. bree says:

    Hi I was wanting to try this tutorial out for my dog but I wanted to make a collar with 5/8 inch nylon webbing. What would you recommend the width of the fabric for that size?
    Thank you!


  20. Christine says:

    What is the width of the nylon webbing?? Was thinking it looked like an inch??
    Great blog and wonderful tutorial! Excited to make some collars for our pups. 😊
    Thank you!


    • halifaxdogmom says:

      Hi Christine, thanks for your comment! You are correct – the webbing in this tutorial is one-inch in width. I use 3/4-inch webbing for smaller-sized collars, although the hardware is not quite as easy to find.


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