Friday, 21 August 2015
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Easy No-Sew Pet Bandana

Dalmatian dog wearing a red gingham bandana

This might just be the easiest DIY we will ever post!  This is a very quick (under five minutes) craft that ANYONE can do and it requires nothing more than some fabric and a pair of pinking shears.  As some of you may already have seen, Humphrey turned one last week and we had a little birthday bash to celebrate. No party is complete without a celebratory outfit! This super simple DIY is an easy way to create a little something special with next to no effort and cost. You can buy the fabric, use a remnant, or recycle and give new purpose to some past-best material from around your house such as an old dress shirt, linen, or a tablecloth.

The materials and craft supplies used in making the bandana shown are:
  • Fabric (or a suitable clean fabric item for upcycling)
  • Scissors , preferably pinking shears

How to Make a Very Simple No-Sew Dog Bandana

Cut a square such that the diagonal corner-to-corner fold (forming a triangle) is big enough to fit loosely around you pet's neck plus extra to tie a small knot. If you aren't comfortable with guesstimating the size, you can use a collar as a gauge or loosely measure your pet's neck. Don't forget to add a little extra to the neck size for tying the knot. Pinking shears help to reduce fraying without the need to sew the edges. Simply cut and you're done! Easy!

Alternatively, you can cut the triangle instead of folding (half a square on a diagonal - i.e. a right isosceles triangle). Again, this is sized so that the long edge (the diagonal cut) is big enough to fit loosely around you pet's neck plus extra to tie a small knot. Diagonal cuts with pinking shears can be a little more prone to fraying, but I've still used this method for quickie bananas with great results - it's a good option for me as I can quickly make two matching bandanas for our two dogs with one square of fabric, like the ones shown in this post. :)

✂️  Want something fancier or more durable than just pinking? Check out these No-Sew DIY Dog Bandanas with (Cheat!) Finished Edges for a no-sew version of some of our most popular DIY sewn  bandana styles to see how you can make a fully finished bandana without doing a single stitch.

Dalmatian dog with DIY red and white bandana

All of the puppy party details and recipes are being shared so stay tuned! Our healthy carob carrot cupcakes with coconut icing (whew...say that 10 times fast) were a big hit, and the quadruple layer turkey meatloaf and mashed potato dog birthday cake was deemed doggone delicious by our very happy party-going taste testers.  There was almost a mutiny by the drool squad during photos.

🎉 Explore all of Humphrey's 1st birthday celebration posts, recipes, DIYs, and more:

✂️ The diagram below has been added in response to reader comments, showing two easy ways to make a basic no-sew bandana using a simple triangle or a fold-over square style bandana. Hope it helps! 

Patterns for cutting and making dog bandanas


  1. do you have a pattern?

    1. Hi there! We didn't create/post a pattern for this particular DIY, but not to worry - it's so easy it probably isn't worth your effort to print one anyway. :) This now-sew bandana is simply a right triangle (e.g. half a square on a diagonal) so that the long edge (the diagonal cut) is long enough to fit loosely around you pet's neck plus a little extra length so that you'll be able to tie a small knot. Since the edges are pinked not sewn, there are no seam allowances to worry about. Hope that helps!

    2. P.S. If I get a chance later today, I'll try to create a quick pattern-style diagram and add it into the post above for you and anyone else who might be looking for a little extra info. :)

  2. How long will it last before it frays? Can I wash it?

    1. Oh, that's a tricky question as it depends on the fabric - some will fray very quickly and others hold up very well. Pinking reduces fraying, but it doesn't stop it all together. It depends on the weave and stability of the material you use, the orientation of the cuts, and how much wear-and-tear the bandana gets over time. Humphrey and Oli still have these red and white bandanas. They don't wear them routinely (bandanas are special dress-up and occasions only around here) but they have been worn and washed several times.

      If you want a truly durable bandana, I'd recommend going with a sewn style instead. We have several DIY examples here on the blog, and most are pretty easy to sew with basic machine-sewing skills.

      Alternatively, if you want a really easy-sew option, you can also sew a single line of stitching just in from the pinked edge of your fabric, which will help limit fraying to the seam line. I'd suggest using the fold-over square for this style of bandana.

      Hope this helps! :)


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