Friday, 5 February 2016
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Easy Flair Embellished No-Sew DIY Dog Bandana

No-sew DIY dog bandanas using handkerchiefs and iron-on patches


You can find cute patterns, but it's always fun to pick your own flair!  It only takes a minute or two to elevate the humble handkerchief to a custom pet bandana with a fun iron-on embellishment - a great quickie craft for older (iron capable) kids to make for their best furry friend.


Simple no-sew DIY dog bandanas are an easy way to quickly create a little customised cuteness, but if you want a quick and simple no-sew option that is a little sturdier and more finished (e.g. a gift or special event), then human bandanas and handkerchiefs make a quick and inexpensive substitute.  Full sized human bandanas are a good fit for very large dogs, men's handkerchiefs (like our blue bandana here) work well for medium to large dogs, and women's handkerchiefs suit smaller pets.  If you're into sewing, you can cut cut them on the diagonal and overlock the raw edge to create two-for-one, or just go the simple no-sew route and fold, as shown.

I have a little stash of cute little iron-on patches picked from croft-shop bargain bins for next to nothing and plain coloured cotton handkerchiefs (bought on sale, of course) tucked away in my craft stash, including holiday iron-ons like this sweet little Valentine heart, as well as our pets' initials and more.  You can also create your own by custom-cutting plain iron-on patch material, although this isn't quite as sturdy. Alternatively, you can make your own custom patch with embroidery, if you're keen!  Perhaps I'll share a few ideas with you in a future post.

📅 UPDATE: In the years since writing this post, we've added a Cricut to our crafting equipment. It's great for making quick custom iron-ons, like our personalised dog birthday party bandanas. I do still love the classic beauty of a quality embroidered patch like this one, though, and have plenty of cuties in my craft stash. 

How to make a no-sew dog bandana with a handkerchief and iron-on applique

You may wish to wash and dry your handkerchief before starting this craft.  To create your bandana, simply iron your handkerchief flat (if needed), then fold along the diagonal, seams/hems inwards, and press the crease (optional, but creates a tidy look).  Carefully position your iron-on patch and apply in accordance with the manufacturer's directions. If not stated in the directions, we suggest using a cloth to protect your patch while applying the iron. Cool and then play dress-up, or package up your present for gifting.

The bandana will be pretty darn sturdy as well as washable, within the limits of your iron-on of course.  For most iron on patches, manufactures will recommend inverted gentle cold washing and air dry only to avoid lifting the adhesive. Since a bandana can't be washed "inside-out", you may want to hand-wash or use a lingerie bag if you're trying to protect your patch. Not to worry - if it lifts you can often re-stick by repeating the iron on process and if that fails, you can use fusible tape to replace the adhesive and apply again.



Smiling Dalmatian dog wearing Valentine heart bandana
Hello ladies...I don't often wear a bandana, but when I do, I make it look pretty darn good! Wanna be my Valentine?


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