Tuesday, 27 June 2017
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DIY Reversible Dog Bandana with Accent Trim Neck Ties

Smiling Dalmatian dog wear a red DIY dog bandana with star print pattern

This pawesome dog bandana DIY is fully reversible and deceptively easy to sew. It is a simplified version of our fully bound bandana that skips the side trim on the triangle, eliminating corner turns which makes this a fancy looking bandana which requires only basic machine sewing skills. In all honesty, it's almost as easy as a basic reversible bandana, but that's a matter of personal preference and doggone great style. Choices, choices... On the subject of which, this bandana is a starry combo of red, whites, and blues in honour of our fab furfriends celebrating the Fourth of July next week but not so over-the-top that it wouldn't work for many other fancy dress occasions or just general wear, like our Canada Day dog (and cat!) bandanas. Woofs and meow!

Dalmatian dog wearing a DIY bandana with blue stars


The trimmed neck tie is both stylish and practical.  Using a binding trim on the neckline covers the raw edge which eliminates the need for any blind/ladder hand stitching (hand closing) or top stitching (machine closing) to finish the bandana.

✂️  Top stitching DIY reversible dog bandanas is my preferred finish for a basic reversible triangle bandana. I've gotten much better at sewing over the years since this bandana was made. Don't be intimidated! Pet projects are great for practising and/or trying new techniques as they won't care if you make a few mistakes or things look a less than perfect!

Most importantly for my big dog DIYs, using the trim ties also allows you to use a smaller piece of fabric for your bandana body, which is a game changer for folks with larger dogs (like mine!) with necks that too big to span and tie with a typical pre-cut "fat quarter" of fabric which are an inexpensive way to buy fancy print fabrics in small quantities - like the cute red, white, and blue star fabric used in this bandana.

🧩 It's worth paying attention to the details when fabric shopping. Consider the size you need relative to the pattern orientation options for cutting the bandanas, whether using cut-to-length fabric off the roll or smaller pre-cuts. If using pre-cuts, be aware of the difference between Fat Flats (metric, half of 1/2 meter) and the conventional Fat Quarters (imperial, half of 1/2 yard). One yard is 91.44 cm so Fat Quarters are narrower (45.72 cm vs. 50cm). They're both "fat" because the half selvage to selvage is typically larger than the half meter/yard, making them slightly rectangular instead of squares.  For my big boys, I can made a single fold-over bandana or cut two triangles from a Fat Flat, but not a Fat Quarter (imperial) as it's too narrow for the diagonal to fit. If using a Fat Quarter, I need to extend with trim ties to be large enough for their necks. 

Smiling Dalmatian dog modelling a reversible DIY dog bandana with stars

The materials and craft supplies used in making the bandana shown are:
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Sewing Supplies Can be fully hand sewn if you wish, but will be much quicker/easier if you have a sewing machine. 
Dalmatian dog wearing a reversible dog bandana with diagram for how to make a DIY dog bandana

To make a bandana like the one shown, you will need washed/preshrunk fabrics for the bandana body, colour-fast washed/preshrunk fabric to make binding or ready-made binding, complimentary coloured thread, basic sewing supplies, and iron and ironing board. You can use ready-made binding for the trim or make your own. I made my own binding (it's very simple, for short lengths like this that don't require joining) with hand ironing so I could make it wider than my binding making guides.

DIY reversible dog bandana, step-by-step how to make


  • Cut two identical triangles of fabric such that the long edge is big enough to fit one side (finished bandana can be worn sideways, front, or back) and to the edges of your pet's neck. If you aren't comfortable with guesstimating the size, you can use a collar as a gauge or loosely measure your pet's neck. 
  • Align your triangles, ensuring that the fabric is pattern-side-in if single sided.
  • Sew the sides together, leaving the top (neck) edges unfinished. Invert and iron flat. Trim excess fabric from the point of the bandana if needed to help things invert neatly to a point.
  • Cut or (optional) create your binding (if not using premade). To create your binding, the strip will need to be just shy of 4x your desired width and long enough to fully encircle your pet's neck plus extra for tying into a knot (or, if you prefer, longer for a bow). Iron your binding fabric to prepare for sewing, with a crease along the lengthwise midline, then fold and iron along each side edge into that center/midline crease.
  • Hem or (optional) iron to point the unfinished ends of your binding to finish the tips of your tie.
  • Position the binding centered on the top edge of the bandana with the raw edge sandwiched in the middle and pin to secure. Sew into place. I double stitched the lower edge on mine, just for a little extra style.

Dalmatian dog wearing a reversible dog bandana with blue neck band, one side red and one side cream with star prints on both sides

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