Tuesday, 3 September 2019
Textual description of firstImageUrl

No-Sew DIY Dog Bandanas with (Cheat!) Finished Edges

Three styles of blue dog bandana with sewing supplies

No sew? No problem! These no-sew DIY dog bandanas look almost as good as the real thing! I prefer to sew my bandanas as it's very quick and easy with a sewing machine; however, if you don't sew or don't have/use a sewing machine, there are some sneaky ways to make a cheaters version. 

The easiest way to make a no-sew bandana is simply to cut your bandana from a fray resistant fabric or use pinking shears to reduce the fraying. Measure, cut, and done! Check out our easy no-sew pinked dog bandana for full DIY details. How long an unfinished edge will hold up depends on the fabric and wear. 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.

If you have a fray prone material, like the material taken from our recycled dress shirts (the same shirts as were cut apart to make our "Pillow Daddy" recycled dress shirt cushions, salvaged shirt dog collars, and other fun crafts coming in future posts), a finished edge will look better and last longer. Here are three stylish little ways to make a fully finished bandana without doing a single stitch.

Dalmatian dog modelling three different blue dog bandanas

The materials and craft supplies used in making the bandanas shown are:
  • Fabric (ours were made with salvaged fabric from old dress shirts)
  • Measuring Tools and Straight Edge
  • Scissors and/or Rotary Cutter/Mat
  • Fusible Hemming Tape
  • Iron and Ironing Board

DIY Double Fold No-Sew Hem Dog Bandana


This is a cheaters version of basic all around hemming. In truth, I rarely sew my bandanas like this as it's much easier to make a reversible triangle dog bandana than to fuss with acute corner mitres, plus reversible bandanas are more versatile for wear. Win win in my books. But it's still very doable if you like the style or want the efficiency of a single fabric layer. The steps here are the same as per sewing, but fixed in place with fusible hemming tape instead of actually sewing the hems. 

Step-by-step instructions for making a no-sew dog bandana
  • Cut a triangle (half a square on a diagonal / right isosceles triangle), such that the long edge 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 extra for double folded seam allowances. 
  • Fold and iron to press a crease all around the edges along the first fold allowance.
  • Fold over again and iron all around the edges to create the double fold hem.
  • Unfold and create a 45 degree mitre for the bottom corner (right angle). See our flannel blanket DIY for detailed instructions and steps for mitring a  corner. Refold, iron and confirm before continuing to the top edge acute corners.
  • Unfold and create either an acute mitre (see an example at Ageberry) for each of the top corners or carefully fold/trim to create a  matched edge fold, as shown. This is a little tricky to fold perfectly (re-iron and do-over until you're happy), but is a good option for the cheat as it allows a secure line of hemming tape all the way around the top and tie points. Refold, iron and confirm before continuing to hemming tape.
  • Incrementally bond the folded hems in place with fusible hemming tape, taking care to ensure all edges and corners are secure.

DIY Double Fold No-Sew Hem Dog Bandana with Binding Trim Ties


This is a cheaters version of one of our preferred bandana styles (see the sewn version of a reversible dog bandana with trim ties here). It combines the simplicity of a single layer and basic mitre at the bottom corner with the cuteness and efficiency of a binding trimmed top, eliminating the need for finishing the top edge or acute corners. The binding method can also be easily adapted to trim a fold-over or reversible bandana (see next method). 

Step-by-step instructions for making a no-sew dog bandana

  • Cut and finish the bottom hems of the triangle for the bandana as per the double fold instructions above, noting that the triangle can be a little smaller if you wish (trim longer than tip edge for tying). Do not finish the top edge or upper corners.
  • Cut ready-made or create your binding for the top trim. 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 with a crease along the lengthwise midline, then fold along each side edge into that centre crease and iron again. 
  • Fold and iron the ends inwards and then angle fold and iron again to point the ends of your binding. This will conceal the raw edges and create tips for your tie.
  • Position the binding centered on the top edge of the bandana with the raw edge sandwiched in the middle. Carefully position hemming tape above/below all along the trim.
  • Bond the binding trim in place and sealed together with fusible hemming tape, taking care to ensure all edges and corners are secure.

DIY Fold-Over / Reversible Dog Bandana with No-Sew Concealed Edges


This is a cheaters version of one of our preferred bandana styles (see the sewn version of a reversible dog bandana here). The easiest method of making this so-sew bandana is with a fold over square, as shown, but it can also be adapted to join two identical single-folded triangles of different fabric. If carefully made, it is almost indistinguishable from a sewn and inverted reversible bandana (without topstitching), unless closely inspected.

✂️  Unlike sewing right-sides-in and inverting, this no-sew bandana is ironed and then joined right-sides-out. It takes a little effort for an ironed match, but the finished result looks like the real deal. Inverting after joining with no-sew tape can be problematic if you want perfectly straight edges and well-pointed tips. You can totally do it though, if you prefer. 

Step-by-step instructions for making a no-sew reversible dog bandana

  • Cut a square of fabric so that when folded on a diagonal (right isosceles triangle), the long edge of the 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 for seam allowances
  • Fold and iron along the diagonal that will become the top edge of the finished bandana.
  • Very carefully fold inwards and iron all the way around the outside edge seam allowances. Tip: Use a seam gauge or a marked piece of cardboard if you need help making a consistent fold. 
  • The triangles much be identical for a "perfect" edge when bonded. Check and adjust until you are satisfied with the match.
  • Unfold and create a 45 degree mitre for the bottom corner (right angle) on each future triangle. The general process for this similar to above, just at the first allowance instead. It won't be visible, but will eliminate unnecessary bulk at the point of the finished bandana. The top corners will be naturally formed by the diagonal fold over, no extra finishing prep required.
  • Refold, iron and confirm before continuing to hemming tape.
  • Incrementally bond the two sides together with fusible hemming tape, taking care to ensure all edges and corners are secure.

Dalmatian dog modelling homemade bandanas

No-sew doggy neck bows go live in the miniseries tomorrow, so stay tuned for more upcycled shirt goodies, furfriends! They're crazy quick, versatile, and look gorgeous - pawfect for a special occasion or just playing dress-up.

2 comments:

We love comments almost as much as treats! 💌 Say hello and share your thoughts.