Monday, 3 February 2020
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DIY Valentine's Day Dog Bandanas

Dalmatian dogs with lipstick kiss marks modelling DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas with iron-on text

Hey there, Valentines! Who wants kisses??? These DIY Valentine's themed dog bandanas combine several of our archived DIY techniques, and you can easily adapt the ideas to make your own customised look and DIY design. Here are the DIY details (and a few extra kisses).

DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas with Cricut iron-on heat transfer vinyl text

Making the DIY Valentine's Day Dog Bandanas (and Ideas for Other Sew/No-Sew Options)


These Valentine bananas were sewn using plain red cotton and red-and-white gingham check cotton fabric. Both were from my craft stash (still making and loving my stash-busting "free" crafts) and the gingham is actually from the same piece of material used five years ago to make quickie no-sew bandanas for Humphrey's first birthday! Where does the time go, and how badly do I need to whittle down that craft stash??? Hehehe. Oh my.

✂️  For a cohesive look, use complimentary colours throughout your bandana design. Avoid using  strong patterns on the embellished side that could make it difficult to clearly see or read.

The bandanas were made with serged edges using an overlocker. I used a bright white thread to accent the edges, coordinating with my gingham and the white elements of the iron on embellishments. Serging is an incredibly quick way to whip up a basic bandana, but it does require having a suitable machine. Although these particular bandanas are intended for wear embellished side out, the backing fabric adds a little extra structure to the bandanas (my red fabric was quite thin) and the use of coordinating fabric colours means they can be styled for wear in several different ways, as we demonstrated in our post with tips for styling a DIY reversible dog bandana.

Sewing a DIY Valentine's Day dog bandana with serged edges

No serger? No worries!  There are a variety of other DIY dog bandana ideas in our archives, including options for sewn and no-sew bandanas.  You can also use a ready-made bandana (like our personalised birthday bandanas) as the base for adding an iron-on or repurpose fabric napkins, handkerchiefs, and other items in a suitable size to make a bandana.

✂️  See our post on making dog bandanas with serged edges for additional details and tips for making a bandana in the same style as the ones shown here, or explore our archives for other DIY styles.


Creating a Customised Design for Cricut (or Similar) 


Cut files can be sourced in your cutting software (e.g. Cricut Design Space), bought from online artists and sellers, downloaded as freebies, or made yourself.  It is very easy to make your own simple designs, like the ones here, customised exactly to your own unique preferences. Specific shapes/sizes? Inside jokes? Personalisation? Easy peasy!  

A simple design of typography and basic shapes can be created directly in Design Space; however, when working with script fonts I prefer to save my self the hassle of joining the letters (an annoyance in Design Space if you are using your own non-Cricut script fonts) by creating my designs and then importing. 
  • In these designs, the script is Pacifico and the block caps are Bebas Neue. Both fonts are free to use under the Open Font Licence, and available for free download from a number of reliable sources if you'd like to use them and don't already have them on your computer. One of my favourite font source site is dafont.com (not a referral link, just sharing the love).  
  • In the Bebas Neue text, I replaced the "I" letters with spaces. I then used a rectangle to create my own lover case "i" replacements with a simple heart as the dots. I used the same method to create a custom exclamation point. 
  • My files were imported as separate layers by colour, but you can easily separate any image into layer elements in Design Space by using the eraser tool when importing. 
  • Ensure that all resizing is equal (e.g. select all layers/elements and resize together) and double check desired size for the application before preparing to cut.

✂️  See our custom t-shirt post for more detail on creating a design and applying layered heat transfer vinyl. When creating and applying your iron-on, follow the directions of your specific machine and materials. 

Creating a custom design for Cricut iron-on DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas

Depending on the design and the software/cutting machine you are using, there may be different options for efficiently cutting the different elements. The more separate elements you cut, the more efficiently the machine can position for cutting, which means less waste (yay!) but manual reassembly (boo!) so decide what works best for you and your design.  

In a multi-coloured design like this, little elements, like my heart dots, may leave lots of waste offcuts if cut spaced out as applied, but they can be easily cut together, weeded, lifted, and placed onto the larger design base (see the example of me moving the dots onto the "Kisses!" above) for application.

I like to try and help our readers create your own special unique crafts instead of relying on purchases or other downloads, but I also understand that quickie crafts might be more appealing to some of our visitors. See the note at the end of the post regarding freebies and to access copies of my custom designs created for these bandanas.

Applying a Layered Heat Transfer Iron On Design


Once everything is cut, weeded, and ready to go, do a test layout to confirm placement and to check the best order for application if using a design with multiple separate vinyl elements and/or layered colours. Even if there are no overlapping or layered elements, there is often an order that is easier for getting your application in the right position.

✂️  See our custom t-shirt post for more detail on creating a design and applying layered heat transfer vinyl. When creating and applying your iron-on, follow the directions of your specific machine and materials. 

In my two designs, the only overlapping element is the tail on the lowercase letter "l" of my "Dal", so the Dal is applied before the "entine" to ensure that layering is correct.  Since the vinyl is applied incrementally, I keep the peeled off backing for extra protection as the applied sections are incrementally layered up, as well as using a Teflon sheet over the top of everything.  

Step-by-step applying a multi-coloured heat transfer design to DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas


No cutting machine? No worries! By using classic Valentine colours or buying a patterned material(s), you can make a super cute bandana without any added embellishments. Ready made transfers and iron-ons can also make cute options, like our easy flair embellished no-sew heart dog bandana or monogramed initial fancy dress dog bandanas.  If you reeeeeally want a custom iron, you can order them from online sellers (check a site like Etsy).

This was a late addition to our usually well-prepped in advance blog line up, as I was out of white HTV and my order was delayed, so I'm glad I managed to finish these babies on the weekend and squeeze in some quick photos (to the entertainment of currently visiting family from overseas) to keep the post in in planned position. Unfortunately, because of the late addition, I didn't prep any freebies for those of you who aren't keen to create your own designs (it's soooo easy!) and I'm too busy in hostess with the mostess mode right now to prettify layered SVGs, but I've popped PNG copies in our Dropbox for free download, if you'd like to have them (Be My Dalentine and Free Kisses!). PNGs can be easily cut as a single colour, or as noted in the tips above you can easily separate any image into layer elements in Design Space by using the eraser tool when importing.  

As with all of our freebies, these are free for your personal / non-commercial use as a little gift from us to you.  It's absolutely not required, but it would be awesome and greatly appreciated if you joined us on social media, if you're not already following the fun.  Our links are on the siderbar upper right - please join us!  We also welcome social media shares and linking with love, but please link to this post, not the download direct. Thanks and smootches from our pooches, furfriends! 

Dalmatian dogs modelling DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas with iron-on text

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