Monday, 9 March 2020
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DIY St. Patrick's Day Dog Bandanas

Two smiling Dalmatian dogs wearing St. Patrick's Day dog bandanas

Lucky dogs? Yes, Indeed! These DIY St. Patrick's Day 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 some more cute pics of these very happy looking lucky pat-collecting pups).

The DIY techniques used to sew these homemade dog bandanas as well as to design, cut and apply the custom heat transfer vinyl iron-ons for these bandana are the same techniques used for our recently shared DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas, with a few subtle differences in the colours, font, and general styling. I wasn't kidding when I said that it is very easy to make your own custom designs. So easy that it can be a little bit addictive. :) 

St. Patrick's Day dog bandana that reads "Lucky Dog" modelled by a smiling Dalmatian

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

These  bananas were sewn using plain green and plain black cotton fabric. Both fabric pieces were leftovers/scraps from my craft stash (still making and loving my stash-busting "free" crafts). Although these particular bandanas are intended for wear embellished side out, the backing fabric adds a little extra structure to the bandanas (my fabric was quite thin). The coordinating backing and iron-on colours mean that they can be styled for wear in several different ways, as we demonstrated in our post with tips for styling DIY dog bandanas, although black fabric is always a dangerous colour around white Dalmatian fur! 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 and contrasting thread, just like our Valentine's Day DIY dog bandanas (I actually sewed these and more all at the same time). Serging is an incredibly quick way to whip up a basic bandana, but it does require having a suitable machine.

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 dog 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.

Step-by-step making DIY St. Patrick's Day dog bandanas

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. Unless you are using a Cricut font, scripts can be annoying to work with in Design Space; however, fonts with separate letters are very easy to work with in projects. A simple design of typography and basic shapes can be created directly in Design Space (especially when using a non-script font, like these bandanas); however, from personal habit/comfort, I often create and import.

Notes on the designs created and pictured here:
  • In these St. Patrick's Day designs, the block caps are Bebas Neue. This font is 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 it and don't already have it on your computer. One of my favourite font source site is (not a referral link, just sharing the love).  
  • In the "Pat Me I'm Irish" 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 shamrock as the dots. 
  • In the "Lucky Dog" text, I omitted the "O" in DOG, and replaced it with a shamrock. Extra shamrocks were added as embellishments on both designs. You can use one of the shamrocks available in the Design Space image gallery or upload you own image file, either created yourself or sourced from one of the many free use sites, like Pixabay (not a referral link, just sharing the love).  
  • My files were imported as separate layers by colour, but if you aren't creating directly in Design Space or using a layered file, 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.

As noted in our Valentine's Day bandana post, depending on the specific design and the software/cutting machine you are using, there may be different options for efficiently cutting the different elements. Generally, 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 shamrocks, may leave lots of waste offcuts if cut spaced out as applied, but they can be easily cut together and the separated for application, as was done here.  Very small items may be easier to position by lifting and placing onto a larger portion of the design for application (see the example of me moving the heart dots onto "Kisses!"in our Valentine's Day bandanas for an example).

✂️  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. 

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. 

My "Lucky Dog" was a very easy application as only overlapping element is the shamrock "O", so all of the black lettering was applied and then the shamrocks were carefully layered into place. My "Pat Me I'm Irish" required more care in positioning each of the small shamrocks to dot each "i", but the general process was the same. 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. 

No cutting machine? No worries! By using  greens/golds or buying a St. Patrick's themed 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).

Collage of Dalmatian dogs wearing homemade St. Patrick's Day dog bandanas

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