How to make a DIY fringed flannel dog bandana. Matching blanket scarves for you and your pup? Why not! Here’s how to make a simple fringed edge, and how to adapt that for a dog bandana.
Fussing Over Fringes
I have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of fringed edges. Whether its scarves, blankets, carpets, whatever, I find myself always fussing and smoothing to try and tame unruly strands into orderly obedience. But, when I saw this pretty plaid flannel on the clearance rack of my local craft shop, I simply had to buy some. And it was just begging to be fringed.
My compromise in this DIY dog bandana is that there is no fiddly fringing in the knot area thanks to the accent neck trim. Am I still going to fuss over it? I’m not going to lie. Probably. There was a heck of a lot of smoothing before these photos, not that Humphrey minded the extra pats.
Making a Fringed Flannel Dog Bandana with Neck Trim Ties
Supplies and Materials
To make a similar fringed flannel dog bandana, you will need:
- Flannel fabric or a suitable flannel item for upcycling material
- Binding or material for making binding
- Complimentary coloured thread
- Sewing machine
- General cutting / sewing supplies
- Iron and ironing board (optional but recommended)
- Seam ripper and/or comb (optional)
A seam ripper can be helpful for picking, if you have one, but flannel is pretty easy to fringe by hand without any special tools. For the best results in ongoing wear and washing, the fabrics should have similar properties and care requirements. Washable fabrics are recommended for dog clothing.
Binding Options for the Bandana Neck Trim and Ties
You can use ready-made binding for this DIY or make your own. I made my own binding. It’s very simple, especially for short lengths like this that don’t require joining. Check out our post on making and using binding tapes for information, techniques, and tips. This bandana was one of my earlier binding projects, but pet projects are awesome opportunities for learning or practising skills. They don’t judge on looks, just love. And maybe treats. Haha!
Sewing Fringed Flannel Dog Bandana with Neck Trim Ties
This bandana has a simple triangular flannel body, sewn (optional) along the sides to temper the fraying of the fringe. To avoid having the messy fringe at the knotting points on the neck of the bandana, a binding is used to finish the top (neck) edge of the bandana. This creates and accent trim, and also allows extended trim ties to be used to secure the bandana for wear. I used the same technique for this DIY reversible dog bandana with neck trim ties.
Preparing the body of the bandana:
- Cut a triangle of flannel such that 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.
- Optional: Sew a stitch line along the side edges of your triangle (not the top/neck edge), inset from the edges by the length you’d like for your fringe, with the turn/intersection of the seam inset from the bottom point/corner of the bandana. In linear a patterned fabric, like mine, the pattern is a handy guide for stitch lines.
- Optional: Reinforce the bottom corner point with a lock stitch or a small dab of fray check to help hold when your fray the fringe. The point is the intersection of the threads you’re fraying.
Preparing the binding:
- Buy a ready made binding or create your own double-fold binding (if not using premade) by using a long narrow strip of fabric. See our detailed post on making and using binding tape if you need a hand creating your own binding.
- You will need one piece of binding for the bandana that is long enough to fully encircle your pet’s neck plus extra for tying into a knot (or, if you prefer, longer for a bow).
Attaching the binding trim:
- Hem or (optional) iron to point the unfinished ends of your binding to finish the tips of your tie.
- Position the binding centred on the top/neck edge of the bandana with the raw edge sandwiched in the middle and pin to secure. Sew into place.
Fringing the sides:
- Pick the threads running parallel to your sides to create the fringe. The seam ripper is a handy helper for wiggling and teasing out the threads.
- Trim the top into/under the neck tie hemline, if/as needed.
- Trim the edges to correct any uneven bits, if/as needed.
- Comb the fringe (optional) if you’re slightly compulsive about these things. Like me!
- The corner (bottom) point of parallel/perpendicular fringe will be a naked gap. On blankets, you don’t notice this so much, but on the point of a bandana, it is very visible. You can smooth the threads to minimise or just roll with it. Bigger fringes show less, as the threads naturally hang downwards on an angle to the point when worn.
Options for joining and fringing:
I opted to attach my neck trim first, then carefully trim across under the hem of the neck trim (just under the fold, as close as possible to the inside seam). This creates a fringe all the way down the sides, meeting perfectly with the edge of the trim. It may not be quite as neat as pre-notching the corners perfectly, but you’d have to pull open the hemline to see any difference so it’s a-ok by me! It is the simplest option and it’s a little more secure as well. Win win.
You could pre-cut or notch the top corners, but be careful to line thing up precisely else you’ll have a gap at the top of the fringe (notch too low) or catch the edge and have to trim anyway (too short). You could also fringe the whole length of the sides and then sew the binding, but that also requires sewing precisely across the fiddly fringe threads. Whatever works for you is a-ok with us!
Modelling is Hard Work!
Look at this cheeky rascal, falling asleep during his modelling gig. Haha! I couldn’t resist sharing this cute out take of Humphrey showing off his bandana and his tongue. Looking this handsome is doggone exhausting.
If you’d like to make yourself a blanket, shawl, wrap, or scarf, you can apply the same techniques to different cuts of flannel. It’s super easy, since you don’t need the trim tab neck ties. Just sew and ravel! In fact, even those steps are semi-discretionary for a large item like a human sized scarf.
Sewing the edge provides a stop point to assist in getting an even depth of fringe. It isn’t essential. Manually picking the threads to get a fringe helps to ensure that the fringe is evenly frayed, but wash, wear, and time will all naturally lead to fraying. It can, however, be rather messy and become tangled. To help, you can cut little perpendicular notches at increments inwards from the edge. This will accelerate the shedding of the threads parallel to your raw edge and (if you’re lucky) reduce some of the tangles.