Dressing up in style with DIY personalised dog bandanas. Quick, easy, and cute! These bandanas were a DIY upgrade to ready-made dog bandanas for Humphrey’s 5th birthday. Our boys have reversible birthday bandanas (love these!), but we have an extra pawty guest this year. I made these special any-occasion personalised bandanas with a matching extra for Humphrey’s new little (no longer so little) neighbourhood puppy pal, Cooper.
Milestones, Memories, and Mugshots
Oh those faces! I love these two cuties to bits. But, like most siblings, they are suitably unimpressed when Mom dresses then in matching outfits for a posed photo. Haha! I refer to them as milestone mugshots. It’s almost become a family birthday tradition to look for the most unimpressed looking sibling photo of the bunch! Don’t worry. They actually like posing. In reality, they’re intently (and impatiently) watching the birthday treat in my hand. Note that they both have their hungry ears set to maximum cuteness. Spotty rascals. They know how to work their momma.
Dressing Up a Ready-Made Dog Bandana
I usually sew my own bandanas, but these were bought ready-made. Some time ago I spotted these sprinkle patterned dog bandanas on clearance in the pet section of a local department store. They were a ridiculous 97c NZ (!!!) and I couldn’t resist. I bought three, and tucked them away for Humphrey’s birthday. I thought it was a fun idea for the three boys to have matching bandanas. Cooper was the odd pup out on Oli’s birthday. Not that the dogs cared about any thing other than the fun and the treats! Haha!
The sprinkle bandanas alone would be cute, but I decided to go a step further and personalise them using my Cricut. Personalising is a great project for homemade gifting, dog party favours, charity fundraising, and all sorts of things. Quick, easy, inexpensive, and cute.
In addition to DIY and ready-made dog bandanas, depending on the size of the dog, napkins (like our ugly Christmas sweater DIY dog bandana) and handkerchiefs (like our easy embellished Valentine’s Day dog bandana) also make great bases for customising your own bandanas. Unlike my dubious cute and cheap clearance bandanas (I do feel guilty about fast fashion), they’re also very durable for wear and wash. Alternatively, there are easy DIYs here on the blog later for sewn and no-sew bandanas, so check out all of our DIY dog bandanas for more ideas.
Personalising a Dog Bandana with Heat Transfer Vinyl
Supplies and Materials
To make DIY personalised dog bandanas like the ones shown here, you will need:
- Bandana base(s) (see ideas above)
- Computer for creating and cutting
- Heat transfer vinyl and computer controlled cutting equipment (I used a Cricut)
- Weeding tools
- Teflon sheet (optional but very useful)
- Iron and ironing board
Designing a Name Iron-Ons for Personalising the Bandanas
The iron-on embellishments that I applied to the bandanas were created using my Cricut Explore Air 2 and heat transfer vinyl for fabric. Of the heat-transfer vinyl in my Cricut crafting stash, none of it seemed quite right to use solo on the sprinkle pattern. Layering two colours with a shadow effect allowed me to use complimentary colours to the bandana fabric with improved visibility (and a little more style). The text needed to be large and simple not to be overwhelmed by the sprinkles.
I created my outside of Cricut Design Space and then imported it as an image file. A simple typography design for a DIY personalised dog bandana can be easily be created directly in Design Space, like our DIY typography dog treat bags, if you prefer. When working with script fonts, I prefer to save my self the hassle of joining the letters (an annoyance in Design Space when using non-Cricut script fonts) and import. The font used here is Pacifico. It’s a free font and one of my personal favourites. It’s clearly legible and a little fatter than many script fonts. That makes it great for both weeding and reading.
Making the DIY Personalised Dog Bandanas
The personalised iron-ons were made and applied in exactly the same way as our “Dali Daddy” and “Dali Momma” DIY shadow effect heat transfer vinyl t-shirts. Hop on over and check out that post for full DIY details.
- Create (or purchase) your custom design.
- Prepare and cut the design on suitable heat transfer vinyl (or alternative material). See above for tips. Ensure it is correctly sized for your application.
- If you’re layering multiple designs, like our shadow effect names, cut portions of the design in another colour (or colours) for any areas being applied in two offset layers for shadow effect.
- Once your design is cut, weeded, and ready to go, double check everything together before application. Position and check the placement of your full design with the offset layers before committing to ironing it into place.
- Ensure that your bandana is clean, dry, and wrinkle-free before applying your transfers.
- Heat application and backing removal should be done per the instructions for your chosen vinyl product. A Teflon sheet is handy for extra protection, if you have one, and this is especially important when layering.
Alternatives to Heat Transfer Vinyl
If you don’t have a computer-controlled cutter or just feel like doing something different, you can use appliques, fabric markers, fabric paint to create your own unique designs. If your bandana has an existing pattern (like mine) some types of textile inks and paints may not cover well, making it hard to read your personalised text. Opaque paints, like the dimensional fabric paints used in our DIY ugly Christmas sweater bandana may give you more clarity.
It used to drive me crazy when DIY posts only suited people with cutting machines. Even though I am now a very happy Cricut owner, I will still try to ensure that the DIY posts we share here on our blog have variations that work for people crafting without cutters.