Lucky dogs? Yes, indeed! These DIY St. Patrick’s Day dog bandanas combine several of our archived DIY techniques. You can easily adapt the ideas to make your own customised look and DIY design. We’ve even included some options to help get you inspired. Whoot whoot! Here are all the DIY details on our bandanas. Plus, more cute pictures of these very happy looking doggone dapper pat-collecting pups!
Celebrating in Style!
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 bandanas 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. Hehehe…
My parents were visiting us from Canada and would be here for St. Patrick’s Day. With Mom’s Irish roots, I thought some special outfits were in order for the celebration. Little did I know when planning the project that we’d be celebrating in semi-isolation this year. New Zealand hadn’t yet entered COVID lockdown, but we weren’t taking any chances with my folks. Getting flights home after their airline cancelled service (without making any contact…) was stressful enough. They couldn’t chance catching even just a normal cold, lest they be denied travel for symptoms. Thankfully, they secured new tickets. Air New Zealand (shout out of gratitude!) was awesome at what must have been an incredibly difficult time for their staff. Unlike some other airlines who will not be mentioned.
We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at home together shortly before they left, just before full lock down. Lucky us and lucky dogs to be safe, healthy, and able to enjoy time together. With air travel upended and ongoing border restrictions, it may be a long time before we get to celebrate an occasion together in person again.
Making the DIY St. Patrick's Day Dog Bandanas (and Alternatives)
You can easily create a great St. Patrick’s Day dog bandana simply by using colour and/or patterns. You can stick with classic gorgeous greens, or mix it up with complimentary colours, like we did using gold, black, and white. Those colours are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, but versatile for other use if you aren’t using iron-ons like ours.
Tips: 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.
These bananas were sewn using plain green and plain black cotton fabric. Both fabric pieces were leftovers from my craft stash. Yep – I’m still stash busting! Although these particular bandanas are intended for wear embellished side out, the backing fabric adds a little extra structure (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! Haha!
Finishing the Edges
The bandanas were made with serged edges and contrasting thread, just like our Valentine’s Day bandanas. I actually sewed them 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 both 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. Explore our archives for other DIY dog bandana 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’s very easy to make your own simple designs, like the ones here, customised exactly to your own unique preferences. Learning how to do your own designs is great for DIY projects.
Creating a Custom Cricut Design File
A simple design of typography and basic shapes can be created directly in Design Space. Unless you are using a Cricut font, scripts can be annoying to work with in Design Space. However, fonts with separate letters, like these bandanas, are very easy to work with. 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. See our DIY Cricut dog treat bags for a step-by-step example in Design Space.
Creating Our DIY St. Patrick’s Day Dog Bandana Designs
Although block fonts are easy in Design Space, as noted above, from personal habit/comfort, I often create and import no matter how simple the project design. Here are the design notes on the DIY St. Patrick’s Day dog bandanas shown in this post.
- In these designs, the block caps are Bebas Neue. It is free to use under the Open Font Licence. They’re 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 sites is dafont.com (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.
- When combining multiple elements, ensure that all resizing is equal (e.g. select all layers/elements and resize together). Double check desired size for the application before preparing to cut.
Cutting Options for Multi-Part Designs
As noted in our Valentine’s Day bandana post, 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. That means less waste (yay!) but manual reassembly (boo!). Decide what works best for you and your design.
✂️ See our custom t-shirt post for more detail on creating a design and applying layered heat transfer vinyl. You can also check out our other Cricut pet crafts for more ideas and step-by-step DIY project photos. We share our examples, but individual projects will vary. When creating and applying your iron-on, follow the directions of your specific machine and materials. Woofs!
Applying a Layered Heat Transfer Iron On Design
Once everything is cut, weeded, and ready to go, do a test layout. Confirm placement and 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.
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. I also like using a Teflon sheet over the top of everything.
Alternative Embellishment Ideas
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 embellished no-sew heart dog bandana or monogramed initial dog bandanas. I actually have a little shamrock iron-on patch in my craft stash. Hmmm… perhaps a DIY for next year! If you reeeeeally want a custom iron, you can order them from online sellers (check a site like Etsy).
You can also use textile ink and stamps, fabric markers, or fabric paint to create your own unique designs, like we did for our ugly Christmas sweater dog bandana. Shamrock cookie cutters make great tracing templates. Little heart shapes are easily combined to form shamrocks or lucky four-leaf clovers. They’re easy shapes for making your own homemade custom stamp, too.