DIY Valentine’s Day Dog Bandanas

Dalmatian dogs wearing DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas

Hey there, Valentines! Who wants kisses??? These DIY Valentine’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 included some options to help get you inspired. Here are all the DIY details (and a few extra kisses) on our doggone cute new customised dog bandanas.

Our Custom Valentine's Day Dog Bandanas

These Valentine’s Day dog bananas were sewn using plain red cotton and red-and-white gingham check cotton fabric. Both fabrics were from my craft stash. I’m still making and loving my stash-busting “free” crafts. It’s hard to believe it, but the gingham is actually from the same piece of material used five years ago to make quick no-sew bandanas for Humphrey’s first birthday. Where does time go? And how badly do I need to whittle down that craft stash? Looks like we’ll need to do some more sewing crafts.

DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas

Style Options for Making DIY Valentine's Day Dog Bandanas

Colour Combinations

You can easily create a great Valentine’s Day dog bandana simply by using colour and/or patterns.  The classic red and white combo used here is perfect for Valentine’s Day dress-up. Without the iron-on, they would also be perfect for many other occasions or just for general purpose wear. Check out our tips on styling a DIY dog bandana for more versatile useFor 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.

Finishing the Edges

The bandanas pictured in this post were made with serged edges. Serging is an incredibly quick way to whip up a basic bandana, but it does require having a suitable machine. See our post on making dog bandanas with serged edges for details on making bandanas like the ones shown here, or sniff around our other DIY dog bandanas for different sewing and no-sew options. 

I used a bright white thread to accent the edges, coordinating with my gingham and the white elements of the iron on embellishments. Double siding with different fabrics is optional. Although these particular bandanas are intended for wear embellished side out, the gingham backing adds a little extra structure to the bandanas (my red fabric was quite thin). The use of coordinating fabric colours also 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. I love the look of the rolled down neck with the gingham on these bandanas.

Making a double-sided DIY dog bandana with serged edges

No serger? No worries! There are lots of DIY dog bandanas 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, or other items in a suitable size as a bandana. Explore our archives for other DIY dog bandana styles and ideas.

Creating a Customised Design for Cricut (or Similar)

Have a Cricut (affiliate link) or similar cutting machine? 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. Specific shapes and/or sizes? Inside jokes? Personalisation? Easy peasy!  Learning how to do your own designs is great for DIY projects. After all, everyone loves kisses, but we can’t all be a Dalentine…

Smiling Dalmatian dog wearing a Valentine's day bandana
Smiling dalmatian dog with lipstick kiss marks

Creating a Custom Cricut Design File

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 myself the hassle of joining the letters, which is an annoyance in Design Space if you are using your own non-Cricut script fonts. At least in the current software. I prefer creating my custom designs and then importing them into Design Space for cutting. 

Making a custom Valentine's Day Cricut ion-on design

Creating Our DIY Valentine’s Day Dog Bandana Designs

  • 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. 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 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. 
  • 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.

I like to try and help our readers lean how to create their 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. Want to use our Valentine design files? See the note at the end of the post regarding freebies and to access copies of my custom designs created for these bandanas.

Cutting Options for Multi-Part Designs

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.  

In a multi-coloured design like this, little elements, like my heart dots, may leave lots of waste offcuts if they’re cut spaced out as applied. They can be tricky to layer in individually, too. Instead, they can be cut together, weeded, carefully lifted, and placed onto the larger design base. See the example of me moving the dots onto the “Kisses!” in the collage above.
Dalentine Dalmatian Valentine's Day dog bandana

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.

In my two designs, the only overlapping element is the tail on the lowercase letter “l” of my “Dal”.  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. I also like using a Teflon sheet over the top of everything.  

Applying layered heat transfer vinyl to a make a Valentine's Day dog bandada

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. Want to create something unique? You can use textile ink and stamps, fabric markers, or fabric paint to create your own designs, like we did for our ugly Christmas sweater dog bandana. If you reeeeeally want a custom iron, you can order them from online sellers. Check a site like Etsy for options.

Pawnote from the Blog Dogs of Dalmatian DIY

This was a late addition to our usually prepped in advance blog line up. I was out of white HTV and my order was delayed. 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) to keep the post in in planned position. I think the audience is why these boys were extra smiley when posing!

Dalmatian dogs modelling DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas

Unfortunately, because of the late addition, I didn’t prep freebies for those of you who aren’t keen to create your own designs. I’m busy in hostess with the mostess mode right now, but I’ve popped some quick PNG copies in our Dropbox for free download, if you’d like to have them (Be My Dalentine and Free Kisses Temp note Jan 2024: If those links are being cranky (there seems to be a current glitch) right click to open a new tab should get you to the files – woofs!). 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 gift from us to you.  It’s not required, but it would be awesome and appreciated if you joined us on social media, if you’re not already following. Let’s hang out! We also welcome social media shares and linking with love, but please link to this post, not the download direct. Thanks and smooches from our pooches, furfriends!  

DIY Valentine's Day dog bandanas with Cricut iron-ons
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