Easy Embellished No-Sew DIY Dog Bandana

Easy DIY iron-on embellished no-sew dog bandana

Iron-ons are a super simple way to make cute custom DIY embellished dog bandanas. It’s always fun to pick your own flair!  You can make your own (more on that below), but cute ready-made iron-on patches are a very easy way to accessorise or personalise a dog bandana. It only takes a minute or two to elevate a humble handkerchief, napkin, or other no-sew bandana substitute into a custom pet bandana with a fun iron-on embellishment.  And grown-ups needed have all the fun, either. This is a great quickie craft for older (iron capable) kids to make for their best furry friends.

Ready-Made No-Sew Dog Bandana Substitutions

DIY dog bandanas (sewn or no-sew) are an easy way to create a little customised cuteness, but if you want a quick and simple no-sew option, inexpensive ready-made plain dog bandanas, human bandanas, napkins, or handkerchiefs make inexpensive bandana substitutes. Their pre-finished edges make them a good options for no-sew gifts or special events, too.

Full sized human bandanas are actually a pretty good fit for very large dogs, like ours. Oli has several. Dinner napkins or full-sized men’s handkerchiefs (like our blue bandana here) work well for medium to large dogs. Daintier napkins or women’s handkerchiefs suit smaller pets. If you’re into sewing, you can cut cut them on the diagonal and finish the raw edge to create two-for-one, or just go the simple no-sew route and fold, as shown.

Using handkerchiefs as no-sew dog bandanas

Adding Embellishments to Dog Bandanas

Bandanas look cute all on their own, but they’re also easy bases to customise or personalise with embellishments. Iron on patches, heat transfers, fabric markers, fabric paints, or textile ink stamping are all no-sew options for embellishments. You can also sew on appliques, trims, or other embellishments.  This post was originally shared before computer controlled cutters became popular, but they’ve added a while new range of personalisation options to the mix. Check out our collection of Cricut pet crafts for ideas.  I do still love the classic beauty of a quality embroidered patch like this one, though, and have plenty of cuties in my craft stash.  Check out our full collection of DIY dog bandanas for more doggone dapper creations.

DIY heart embellished no-sew dog bandana

Making an Easy Iron-On Embellished No-Sew Dog Bandana

Supplies and Materials

To make an embellished dog bandana like the one shown, you will need:

  • Bandana base (see ideas above)
  • Iron-on patch 
  • Iron and ironing board

I have a little stash of cute little iron-on patches picked from croft-shop bargain bins for next to nothing and plain coloured cotton handkerchiefs (bought on sale, of course) tucked away in my craft stash. My collection includes holiday patches, like this sweet little Valentine heart, our pets’ initials and more. You can also create your own shape by custom cutting plain iron-on patch material, although this isn’t quite as sturdy. Alternatively, you can make your own custom patch with embroidery, if you’re keen!  Perhaps I’ll share a few ideas with you in a future post.

Making an easy DIY Valentine's Day dog bandana with a handkerchief and iron-on patch

Embellishing a Dog Bandana with an Iron-On Patch

  • Optional: Wash and dry your handkerchief before starting this craft. Ironing is optional, but creates a tidy look. To prepare your bandana, iron your handkerchief flat (if needed), then fold along the diagonal, seams/hems inwards. If you’d like, you can press the fold line, too. 
  • Carefully position your iron-on patch. Apply in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. If not stated in the directions, you might want to use a cloth to protect your patch while applying the iron, just in case.
  • Allow to cool and set.
  • Ready! Play dress-up or package up your present for gifting.
Dalmatian dog wearing a Valentine's day heart bandana

Embellished Dog Bandana Care Tips

The finished bandana should be fairly durable and washable, within the limits of your specific iron-on, of course.  For most iron-on patches, manufactures recommend inverted gentle cold washing and air dry only to avoid lifting the adhesive. Since a bandana can’t be inverted for washing, you may want to hand-wash or use a lingerie bag to reduce rubbing if you’re trying to protect your patch.

If iron-ons lift over time with wearing and washing, you might be able to re-stick by repeating the iron-on process. If that fails, you can use fusible tape to replace the adhesive and apply again, or use a washable fabric glue. Take care with the latter as the glue may discolour the fabric and/or show through to the reverse of your bandana.

Easy DIY ways to embellish a no-sew dog bandana

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