Easy Embellished No-Sew DIY Dog Bandana

Easy DIY iron-on embellished no-sew dog bandana

Cute custom DIY embellished dog bandanas. You can find cute patterns, but it’s always fun to pick your own flair! Iron-on patches are a super 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, Its 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 quickly create a little customised cuteness, but if you want a quick and simple no-sew option that is a little sturdier and more finished, then inexpensive ready-made plain dog bandanas, human bandanas, napkins, or handkerchiefs make quick and inexpensive 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. 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 overlock 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 can look cute all on their own, but they’re also easy basis 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.  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 fun ideas!

DIY heart embellished no-sew dog bandana

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

Supplies and Materials

To make a 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 little collection of iron-ons includes holiday patches, like this sweet little Valentine heart, as well as our pets’ initials and more. You can also create your own 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

  • You may wish to wash and dry your handkerchief before starting this craft. Ironing is optional, but creates a tidy look. To create your bandana, simply iron your handkerchief flat (if needed), then fold along the diagonal, seams/hems inwards, and press the crease. 
  • Carefully position your iron-on patch and apply in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. If not stated in the directions, we suggest using 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 Bandana Care Tips

The bandana will be fairly sturdy as well as washable, within the limits of your iron-on of course.  For most iron on patches, manufactures will recommend inverted gentle cold washing and air dry only to avoid lifting the adhesive. Since a bandana can’t be washed “inside-out”, you may want to hand-wash or use a lingerie bag if you’re trying to protect your patch.

If iron-ons lift over time with wearing and washing, you can often 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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