No sew? No problem! These no-sew DIY dog bandanas look almost as good as the real thing! You can still create a doggone dapper DIY dog bandana even if you’re not into sewing. I prefer to sew my bandanas as it’s very quick and easy with a sewing machine; however, if you don’t sew or don’t have or use a sewing machine, there are some sneaky ways to make a cheaters version. The DIY no-sew dog bandanas in this post have fully finished edge hems, but don’t require a single stitch. Shhh… It can be our little secret!
Making No-Sew Dog Bandanas
With the exception of buying a ready-made bandana base (see our ugly Christmas sweater dog bandana or embellished Valentine’s Day dog bandana for ideas), making a DIY dog bandana generally requires cutting. And where there’s cutting, there are raw edges.
The easiest way to make a no-sew bandana is simply to cut your bandana from a fray resistant fabric or use pinking shears to reduce the fraying. Measure, cut, and done! Check out our easy no-sew pinked dog bandana for full DIY details. How long an unfinished edge will hold up depends on the fabric and wear. Pinking reduces fraying, but it doesn’t stop it all together. It depends on the weave and stability of the material you use, the orientation of the cuts, and how much wear-and-tear the bandana gets over time.
If you have a fray prone material, like our recycled dress shirts (the same shirts as were cut apart to make our recycled dress shirt cuddle cushions, salvaged shirt dog collars, and other fun crafts coming in future posts), a finished edge will look better and last longer. These cute no-sew DIY dog bandanas were all made with that recycled dress shirt material for this DIY demo post. Daddy’s boy in Daddy’s shirts.
Here are three stylish little ways to make a fully finished bandana without doing a single stitch.
Making DIY No-Sew Dog Bandanas with Finished Edges
Supplies and Materials
To make a DIY no-sew dog bandana with finished edges like the ones shown here, you will need:
- Fabric (ours were made with salvaged fabric from old dress shirts)
- Measuring tools
- Straight edge
- Cutting tools (scissors and/or rotary cutter and mat)
- Fusible hemming tape
- Iron and ironing board
Easy inexpensive fusible hemming tape (affiliate link) is my favourite cheat for no-sew hems. It’s also useful for helping to hold things in place before stitching for sewing projects. It’s available from sewing shops and in the sewing section of many other retailers. Fusible tapes are sandwiched between two fabrics and then activated by ironing to create a secure adhesive bond. Permanent fusible tape is, in my experience, fairly durable when properly applied. Like most iron-on products, cold washing and air drying help with durability, too.
DIY Double Fold No-Sew Hem Dog Bandana
This is a cheaters version of a DIY dog bandana with basic all around double-fold hemming. In truth, I rarely sew my bandanas like this as it’s much easier to make a reversible triangle dog bandana than to fuss with acute corner mitres on the top hem. Plus, reversible bandanas are more versatile for wear. Win win in my books. But it’s still very doable if you like the style or want the efficiency of a single fabric layer. The steps here are the same as per sewing, but fixed in place with fusible hemming tape instead of actually sewing the hems.
Making a No-Sew Dog Bandana with Double Fold Hems
- Cut a triangle (half a square on a diagonal / right isosceles triangle), such that the long edge is big enough to fit loosely around your pet’s neck plus extra to tie a small knot. If you aren’t comfortable with estimating the size, you can use a collar as a gauge or loosely measure your pet’s neck. Don’t forget to add a extra for double folded seam allowances.
- Fold and iron to press a crease all around the edges along the first fold allowance.
- Fold over again and iron all around the edges to create the double fold hem.
- Unfold and create a 45 degree mitre for the bottom corner (right angle). See our DIY flannel blankets for detailed instructions and steps for mitring a corner, if needed. Refold, iron and confirm before continuing to the top edge acute corners.
- Unfold and create either an acute mitre (see an example at Ageberry) for each of the top corners or carefully fold/trim to create a matched edge fold, as shown. This is a little tricky to fold perfectly (re-iron and do-over until you’re happy before applying the fusible tape), but is a good option for the cheat as it allows a secure line of hemming tape all the way around the top and tie points. Refold, iron and confirm before continuing to hemming tape. There’s no do-overs once you fuse things in place!
- Incrementally bond the folded hems in place with fusible hemming tape, taking care to ensure all edges and corners are secure.
DIY Double Fold No-Sew Dog Bandana with Binding Trim Ties
Next up is a favourite style that works great for for sewn or no-sew DIY dog bandanas. Using fused trim ties on the top edge instead of hemming is much easier than a mitred hem and super cute! This is a cheaters version of one of our preferred bandana styles (check out a sewn version of a reversible dog bandana with trim ties). It combines the simplicity of a single layer and basic mitre at the bottom corner with the cuteness and efficiency of a binding trimmed top, eliminating the need for finishing the top edge or acute corners. This neck binding trim tie method can also be used to trim a fold-over or reversible bandana (see next method).
Making a No-Sew Dog Bandana with Neck Binding Trim Ties
Preparing the body of the bandana:
- Cut and finish the bottom hems of the triangle for the bandana as per the double fold instructions above. Note that the triangle can be a little smaller if you keep the binding trim longer than tip edge for tying, as shown here. Binding trim ties are simple and stylish.
- Do not finish the top edge or upper corners of the bandana base. Yay for simplicity!
Preparing the binding:
- Buy a ready made binding or create your own double-fold binding (if not using premade) by using a long narrow strip of fabric. See our detailed post on making and using binding tape if you need a helping paw or instructions for creating your own binding.
- For trim ties, you will need one piece of binding for the bandana that is long enough to fully encircle your pet’s neck plus extra length for tying into a knot (or, if you prefer, longer for a full bow).
Binding the neck edge of the bandana:
- Fold and iron the ends inwards and then angle fold and iron again to point the ends of your binding. This will conceal the raw edges and create tips for your tie.
- Position the binding centred on the top edge of the bandana with the raw edge sandwiched inside the fold of binding.
- Carefully position hemming tape above/below all along the binding trim.
- Iron to securely bond the binding trim in place (and sealed together) with fusible hemming tape. Take care to ensure all the edges and corners are secure.
DIY Fold-Over (Reversible) No-Sew Dog Bandana
This is a cheaters version of one of our preferred bandana styles (see the sewn version of a simple reversible DIY dog bandana). The easiest method of making this so-sew bandana is with a fold over square, as shown, but it can also be adapted to join two identical single-folded triangles of different fabric. See additional notes below on using different fabrics. If carefully made, it is almost indistinguishable from a sewn and inverted reversible bandana (without topstitching), unless closely inspected.
Unlike sewing right-sides-in and inverting, this no-sew dog bandana is ironed and then joined right-sides-out. It takes a little effort for an ironed match, but the finished result looks like the real sewn deal. I find is easier to get a perfect fake hem this way. Inverting after joining with tape can be problematic if you want perfectly straight edges and well-pointed tips. You can totally do it that way though, if you prefer.
Making a Fold-Over (Reversible) No-Sew Dog Bandana
- Cut a square of fabric so that when folded on a diagonal (right isosceles triangle), the long edge of the triangle is big enough to fit loosely around your pet’s neck plus extra to tie a small knot. If you aren’t comfortable with estimating the size, you can use a collar as a gauge or loosely measure your pet’s neck. Don’t forget to add a little extra for seam allowances.
- Fold and iron along the diagonal that will become the top edge of the finished bandana.
- Very carefully fold inwards and iron all the way around the outside edge seam allowances. Tip: Use a seam gauge or a marked piece of cardboard if you need help making a consistent fold.
- The triangles much be identical for a “perfect” edge when bonded. Check and adjust until you are satisfied with the match.
- Unfold and create a 45 degree mitre for the bottom corner (right angle) on each future triangle. The general process for this similar to above, just at the first allowance instead. It won’t be visible, but will eliminate unnecessary bulk at the point of the finished bandana. The top corners will be naturally formed by the diagonal fold over, no extra finishing prep required.
- Refold, iron and confirm before continuing to hemming tape.
- Incrementally bond the two sides together with fusible hemming tape, taking care to ensure all edges and corners are secure.
Other Options for Using Different Fabrics
With this no-sew version, folding a square (same fabric on both sides) is easier than using a different fabric on each side . Folding eliminates the need to fiddle with hemming on the acute corners at the top edge, like the single layer double-folded hems in the first bandana DIY example shown above.
Don’t want to fold squares? You can patiently fold two identical triangles of fabric and use the method above or you can bond and invert, noting the caution above. Better yet (in my opinion), you can take the easy option and make a reversible no-sew bandana with binding trim ties instead. That’s simple and cute. You can create the concealed hem of the reversible bandana body easily, exactly as above, leaving the top edge raw. Then apply your neck binding to finish the top edge. No messing with acute hems. Pawfect. Plus it would look doggone great, just like our sewn version of a reversible dog bandana with neck trim ties.
Getting Creative with No-Sew Projects
From those basic variations, you can easily get creative with different shapes, sizes, and finishes. With your handy little hemming tape cheater’s method filed away for reference, it’s easy to look at sewn dog bandana DIYs and come up with ways to adapt them as no sew projects. And beyond bandanas into other projects, too. Even when sewing, I sometimes use my trusty tape as a hidden helper to hold things in place during assembly for sewing. I find it particularly helpful when sewing binding on difficult materials.
And on the subject of creative no-sew projects, we have no-sew DIY dog bow ties and neck bows coming up next. Stay tuned for more upcycled shirt goodies, furfriends! They’re crazy quick, versatile, and look gorgeous. Pawfect for a special occasion or playing dress-up.