Last month my sister Rochelle adopted a new dog to live with her in her new Brooklyn studio apartment. His name is Henry and he’s a terrier mix!
I had already given Rochelle an apartment-warming gift, and I obviously had to give Henry a dog-warming gift. I knew I wanted to craft him something, but there was one problem: my sister is basically the most crafty person in the world. Anything I made him, she would be able to make for him ten times better and faster.
For this reason I knew I had to keep it simple and effective.
In my internet travels I stumbled across this adorable and incredibly easy craft: “Easiest Upcycled Dog Collar Ever!” from the Sew Doggy Style blog. It was the perfect gift! My sister loves throwing parties and Henry would be such a dapper doggie host in a little collared dress shirt accessory. Plus, Rochelle is the shop owner/seamstress behind Etsy’s Brooklyn Bowtied, so he would look like such a cute little fancy man wearing a collar/bow tie combo.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Collared dress shirt(s)
- Measuring tape
- That’s literally it
I decided I wanted to make three different collars for Henry, so I rallied my beloved crafty companion Athena and went to the thrift store. Rochelle told me that Henry’s neck size is 13 inches. Because Athena’s dog is also teeny, we took a trip to the little boys’ section. Some little boy dress shirts are labeled S/M/L instead of by neck measurements, so I brought my measuring tape to double check sizes just in case.
Here are the shirts we picked out!
You have to make sure of two things when picking out shirts for this project:
1) If you don’t want to sew, make sure there’s a top button. That way the collar will stay on your pup’s neck!
2) The shirt also needs to have collar interlining*. Without interlining, there’s no added structure under your collar, which will then turn your final product into a floppy and fray-y mess.
I, of course, found out about the interlining* requirement the hard way… but let’s venture into the success stories first!
(*I have since found out that this is actually called the collar stand, not interlining. Don’t believe everything you read online, kids!)
The next step is actually the final step. All you have to do is cut off the collar under the interlining, keeping the top button while losing the rest of the shirt.
And that’s it! You’re 100% done!
Abby modeled my two successful collars before I packaged them up for Rochelle and Henry.
And here’s Athena’s dog Chance showing off his!
So what happened to my interlining-less shirt?
Because the collar was sewn directly onto the shirt without structural support in between, it couldn’t hold up on its own.
But I didn’t want this cutely patterned shirt to go to waste, so…
Here’s a *BONUS TUTORIAL* for a no-sew dog bandanna!
The back panel of the shirt has the most real estate, so I worked from there.
I made two long parallel cuts on either side of the back panel. When you do this, cut alongside the seam so you’ll have less fraying in the future.
I cut the fabric in a square shape rather than a triangle shape. That way once it’s tied around a doggie neck using the strings (created using the shirts’ seams and hems), it will fold over and create a triangle with two fabric flaps instead of one. It looks more like an authentic bandanna this way.
Here’s how it looks on Abby!
So, sometimes mistakes can be turned into something cute. Rochelle and Henry loved the bandanna just as much as the doggie collared dress shirts.
Here’s Henry showing off his new gifts. He’s such a handsome boy!
Welcome to the family, Henry!
I’m really happy with how they turned out. I especially love how the collar flaps mirror Henry’s big ole bat ears 🙂 This project was so easy, quick, and uniquely adorable — the perfect DIY gift for any dog owner!
Tell me what you think!
2021 UPDATE: Greetings from the future! I’m so happy everyone is loving my doggie DIY post, even six years later! Since you all are fellow creative spirits, I wanted to share with you that I started an Etsy shop, ArtOnABagel! I don’t sell doggie dress shirt collars — since you can easily make those yourself thanks to the above tutorial 😉 — but I have cute, bright, retro-inspired, printable wall art that you’ll love! Check it out and let me know your favorites! Thank you for all the love and support over the years!