DIY Doggie Dress Shirt Collar

DIY Dog Collar Upcycled Dress Shirt - No Sew | The Cheerful Times

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!

Hi, Henry! Isn't he cute?
Hi, Henry! Isn’t he cute?

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.

DIY upcycled collared dress shirt dog collar craft | The Cheerful Times

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Collared dress shirt(s)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • 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!

Athena is a wonderful model.
Athena is a wonderful model.
So exciting!
So exciting!

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.

Interlining on collared dress shirts

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.

DIY upcycled collared dress shirt dog collar craft - cutting off the collar
Off you go!

And that’s it! You’re 100% done!

DIY upcycled collared dress shirt dog collar craft
Aren’t they adorable?!

Abby modeled my two successful collars before I packaged them up for Rochelle and Henry.

DIY upcycled collared dress shirt dog collar craft
Little business girl!
DIY upcycled collared dress shirt dog collar craft
Smile for your school portrait!

And here’s Athena’s dog Chance showing off his!

DIY upcycled collared dress shirt dog collar craft
Handsome devil!

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.

DIY dog bandanna from upcycled shirt craft
The back panel

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.

DIY dog bandanna from upcycled shirt craft
Creating the ties!
DIY dog bandanna from upcycled shirt craft
Bandanna laid out flat and…
DIY dog bandanna from upcycled shirt craft
…folded over!

Here’s how it looks on Abby!

DIY dog bandanna from upcycled shirt craft
So beautiful!

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!

DIY upcycled collared dress shirt dog collar craft
Red looks fetching on me!
DIY upcycled collared dress shirt dog collar craft
Pulling off spots and stripes makes Henry a true fashionista
DIY dog bandanna from upcycled shirt craft
All-American pup!

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!

ArtOnABagel-Etsy-Shop-Printable-Wall-Art-Cheerful-Times2021 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!

47 thoughts on “DIY Doggie Dress Shirt Collar

  1. Hi I was wondering if you made the doggie dress collars for resale bc I would like one by thanksgiving or Christmas? I don’t have time to make one myself. Thanks!


    1. Hi Kelly, thank you for reading! Sorry for the inconvenience but I’m not currently making/selling any of the dog shirt collars. However, I guarantee to you that it’s faster, easier, and cheaper to make them yourself! All you need is an old collared shirt, scissors, and 5 minutes. Good luck!


  2. Hi Kelsey. I’m so happy to find your blog and this project on Pinterest. Just want to personally thank you and let you know that I featured this project on my blog in my “Perfect Dog Collars for Your Best Furry Friend” post.

    Here it is,

    Please let me know if I missed something or if you want to change and add information about your blog and project.


    P.s. Love your branding! I’m a new fan. 🙂


  3. I was looking for cute collar dress shirts for my boy’s birthday. Couldnt find one. Guess im gonna make them now! Thank you very much


  4. Love this! I had a shirt that was going into the sale pile I knew would be perfect for my first try. I’m laughing because it took me 3 minutes to find the shirt, cut it and put it on my furbaby. thank you thank you thank you. Tomorrow I’ll be out searching for shirts to fit my bigger dogs. This is a great compromise for my hubby and I, he hates when I dress his hunting dogs, I’m hoping collars will be more acceptable – I just need to figure out an acceptable name/adjective to describe – cute will not go over well. lol


  5. Absolutely love this! I was making a memory pillow for a dear friend from one of her sons shirts. I had the collar and thought, OMG – their dog could wear a piece of him! I’m glad it fit – but the bandana is a cute alternative. Thanks!


  6. Absolutely the cutest, easiest, cheapest and no sewing……i love it !! Though we don’t have our beloved “Buddy” anymore, he would have loved these. I might just have to make my granddaughters Lou Lou, one .) Thanks so much, found you on The Cottage Market !!


  7. I totally love this idea.I have girls though. But just think how cute it would be with a lacy collar, or embroidered collars. Going to thrift shop very soon.


  8. Think these collars are thrifty and a real doggy fashion statement…very dapper!!
    I’m going to make a couple for our spaniel Dillon for special occasions, a change from his bandana…great idea! 🐕


    1. Hi Mi, Thanks for commenting! That’s why I measured my dog’s neck first before going to the thrift store, so I could get an approximate size of shirt to keep an eye out for. If you were cutting a shirt you already had and found it to not be the right size, I bet there’s someone you know whose dog might fit and will be so excited to get an adorable new shirt collar! I’m sure there are other crafty ways that require sewing to resize the collar, but since this was meant to be an easy, no-sew project, they’re beyond my skill level to advise you with any expertise 🙂


  9. Thank you so much for this DIY!!! I am needing a cute way to jazz up my foster in pictures and this will do just that! Super easy and a great way to upcycle old shirts no longer in use.


  10. Hi! Thanks for this, it’s great. I’ll be making these for my sister in law’s dogs, I think! I don’t have any of my own.

    The pattern piece is, indeed, the collar stand. The stiffener inside is the interfacing. It’s used to give an item structure. You’ll find it in the button fronts, too! Here in the U.K., we call it by it’s brand name – Vilene. That’s something else you’ve learned 😂

    There are DIYs of things to do with the rest of the shirt, so don’t get rid of it, completely. Girl’s dress, apron, use the sleeves for bottle gift bags and the pockets for wallets. The list is endless!

    Thanks again x


  11. I love these! I’ve made them for my own dog in the past, but it’s tricky as his neck is a bit over 22″! So I have to get creative and sew a self-fabric collar extender from the body of the shirt.
    He looks SO cute in the finished product!


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