DIY Dog Collars and Leashes

yellow Labrador with leather belt style collar in mouth

Most of the time when your dog needs a collar or leash, you run out to the store and buy one. The really nice ones can be rather expensive, and to be honest, sometimes the cheaper ones are just fragile and ugly.

But did you know with the right materials, you can make your own DIY dog collars and leashes?

How to Make Dog Collars and Leashes

Dog collars can be made from a lot of different materials and objects as long as they are safe for your dog. You can even re-purpose items like old leather belts, flat nylon or cotton webbing, or even fabric.

woven strips of paracord

And if you are using a belt, even the buckle can be recycled.

Best Material for Dog Collar

Nylon or leather seem to be the top choices for a good sturdy dog collar. Leather lasts longer as long as it is taken care of and does not become dry and cracked. Leather is however a bit heavy compared to a nylon collar which is not only durable, but lightweight.

DIY Dog Collar -Paracord

Materials:

  • Paracord 550 (for a 15 inch collar from buckle end to buckle end (13-1/2 inch weave) your will need about 26 feet of blue paracord and 6 and a half feet of black)
  • Paracord Jig
  • Scissors
  • Lighter ( melting ends of paracord)
  • Buckles
  • Metal O ring or D ring

Instructions:

  1. Set your buckle onto your jig and then set the desired length
  2. Fold your Blue core cord in half and thread the looped end (the middle) into the top opening in the buckle that is closest to you on the jig. Take the two long strands and thread them through the loop of cord that is sticking out of the back of the buckle and pull them tight. This is called a Cow Hitch.
  3. Straightening out your 2 loose cords, run them through the D ring.
  4. Now thread the 2 loose cords through the top opening in the opposite buckle on the other end and pull the cords tight.
  5. Take the loose strand on you right and bring it back to the buckle closest to you and thread it through the bottom of the buckle opening. ( the strand should come out facing you.)
  6. Repeat step 5 with the strand on your left.
  7. With your D ring pushed to the buckle farthest away from you, thread you right hand cord through the ring and into the top of the buckle opening.
  8. Repeat step 7 with the left hand cord.
  9. Pull your loose cords tight and wind up your loose ends and secure them with the rubber bands. This will make it easier to weave.
  10. Make sure your D ring is still pushed to the top buckle.
  11. Taking your right hand bundle of cord, place it into the center of your cords that are secured to the buckles ( Count 3 cords from your right, separate them from the other 3 cords and push your bundle in between them from the top.
  12. Reach under the core and pull your cord bundle back to the right, slipping it over the loop of cord that came from the buckle creating a knot.
  13. Repeat step 12 with the left hand cord bundle.
  14. Tie another right and left knot leaving them loose.
  15. With your Black cord, take the loose ends and thread one end into the top of the right knot, and the other end into the top if the left knot pulling the black cord evenly until you have reached the midpoint.
  16. Cross the black cord right hand under left then tighten your blue cords.
  17. Take your right hand blue bundle of cord and once again place it through the middle of the core making sure the black cord on the right side is under it.
  18. Repeat step 17 with the left.
  19. After tightening you blue cords, cross the black cord over right under left.
  20. Repeat this pattern until you reach the buckle closest to you.
  21. To tie off, start with your black cord and thread the piece you crossed over from the left into the first right hand loop that is attached through the buckle. Only thread it through the front part of the loop. Repeat this on the left.
  22. Taking your right blue cord, run it under the core to the left and over your left handed cord. Take your left blue cord and run it over the core and thread it through the loop left by your right hand cord creating a square knot. Pull it tight.
  23. Remove the collar from the jig.
  24. Snip the ends of your cord and singe them with the lighter.

Thanks to CbyS Paracord and More for this paracord dog collar tutorial.

DIY Dog Collar -Leather

3 leather belts laying on a fabric covered surface

Old leather belts are pretty easy to come by. In my house alone there are 2 or 3 waiting around to be thrown away at any given time so this is a great way to recycle them. Don’t have an old belt on hand? Check your local thrift store. You should be able to pick one up rather cheap.

DIY Leather Dog Collar from Belt

Materials:

  • Vintage belt – to fit your pup’s neck & style
  • Carabiner clip

Instructions:

  1. Measure your pup’s neck.
  2. Trim the belt to roughly 4 inches past your pup’s neck measurement. You can cut off another inch or so for a smaller dog. I’d trim a little at a time if you’re unsure (you can always take off more if you need to).
  3. Put the new collar on your pup.
  4. Add the carabiner clip to the buckle to provide a place to attach the leash.

Easy DIY Dog Leash

Thanks to Jenny Davis for teaching us how to make this simple rope dog leash.

Materials:

  • Scissors
  • Painters tape or Masking tape
  • Strong Needle and thread
  • a piece of leather or fabric
  • a measuring tape
  • swivel snap hook
  • cotton rope
  • leather hole punch

Instructions:

  1. Measure the rope to the length that you want you leash remembering to take into account the fold of the handle and the fold for the snap hook.
  2. On the handle end of the rope, place a piece of tape about 5 inches down the rope.
  3. Unravel the 5 inch strands of rope up to the tape.
  4. Loop the handle end of the rope and then begin weaving the strands back into the rope according to the instructions in the video.
  5. Repeat this on the snap end of your rope remembering to attach your snatch hook before weaving in the ends.
  6. Trim off any excess rope and cover your rope splices with tape to secure.
  7. Cut a piece of your leather or fabric large enough to cover the splice in length and wide enough to wrap around the spice with both edges meeting. Taper the ends of your rectangle to resemble a triangle with the top cut off.
  8. Using the leather hole punch, fold the leather with the seam ends meeting and punch thread holes using the smallest setting on your punch.
  9. Thread your needle using multiple strands of thread ( for a good thick cordage you only need one ply) and sew the leather around the rope. Do this for both the handle and snap ends.

How to Make a Dog Leash Out of Fabric

This tutorial comes to us from SewCanShe .

Materials:

  • 2 inch wide fabric that is 7 feet long ( Can be scraps sewn together as long as the finished stip is 2 inches by 7 feet)
  • Swivel Snap Hook
  • Fusible interfacing to make fabric sturdier

Instructions:

  1. Sew together fabric strips until you have a 2 inch wide 7 foot long piece of fabric.
  2. Fuse the fusible interfacing ( according to package instructions) to the inside of the fabric strip leaving a half inch gap at either end . This is a great way to use up interfacing scraps!
  3. Press your fabric strip with an iron. First fold the strip in half lengthwise and press, then unfold and fold from the outer edge to the middle and press, then repeat with the other side. This will place your cut edges of fabric folded into the middle of the strip.
  4. Unfolding the end of your fabric strip, you are going to now fold the end width wide in half with the wrong side facing out at sew it being sure to back stitch to secure it.
  5. Now turn the end right side out tucking the fabric back into the fold. Repeat this on the other end.
  6. Using your sewing machine, top stitch the fold shut down the length of your strip of fabric approximately 1/8 inch from the edge. Repeat this on the other side.
  7. Loop down the handle in of your strip of fabric to a comfortable length and secure in place on your sewing machine.
  8. Sew on your snap hook by threading your stip through the snap hook belt opening and securing it the same as you did the handle.

Try these tutorials with different types of materials and colors for a more customized look. Your dog will surly be the most stylish pup on the block.

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Hi! My name is Heather Hallman. I’m the mother of two beautiful girls and a MAJOR passionate pet parent. I can hardly wait to bring you the BEST resources and information that I've found for our fur-babies.