How to Make a DIY Adjustable Dog Collar

How to Sew an Adjustable Dog Collar

The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

Dogs have so much personality and their collars should too! Make your pup a fun adjustable collar with this easy sewing tutorial. Making the basic collar takes just a few minutes, but you can customize it with ribbon to really let your dog show off with a different collar each day of the week!

In addition to looking cute, this collar (an essential for your pet!) adjusts so it's sure to fit your pet, especially as they grow. That also makes it perfect for making a gift for someone else's dog!

You can make this collar from either cotton webbing for a softer feel or nylon webbing so that it dries quickly.

Determining the Dog Collar Size

Dog collars come in different widths and ranges of sizes, and so does the hardware. Choose a width of hardware that's appropriate for the size of your dog, then select a matching width of strapping.

To determine the amount of strapping or belting you need, measure the circumference of your dog's neck (or estimate based on the breed if you aren't able to measure). Multiply the circumference by 1.5.

For example, if your dog's neck is about 12 inches around, you will need about 18 inches of strapping.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors
  • Pins or sewing clips
  • Sewing machine


  • 1/2 to 1 yard cotton or nylon heavy-duty strapping
  • Ribbon scraps
  • Thread
  • 1 set dog collar hardware set


  1. Prepare the Ribbon and Strapping Pieces

    Measure and cut ribbon pieces so they are long enough to wrap around the strapping and fully overlap on the back. If the ribbon frays easily, you may want to seal or melt the ends.

    If you're using nylon webbing or strapping for the collar, you should seal the ends of that as well.

    Cut Strips of Ribbon
    Mollie Johanson
  2. Sew the Ribbon to the Strapping

    Measure about 5 inches from one end of the collar piece. Wrap the ribbon pieces around the strapping and use a pin or sewing clip to hold them in place. Sew down each side of the ribbon.

    If you want to add even more ribbon decoration, you can attach a piece that's 1 inch longer than the strapping. Fold the ends over and sew down both edges of the ribbon.

    Sew Ribbon Strips Around the Strapping
    Mollie Johanson
  3. Add the Adjuster Buckle

    With the right side of the collar facing up, slide the adjuster buckle on the end opposite from the ribbon. Fold the end back and sew across the belting with a zig-zag stitch. The fold only needs to be long enough so you can easily sew without the hardware being in the way.

    From the other end, slide on one side of the buckle clip. If the hardware you're using has a front and back, the back should be facing the adjuster buckle.

    Sew on the Adjuster Buckle and Slide on a Main Buckle Piece
    Mollie Johanson

    It's important to keep all the pieces facing the correct direction and be on the right side so the collar comes together and functions.

    Bring the decorated end around and slide it through the adjuster buckle. The sewn edge on the adjuster should now be sandwiched between the layers so it's not exposed.

    Slide the Other End Through the Adjuster Buckle
    Mollie Johanson
  4. Add the Remaining Hardware

    Slide the D-ring first and then the remaining buckle clip on the decorated end of the collar. The front of the clip should be facing the D-ring.

    Slide the D-Ring and Other Buckle Piece on the End
    Mollie Johanson

    Fold the end of the webbing back and thread it through the back of the D-ring. Again, the overlap only needs to be enough so you can sew between the pieces of hardware.

    Use pins or sewing clips to hold the collar in place while you sew.

    Fold the End Around Under the D-Ring
    Mollie Johanson

    Sew across the strapping with a zig-zag stitch to secure the end. This holds the buckle in place as well as the ring to attach a leash.

    DIY Dog Collar With Rainbow Ribbons
    Mollie Johanson
  5. Adjust Collar to Fit Your Dog

    Adjust the collar to fit your dog and it's ready to wear!

The direction to fold the pieces can be a little confusing at first. The trick is to keep the decorated part showing on the front of the hardware and make sure the ends are hidden between layers.

There are so many ways to customize these collars! Heavy-duty webbing comes in many colors, as does the hardware. Etsy is a great resource to find different styles of both metal and plastic collar pieces.

And of course, there's no end to the ribbon options! You can use just one strip of wide decorative ribbon or several pieces of narrower embellishment. It's a great way to use up smaller pieces in your stash!

What will you make for your furry friend next?

DIY Adjustable Dog Collar

The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

DIY Dog Collar Decorated With Ribbons

The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson