When it is time to replace your dog's collar, consider reusing the hardware from the old collar to make a fabric dog collar on your own. Fabric dog collars are not only more comfortable for the dog, but also more creative and colourful. With a few simple supplies and some patience, you can make a custom-fit and customised fabric dog collar for your dog.
Remove your dog's current collar and measure the fabric from one end to the other (do not including the buckles). Add 4 inches to this measurement and write it down; this will be the length of your fabric.
Disassemble the old dog collar with a pair of sturdy scissors and remove both pieces of the buckle and the D-ring for the dog tags. If the hardware pieces are in poor condition, you will need to purchase new pieces at your local craft store. Try to purchase pieces that are the same size as the originals.
Measure the width of the buckle (the side where the fabric slides through). Multiply this number by 4 and write the new number down; this will be the width of your fabric.
Select the fabric you want to use for your dog collar. Choose any colour or pattern, but avoid fabrics that are delicate. Once you have your fabric, cut a piece to match the length and width you determined in Steps 1 and 3.
Cut a piece of iron-on interfacing that is slightly smaller than the piece of fabric. This interfacing will give your dog collar its shape and durability. Follow the directions for the interfacing and apply it to the wrong side of your fabric piece (the side that will not be seen).
Fold the entire fabric piece in half lengthwise. Use an iron to press along the fold, making a crease down the centre of the fabric piece. Unfold the fabric and fold one side in toward the centre crease. Use an iron to press along this fold. Fold the other side in toward the centre crease and use an iron to press along this fold as well. Both raw edges of the fabric should not meet along the centre crease of the fabric piece.
Fold the fabric piece in half lengthwise along the previous centre crease. The raw edges of the fabric should now be enclosed inside the collar. Use a sewing machine to sew around the entire perimeter of the fabric piece. You may want to use a zigzag stitch around the ends of the fabric piece to prevent the ends from fraying.
Attach the male end of the buckle (the side with the prongs) to one end of the fabric piece. Insert the fabric piece from the back of the buckle into the slot farthest away from the prongs. Loop the fabric over the bar and back through the other slot. Pull at least 1.5 inches of the fabric piece out through this slot. Sew this end of fabric to the collar with two lines of stitching: sew one line close to the end of the fabric strip and another line close to the buckle. The male end of the buckle should now be securely attached.
Slide the D-ring onto the fabric piece at the other end. Slide it toward the middle of the fabric piece to keep it out of the way while the other side of the buckle is attached.
Attach the female end of the buckle to the other side of the collar using the same method as before. Insert the fabric piece from the back of the buckle into the slot farthest away from the enclosure. Loop the fabric over the bar and back through the other slot. Use a ruler to measure the length of the collar and determine how much fabric needs to be pulled through the buckle. Refer to the length you determined in Step 1 (but do not add the additional 4 inches). Pull as much fabric through the buckle as necessary to ensure that the length between the two buckles is the appropriate length for your dog's neck. Sew the female buckle into place by stitching the two pieces together as close to the buckle as possible.
Slide the D-ring back down to the end of the collar with the female buckle. Slide it all the way up to your line of stitching. Measure about one inch away from this line of stitching and add another line of stitching with your sewing machine. These two lines of stitching should now keep the D-ring in place on the collar.
Finish your fabric dog collar by cutting away any long threads and adding any embellishments you desire, such as buttons, jewels or chains.