Homemade dog leashes and collars express your individuality and creativity. They are easy to make, requiring little in the way of materials or skills. The hardest part about creating your own leash is sewing through nylon webbing, which requires a heavy-duty sewing machine needle, or time and patience enough to hand sew. Embellish your DIY leash and collar with ribbons to suit your taste and preference---a whimsical rainbow for a diva dog or a skull and crossbones for a tough, burly canine. Show off your dog's personality with a matching handmade leash and collar.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Nylon webbing
- Grosgrain ribbon
- Parachute buckle
- Snap hook
Measure around your dog's neck with a measuring tape, and cut a piece of nylon webbing 1 inch larger than this measurement. Burn the cut edges of the nylon webbing with the lighter. This will seal, or melt, the ends and keep them from fraying.
Cut a piece of grosgrain ribbon a half-inch longer than the nylon webbing. Pin the ribbon to the webbing with the patterned or "right" side of the ribbon facing outward. Pin the excess ribbon over the end of the nylon webbing, securing a quarter-inch of ribbon on each side to the other side of the webbing.
Sew the ribbon to the webbing with a needle and thread. Stitch as close to the ends of the webbing as possible, and stitch up and down the length of the webbing as close to the edge of the ribbon as possible. Remove the pins.
Unclip the parachute buckle to separate it into two pieces, a "male" end and a "female" end. Thread one end of the webbing into the slots attached to the "male" end of the buckle. Fold over a half-inch of the webbing.
Sew across the length of the webbing, a quarter- to half-inch away from the clip. Sew over the area a few times to ensure it is secure. You can sew a pattern shaped like a box surrounding the letter "X" for extra integrity.
Slide the D-ring onto the webbing. Allow it to lay on the webbing without attaching it. Thread the female end of the buckle onto the webbing, making sure the collar does not lay twisted or skewed. Fold the webbing over to the "wrong" side of the collar by a half-inch. Pin the webbing so that it is secured.
Try the collar on your dog to ensure a good fit. Make any necessary adjustments to length by unpinning and repinning the webbing threaded through the "female" end of the buckle.
Slide the D-ring up to the female end of the collar. Position it so that one side is sandwiched between the top webbing of the collar and the folded-over edge. Sew two lines of stitching, one on either side of the D-ring, to secure it. Remove the pins.
Sew a line of stitching near the end of the folded-over webbing. You can sew a design that looks like a box containing the letter "X" for added integrity. Place the finished collar on your dog, or embellish as desired.
Cut a length of nylon webbing to your desired length. Most standard leashes are between 5 and 6 feet long, with an extra foot added to form the loop for the owner's hand and to secure the hardware at the base of the leash. Cut a length of grosgrain ribbon 1 inch longer than the nylon webbing.
Burn the cut edges of the nylon webbing to seal, or melt it. This prevents the ends from fraying. Pin the ribbon to the webbing, folding over approximately a half-inch of ribbon on each end of the nylon.
Sew the ends of the ribbon, securing it to the nylon on each end. Sew up and down the length of the ribbon, attaching it to the nylon webbing. Sew as close to the edges of the ribbon as possible.
Slide the snap hook onto one end of the nylon webbing. Fold about 1 inch of webbing through the snap hook. Secure it by sewing a box containing an "X" shape. This shape adds integrity and strength, ensuring the stitches don't break or come undone if your dog pulls on the leash.
Fold over a loop of nylon webbing at the top. Use about 10 inches of webbing to form a 5-inch-long loop, or however much you feel is necessary to create a comfortable handhold for the leash. Secure this loop by sewing a design that looks like a box containing an "X" at the end of the folded-over webbing. Clip the leash to your dog's collar, making adjustments to the length as needed.
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- "Sew Dog: Easy Sew Dogwear and Custom Gear for Home and Travel"; Jennifer Quasha, Pamela Hastings; 2004
- "Canine Couture: 25 Projects: Fashion and Lifestyle Accessories for Designer Dogs"; Lilly Shahravesh; 2008
- "Dog Fashion: Haute Couture for Your Hound"; Susie Green; 2007
- "Doggy Fashion"; Alison Jenkins; 2003