When choosing the perfect collar for your dog, you may find that you have to make your own collar to get what you want. If your dog has sensitive skin, you will want to avoid traditional polypropylene or nylon webbing. Hemp is a great alternative for dogs with sensitive skin. It is also a sustainable material that uses little to no herbicides in the growing process if you are concerned with the environment. Purchasing hemp collars can be expensive; however, you can easily make your own dog collar out of hemp for little money.
Measure your dog's neck using a flexible measuring tape. Add 8 inches to this measurement. This is the amount of hemp webbing you will need to purchase. Hemp webbing can be purchased at your local fabric store. The width depends on the size of your dog.
Feed one of the loose ends of the hemp through the end of the "male" side of a plastic parachute buckle. The male end is the side that inserts into the other, female, end. Parachute buckles are the three-prong buckles that you find on backpacks that you squeeze the sides to open. You can find these at your local craft or fabric store in the notions department. Choose a buckle that is the same size as your hemp webbing.
Fold the end of the hemp webbing back down so that the loose end is against the backside of the remaining webbing and the buckle is held in the loop. You want to make sure there is a 3-inch length of webbing so that you have an adequate space to sew.
Use a sewing machine threaded with coordinating thread to sew along the front side of the collar, along the width of it, near the loop that is holding the buckle. This will secure the loose end of the flap to the main part of the collar, holding the buckle in place.
Flip the collar over and sew the width of the collar a second time. This time do this at the end of the loose piece to sew the flap down.
Feed a metal D ring onto your collar so that the flat side is against the underside of the collar. The D ring is what you use to attach your dog's leash and can be found at your local hardware store. Then feed the loose end of the collar through the female end of the parachute buckle. Pull the loose end through so you have a 3-inch flap.
Fit the collar around your dog's neck to ensure it is the proper size. It should be secure but not tight. Ideally, you should be able to fit two fingers under the collar. Hold the buckle in place because it is not sewn. This is just to check sizing.
Remove the collar from your dog and pin the flap in place to mark your new measurements.
Use your sewing machine to sew along the front side of the collar along the width of it, near the loop that is holding the buckle in place. This will secure the loose end of the flap to the main part of the collar.
Sew a second line across the width of the collar about 1/2 inch from the first stitch. This keeps your D ring separated from the buckle.
Slide your D ring down to the stitch you just made. Use your sewing machine to sew across the width of the collar just beyond the D ring.
Place your finished collar on your dog.
If you wish to add a design to your hemp collar, you can purchase a printed ribbon and stitch it onto the collar after you complete Step 1. Choose a ribbon that is the same size or slightly smaller than the hemp webbing for best results.
You can also consider stitching a piece of fleece on the back side of the collar at the same time you apply ribbon. This will keep the collar from rubbing against your dog's neck. However, if you have a long-hair dog, this will collect loose hair and can be messy.
Items You Will Need
- Measuring tape
- Hemp webbing
- Plastic parachute buckle
- Sewing machine
- Metal D ring
- Black dog image by Maksim Zinchenko from Fotolia.com