Bow Wow! DIY Dog Bandanas for Under $3 Each | Free Pattern

SEP 19, 2017 updated May 14, 2021

It’s no secret that Halloween is a favorite holiday of the DIY community: from handmade costumes to perfectly carved pumpkins, there’s no shortage of me-made projects during the season of tricks and treats. For Spoonflower team member Meredith, gearing up for her favorite holiday means her four-legged friend also gets a DIY treat: Halloween Dog Bandanas. Keep reading to find out how she used the cheater quilt Fill-a-Project™ template and Spoonflower’s free bandana pattern to create nine different dog bandanas for under $3 each! 

Vintage Halloween- bobcat’s castle by katybobsyouraunty
Spooky, spirited designs from the Vintage Halloween Design Challenge

Meredith: Halloween is hands down one of my favorite holidays. Growing up, my mom insisted on making all of our costumes every year (thanks, Mom!) and now in my adult life, I’m still on the quest for a showstopper handmade costume. While the clock is ticking to perfect my costume this year, I wanted to share the Halloween spirit with my playful pup, Alli, and her puppy pal, Fozzi, without adding another time consuming project to my to-do list. Enter the DIY dog bandana.

I LOVE this project for 5 great reasons:

  1. A dog bandana can be completed in just four easy steps which means Alli can look festive while still having time for other DIY projects!
  2. With over 500,000 designs in the Spoonflower Marketplace, you can find the perfect design to get your pup in party mood, no matter the occasion.
  3. Using the Fill-a-Project™ 1 yard Cheater Quilt template, I can make up to 9 bandanas for $2.20 each!
  4. They are a fun, easy gift for your friends with fur babies.
  5. The collar pocket ensures the bandana will stay on no matter how wild it gets at the dog park.

Inspired to make one (or nine!) for your furry friends? Let’s get started!

Create your Fill-a-Project Cheater Quilt

Using the 1 yard cheater quilt template and the Vintage Halloween Design Challenge Collection (they’re scary good!) curated by Spoonflower, I created 6 different design sections (the 3 larger sections above yield 2 bandanas each for medium or smaller dog sizes.) The medium dog bandana template is 8″ x 12″, so I made sure each section was at least 12″ x 12″ (2 squares wide x 2 squares tall.) For large dogs, you’ll need to make sure that the sections are 2 squares wide x 3 squares tall.

I love how the cheater quilt template can be used for so much more than just a quilt. Oh the possibilities!

A Halloween-inspired Fill-a-Project quilt is ready for DIY dog bandanas. Shop featured designs.

Materials

  • Multiple dog bandanas: Fill-a-Project 1 yard cheater quilt printed on Cotton Poplin (or your preferred woven cotton)
    • Or to make 1 dog bandana: 1 fat quarter of Cotton Poplin
  • sewing machine
  • rotary blade/fabric scissors
  • thread
  • pins
  • bandana template

Choose your Template

While waiting for your fabric to arrive, print out the bandana template. To determine your bandana size, measure the length of your dog’s collar and divide by 2. Choose the bandana template that correlates to this measurement. 

Next, lay the template on your fabric and cut around the template with a rotary blade or fabric scissors.

Sew the Bandana

Fold a double hem 1/2” and press. Topstitch around the entire bandana to secure your hem.

Create the Collar Pocket

To create the pocket for the collar, fold over the top of your bandana so the edges match up with the corners at the top of the triangle portion. Pin in place and stitch across the long edge of your pocket on the front side of your bandana.

Pro tip: Test out your pocket by sliding your pup’s collar through before stitching.

In just four easy steps, you’re ready to celebrate any special occasion with a custom dog bandana! Find even more pup-approved DIYs here!

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  • Made these bandanas for my furbaby, as well as some friends and family. Super cute and easy! I tweaked the design and put fabric on the backside to make it reversible! And even added their names with some vinyl. Super cute! Thanks!

  • If you need is a 2×2 square for the medium bandanas, couldn’t you theoretically get 12 bandanas out of one yard of fabirc? 2 from three 3×3 squares and 1 from 6 2×2 squares, or am I stretching it too far?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Sadie,

      This project is using the Fill-a-Project™ 1 yard Cheater Quilt template to make up to 9 bandanas for $2.20 each!

  • Jessica Kersey

    I don’t have access to a printer, do you a a version that gives the exact measurements of each side so I can draw my own templates?

    • Hi Jessica,

      The width of each size is listed on the pattern and the lengths are listed below! I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask.

      XS:8″
      S:9″
      M:11″
      L-XL:11.5″

  • Joyce L Filler

    The very best Bandana I have made. Thank you soooo very much for your ingenious idea.
    I made one of another similar pattern and lined it and found out that it looked great but to heavy and it did not lay flat around the neck. Have to be careful what fabric you use, some fray and makes it difficult to turn under. I guess you could use a serger, however does not look as professional! Also, I am embroidery their names.
    I already have orders from friends and family.
    Kind Regards,
    Joyce

  • Hi,
    Just wondering if I was allowed to make and sell these in my online store (if I credit the pattern creator, of course!)? Usually I can find a note that says one way or the other, but I can’t seem to find anything on this blog or on the pattern download itself.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Great question! We’d be happy for you to sell finished bandanas using this pattern but ask that you do not sell the actual pattern.

      -Meredith from Spoonflower

  • Jaimie Skye

    Hi, I love this design!! I was wondering if I could use your pattern and sell some to my friends if it ok with you?

    • Hi Jaimie,
      We’d love for you to use our free pattern to make finished dog bandanas that you intend to sell.

  • Hi, thanks for posting this! It’s a super easy and simple pattern, yet it’s so adorable!! My little pup loves his-I made him one for St. Patrick’s Day. Another thing I love about this project is that usually he just eats all the things I try to put on him. But I think because the collar goes through it he doesn’t mind as much. Thanks again!

    • Hi Skylar,
      That’s great to hear! We love this pattern for themed bandanas, especially for holidays. The slide-in collar is pup-approved!

  • Hi!
    In the instructions when it says “To determine your bandana size, measure the length of your dog’s collar and divide by 2. Choose the bandana template that correlates to this measurement.” I am a little confused.

    So lets say my dogs neck size is 15 inches, would I use the XL pattern? So the 15 inches divided by 2 would get me the 7.5 inch pattern? Is that how it works?

    Sorry for the confusion! Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Aubree,
      You’ve got the right idea! Your bandana will be cut on the fold so the width of your bandana will double once unfolded. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  • Stefanie Vallejo

    Hi there!

    I am excited to try this for my pup! I am a little confused on how this pattern works. In the tutorial, the bandana shape of the template is full, but the template given to print is only half. Does this mean I need to fold the fabric and then cut with the template on top?

    I’m sorry if this is a silly question – I’m a super newbie here 🙂

    • Hi Stefanie,

      No silly questions here! The template will require you to cut your fabric on the fold to create a full bandana. Cutting on the fold allowed us to include multiple sizes on the template so you can create bandanas for all your pups! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  • I tried it again this morning and I see the pattern, but can’t print. I know the pattern covers an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. What I need to know is know the length of the cuffs — The width is 7.5 inches (on the fold — total 15 “). Then I need to add a 1/2″ added seam allowance to turn under 1/4 ” on each side. This is my assumption. Or does the 7.5 include the seam allowances?
    Could you just send me the widths of the cuffs for all the sizes?
    The largest bandana pattern seems to be just a little longer than the paper to get the point.
    Thank you so much for your help!!

    • Hi Susan,
      We’re sorry to hear it’s still causing you trouble! The length of the cuff is 9″ and we suggest printing the largest version at a poster size since it’s a bit larger than a standard 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper. Please let us know if there’s anything else we can help with!

  • I tried printing the pattern from the HERE in your response to Margaret’s email on 9-22-2017, but I couldn’t get it to print. Can you help?

    • Hi Susan,
      We’re sorry for the trouble! We were able to open the link with the pattern and print the file. Would you be able to provide more details about the issue you’re having?

  • I make my bandanas a little differently with my dog inspired Spoonflower fabrics. They are however not as customisable as this spoonflower pattern. Well done, Spoonflower.

  • Do you have to scale the pattern when printing it? What’s the measurement for each size suppose to be? I feel like my pattern is printing wrong.
    Thanks

    • Hi Roz,
      We’re sorry for the trouble! The pattern should fit on one 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper and cut on the fold of your fabric to double the width of the pattern. You can double check the size by measuring the top line of the pattern. This should match the width listed within the pattern! If you have any other questions, please let us know!

  • Cool idea – I’m wondering if any sighthound people have tried it with snaps or hook-and-loop fastener instead of sewing the collar pocket to accommodate for martingale-style collars that don’t have the buckles which allow collars to slide through the sewn pocket

    • Hi Ashley,
      Thanks for stopping by! We don’t have a two-sided pattern (yet!) but we think you could cut two pieces out using the current pattern and stitch together. Just remember, you may need to trim down the top part of the pattern because ours include the fold over collar section. We’ll be sure to let you know if we update the pattern for a two-sided version!

  • So cute…the bandanas and the pups! Can you please tell us the breed of your dogs? Lovely and thank you for adding spoke-tastic charm to our day!

    • Hi Linda,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the tutorial! Alli is a rescue but we’ve been told she’s a Basenji Terrier. Cute little Fozzi is a Carolina Dog.

      • Jenny Fullerton

        I own whippets and I think Alli is either a whippet or greyhound , depending on her weight and height. She’s too long in the body to be a basenji I my humble opinion 😊

        • Thanks for the note, Jenny! We’ve always been curious what her breed is so any extra suggestions are always welcomed!

    • Hi Humberto,
      While we don’t offer finishing services at this time, there are lots of Spoonflower Makers who could take your custom fabric and turn it into a bandana for your pup!

    • We hope they love them as much as Alli and Fozzi do! We’d love to see a photo of your pups in the bandanas.