When you walk into a pet store, you get to confront a ton of different dog collars and leashes. There are many people with dogs as their pets. A good collar and leash can come in handy for a dog owner in a ton of different ways. It helps you with the care and command of your pet.
If you plan on taking your dog for a walk, you are unable to do it without a good leash and collar. Moreover, if you are taking your pet to a party, you certainly need to attach a leash to its collar. But do you ever wonder about how to make dog collars and leashes?
An overview of collars
Before we jump into how to make dog collars and leashes, first, you need to have an overview of the two. We’ll begin with the dog collars because they are essential. Even if you don’t have a leash, a collar is likely to be there. Some of the common types of collars are as follow.
The regular collars include the standard flat collars. You can adjust these with a buckle or a clasp. Moreover, you have a ring with which you can attach the identification tags and leashes.
Then comes the Martingale collars. If you are a dog owner with a pet that has a small head, the martingale collar is a better option. You get to have a collar and metal ring at each end, with material passing through the loops of each ring. It is to assure that the collar is tight around the neck, and your dog won’t slip out of it. However, it certainly won’t be choking him.
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The third type of flat collar is the head collars. Dog owners who prefer to have more control over the dog tend to go with this type of dog collar. These come in various brands and styles with a strap that fits high around the neck of your dog, slightly behind the ears. Moreover, there is another strap in such collars that go around the muzzle of the dog.
Then come the aversive collars. These are designed for the dogs who display bad behavior or are proving to be difficult to train. However, there is a huge debate on its use as they tend to inflict pain.
Some of the aversive collar options include the choke chains. The metal links get tighten around the neck of your pet, and it depends on the overstepping of your dog. Moreover, the prong or pinch collars become another aversive option. These are designed in martingale style, but the only difference is that they come with a prong lining. The metal prongs pinch the skin of your dog slightly. However, it is still a better option than a choking chain.
Then the modern shock collars come into play, which can give an electric shock to your dog as required. These are effective and can be very useful in molding the behavior of your dog.
Lastly, we have the special collars. This category includes the bark control collars, which come in a number of different designs. Also, if your dog has flea, the tick collars come in very handy. Then you have the GPS collar for dog tracking purposes.
How to make a dog collar?
Let’s head towards the first part of how to make dog collars and leashes. Making a dog collar is not an easy task. However, if you can do a bit of work and know-how to sew something, you can always give it a try. Once you have the supplies with you, all you need is an hour to get the job done.
Start by picking a good fabric and a webbing. Both are essential for your collar making. Get yourself a tri-glide with a good snap buckle and adjustment buckle. Moreover, a good ring is another necessity that is going to help you attach the identification tags and leashes. Also, get some starch, a scissor, iron, and sewing machine.
Do note that the cutting you do for the fabric and webbing is done before sewing. Once you sew it all, the finished collar will be a lot smaller in both length and width.
The first step for you is to cut the fabric. Don’t cut it too short or too long, and avoid guessing. Measure the length of your dog’s neck. Some people make the mistake that they prepare a collar exactly of the size of their pet’s neck. For making a dog collar, you should add about 20 inches to the measurement before you start cutting the fabric. Moreover, take a good look at the width of the collar. People vary the width, but usually, about 3 inches is preferred.
Once you complete the cutting of fabric, being the preparation of the webbing. Measure the length of your fabric and cut a webbing that is about 10 inches shorter than the fabric itself. Assure that you take the measurements twice before you proceed with the cutting process.
Also, as you cut the webbing, don’t forget to heat the ends. Melt the fibers together to assure that the fiber is sticking tightly. If you leave it open, the fiber is likely to unravel when you sew it or as you take your dog for a walk.
People tend to forget the melting of fibers and only notice the unraveling of the webbing as they take the pet for a walk. So, double-check this point before you proceed.
You are done with cutting fabric and webbing. But now is not the time to start sewing. You have to prepare the fabric first before you start stitching it. The preparing process requires some starch and ironing. Spray the starch on your fabric thoroughly before you iron it as the starch will stiffen the fabric, whereas the ironing will remove all the wrinkles from it.
Sewing a tube
Now is the time to do some sewing. You have both webbing and fabric ready with you, and all you have to do is set up your machine appropriately. Sew the entire length of your fabric in the shape of a long tube. Individuals make a mistake here that they sew it from the outside. Assure that all the sewing you are doing is done from the inside of the fabric. It will give a seamless appearance to your collar.
Also, you should assure that the tube is long and wide enough for the webbing to slide in easily. People sewing the fabric too might have a hard time dealing with the webbing.
Turning it inside out
Once you are done sewing your tube, turn it inside out. Cut off any excess fabric or thread that you find on your tube and clean it appropriately. A noticeable thing here is that the sewing you have been doing so far was all inside out. Now, you need to go the other way around carefully, or else you’ll end up with a collar that has inner fabric on the outside and vice versa.
Add webbing to tube
Turning the tube inside out makes it easy for a person to slide in the webbing. It may feel like an excessive detail in this guide about how to make dog collars and leashes. However, as you are going to add the webbing, the inside out tube makes it a fairly easy job for you. As you sew the fabric in a tubular shape, a loop is created automatically.
Slide the webbing into this loop and make sure that it adjusts perfectly. Don’t forget to align the webbing with the fabric in such a way that the seam of the fabric and the edge of your webbing sit together perfectly.
The prepared fabric, sewn in the form of a tube, has the webbing inside it. Now it is time for you to sew the webbing with the fabric. Spray some starch on your collar and iron it appropriately. Make sure that the iron is hot, and your fabric is wrinkle-free.
Put the sewing machine and thread in place and start joining the two pieces. Go with a seam down on both sides of the collar and assure that the thread is going through both materials flawlessly to have a good collar.
Adding tri-glide and male buckle
You may think that the collar is ready at this moment. However, a good dog collar is never without buckles and rings. So, in this step, we will add the tri-glide and a buckle. If you like, you can use any other way, such as a snap. However, for the tutorial purpose, and as this is easy to go through, we will stick with tri-glide and buckle.
Adding tri-glide is a tricky part, so you need to pay attention to this. Weave it through the collar and leave about an inch’s space on one side. It will help you in looping as you’ll be stitching this side of the collar. Then, sew the tri-glide while assuring that you use a box stitch. It is a little advanced, but this stitch is a preferred choice.
Moreover, you’ll add the male end of the buckle too. Assure that you insert both fabric and webbing into the buckle and pull them through. Take it up to tri-glide and weave the collar.
Adding a ring and a female buckle
The task is almost done as you are left with only one end of the collar. Get yourself a good sturdy ring with which you can tie up the leash and add identification tags as required. Insert your collar into it and add a female buckle on its end. Some people do worry about the ring placement and where it’ll go on the collar. However, that is not something important to think about.
After adding a female buckle, according to the length of your collar, triple stitch this end to make sure that the buckle stays in its place. By now, you are done with both ends, having a male buckle on one end, tri-glide in the middle, and a female buckle on the other end. There will also be a ring between tri-glide and the female buckle.
Finishing touch with box stitch
The collar is ready, and all that is left is a good box stitch throughout the collar. Slide the ring to the point where you have done a triple stitch for the female buckle and begin the box stitch. Make sure that you sew the collar appropriately before you add it to your pet.
So, this is how you can stitch your very own dog collar. Choose a fabric you like and get a good webbing. Go through the process thoroughly and have a clear mind regarding what you are going to do on each step. Read the tutorial on how to make dog collars and leashes again and again if required. You may not be able to get a good collar on the first attempt. However, practice makes a man perfect in anything.
Overview of dog leashes
Similar to the collar, there are different types of leashes for different purposes. Usually, you see leashes with Nylon, Leather, or Chain. Each has its benefits and drawbacks that we’ll discuss below as we learn how to make dog collars and leashes. Here, we will take a look at 3 types of leashes.
Standard dog leash
The standard leash can be somewhere between 4 and 8 feet in length. You can craft it in many different ways. However, be sure to make a leash according to the age, size, and breed of your dog.
Retractable dog leash
Then comes the retractable dog leashes. These are highly debated because of the trickiness and how you control your dog with such leashes. However, to put it simply, these allow you to have a chosen amount of distance between you and your dog and put some tension on the pet as it progresses.
Adjustable dog leash
These dog leashes come in very handy, especially when you plan on training your dog. Its length can be anywhere between 3 and 6 feet, and the adjustment done with the help of a clip or loop.
Leashes according to material
The nylon leashes are a cheap option and are seen as an easy to clean option. However, they are not very comfortable to hold on, and if your dog tends to pull, you’ll have a hard time dealing with it. On the other hand, leather leashes are extremely comfortable to hold. They tend to last as long as a lifetime. However, their cost is a factor to consider when purchasing.
Chain leashes are another common option for pet owners. They are preferred for the dogs that tend to chew their ropes. However, they tend to be heavy and hard to hold on. Furthermore, cotton is another common option in the market. It is preferred because it is easy to grip and gives you appropriate control. However, if your dog tends to chew on the leash, you might have to think about it.
How to make a dog leash?
Today, you will find dog leashes in several different styles. Depending on the size of your dog and the breed, you need to be very careful in your leash choice. Moreover, age is another factor that comes into the account as it directly impacts the size of your dog. You will find nylon, leather, chain, and cotton ropes in most of the pet stores.
Here, we are going to make a cotton leash. You will find that most of the pet stores have gradient ropes on display. These are very popular amongst the pet owners because of the style and appearance. So, let’s begin.
You will need about 2 to 2.5 yards of a thick cotton rope. Most of the time, you will find a rope 3/8 inches thick. Then, a fabric dye is essential for giving it a gradient. If you want a simple white rope, you can skip this dyeing procedure. Moreover, 2 rope clamps are essential to secure the rope, and a snap hook is needed to attach it to your dog collar. Lastly, a rubber mallet and a cooking pot are a couple of other essentials for dye.
The clamps and snap hooks are easily available in the hardware stores. Head over to the rope section, and you’ll find the two items there. Moreover, you need 100% cotton rope, and getting this can be a tricky task. Search the stores around you thoroughly and, if possible, get a 3 strand rope as it gets better color.
Step 1: Cutting and securing rope ends
First of all, take the rope in your hand and determine the length you need. Generally, dog leashes are around 4 to 8 feet long. You need to know which length is suitable for you before you cut the rope down to the required size. Once you cut it, make sure to tape or tie the ends together in such a way that the fibers won’t unravel. If you leave it out without tying, the rope will be worn quickly due to the unraveling of the cotton.
Step 2: Preparing the dye
Get yourself some warm water and dip the rope into it. Start preparing your dye, and the instructions for this process are given on your dye bottle. Be sure to read the instructions cautiously and prepare the dye according to it. Else, you will be unable to get the right color, or it will fade away pretty quickly.
Step 3: Dyeing the rope
Now you have to dye the cotton rope in the dye you just prepared. Start by dipping the cotton rope and removing it from the pot. Make sure that you have this rope already soaked into warm water before you dip it into the dye. For a good gradient, dip the rope again and again on different heights and lengths until you get a good gradient.
Some people may wish to get a uniform color all along the rope. For that, dip your rope into the dye and stir it constantly. You will see the rope color changing. Keep stirring the rope until you get a good color across it.
The reason why we prefer a 3 strand rope over the other one is because of the gradient effect. Dyeing a 3 strand rope in ombre style would give a smoother and subtle effect than other rope variants.
Step 4: Take out and hang the rope
Once you are done with the coloring process, take out the rope, and hang it out. It is better if you can put it somewhere in your garage or outdoors. Make sure that you keep the darker end at the top side, whereas the lighter end should be kept at the bottom. It allows the dye to slowly and steadily creep down the rope until the end.
If you want to speed up the process, you can do so by squeezing the dye. Start from the top and squeeze the excess water down the rope to assure that it dries up quickly.
Step 5: Rinsing the rope
Get some cold water in a bucket and put your rope in it. Start rinsing the rope till the water runs clear. Some people may worry about the color fading at this point. So, if you want to seal the color, you can do it easily by using a dye fixative. It will seal the color of your dye.
Step 6: Let it get dry
Leave out the rope and let it get dry. Depending on where you live and the temperature of the surrounding, this may take up to 24 hours. However, some people like to use various tricks to get it dried up quickly. While you may benefit from these, we suggest you let it get dry on its own.
Step 7: Finishing the collar side
Before you progress forward, get your snap hook, clamps, and rubber mallet or hammer all lined up nicely. Take one end of the rope and insert the snap hook into it. Put the rope into one clamp and loop it smoothly. Make sure that the loop is small, just enough to facilitate the snap hook. Moreover, you must turn the rope long enough when creating a loop so that it fits nicely between both the prong sets.
In other words, pass the rope through the clamp once. Add the snap hook to your leash and fold it to pass the rope through the clamp again. You will have your snap-hook at the one end of the clamp, and the rest of the leash will be on the other end. Put the clamp on a flat surface with its prongs facing upwards. Start hammering the prongs, one over the other, to seal the deal.
Step 8: Finishing the holding end
Now, you have to take care of the holding end, and this is no different from creating the collar end. Pass the rope through the clamp and create about a 6 to 7-inch loop. Fold the rope to pass it through the clamp again, only enough to assure that the rope thoroughly fits in the clamp. Then repeat the process of hammering prongs, one over the other, on a flat surface to seal this end too. Do note that the length of this loop can be bigger or smaller, depending on the size of the hand. So, make sure to know what feels comfortable to grip before you finalize the length of this loop.
Covering clamps (optional)
The leash is done, and you have a perfectly functional dog rope in your hand right now. If you like, you can continue with this step to cover the clamps of your rope.
Take a piece of leather and cut it long and wide enough so that it covers your clamp thoroughly when you wrap it around. Make sure to cut two strips, one to cover each side. Then, soak the leather pieces into warm water to make it malleable. Once you find that the leather is ready, take it out and stretch the pieces a bit. Get a #18 darning needle fold the leather so that the corners are perfectly aligned with each other.
Use the needle and hammer it through the leather to create stitch guides. Make sure to keep the holes between 1/8 and ¼ inches away from each other. Also, as you are done dipping the leather into warm water, creating the holes won’t take much energy. Just a gentle tap on the needle with a hammer can do the job for you.
Now, wrap the leather around and stitch it with the help of stitch guides to cover your clamps.
So, this is how to make dog collars and leashes at home. If you are about to do this for the first time, you will likely end up with a flawed collar or leash. Even individuals trying it for a second or third time may have some problems. However, if you keep on trying, you will be able to make these collars and leashes in no time. At max, you will need to put in an hour’s effort once you get the hack.