How Much Fabric Do You Need for a Dog Bandana

Are you looking to accessorize your pooch with a dog bandana? Maybe you’re interested in making one but have no clue where to start. No worries: making a dog bandana is relatively easy with our in-depth guide.

Worried about buying too much or too little fabric? In under an hour, you can have the cutest dog on the block wearing an accessory you made with your own hands. Want to make multiple bandanas? We will teach you how many bandanas you can expect to yield from a yard of fabric.

If you want to make a dog bandana and not have tons of scraps left over, you’ve come to the right place!

If you are feeling overwhelmed and would rather buy a fashionable bandana personalized with your dog’s name, you’ve also come to the right place!

How Much Fabric for a Dog Bandana

When it comes to sewing, the number one question people always ask is “How much fabric do I need?” The short answer is “enough!” But determining how much is enough and how much is too much can be a difficult challenge. When in doubt, you should always err on the side of buying more fabric rather than less. Just be sure to have a use for all those scraps, or otherwise, it’ll turn into a massive waste. Plus, buying too much fabric can cost you a pretty penny. To figure out how much fabric you need for a dog bandana, the easiest and most surefire way to know is by measuring your dog.

“To figure out how much fabric do you need for a dog bandana, the easiest and most surefire way to know is by measuring your dog.”

Don’t Forget Seam Allowance

Before we get to our exclusive walk-through on taking a dog’s measurements, let’s touch on an important topic: seam allowance. Seam allowance is the term for allowing a little bit of extra room when you cut or measure fabric. When you sew a seam, you’ll take up some space, and the resulting garment will be smaller. In other words, if you sew two pieces of fabric together that are the size of a yard (like with a blanket), the resulting product will be less than a yard. If that’s a bit confusing, consider the age-old woodworking aphorism: measure twice, cut once!

How Much Fabric Do You Need for a Dog Bandana
How Much Fabric Do You Need for a Dog Bandana

How to Measure Fabric for a Dog Bandana

There are several methods you can use to measure the amount of fabric you’ll need for a bandana. Some of these methods include:

  • Using a collar
  • Using a tape measure
  • Using your hands
  • Trim as you go

The easiest two methods are to either use a collar or a tape measure, and we’ll be covering both of those methods more in detail. For measurements, we’ll include both the imperial and the metric system (inches vs centimeters). As an added note, f you’re shopping in the US, fabric is sold by the yard (3 feet or 36 inches). If you’re shopping anywhere else, fabric is sold by the meter (100 centimeters). Once you have your measurement, you’ll need to do a little simple math to place your fabric order.

Kylah with her dog

Using a Collar

If your dog already wears a collar, then it’s super fast and easy to get his measurements. Simply pop the collar off and measure it alongside a tape measure. If it’s a buckle collar, be sure to measure from buckle to fabric end.

That means you won’t measure the part of the buckle that slides in because it’ll skew your measurement. If your dog wears a standard belt collar, measure from the buckle to the hole that you slide the belt in. If your measurement comes in at 14 inches, go ahead and measure up to 15 to include seam allowance. Similarly, if your measurement comes to 33 centimeters, go ahead and round up to 35.

Using a Tape Measure

If your dog doesn’t wear a collar, consider using a tape measure. Most people have one lying around the house, and if you don’t, they’re relatively inexpensive to pick up. These soft tape measures are perfect for measuring oblong objects. Wrap the measure around your dog’s neck and see where the metal end of the tape hits.

Like a ruler, you should always measure from 0. Be sure to use a tailor’s tape measure and not a carpenter’s tape measure, too. A carpenter’s measure is rigid and made of metal and won’t conform to the shape of your dog’s neck. Finally, if your dog just won’t sit still, consider measuring the circumference of his surgery cone if he has one. They can usually snap open, too, so you can measure the length.

How to Buy Fabric

Once you have your measurement, you’ll need to convert it to yards or meters. For example, an 18-inch circumference is equal to 1/2 yard. Keep in mind, however, that bolts of fabric are folded in half.

That means you’ll be able to open up your cut of fabric to be twice as long. This is done so you can sew two pieces together, so there isn’t a “wrong side” showing in your work. Another example is with a 25-centimeter measurement. This is 1/4 meter, so you can ask for that when you bring your bolt up to be cut.

Other Materials You Can Use

If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of buying fabric, you can always use other materials instead. Human bandanas can be easily converted to ones for dogs. Some fabric shops sell pre-cut squares of fabric known as fat quarters, as they equal a quarter of a yard. You can also use t-shirts, pillowcases, and sheets.

What if I Don’t Have a Dog to Measure?

Are you making a dog bandana as a gift for a very important furry friend? You’ll want to know how much fabric to use, but can’t spoil the surprise by measuring the dog! In that case, you can use a general sizing guide to guestimate how much you’ll need. If you know what breed or size of the dog you’re DIYing for, you can use this chart to get a rough estimate.

General Sizing Tips

The following measurements are for general sizing of most standard dogs:

Extra small (up to 10 pounds)

8-10 in

20-25 cm

1/4 yard of fabric

Small (up to 20 pounds)

10-12 in

25-30 cm

1/2 yard of fabric

Medium (up to 50 pounds)

12-15 in

30-38 cm

1/2 yard of fabric

Large (up to 100 pounds)

15-25 in

38-63 cm

3/4 yard of fabric

For extra large dogs, an entire yard is a safer bet. Here’s another good tip: some dogs, like English bulldogs, have wider necks than other dogs in their weight class, so keep that in mind.

Tip: Some dogs, like bulldogs, have wider necks than other dogs in their weight class.

Making an Adjustable Bandana

When it comes time to make your dog bandana, you can make it one of two ways: a collar slide or a traditional tie bandana. Collar slide bandanas are nice because they don’t require to be tied on and just slip right over your dog’s existing collar.

The other benefit of this version is that the sizing doesn’t have to be perfect. If your bandana is too large or too small, the collar will hold it in place. Just keep in mind that an oversized bandana will quickly turn into a cape!

How Many Dog Bandanas per Yard of Fabric

Depending on the size of the bandanas you are making you can expect to get between 5 and 12 dog bandanas per yard of fabric. Depending on the style of the bandana and neck size of your dog you may be able to even get as many as 15 bandanas out of a yard of fabric.

The width of the yard of fabric you purchase will also have an impact on how many bandanas you are able to get out of a yard of fabric. Generally you will see width of 36 inches to 54 inches depending on the brand of fabric being used.

DIY a Dog Bandana in No Time

Now, you have all the tools you need to make an awesome dog bandana. You can even take some of these tips and make a bandana for your feline friends, too. You now have a good idea of how much fabric is needed to make a dog bandana. Just be sure to measure twice and cut once!

Still unsure about making a dog bandana yourself? Check out our complete line of affordable personalized dog bandanas for your pup.

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