Introduction: Upgrade a Dog Collar

I like to switch up my dog's collar every once in a while but I don't like to spend a lot of money...solution...dollar store!

I found some basic dog collars at the dollar store and upgraded them with a little bit of ribbon and an iron-on name tag.

His old name tag fell off recently (still haven't found it...), so I used what I had at home and made him an iron-on name tag that will definitely not fall off : )

Step 1: Supplies

Supplies Needed For The Collar:


  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Binder Clips
  • Dog Collar ( I got mine for $1 at the dollar store)
  • Your Choice of Ribbon ( I only needed 25" of each collar of ribbon)
  • Thread

Supplies Needed For The Name Tag:


  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Iron
  • Rotary Cutter / Scissors
  • Cutting Mat
  • Ruler
  • Binder Clips
  • Canvas Fabric
  • Iron-On Paper
  • Clear Vinyl (The vinyl will help protect the name tag from getting damaged and worn)
* Modify these supplies with anything you like (printed fabric, studs, chains etc.) these are just the basics *

Step 2: Take Apart the Dog Collar

The first step is to take apart the dog collar so you are left with just the webbing (no hooks attached)

The collar I bought was only sewn together in two places so I started by clipping the threads at one end, then pulling off all of the hooks and sliders, and finished by clipping off the remaining threads at the opposite end.

Step 3: Attach the Ribbon

Once all of the hooks and sliders are removed, it is time to add the ribbon or trim of your choice. 

I added an extra 1" to the length of the decorative ribbon so I could fold the edges over 1/2".

Sew the ribbon to the collar using matching thread. 

Step 4: Reassemble the Dog Collar

When the ribbon is attached you can reassemble to dog collar.

Insert 1 end of the collar through the slider ( known as a triglide - its the piece with 2 holes)

Fold the end of the collar over about 2", wrong sides together.

Sew the end of the 2" piece to the collar, I created a small square with an X stitch in the center to keep it secure.

Add the small slider through the open end of the collar. (known as the collar loop - it is the small rectangle piece)

Add the pronged half of the buckle to the open end of the collar, and position it 2/3 of the way down.

Take the open end of the collar and pull it through the small slider. 

Pull the open end of the collar through the large slider (with 2 holes)

Add the d-ring to the open end of the collar.

Pull the open end of the collar through the remaining buckle piece, and fold the end over about 2".

Sew the end of the 2" piece to the collar, use the same square stitch with an X in the center to keep it secure.

* See the pictures for a visual explanation : ) *

Step 5: Attach the Name

I made the name tag using iron-on paper, a piece of canvas and covered it with a piece of clear vinyl. 

I started by fitting the collar to my dog and measured the amount of open space I had to work with. 

The final measurements for my tag were 4" x 1/2". I made the height slightly smaller than the actual collar so I had room for the stitching on the clear vinyl cover.

I printed the name tag out on iron-on paper and since I used the kind for dark fabrics I did not need to flip the text. I also filled the page with extra name tags so I could use them in the future and so I didn't waste any paper. 

I ironed the name tag on a piece of canvas fabric that was slightly larger than the tag so I could trim it down afterwards. 

Once the name tag was ironed on, I used a rotary cutter to trim off the excess fabric. 

I used binder clips to position the tag in place, and sewed it to the collar using a really tiny zig zag stitch to help protect the edges from fraying. 

Next I added the vinyl cover which I made the same height as the collar and slightly longer than the tag. 

I used binder clips to position the vinyl cover in place and sewed it to the collar using a straight stitch. 


Step 6: Put It On!

Put the new collar on your dog and enjoy!


kathynv made it! (author)2017-04-06

Awesome! Our new dog, Iggy, arrived yesterday and the dog rescue gave him a cheap collar. (twin to the one in your Instructable). I know what I'll be doing this afternoon, because losing this little guy would be unthinkable. Thanks so much for sharing.

spencerjl made it! (author)2015-01-22

I'm pretty sure Toto is related to my dog...

mactothefuture made it! (author)mactothefuture2015-01-22

So cute!! Haha! Cyber cousins! : ) This guy was a rescue so I'll never know what he is for sure but definitley has the SAME look!

spencerjl made it! (author)spencerjl2015-01-22

Roscoe was a rescue too!

mactothefuture made it! (author)mactothefuture2015-01-22

Very cool! I'm assuming he rescued you too! : )

spencerjl made it! (author)spencerjl2015-01-22

He did! Not to bring anyone down, but I had a traumatic brain injury, was engaged, she cheated, that ended. I lost friends because of the injury, and then I rescued Roscoe. And he saved me. Someone who loves me. Not be anthropomorphic. ;)

mactothefuture made it! (author)mactothefuture2015-01-23

Gladhe found you! Pets make the best medicine! : )

spencerjl made it! (author)2015-01-22

By the way, mine is a Jack/Rat terrier mix

brendapaw made it! (author)2014-04-13

This is beautiful! I have been shopping for reflective collars with identification on them, never thinking that I can use my heavy duty sewing machine to do it myself. I recently found $4 black heavy duty collars at Tuesday Morning. I would love to do this. Is that reflective ribbon? It looks reflective. If it is, where did you get it?

nanaof2 made it! (author)nanaof22014-06-26

You can purchase reflective ribbon at JoAnn's fabric stores I haven't looked at any other stores for it , however, I'm sure they all carry it maybe even Hobby Lobby

mactothefuture made it! (author)mactothefuture2014-04-13

Thanks! Glad you liked the project : ) The bottom ribbon I used is just a metallic silver color and the top one was a bright neon with glitter, and I got both of them at Michaels. They do shine really bright but I don't think they would be visible in the dark. This website here: has some reflective ribbon and I've seen it on Ebay and Etsy too : )

jessyratfink made it! (author)2014-05-15

This is such a great idea! Love the addition of the name tag :)

Chikpea made it! (author)2014-05-10

Beautiful! Your dog's super cute, by the way. What breed is he? Jack Russel?

mactothefuture made it! (author)mactothefuture2014-05-12

Thanks! I'm not sure what he is, but I think he's a rat terrier : )

dscopel made it! (author)2014-04-29

What kind of dog/dogs is Toto? Our dog is a mutt and looks a lot like yours.

mactothefuture made it! (author)mactothefuture2014-05-12

He was actually a stray so I can't say for sure but I think he is a rat terrier : )

misformiche made it! (author)2014-04-26

Nice tutorial! I did something similar. But I cross-stitched the name tag and made it a loop so I could slide it off and put it on a different collar.

muddog15 made it! (author)2014-04-24

You sir could have a heck of a business custom collars are 30+ online.

DoctorEvil30564 made it! (author)2014-04-13

this is a great idea. I wish someone would come up with a escape-proof but safe collar for a cat. I have a cat that manages to unhook the safety snap on any collar I buy for him that has one. I have to use a XS size dog collar without a snap if I want to keep a collar on him with his rabies tag and if found call xxx-xxx-xxxx info on it. I'm just afraid that he's going to wind up strangling himself on it.

Trustthapo made it! (author)Trustthapo2014-04-21

Microchipping your cat is always an option. And don't forget harnesses! My cat hated her harness at first, but she enjoys it now. Just make sure he can't slip out of it.

Vampyra65 made it! (author)Vampyra652014-04-14

I make my own cat stretch collars with small dog collars bought from the dollar store all the time. Just cut the collar where you want the elastic cord, melt the ends of the collar where you cut it with a lighter so they won't fray, fold both ends of the collar over and with a needle and thread sew them closed leaving a small loop. Now through the loops pull some elastic cord through, you might need tweezers to pull it through. Tie a knot in the elastic cord, trim the ends and slide the knot into loop so it doesn't show.

telorand made it! (author)telorand2014-04-14

Maybe a harness would do the trick.

NotAPot2PN made it! (author)NotAPot2PN2014-04-13

DoctorEvil30564, how about a halter?

Ricardo Furioso made it! (author)2014-04-14

You can get very reflective tape in silver or red at any auto parts store. Or the auto department of a large department store. You could replace the ribbon you used with that.
Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

AndyJ made it! (author)2014-04-13

You should approach a dog collar manufacturer with this. I'd buy one.

wicked jypsi made it! (author)2014-04-13

You have a very good tutorial. Awesome idea, you definitely have my vote!!!!!

cjohnson15 made it! (author)2014-04-13

This is a great idea. I like things that are inexpensive, functional, and easy to make. I will definitely be making one of these for each of my dogs. Thank you for sharing this Instructable.

iluvmygirl made it! (author)2014-04-10

WOW!!! Soooooooooooooo cooooooolllllll.....howed u get your dog to pose for u....:-). I love it!!!

Danger is my middle name made it! (author)2014-04-10

This is a great idea! The iron on ID is perfect for energetic dogs who are constantly jingling their tags, haha.

About This Instructable




Bio: A person who enjoys making things!
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