Dog leads are an essential part of having a dog, but sometimes it can be impossible to find the exact style and colour of lead that you want, so in these situations it can be easier to make your own.
This Instructable is for a 6ft (2.2m) double ended dog lead, with built in D rings. You can have it as one long 6ft lead, as a 5ft lead with handle, as a hands-free lead, an "anti-pull" lead attached to a harness and headcollar or collar, or however you'd like to have it. Of course, it can be modified to be shorter or longer, to have one clip and a handle or any other way that suits your needs.
If you're looking for a customised collar to go with this leash, check out my collar tutorial here. Or, if your dog is a puller and you need a way to help stop them pulling have a look at my head halter tutorial.
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Step 1: Required Items
You will need:
- A suitable length of strong nylon webbing, I used just over 6ft of 2 inch wide nylon
- A patterened ribbon or fabric that you will use to decorate the webbing
- Tailors chalk or other way of marking the nylon
- A tool for cutting, rotary cutter or scissors
- 2x D rings depending on how many you would like
- 2x spring hooks
- A lighter for melting the nylon
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
Step 2: Beginning
Measure the length of your nylon webbing to the length that you require, mark it with the tailors chalk and make your cut. Ensure that you melt the ends of the nylon to prevent it from unravelling.
Cut your ribbon or fabric to size, enough to cover the webbing. If you are using ribbon you may chose to only have the ribbon on one side, or maybe on both.
Measure where you would like the D rings, I placed one at 1ft in and the other at 3ft in. Slide the D ring to the position, and stitch a small length of nylon webbing over the back of the D rings to hold them in place. Stitch it several times to ensure that it's strong enough to withstand your dog if it decided to pull. It doesn't need to be 100% neat, it will be covered by ribbon.
Step 3: Stitching Patterns
Line up your ribbon or fabric along your lead. It's easy to use WonderWeb or other iron-on hemming tape to hold the ribbon on there securely enough before you stitch your pattern in place. You can also use pins or long, loose stitches to keep it in place as you sew.
Make sure to keep enough ribbon to fold over the edges of the nylon webbing, this will keep it looking neat.
Sew along as close to the edges as you can, I sewed the ribbon on top of the nylon that I used to hold the D ring in place, which means that the D ring is on the inside (unpatterened) side of the lead. Make sure to not stitch over the D ring as you'll break your needle, instead sew as close as you can and then turn at a 90 degree angle to stitch along the side of the D ring. You can then remove the lead from your sewing machine and stitch the other side of the D ring.
Fold the excess ribbon over the edge and stitch in place.
Step 4: Adding the Clips
Fold the end of your nylon webbing through your snap hook clip. Ensure that you stitch the webbing pieces together very securely, enough to withstand the weight of your dog if it pulled. Those with larger dogs should consider buying heavy-duty thread and stitching several lines.
Repeat to attach the clip to the other side, and then you have your lead completed and ready to use.