Handmade pet collars — my new online class at CraftEdu!


I just put the finishing touches on my new online class, and it’ll be available for you to preview and sign up for on Craftedu Monday March 7!  I teach you how to make dog and cat collars using re-purposed fabric from garments that you’re no longer wearing or other used material that you have around or that you find in second-hand stores.  If you know how to print on fabric (hint, hint — if not, check out my CraftEdu class on Inkjet Printing on Fabric, or my book on the same subject), you can make truly personalized and unique collars.  And of course you can always use new fabric that you buy.  These collars are great for your own pets, for gifts, to donate to shelters or animal rescue groups, or to sell.  This was my first post about the collars I was making from fabric that I designed and printed myself, and I followed that with this post specifically about the collars for dogs.

I created this class because of the steep learning curve I went through when I first started making the collars myself.  I couldn’t find good instructions anywhere, so I sat down and made this step-by-step instruction guide, with lots of close-up photos and clear directions.   I include a handout that you can print with screen-shots of the entire class.  I also give you a list of places to buy the pet collar hardware, and a guide to common collar and neck sizes for dogs and cats.

Click here to join CraftEdu’s facebook page to get the latest information on all Craftedu classes and notices about when the classes will go on sale (for some classes you can get a discount on the first day it’s offered).  It was so fun making this class — I just love the idea of using fabric that would go into landfill and turning it into a useful object instead!

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Big dogs little dogs!

I’m a cat person.  Hey, guess what my astrological sign is?  Yep, I’m a Leo.  And from the first kitten I begged my parents to get (who I named Button, for the spot on the top of her white head), I’ve rarely lived without a cat (or two, or three…).   Don’t get me wrong, I really like dogs.  But when my husband George and I see a really cute dog, we call it a “kitty pup” …   Anyway, you know from my previous blog post that I just started making pet collars from the fabric that I design.  The cat collars came first, of course.  I made this soft sculpture to display the collars from a photograph of our cat Lars.  I lengthened his neck a little so more collars would fit on … a bit of artistic liberty thanks to Photoshop.

 

Lars soft sculpture with collars galore

Lars soft sculpture with collars galore

 

But guess what? There are a whole lot of dog people out there who want collars for their pups!  And boy, are they different from cat collars.  First, the breakaway clasp that I use for the cat collars (so they can release if they get stuck on something while they’re being bad cats) don’t work for dog collars.   You need the dog’s clasp to hold so when the collar is attached to a leash it won’t release.   And another thing that’s different between cats and dogs — cats vary in size a bit, but oh my … you’ve got your mini-sized dogs and you’ve got your jumbo-sized dogs!  So yesterday I made one collar for a mini-dog (an adult dachshund whose neck is 11.5 inches) and one for a jumbo-dog (a Lab puppy whose neck is already 18.5 inches).

Monarch peacock fabric dog collar

This is the large collar.  The fabric is one of my new designs. I took my photos of a monarch butterfly wing and a peacock feather and blended them, then kaleidoscoped the blended image.  I had the fabric printed by spoonflower.  The collar is easily adjustable for when the puppy grows.  The person who wanted the collar taught me something else — some dogs chew up their dog tags (I don’t think even bad cats do that).  Hence, the invention of slider tags.  The tag slides right onto the collar – before it’s sewed up, of course.  You can’t add the slider if you buy this kind of collar ready-made (another reason to make a custom order, hint, hint).  I ordered the slider pre-printed.  Here’s a photo of what the slider looks like (the printing’s nice, I blurred it here):

 

Dog collar  with slider

Dog collar with slider

 

Here’s the small collar.  Because the dog is full grown, I didn’t leave much extra length, but it is adjustable to add about an inch.

 

Small pup collar

Small pup collar

 

And here … a stack of dog collars!

 

Dog collars

Dog collars

 

And for fun, this is the tag I designed for my dog collars.  The model is Scout, who lives with my brother and his family.

I’d love to make a collar for your pet out of any of my fabric designs.  If you’re interested, just email me at HeidiRand@gmail.com  Click here to see some of my fabric designs.  I can also make a custom collar using your photographs or images.

Click here to see the cat collars listed in my Artfire shop and click here to see the dog collars.

Garden Design Fabric pet collars!

You know I love thinking up new ways to use the fabric that I design and print from my nature photographs.  My newest favorite thing to make with my fabric  — cat and dog collars! On the runway (okay, on the bed) … presenting our model, Lars!

For cat collars I use breakaway safety hardware, because we all know that mischievous cats need collars that will come apart to release kitty if he or she gets snagged on something.

Dog collars have different hardware — you can’t use the breakaway latches because they would come apart when you’ve got your dog on a leash.  For the dog collars, I sew in a “D” ring very securely, to attach the collar to the leash.

Dog collar

Dog collar

I make the collars from fabric that I’ve designed and either printed myself or had printed for me by Spoonflower or DPI-SF.  The fabric is sturdy cotton, and it’s waterfast — so you can hand wash the collars in cold water or spot clean.  I use interfacing for strength and protect the collars with Quiltgard (a product that’s not available anymore, it’s like Scotch Guard) to resist dirt.

The collars are easily adjustable using the slide (in the picture above the slide  is brass-plated), and the cat collars also have brass-plated bells.

I can make a collar for your pet out of any of my fabric designs.  If you’re interested, just email me at HeidiRand@gmail.com  Click here to see some of my fabric designs.  I can also make a custom collar using your photographs or images.

Click here to see one of the collars listed in my etsy shop.