All dogs require basic things: food, water, a collar, a place to sleep. Some dogs get just the basics, but they’re well-loved. Other dogs are pampered and have lavish costumes as daily wear. If your dog falls somewhere in-between you might be interested to know that there are many things you can make for him or her and you don’t have to have a lot of money or know-how. With the following projects you can treat your dog to some cool things, or make your dog a little handier than he usually is, and make him feel special without much effort.
A simple piece of wide or narrow elastic is just what you need to make cute collar-type accessories for your favorite pet. Wrap the elastic comfortably around the dog’s neck then trim to the appropriate size. Use a needle and thread – or machine – to place a couple of stitches which will hold the ends of the elastic together. Now attach decorative buttons, fake jewels, sequin and similar items to make the collar you want. Add them all the way around the elastic or just place one piece, front and center. These easily slip on and off the dog to celebrate a special day or to wear any day of the week. Use wide elastic for big dogs; narrow elastic for smaller dogs.
A large dog can easily carry a water bottle or two – and even a cell phone – while you and he are out walking. Cut a piece of felt so that you can drape it across his back. The felt should be long enough so that you can wrap it around his stomach and velcro it. Taper the ends so that they aren’t as wide as the part that goes across the dog’s back. Sew or glue the velcro pieces to the ends. Now you can glue or sew on fabric pockets or even pieces of elastic to the sides. Use wide elastic and place one piece in a vertical manner, a second in a horizontal way, so that they form a cross shape. These can easily hold bottles of water or other items. With small dogs, you can make something similar, but the pockets should hold only paper, money or other lightweight items. Attach a metal ring, if desired, to the back of the carrier. With the ring you can easily attach the dog’s leash and use for walking.
Create something similar but one that keeps the dog warm rather than having him carry things. Cut the desired fabric to a width so that it will reach from just below the back of the neck to right before you reach the tail area. This design can be tapered slightly to wrap comfortably around the dog’s waist. Sew short elastic pieces, from side to side, at two different areas of the blanket. You will forego making a seam and will set these elastic pieces instead. One piece should go just behind the front legs, and the other, just in front of the back legs. These elastic pieces will make it easy for you to slip the garment on and off the dog.
Make any number of doggie beds, depending upon the type of materials you have around, and your pet will be very comfy. Stuff an old shirt with sheets, cotton, foam chips or other fluffy things. First glue the collar area of a shirt closed. Glue the shirt sleeves or cuffs closed as well. Stuff the shirt then glue the hem shut. This easy bed can be made from many combinations of things. Make a different bed by starting with a pool noodle. Cut a circle of felt, an old sheet or even a blanket piece. Use fabric glue to encircle the cloth with the pool noodle. Glue the noodle directly to the edges of the cloth circle but leave an opening so the dog can easily come and go. If you’re making a large bed you might need to use two noodles to form the circle. Glue a second noodle – or set of noodles – on top of the first. Leave the same opening in this noodle as with the first. You can make the bed even fluffier by wadding up old flannel shirts and placing them in the bottom.
Make a travel set for the dog by starting with a pillowcase, piece of felt or even a piece of vinyl or thick plastic. Cut the material into a shape about like a pillowcase. For really large dogs you might want to make the size a little more substantial. If using a pillowcase sew or glue the open end closed. Glue on pockets or cris-cross elastic pieces to make places to hold water bottles, food packets, bowls, dog treats and more. Fold the rectangle in half and use velcro pieces to shut. If you sew you can even install a zipper that goes from one side to the other. The finished carrier opens flat to make it easy to add or remove items.
Take a rectangle of cardboard, cover it in fabric or decorative paper, then fold it in half and crease well. Place velcro dots around the sides and across the top of the cardboard. Space them evenly apart and use them to close the cardboard carrier. This little doggie suitcase can hold many of your pet’s outfits for travel or just to keep them orderly. Use glue dots or hot glue to affix pieces of elastic to the inside of the cardboard. You can store several outfits on each side. Place small pieces of elastic to hold tiny accessories or larger pieces to hold complete outfits. Or, cut plastic pockets and store one outfit in each see-thru pouch. Glue ribbon or roping handles to the top part of the cardboard to make it will be much easier to carry.
You don’t have to be rich and famous to create all sorts of new things for your dog. Invest a little at a time on inexpensive craft items, or just use things you already have around the house, and soon your pet will have cuddly things, useful things and just plain cute things. They’re all fun crafts that can be made by virtually anyone on any budget!