[Originally posted in early 2010, Style School] I'd secretly always wished that Lola and I looked alike (you know, bowsers.) and I made my wish come true... I made Lola a button collar that matched my yellow & orange glasses! :) I've been making Lola and Tom (my two dogs) button collars for a few years and they hold up surprisingly well & we receive so many compliments at the dog park :) Lola loves hers and but after Tom's puppyhood passed, Keith said he needed something a little more buff ;)
Using buttons & just a few supplies, I'd like to show you a fun & easy way to add personality and style to your pets collar or leash :) This project best suits cats and dogs of any size and is a really fun way to give your sweetie a little flare!
Me and Lola are clearly related!! (Keith custom painted my glasses with my favorite colors... we're planning to do a DIY post together about how you can do this too). Check out our dressed up little family...
Select a nylon pet collar that fits your Cat or Dog (these kind do not work as well, choose the metal buckle kind). You will also need buttons, embroidery thread or strong/thick thread, pointy needle and scissors.
- Pick out buttons in a color scheme that suits you or your pets style.
- Lola's collar took 18 buttons but each collar varies depending on the collar length and button sizes.
- Choose thick/strong buttons, avoiding any with cracks or weak spots.
- If your pet has dark fur, bright buttons look best. For light fur...dark buttons are a hit.
- Try to choose buttons that span the width of the collar or leash (not too much overhang).
1/ Lay the buttons out on the collar so that you can measure the right amount and visualize your pattern and flow :) Be careful not to put buttons over the collar holes or too close to the buckle closure.
2/ Once you're happy with your button choices and layout, slide them off the collar and keep them in a row in front of you.
3/ Cut an embroidery thread the length of your full wing-span (arms out, from hand to hand), then use this technique to avoid tying extra knots; it makes things way easier :)
4/ Start at either end of your collar and begin sewing the buttons onto the front side. I used a long/strong needle so that it was easy to aim & push through the holes.
5/ You will use the same thread to attach the buttons one by one (no need to tie a knot behind each button, that would make the collar weak). If you run out of thread along the way, tie it off as shown here and start a new thread the same way as the step 3. It's important to stitch 3-4 times per button, pulling the thread snug with each stitch (do not yank too hard though).
Tip/ As you continue sewing on your row of buttons, you might find it hard to grip the needle or pull it through tough spots. My solution for this is to use office supply rubber fingertips... it's better than a thimble! (Sometimes I cut one side so it can sit looser on my thumb).
6/ When your thread runs out or you're done stitching, take half of the thread (3 strands) out of the needle-eye. Leave half in (3 strands). On the backside where your stitching ends, weave the needle under the nylon a little bit (or under a stitch works). Then take the needle off and tie the two threads in 3-4 knots (don't tug crazy-hard, just firmly). Trim the thread tails near the knot. Now go dress up your furry friend, you're a great pet mom (or dady)!
Your button leash will be made exactly the same way as the collar, except that it will take more buttons & thread. On my leash, I sewed buttons on one side starting at the clip, heading all the way up to the beginning of the leashes handle loop. If you think your dog will want to chew at the buttons on the leash, then it would be better to start the pattern a little higher so that it's out of your buddies reach ;)
I'd love to see pictures of your sweet pet wearing your handmade Button Collar-- please share a photo link in the comments (or email me) if you wanna show it off!