dog photographer Northamptonshire


Jun 22, 2016 | Miscellaneous

With a summer of fun dog shows and canine events coming up, I thought it would be nice to share a simple little DIY project with you. When it comes to looking dapper at a dog show, nothing says style like a bow tie, and they’re so easy to make and customise! You can use virtually any type of fabric in any colour or pattern you like, and even spice things up with added extras like lace, buttons or bows. Read on for a super-simple step-by-step guide on how to create one of these awesome accessories…
DIY dog bow tie
Okay, first things first! You won’t need much to get started, but here are a few things you should have handy:

  • Fabric – you can use almost any type of fabric as long as it’s relatively sturdy (cotton, linen, and hessian work particularly well)
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Needle and thread
  • Elastic hairband
  • Hair grips (optional)

Start by measuring out two pieces of fabric. The larger piece should measure approx 9″x6″ (as you’ll see from the above photo, this is pretty rough, so don’t worry about being precise!) and the smaller piece approx 3″x3″ (again, this is just a rough guide). What you might not see in the photo above is that my larger piece of fabric is actually folded in half – this was just to give it some extra sturdiness and isn’t essential if your fabric is already pretty thick.

NB. These dimensions will create a finished bow tie measuring approximately 4″-5″ wide (ideal for small/medium sized dogs) so feel free to adjust the measurements if your dog is bigger or smaller

Orange fabric bow tie
DIY bow tie instructions
Take your larger piece of fabric and fold it into thirds, lengthwise. Next, fold it in towards the centre in the other direction. Depending on your fabric, you may want to iron your fabric now to make sure it stays put.
Dog fashion
Now fold the fabric in half (woo hoo – that bit was easy!).
Canine fashion
Folding the bow tie
This part is a little bit fiddly, but basically what you want to do is fold the fabric back on both sides, creating a concertina (zig-zag) shape. The photos above should make it a bit clearer!
Dog accessories
Ta-da! You can see your bow tie starting to take shape – nearly there!
Dog bow tie
DIY bow tie
This is where the optional hair grips come in – I use them to ‘pin’ my bow tie in place while I’m working on the next step. It’s not essential that you do this, but it helps. Moving on to the smaller piece of fabric, fold it into thirds like you did with the larger piece.
Orange bow tie
Sewing the bow tie
With that folded, you should now have a thin ‘band’. Wrap this band around the centre of your bow tie, securing at the back. At this point, you can either hand sew the fabric into place, or use a few dabs from a glue gun (if you’re not a fan of the old needle and thread!). I usually go for sewing as it’s more secure – my sewing skills are awful and it looks terrible, but hey, it’s on the back, so nobody’s going to see it!
Black elastic on bow tie
Eee almost there! This is where you elastic hair band comes in. Simply fold it in half and attach it to the back of the bow tie (again, I choose to sew it, but you can glue it if you prefer). This give your bow tie a way to slip onto your dog’s collar, with a bit of give in the elastic if the collar is quite wide. There are tons of other ways to attach the bow tie to the collar (velcro, a fabric loop, hair clips etc) so feel free to experiment and choose what works best for you.
Green and orange bow ties
Wow, we’re finished already? That’s right – I told you it was super-simple! Your bow tie is now ready to wear, and your dog can strut his stuff in the ring knowing that he looks fantastic! Why not make a few in different colours/fabric/patterns? It’s pretty addictive once you get started!

Fine art pet portrait artist | Northamptonshire, East Midlands, UK