Dog collars woven with beads are flat collars that sit comfortably on your dog’s neck. This 1/2-inch-wide collar pattern uses the square stitch for weaving the beads, and it is not adjustable. You can create personalized bead collars for your dog using beads of a variety of colors and shapes. Beads for weaving are available in many shapes, sizes and materials. You can make the collar as casual or elegant as you like by choosing wooden beads or plastic crystal beads.
Measure your dog’s neck from the point where his neck meets his chest and around to the top of his withers, which is where the bottom of his neck meets his shoulders. Hold the tape measure loosely, because the collar should sit naturally in this area, not too tight.
Cut a piece of beading thread eight times longer than your dog’s neck measurement. Place the thread through the eye of the beading needle, leaving a 2-inch tail. Pull it down to the bottom of the needle until it is secure. The beading needle clamps the thread in place. If you run out of thread while weaving, you can add a new piece of thread starting about four rows back from where your work ended.
Place a stopper bead on the needle and pull it through, leaving a 6-inch tail. Fasten the stopper bead by passing the threaded needle back through the bead, pulling the thread tightly. The stopper bead prevents the other beads from falling off the end of the thread while you weave the rest of the collar.
Weave the first row of beads by threading the beads with the needle the full length of the dog collar, pushing them up against the stopper bead. Pick up the first second-row bead with the needle, and thread the needle through the last bead of the first row from the left side of the bead. The second-row bead will fall next to the last first-row bead when you pull the thread all the way through the needle. Pass the needle through the second-row bead one more time from right to left to hold it in place.
Continue the second row by picking up the next bead with your needle, and pass the needle through the next first-row stitch from its left side and out the right side. Pull the thread until the second-row bead sits next to the first-row bead, then pass the needle through the second-row bead from right to left, pulling it tight. Keep tension on the thread to hold all the beads in place.
Turn the collar horizontally when you reach the end of the second row, so you can continue weaving from right to left. Follow Step 5 to complete the third and fourth row of beads. Leave a 6-inch tail at the end of the fourth row. Remove the stopper bead from the finished collar.
Attach one side of the side-release buckle to one side of the collar by threading the long tail left by the stopper bead through the opening of the buckle, then through the next bead of the beginning row and back through the buckle. Continue threading into the third bead of the beginning row and through the buckle again, then back through the fourth-row bead. Thread through the buckle and beginning row of the collar two more times to reinforce the buckle's attachment to the collar. Repeat this procedure on the thread remaining at the end of the fourth row of beads. Follow this step for the other end of the dog collar to attach the other side of the buckle. Weave the D-ring to the bottom of the buckle edge as you attach it to the collar. Thread the first-row tail and fourth-row tail to the center of the beginning row, and tie the ends together. Trim the excess thread.
Do not use bead collars for walking or training your dog, especially if he tends to pull. These collars are for ornamental purposes and are not as strong as a traditional nylon or leather collar. Pulling can cause the weaving thread to break.
Use the D-ring only for the dog’s name tag. The D-ring is not strong enough for leash walking or tying up your dog.
Use graph paper to design a personalized dog collar by coloring in the squares where you want to place the beads. Using different colored beads, follow the design as you weave the beads for the collar. You can design your dog’s name, geometric patterns, or even a picture. Southwestern patterns are popular for beaded collars.
Items You Will Need
- Tape measure
- Beading thread, 6 pound
- Seed beads, 8/0, 40 grams
- Beading needle, No. 12
- Side release buckle, 1/2-inch
- Steel D ring, 1/2-inch
- beads image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com