This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read disclosure for more information.
Need a gift idea for a pet or want to add a new product to your home embroidery business?
Or, do you just want to spiff up your pet’s collar or leash with some embroidery?
If so, this tutorial on how to embroider a dog collar will help you create the perfect embroidered collar!
I’ll cover how to choose a stabilizer, whether to hoop or float the collar, and even how to choose a font for adding a name before giving a step-by-step overview of the process.
Here’s what you need to gather to complete this embroidery project!
- Embroidery machine and appropriate hoop
- Dog collar
- Needle: 75/11 embroidery needle; size up to 80/12 for thick collars, and consider a sharp point if not penetrating thick collars.
- Stabilizer: Lightweight tear-away or wash-away (see notes below) and water-soluble topping
- Thread: I used 40wt polyester embroidery thread for the top. I also used white embroidery bobbin thread on the back. You can match bobbin thread to the collar if you want, but I prefer matching the top and back thread colors when embroidering lettering.
- Embroidery supplies such as scissors, marking utensils, etc.
Best Stabilizer to Use for Collars
Sticky self-adhesive tear-away stabilizer makes embroidering a dog collar simple, especially if you have to float the collar. Sticky wash-away stabilizer is another great alternative.
If you can hoop your dog collar, a light tear-away stabilizer (no adhesive needed) is all you need. The collar is sturdy enough by itself, so anything more than a lightweight stabilizer will add unnecessary bulk.
Also, use water-soluble topping on top if you notice stitches sinking into the webbing.
Dog collars are a great Dollar Tree embroidery blank if you only need a few. If you need more, buying bulk from your favorite embroidery blank distributor or even Amazon is often less expensive.
When selecting a dog collar to embroider, consider the material, thickness, width, and if the area to embroider is a single or double strap.
Narrower collars mean using smaller letters, which can sometimes get lost in the texture of the webbing.
And, thicker collars mean more difficulty for your embroidery machine to penetrate the collar.
It’s also essential to ensure you can embroider the collar without any buckles, clasps, or D rings getting in the way. And, that you can isolate just the top strap for embroidery.
This tutorial focuses on embroidering dog colors made of nylon webbing or similar materials. Collars made from leather or other materials may need tweaking for the supplies and techniques used.
What Fonts to Use + How to Create Names and Numbers
If you plan to add a name (and/or phone number) to your dog collar, choose a font that won’t get lost in the webbing.
So rather than a thin, cutesy font that will sink into webbing ridges, choose a block font for better visibility.
You can create the dog name design using built-in fonts on your embroidery machine, or you can use an embroidery font you’ve purchased online. (Check out my resource where to find free embroidery letters and fonts if you don’t have an appropriate font already.)
For .bx fonts, you can use free Embrilliance Express to put together letters. Otherwise, you can put together letters and designs using your favorite embroidery software or on the machine screen.
How to Embroider a Dog Collar
Now, here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to make an embroidered dog collar. These same steps will also work if you want to embroider a pet leash, as long as it’s made from nylon.
1. Prepare the Collar.
Remove any tags, and estimate the size the collar needs to be. This ensures the name and phone number are centered when the dog later wears the collar.
Then, mark where the center of the puppy’s name will go.
2. Hoop or Float the Collar.
If you can hoop your pet collar, hoop it to decrease movement during embroidery. My collar was too thick to comfortably hoop, so I used my 5×7 magnetic embroidery hoop instead.
If you don’t own a magnetic hoop and can’t hoop your collar, you can float it above the hooped stabilizer. If the sticky stabilizer doesn’t hold the collar well enough, use pins to hold the sides of the collar in place (outside the stitching area, obviously.)
Then, place a layer of water-soluble topping on the top of the collar.
3. Prepare the Machine.
First, load your embroidery hoop into your embroidery arm.
Then, select your embroidery design and center it on your collar.
Next, preview your design and double-check that all metal pieces of the dog collar are located where the needle can’t hit them. Also, ensure you aren’t embroidering through both layers on a double-thick collar.
As a note, a slower speed makes better quality stitches on thicker dog collars, especially if you’re doing lettering where spaces and serifs need to be precise. It gives the needle more time to penetrate the entire collar, making a complete, good-quality stitch.
4. Embroider the Collar.
Press start, and watch your machine make the embroidered collar!
I recommend staying close to your machine to ensure everything stitches as it should and nothing causes a needle break.
5. Put on the Finishing Touches.
Remove the embroidery hoop from the machine, and tear away the water-soluble stabilizer. Any remaining stabilizer can be removed with water.
Then, tear the collar away from the hooped stabilizer. If you used sticky stabilizer, some of it will remain until the collar is worn or you remove it with your fingers.
Last, snip thread tails on the back and any jump stitches on the front to finish things off.
Final Notes on How to Embroider Dog Collars
Thus, I hope this tutorial has taught you how to machine embroider a dog collar, and you can now get to stitching your own!