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11 DIY Dog Harness Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

brown and white dog wearing a harness

Every pup loves to be outdoors and run and play, and you can use a harness to keep your pet safe and prevent neck injuries.

While there are a several commercial dog harnesses to choose from, sometimes  a harness is not the right fit,  or the price is too high, motivating you to come up with an alternative plan. DIY has become a worldwide trend, and there is no reason  you shouldn’t consider a DIY harness for your furry friend. Crafting a harness for your pup doesn’t need to be complicated, but it can be a fun and creative project.

We have collected some exceptional DIY harness plans you can make today, so let’s have a look!

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The 11 DIY Dog Harness Plans

1. Kimono Dog Harness

Materials: Fabric, bias binding, 2x D rings, Velcro, ribbon, thread
Tools: Scissors, measuring tape, sewing machine
Difficulty Level:  Moderate

This Kimono Dog Harness is a cute and creative pattern for your small dog. It is functional and moderately easy to make if you own a sewing machine, but hand sewers can give it a go too! It is ideal for small pups that enjoy a light stroll. You can select  a unique and fun fabric that will suit your pup’s personality.


2. Denim Dog Harness

Materials: Old Denims, D ring, Velcro, Thread
Tools: Scissors, measuring tape
Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate

Upcycling and DIY is a sustainable and creative way to make a unique harness for your pup. Using old denim is a great material for a harness, as denim is durable, and  your pet will look pretty stylish wearing this homemade creation. You can go the extra mile and line it with fleece for extra comfort and warmth and even add a stylish patch on the pocket to personalize it.


3. DIY Nylon Webbing Step in Harness

Materials: Webbing, Ribbon, Release Buckle, D rings, round rings, Tri glide slides,
Tools: Scissors, Lighter, Measuring Tape, Sewing machine
Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard

Nylon webbing is a strong and durable material, often used in things like hammocks, so you can have peace of mind knowing this will be a strong harness that will last. This design is very much like a harness you would buy from a pet store and is a fun project that’s affordable.


4. DIY Crotchet Harness

Materials: Twine or wool
Tools: Crotchet hook, clip, clasp, buckle, measuring tape
Difficulty Level: Moderate

A DIY crotchet harness is the perfect project for someone who has a knack with a crochet hook or even someone looking for a beginner’s project. The harness looks adorable on smaller dogs, and it leaves room for stretching. You can mix up the colors to suit your dog’s personality, and you can even make yourself a matching scarf.


5. DIY Dog Head Halter with Nylon Webbing

Materials: Nylon webbing, O rings, stopper, buckle, glue
Tools: Needle, scissors, lighter
Difficulty Level: Moderate

A DIY Head halter harness gives you a lot of control over your pet by allowing you to guide their head like you would with a horse. , You have to be gentle when using a head halter, so you don’t hurt the animal’s neck. Commercial head halters can be expensive, but this DIY plan is more affordable. You can choose your color and add extra padding if needed.


6. Paracord Harness

Materials: Paracord, D ring, plastic ring
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard

Paracord Is a versatile and useful material that is usually used for parachutes and climbing gear. It is a lightweight nylon rope that you will also see used for belts and bracelets. Paracord is a tough material that can withstand significant abuse from canines that love to chew. This project only requires a few materials and scissors to complete.


7. Leather Harness

Materials: Leather, leather dye, cardboard, paper, rag, D rings. O rings, buckle, tan kote, gum tragacanth
Tools: Rivet punch, rivets, wool daubers, ruler, pencils, rivet setter, slicker
Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard

This DIY leather harness may take some trial and error, but it is made from a comfortable and durable material that will last a long time. Leatherworking skills are essential to make this design, but you will be proud of your handy work when you see how stylish and practical this harness is on your dog.


8. Flexfoam Body Harness

Materials: Pellon flexfoam, fabric, Velcro, bias binding, D ring
Tools: Scissors, measuring tape, sewing machine
Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard

This flexfoam harness is a stylish and extremely comfortable body harness that your dog will love. It is softer than harnesses made with rope or webbing, and the weight is distributed comfortably. It is quilted with a layer of flexfoam which is sturdy and can provide warmth for your canine on colder days.


9. DIY No Pull Harness

Materials: Leash, collar, heavy duty carbineer clip
Tools: No tools needed
Difficulty Level: Easy

If your dog has a tendency to pull when walking, you can make a no-pull harness with an old leash, collar, and a carbineer clip. It is convenient, easy, and one of the cheapest DIY harness you can make. There is no need to hold onto a no-pull device all the time. Instead, you can attach the clip to your pocket or onto your keychain, and your dog can’t back out of the collar if they are scared or excited.


10. DIY Recycled Flannel Harness

Materials: Old sheet or left-over fabric, old key chain ring or D ring, velcro
Tools: Scissors, sewing machine
Difficulty Level:  Easy

Using recycled materials like a flannel sheet that you longer use is great for a DIY project like this dog harness. The harness is affordable and easy to construct, and the flannel and is a soft and comfortable material for your pet. It will also keep your friend warm while looking stylish, and your dog is sure to beam with pride when it shows off your handiwork.


11. DIY Harness Made with Grosgrain Ribbon

Materials: Grosgain ribbon
Tools: Sewing machine, plastic snap, D ring, slider, marking pen, scissors, large hole bead
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY grosgrain ribbon harness is a fun, quick, and easy way to make your pup a custom-fit harness. There are a variety of colors and patterns of ribbon to choose from, so you could even make more than one! This ribbon is not so sturdy, so it is only suitable for small, lightweight dogs.

divider-dog pawWhy Make Your Own Dog Harness?

Other than the fact that DIY projects are  fun and creative, there are other reasons whyyou should make your own harness. They may include:

You want a unique color or pattern: Commercial dog harnesses come in a few colors and patterns, but maybe you want your dog to have a one-of-a-kind harness. By crafting your own, you can create just thatby choosing your own colors and patterns.

You need to save money: Gear for your pet can sometimes  cost a pretty penny, and sometimes your budget is not flexible enough. In most cases, DIY can help you save money.

Your dog has a unique build: Like humans, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, especially if they are a unique breed. They may have a bigger chest or rounder stomach, which may require a custom-sized dog harness.

Your dog’s needs may be unique: Your dog may have a physical disability that a common store-bought harness doesn’t work for, so you can craft a custom-made harness to suit your dog’s physical needs for maximum comfort and practicality.

You want to get creative: If you are a creative person  with a talent for crafting or are looking for a simple beginner’s project, then making your own dog harness can be fun and practical.

woman carrying a white and brown dog wearing harness
Image Credit: Tamara Bellis, Unsplash

Factors to Consider When Making Your Own Dog Harness

Although DIY harnesses can be fun and satisfying to construct, at the end of the day you are using it to walk your dog, so it needs to be strong and practical. Consider these factors before crafting your dog harness:

Use suitable and strong materials

Dogs are usually excited when it’s time for their walk. You will need to make sure the harness won’t tear or break easily.

Comfort is important

You want your dog to feel comfortable in the harness, or you will have a hard time getting them to wear it again. Consider adding extra padding to prevent chafing and irritation.

Measure your dog before starting

It is important for your dog’s harness to fit correctly.  If it is too big, the dog can escape easily, and if it’s too tight, it could restrict breathing or and limit mobility.

Consider your skill levels

Choose a design that you are capable of completing. If you choose something beyond your skill level, you may become frustrated and give up, or it’s possible that you may not make it correctly, which can result in a harness that is unsafe for your dog.

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Final Thoughts

DIY projects are fun and creative ways to save money,  but make sure you don’t set the bar too high for yourself. Stay within your skill level to construct a functional and safe dog harness for your favorite dog, and remember to be patient and enjoy the process.


Featured Image Credit: Justin Veenema, Unsplash

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