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DIY Dog Sweaters: How to Make Homemade Sweaters For Your Pup!

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Dog DIY By Ben Team 8 min read September 14, 2020

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Putting a sweater on your dog will not only help ensure that he stays warm during cool weather, but it will also increase his cuteness by a factor of 10.

While there are a number of great dog sweaters and canine coats you can buy, there are also a number of ways to make a DIY sweater or repurpose one of your old sweaters for your pet.

We’ll review some of the best DIY dog sweater ideas we could find across the web below – we bet at least one of them will work out well for you and your pet!

And just to be clear, you needn’t be a professional tailor to make your dog a sweater. Yes, some of the designs below will require top-notch sewing skills, but a few are certainly easy enough for anyone to create!

1. Sock Sweater from GOODIY

If you have a truly tiny canine, you may be able to convert an old sock into a functional – and relatively fashionable – sweater with this Sock Sweater tutorial from GoodDiy.

And unlike some of the other sweaters we list below, this one doesn’t require any sewing at all (although it’d be a good idea to hem all of the openings if you want the sweater to last longer).

You could use a standard tube sock for this project, but a fancy schmancy argyle sock will make a more attractive sweater. Note that this sweater even features a built-in hood to keep your pet’s head warm.

Difficulty: Easy

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Old sock
  • Scissors

2. DIY Dog Coat from Ricochet & Away

While the sock sweater described above is incredibly easy to make, this DIY Dog Coat from Ricochet & Away is a full-blown sewing project that’ll require a bit of skill to pull off.

However, those with the time, skill, and desire to take on this project will certainly love the final result, as the coat looks fantastic.

Difficulty: Difficult

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Outer fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Batting: Mountain Mist Batting 51055 Polyester Quilt Batting-Queen Size 90 in. x 108 in. FOB -MI
  • Fleece
  • Sew-on Velcro: Velcro Brand Industrial Strength Hook / Loop Tape
  • Polyester Thread or Invisible thread
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread

3. Upcycled Dog Sweater from MarthaStewart.com

No list of custom-made dog sweaters would be complete without at least one design from the DIY master, Martha Stewart.

This Upcycled Dog Sweater from MarthaStewart.com looks pretty good, but isn’t that hard to make as it basically entails customizing an existing sweater into one that’ll suit your pet.

Difficulty: Moderate

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Old cardigan
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure

4. No-Sew DIY Dog Jacket from DIYProjects.com

This No-Sew DIY Dog Jacket from DIYProjects.com is another super-easy sweater you can make for your dog, and you won’t have to sew a single stitch to make it. This is a great option for owners who want a great-looking sweater but lack the skills (or desire) to create one from scratch.

Oh, and FYI: If you were confused about what “jumpers” are (as I was), they’re just fleece pants.

Difficulty: Easy

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Scissors
  • Fleecy Jumper
  • Fleecy Track Pants
  • Pins
  • Measuring Tape

5. Chic Dog Sweater Using an Old Sweater from DIYProjects.com

If you have a fancy pup who demands (and deserves) a fashionable sweater, you may want to try making this Chic Dog Sweater Using an Old Sweater from DIYProjects.com. Even though this sweater looks like you may have purchased it from a retail outlet, it is pretty easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of tools or materials.

Difficulty: Moderate

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Old Sweater
  • Ribbon
  • Trim
  • Bling and Buttons

6. Using an Old Sweater to Make a Dog Sweater from LifeHacker.com

This is another project that teaches you how to convert one of your Old Sweaters to Make a Dog Sweater from LifeHacker.com suitable for your pooch, but it is a little more elaborate than many similar projects we describe here. For example, this one shows you how to make little half-sleeves that give the sweater a more polished look.

This probably isn’t the best project for owners who want to make a quick-and-easy sweater, but those who don’t mind a slightly complicated project, the results are pretty darn cute (and effective).

Difficulty: Moderate

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • A large piece of paper (to make the pattern)
  • Pins
  • Tape measure
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Old sweater
  • Sewing machine

7. Repurposed, No-Sew Dog Sweater from The Thrifty Couple

This project shows you another way to convert an old sweater (or a pair of sweatpants) into a sweater for your pooch. This Repurposed, No-Sew Dog Sweater from The Thrifty Couple is one of the simpler designs we found, and you should be able to finish the project in five or ten minutes.

This is the ideal choice for owners who want to keep their pup warm, but don’t want to go to a lot of trouble (or expense) while doing so.

Difficulty: Easy

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Scissors
  • Old sweater or sweatpants

8. DIY Dog T-Shirt from Artsy Fartsy Mama

While this project technically explains how to make a T-shirt rather than a sweater, DIY Dog T-Shirt from Artsy Fartsy Mama is still a worthy project some owners may want to consider. It may not be warm enough to keep your canine cozy during the coldest days of winter, but it will probably work well in the fall and spring.

The coolest thing about this project is that it teaches you how to put your own graphics on the shirt so your dog can be fashionable and warm at the same time.  

Difficulty: Moderate

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Onesie
  • Scissors
  • Heat transfer vinyl graphic
  • Weeder tool
  • Sewing machine

9. Sweater with a Bowtie from Herstoria

If your dog prefers more formal attire, this Sweater with a Bowtie from Herstoria may be the perfect fit as it includes an adorable little bowtie. You’ll have to make this sweater from scratch using a pattern, but the author indicates that it shouldn’t take more than about an hour to complete (and if you use a sewing machine, you should be able to make it even quicker).

Difficulty: Moderate

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine

10. Fleece Sweater from MarthaStewart.com

Most people love fleece sweaters and pullovers, and your dog probably will too. Like many other projects designed by Martha Stewart, this Fleece Sweater from MarthaStewart.com will require a bit of skill and effort to make, but the end results are fantastic looking. This is an ideal project for owners who have some basic sewing skills and want a professional-looking sweater.  

Difficulty: Moderate

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Dog coat pattern
  • Polar fleece
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Elastic
  • Cord stopper
  • Iron-on varsity letters (optional)

11. Woven Dog Coat from Ruth Morrison

This woven dog coat from Ruth Morrison is probably the best-looking sweater-style project we found, and it also looks like it would be incredibly warm too. However, it is also one of the most challenging projects we encountered, and it may be too challenging for the average dog owner to make.

That said, if you have a loom and want to make a top-notch garment for your pooch, this project deserves serious consideration.  

Difficulty: Difficult

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • 6-shaft loom
  • Sewing machine
  • 2 shuttles
  • Yarn
woven dog sweater

12. DIY Flannel Pet Coat Pattern from Bevykona

This DIY Flannel Pet Coat Pattern from Bevykona is a bit complicated to make, but the end results look great. You’ll have to make a full pattern and engage in a bit of sewing to complete this garment, but owners who know their way around a sewing machine will probably find that the end results are well worth the effort.  

Note that this coat features a pocket. I don’t know how helpful this pocket will be for carrying things, but it adds a bit of flair to the garment.

Difficulty: Moderate

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Old flannel shirt
  • Paper to make the pattern
  • Buttons
  • Velcro
  • Tape measure
  • Marker
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine

13. DIY Canine Carhartt Coat from Instructables

This is another conversion project which involves customizing a human coat to suit your pet. This DIY Canine Carhartt Coat from Instructables is a pretty elaborate project, but the end results are rather impressive, and the coat looks both warm and comfortable.

Note that while this project is based around a Carhartt coat, you can probably adapt these instructions for any coat brand.  

Difficulty: Difficult

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • XL Carhartt coat
  • Black thick thread
  • 2 x 7” zippers
  • Stitch ripper
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger

14. Crochet Dog Shrug from Fave Crafts

This Crochet Dog Shrug from Fave Crafts is a great garment for those times when your dog needs a little extra insulation, but when a full coat or sweater would be overkill. You’ll have to be familiar with basic crocheting techniques to pull this off, but the author characterizes the project as “quick and easy.” YMMV.

Unfortunately, the author doesn’t provide a lot of photos or a video demonstrating how to make this garment, but the instructions are pretty thorough.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Yarn
  • Crochet hook
  • Yarn needle

15. Crochet Dog Sweater from Crocheting Blind

This is another crochet dog garment, although, unlike the shrug described above, this is a full-coverage garment that should keep your dog warm and toasty during the dead of winter. You’ll have to be pretty skilled with a crochet hook to make this sweater, but the author claims it is relatively easy to make.

Note that this Crochet Dog Sweater from Crocheting Blind project comes from Crocheting Blind, which features designs submitted by visually impaired crocheters, which is pretty neat if you ask me.  

Difficulty: Moderate

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Measuring tape
  • Yarn
  • 9-millimeter crochet hook
  • Darning needle

***

A good coat or sweater will help keep your dog warm and cozy during the winter. While there are plenty of great coats and sweaters you can buy, you should at least consider making one of your own.

Just review the various projects listed above and try to pick the one that best suits your pet and your skill level.  

Have you made a homemade sweater for your dog before? How did the project work out? Did you use any of the plans shown here? Share your experiences in the comments!

Also, if you’re up for more DIY doggie projects, be sure to check out our guides on:

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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