This Easy DIY Hack Will Prevent Your Pup From Getting Lost

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

May 29, 2014

Sure, you can put a tag or GPS on them. But then you can also do this, which will cost you less and honestly, will totally be much more visual.


This collar DIY was inspired by (and dedicated to) all of the dogs I’ve seen wandering aimlessly through the backyards of my neighborhood. Even though it’s the scariest scenario EVER, it happens: dogs get loose. It happens to even the most responsible pet parents. I’ve stopped countless times to scoop up a very-much-alone pup and struggled to get their tongue out of my face long enough to see the phone number on the tag.

Of course, it goes without saying, never approach a dog who is foaming at the mouth, just generally pissed off, or growling. Call in the pros if you encounter one of those bad boys. But what about those super friendly dogs that desperately need to have their owners tracked down? Don’t you wish there was a super easy way to read a phone number on a dog’s collar?


You guys, I should go into infomercials. I think I have a knack for it.

Would you like me to shut up and get to the tutorial? Righty O. Here we go.

DIY Embroidered Dog Collar 

Here are the supplies you’ll need:


Any kind of large-ish needle will work, so no need to run out and buy a new set. I would suggest using a color of embroidery floss that contrasts your collar well. It would sorta defeat the purpose of this project if you used red thread on a red collar. Woof.

Thread your needle and leave the part you just threaded hang down a few inches.


I pulled my thread about two arm lengths. I’m getting real specific up in here, dudes. Tie the end into a large knot.


I’m not a manicure kind of gal, so deal with it.

Now you’re ready to start. I simply freehanded the numbers by following the straight lines made by the weave in the nylon collar.

Start in the back – doy – so your knot isn’t visible, and pick a spot to poke through.


Now you’ll just start building your letters.


You can’t go out the in holes and in the out holes (get your  mind out of the gutter, you sicko) so you’ll have to get a bit creative with how you assemble the numbers. It won’t be exactly like writing them out with a pen, but remember no one will see the back, so you can criss cross as many times as you need to, behind the scenes.

Your thread might start to loosen and bubble a bit, which happens. Don’t panic. Just use the tip of your needle to gently pull up the stitch you just made.


Now you can try pulling it taught, again. That will usually get rid of any unwanted loops, and it’s okay if you have to do it a few times.


Once you’ve stitched out your whole phone number, all that’s left is knotting the thread. Skim your needle through the collar material, making sure not to go all the way through. This is how we’ll start our knot.


Do that a few times and pull tight. I make sure to go around the thread a few times after that. I’m a paranoid stitcher. Aside: That would make a great band name. Feel free to use it and invite me to your first live performance.


Once you’ve wrapped your thread around itself a few times, separate the strands into two sections to tie into a strong knot. Trim the excess thread.


The back of this little embroidery project is going to look like a hot mess, and that’s totally fine. If your dog has a problem with that then you probably need to lay off the Evian water and hot stone massages for her.


You did it! You just embroidered your phone number right there on your dog’s collar.


If you’re feeling like getting jiggy with it you could also do a heart or a star or your pup’s name or even spell out “I eat poop.” There’s nothing like a good poop joke. And the best part is your dog can’t even defend himself. And let’s be real, he probably does eat poop. I just wrote the word poop four times in the span of one short paragraph. That’s gotta be a new record.


Isn’t my Olive just the cutest? I feel so much better knowing she’s got her digits displayed loud and clear.



Do you have any other wildly impressive ideas for this application? There are a million different things you could do with the basics of this tutorial. Good luck and happy stitching!

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

May 29, 2014

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