You love your dog. You take care of your dog. If you’re anything like me, you spoil your dog rotten. But sometimes, buying a toy or treat at the store simply won’t do: you want to hand-craft a one-of-a-kind object for your one-of-a-kind dog.
We’ve searched far and wide to bring you the most fun, practical, ingenious, funny, and downright incredible DIY projects for dog lovers. Whether you’re a crafting maverick, a thrifting master, or an upcycling maven, this roundup of the best dog hacks is for you. And don’t worry: Even if you’re a klutz like me, there’s a simple DIY project you can handle.
Upcycled Suitcase Dog Bed
This cute DIY dog bed requires very few materials. Just pick up a cool old suitcase from the thrift store, screw on some legs, add a pillow, and your dog will travel to relaxation town in style! (For a really simple DIY dog bed, you could forgo the feet entirely and just put a pillow in a suitcase. Still cute, and now even easier!)
Air Conditioned Platform Bed
For a DIY project that’s less “cute” and more “holy Dog, that’s ingenious,” check out this custom-built air-conditioned dog bed. The builder made it to help his senior yellow lab cool off on hot days. It’s not as chic as some of the other dog life hacks on this list, but it’s a technical marvel built to help an old dog feel better. That’s one lucky pet, and one handy pet parent.
Doggy Cooling Cargo Vest
Another thoughtful lifehack from a pet parent looking to help their dog cool down on a hot day, this cooling vest made from re-purposed cargo pants combines fashion and function into one cool look that’s sure to have heads turning on the trail. You gotta love a cute and sporty DIY dog outfit that you can make with little more than a trip to the thrift store (or your own closet) and basic sewing skills.
Adorable DIY Doggy Shirt
This funny, charming do-it-yourself dog clothing tutorial teaches you to turn a vintage children’s shirt into clothes for your small dog. Don’t worry, big dog fans: The instructions are easily adaptable to larger sizes, so you can hack an XXL beefy tee into a shirt for your Great Dane.
DIY Upcycled Dog Collar
If you have a passion for vintage fabrics, leatherwork, and functional fashion, then this DIY dog collar is for you. Gather an old leather belt, your favorite vintage fabric, and some hardware and tools, and follow the step-by-step tutorial to make your own. (Note: Martingales aren’t best for all dogs, but they’re great for dogs with slender necks and heads like the precious Italian greyhounds featured on My So Called Crafting Life. I can’t get enough of these cuties!)
Delicious DIY Dog Treats
There are a lot of DIY dog treat recipes on the web, but we’re partial to anything that reminds us of a delicious cupcake while still being safe and healthy for our furry best friends. These grain-free, sugar-free “pupcake” recipes would be an adorable addition to your next canine soiree.
Homemade Dog Shampoo
This is a dog lifehack for the frugal and enviro-conscious: Affordable, all-natural ingredients and recycled containers won’t cost a bounty, but will make a bounty of earth- and animal-friendly shampoo. This tutorial has several options to suit your pet’s particular hair care needs, whether they have sensitive skin or an intense stink. Just gather the ingredients and a big mason jar, and get to mixing! Honestly, some of these sound nice enough to use on human hair…go ahead, we don’t judge.
A Delicious Do-It-Yourself Dog Costume
What are you still doing reading this when you could be making a DIY dog costume that turns your best friend into a sushi roll?! Get crafting!
No-Sew DIY Dog Bows
Your dapper dog deserves the best in neckwear, so gather up your favorite textiles and make a collar bow that will make the other dogs envious. I especially like this doggy lifehack because it requires no sewing, hot glue, or anything else I’m likely to make a mess with. If you’re slightly more adventurous than me, try the more technical duct tape version.
Upcycled Tug ‘n ‘Fetch Toys
These DIY dog toys are a great way to make use of ratty old T-shirts and jeans, turning them into into “eco-friendly” dog toys in just a few simple steps. This would be a great rainy day activity to keep you and your dog busy: a half hour to make some toys, and the rest of the day to play, play, play!
Barkitecture: DIY Architecture for Dogs
If price is no object and you want to wow the neighbors, why not design a one-of-a-kind incredible, enviable dog dwelling? Okay, I admit, you may need special expertise for this DIY dog house project: Barkitecture is an Austin-based “architectural dog-centric fundraiser” showcasing doghouses created by professional architects, designers, and builders. But even if you’re more of a backyard dabbler than a pro, you can take inspiration from the wild and creative doghouses created over the years.
Have you discovered any brilliant dog life hacks lately, or made a DIY project of which you’re particularly proud? Tell us all about it in the comments, and happy crafting!
Top image via flickr/11155422@N00