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10 DIY Christmas Sweaters for Dogs You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Kerry-Ann Kerr Profile Picture

By Kerry-Ann Kerr

Dog wearing a red christmas sweater

Christmas is the perfect time of year for family and terrible sweaters, and why should your dog miss out on this embarrassing tradition? Finding the ideal Christmas ensemble for your pet can be tricky. Instead, you can skip all the shopping hassle and make your own. After all, you know which style will suit your dog the most.

This article will look at some of the cutest Christmas sweaters you can make at home. Some require experience with sewing, but there is nothing too challenging, and there’s something for everyone. No matter what you’re looking for, we have a sweater for your dog to get you into that festive, DIY spirit!

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The 10 DIY Christmas Sweaters for Dogs

1. DIY Striped Crochet Christmas Sweater by TwinStarHooks

Materials: Yarn, yarn markers
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Measuring tape, scissors, tapestry needle, crochet hooks

This adorable crochet Christmas sweater is fit for an elf or a dog who wants to be cozy this holiday. The simple pattern isn’t very challenging if you’re new to crocheting, which is a bonus!

2. DIY Christmas Tree Sweater by The Broke Dog

Image Credit: thebrokedog
Materials: Sweater (green preferably), pompoms, gold ribbon, star appliqué, thread
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Needle

You could knit your sweater, or if you lack the skills, just buy a plain sweater instead. Either way, you’re going to end up with a festive tree sweater that will win your dog the best-dressed competition at the Christmas party. It’s simple and one of the least time-consuming projects on our list.

3. DIY Santa Claus Knitted Dog Coat by Handy Little Me

Santa Claus Dog Coat Pattern
Image Credit: handylittleme
Materials: Yarn, buttons or press studs
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Knitting needles

This Santa coat comes with a detachable belt, which you can use buttons or press studs to attach. If your dog has a bad habit of nibbling things he shouldn’t, go with the press studs to avoid the risk of a button being accidentally swallowed. It’s a simple enough pattern for a novice knitter, and there isn’t anything more festive than dressing up like Santa Paws!

4. DIY Merry Santa Sweater by Garn Studio

Merry Santas
Image Credit: garnstudio
Materials: Yarn
Skill level: Intermediate
Other tools needed: Knitting needles

This cute knitted sweater with a Santa pattern is for the dog that likes a more understated style during the festive season. This pattern is also available in hats and sweaters for humans, so you could create the perfect set of matching sweaters for this year’s card if you start early!

5. DIY Dog Ugly Christmas Sweater by HGTV

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater for Your Dog
Image Credit: HGTV
Materials: Plain dog sweater in festive colors, ugly Christmas sweater, assorted holiday-themed craft supplies like sparkles, pompoms, garland, etc.
Tools: Scissors, fabric glue
Difficulty Level: Easy

This incredibly simple project is the perfect way for your dog to join the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” craze. There’s no sewing required for this project, just scissors, fabric glue, and plenty of imagination. Start with a plain dog Christmas sweater and get to work decorating. The plans for this project suggest deconstructing a human Christmas sweater for materials. You can also add other holiday-themed decorations. The uglier and gaudier, the better! This is an excellent project to attempt with the kids too.

6. DIY Dog Ugly Christmas Sweater #2 by Mommy Mafia

Image Credit: mommy mafia
Materials: Ugly Christmas sweater, assorted holiday-themed decorations (glitter, pompoms, etc.)
Tools: Scissors, measuring tape, fabric glue, or hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Easy

This holiday project is made by upcycling an old human ugly Christmas sweater. Because it uses the sleeve of the sweater as the base of the outfit, it will probably only work for small to medium dogs. Beginners should easily be able to accomplish this project, and it’s also another good choice for kids (supervise them if you use a hot glue gun). The plans explain how to measure your dog and modify the sweater to fit properly. If you don’t have an old ugly Christmas sweater, they’re typically easy to find at thrift stores.

7. DIY Dog Present Christmas Sweater by Sew Doggy Style

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Present Style
Image Credit: Sew Doggy Style
Materials: Plain dog sweater, 2” Christmas ribbon, thread, button, present tag, fabric glue (optional)
Tools: Measuring tape, scissors, needle, sewing machine (optional), sharpie
Difficulty Level: Easy

If your dog is your greatest gift this holiday season, why not make a Christmas sweater that shares that with the world? This easy project can be made using a pre-purchased, plain dog sweater or sweatshirt in Christmas colors. The original poster made their sweater from scratch, and that’s also an option if you’re a more experienced sewer. You can attach the ribbon by sewing or with fabric glue, so it should be an easy project for beginners.

8. DIY Dog Snow Globe Christmas Sweater by Instructables

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater - One for You and One for Your Pet
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables
Materials: Christmas sweater that fits your dog, clear plastic bowl, fake snow, cardboard (optional), assorted holiday craft supplies (optional)
Tools: Hot glue gun, needle and thread (if needed)
Difficulty Level: Easy

At the end of this incredibly detailed tutorial for making your own ugly Christmas sweater, you’ll find quick instructions to create a matching one for your dog! This project requires only simple tools and materials and is perfect for inexperienced crafters. The directions are easy to follow and include safety tips, such as positioning the “snow globe” so your dog can’t turn around and chew it off. This sweater can be made for any size dog if you can find a human version that fits your pooch.

9. No Sew Dog Sweater by Fancy That Antiques

Image Credit: Fancy That Antiques
Materials: Sweater, glue sticks, old towel, iron-on stitch witchery
Tools: Hot glue gun, scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

This no-sew dog sweater is made by upcycling a human sweater and can be customized for any occasion. To make this a Christmas sweater, choose a festive sweater for your base material. The instructions and pattern explain how to measure, cut, and glue together a sweater for small and large dogs. With no sewing experience required, this project should be easy for anyone with scissors and the ability to follow directions carefully.

10. DIY Knitted Dog Christmas Sweater by Happy Knitter

DIY Dog Sweater Knitting Pattern
Image Credit: Happy Knitter
Materials: Yarn in Christmas colors
Tools: Knitting needles, marker, tapestry needle
Difficulty Level: Hard

If you’re a knitter, this step-by-step plan will show you how to DIY a beautiful Christmas sweater for your pup. The project provides written directions as well as a video tutorial and measurements. This sweater is designed for a small dog. In theory, it could be adapted for a larger dog, but you’ll need a lot more yarn, and it’ll take a lot longer. If you’re a beginning knitter, this project might be ambitious, but the directions are so precise they might guide you through. You can easily make other sweaters using this pattern, too; just switch out the yarn with other colors.

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How To Measure Your Dog

For DIY clothing, one of the trickiest parts you’ll face is getting your dog to cooperate while you measure them. We suggest using a soft tape measure, like the ones used for sewing, and if you have a wriggler on your hands, get help from another person.

For coats, sweaters, and shirts, you’ll determine the top-line which is from the base of your dog’s neck to where their tail starts. For a sweater to fit, you’ll need to measure under the chest.

Start at the base of your dog’s throat in the front and bring the measuring tape to a stop at the end of the dog’s ribcage. The girth measurement ensures straps will fit correctly, so you start behind the dog’s front legs and move the tape up and around the ribcage.

To measure your dog’s neck, which will be helpful with the neck of sweaters, collars, scarves, and bandanas, put the tape measure around the dog’s neck. Make sure you don’t pull too tightly. Leave enough space to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and the tape measure.

Lastly, to measure your dog’s head for a hood, place the tape measure in front of the dog’s ears and bring it down around the jaws. If your hood is attached to the coat or sweater, measure from the midpoint of the ears to the base of your dog’s neck.

Tips for Putting Clothes on Your Dog

What one dog will put up with, another won’t. So, just because your childhood dog allowed you to dress him up doesn’t mean the dog you have now will. Respect your pet’s boundaries and watch for signs of stress.

Signs of stress to be on the lookout for are:
  • Ears turned back and lip-licking
  • Leaning back with tail tucked and ears back
  • Low body posture and tail tucked
  • Low wagging tail and ears back
  • Panting, pacing
  • Teeth exposed in a “smile” shape, eyes squinted or shut, ears back
  • Yawning and leaning away

Remember, this is meant to be fun. If one of you isn’t having fun, stop immediately!

What To Consider When Dressing Your Dog Up

Ensure the clothing isn’t too tight so the pup can move about easily. Also, make sure the clothing fits well and that their mouth, ears, eyes, and nose aren’t blocked. Be sure to check that it’s easy for them to pee and poop if you’re planning on having it on when they’re outside. Don’t leave your pet dressed up alone, in case they become stuck or trapped, which might result in them hurting themselves.

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Final Thoughts

If you fancy getting creative this festive period and involving your dog, there’s a sweater project out there for you both. Whichever style you’re looking for there’s something available to match your skill level. Your dog can finally get involved in that festive spirit, and we hope this list has inspired you today. Just make sure you take the time needed to measure your dog, so the sweater fits well.

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Featured Image Credit: Ryan Seth Nau, Shutterstock

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