Use vegetable-tanned leather to make a collar for your dog. You can make it in any width, length or color you choose.
- Determine the desired length and width of the collar and cut the collar from the leather. See “Cut Leather,” under Related eHows, for instructions. Make the length of the collar equal to the dog’s neck measurement plus 3 to 4 inches. The width of the collar should be equal to the interior width of the buckle.
- Decide what shape you want the free collar end to take. You can make it pointed, rounded, square ‘ whatever shape you like. Mark the collar end and use a razor knife and straight edge to cut it to the desired shape.
- Fold the uncut edge of the collar back so that a crease is made 1 1/2 inches from the collar end. Place a slot punch on the collar so that the punch’s end evenly intersects the crease at the crease’s center point.
- Hold the handle portion of the punch and strike the top with a wood or rawhide mallet. Repeat until the punch has completely punctured the leather.
- Use a rotary punch or drive punch and mallet to make four rivet holes in the leather for the buckle. The diameter of the rivets and the punched holes should be equal, and the holes should be placed evenly around the slot. The first two holes should be placed 1/4 inch from the collar end, each hole 1/4 inch from the collar’s edges.
- Place the second set of holes on the other side of the slot so that when the collar end is folded back along the crease line, both sets of holes match up evenly.
- Use an edge beveler to trim all of the collar’s edges. Do any tooling or decorative stamping at this time as well.
- Use leather dye to color the collar if desired. See “Dye Leather,” under Related eHows, for instructions. Allow the leather to dry completely and then use a clean, white cloth to rub neat’s-foot oil or saddle soap along the length of the collar. Polish and remove the excess oil or soap with newspaper or rag paper.
- Insert the buckle prong through the punched slot so that the buckle is correctly positioned. Fold the uncut collar end back so that the rivet holes are lined up, and insert the rivets from the underside of the collar. Place the collar end on a flat work surface and affix the rivet caps to the rivets with a mallet.
- Determine the placement of the holes through which the buckle’s prong will be inserted. Put the collar around the dog’s neck. On the back of the collar, mark a hole position that will result in the collar being positioned comfortably but securely around the dog’s neck.
- Mark just one hole or a series of holes that are spaced about 1 inch apart and continue to the collar’s free end. Many holes might be a good idea if your dog still has some growing to do.
- Punch the holes with a rotary punch or a drive punch and mallet. Make sure that the holes are centered.
Determine the desired length and width of the dog collar before you go to purchase the leather and buckle.
Adjust the rivet placement if necessary. You may need to adjust their placement depending on how narrow the collar is. Just make sure that the rivets are evenly placed.
Keep the leather evenly dampened while you work it. This makes the leather easier to manipulate. Either spray the entire piece lightly with a spray bottle of water or dampen with a sponge.
Look for rivets and punches with a diameter of approximately 1/8 inch.
Insert a metal or leather loop over the collar end before beginning step 9. The loop should sit between the rivets and the buckle.
Look for appropriate-size buckle sets that come with a buckle, metal belt loop and metal belt end.