Late last year, I started working with a new dog rescue here in Brooklyn, Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue. This rescue is a little different than most.We save dogs from the southern United States, where pet overpopulation is a big problem, and bring these dogs back to Brooklyn. A few months ago, I took a trip with my fellow volunteer and Etsy staffer, Lo, to pick up a van full of dogs in need from our favorite shelter in Florence, Alabama. This shelter takes in about 50 dogs a day in the summer and they are in desperate need of fosters and volunteers. If you are near Florence, please consider helping!
As soon as we made it to Brooklyn, each dog got fitted with an “Adopt Me” vest, and I realized these vests were way too generic. Our rescue is far from normal, and our dogs are unique. I wanted to come up with an alternative — something that anyone could make. You don’t even need a sewing machine — the only tool you need is a pair of scissors! I hope this how-to inspires you to make a few vests for your local rescue.
Supplies You’ll Need:
- Cotton fabric (about 1/2 yard per vest)
- Velcro strips
- Double-sided interfacing (such as Heat ‘N’ Bond)
- Spray paint
2. Cut out a rectangle of fabric and a rectangle of interfacing that is slightly bigger than the template you’re using.
3. Bond the double-sided interfacing to the fabric piece using an iron (follow the instructions that come with your interfacing) and cut out a shape that is 1/2″ bigger than the template.
4. Cut out another piece of fabric the exact size of your template.
5. Bond this smaller shape inside the slightly larger piece with an iron.
6. Cut slits every 1/4″ around the edge of the larger piece of fabric.
7. Fold the edges over and bond with an iron.
8. You’ll cut out 1 more rectangle of fabric and interfacing and bond those together. Using this piece, cut out another shape that is slightly smaller than your template.
9. Now you’ll create a sandwich. Cut your strips of Velcro to about 8 inches in length (these will attach underneath the dog’s torso) and cut a 4 inch long strip of webbing (this is where the collar will slide through). Place the bonded pieces, then your strips of Velcro and a folded piece of webbing; your final piece of fabric will rest on top (with the bonding side down). Iron this all on both sides to create your bonded vest.
10. Cut out “Adopt Me” from a piece of cardstock and place it on your vest. (A bit of spray adhesive can help keep this in place.) Hold the spraypaint back 12″ from the vest and go over the spot lightly until you have an even coat of paint. Let dry and then remove the stencil.
11. There you have it! Get together with a group of friends and do this craftivism project in an assembly line to create a big pile of “Adopt Me” vests to donate to your local shelter.
If you make your own Adopt Me vest, share a photo with us in the Etsy Labs Flickr group!