HOW TO Make a Dog Raincoat On a Budget: Complete DIY

When looking at dog raincoats for sale, you’d think you would have to be a DIY wiz-kid to make one yourself – but it’s not as hard as you might expect!

While you can certainly go all out in making a dog raincoat, using a sewing machine and adding all sorts of bling, you don’t have to do it that way (although for this DIY project some skill with sewing is going to be a plus).

So we have compiled a couple of budget-friendly approaches to this project for you to consider. Ready to make your own dog raincoat? Read on!

How to make a dog raincoat on a budget

How to make a DIY dog raincoat on a budget
Dog raincoats can look expensive but are easy to make.

These raincoat ideas appeal to two levels of DIY: converting a raincoat from existing human raincoats or vests and making a raincoat from a pattern.

You can take whichever approach you feel comfortable with, but for both approaches, you will need to do some sewing, so here are some supplies you will need:

  • Sewing machine or sewing needle
  • Thread that compliments the color of your dog’s raincoat
  • Fabric scissors
  • Fabric measuring tape
  • Velcro

These supplies will stand you in good stead no matter what approach you take. Starting with the easiest approach first, here’s how to make a dog raincoat on a budget.

Convert the sleeve of a human raincoat

HOW TO Make a Dog Raincoat on a Budget
A properly fitted raincoat that covers both the chest and belly will prevent your dog from splashing water against the most sensitive parts of their body.

This approach to making a dog raincoat on a budget will probably only work for smaller dogs. So if you have a large breed dog, pass over this one.

For big dogs, check out our guide on the BEST Dog Coats for Large Dogs where we tested the top coats on the market today!

If you have a small dog, check out these instructions:

  • Use your fabric tape measure to measure the length of your dog from her shoulder blades to the base of her tail.
  • Take your old or unused raincoat and measure the same length starting from the edge of the sleeve.
  • Make your cut where the measurement ends.
  • Now hold your would-be dog raincoat up to your dog with the sleeve at the dog’s neck, and estimate where the front legs and leash would go, marking it on the sleeve.
  • Cut two holes for your dog’s front legs and a hole for the leash to attach to your dog’s safe walking harness.
  • Since you have cut the fabric of the coat in three places, you’ll need to sew the edges together (feel free to add piping if you want).
  • Slide the raincoat over your dog’s head, fit her paws through the holes, leash her up, and you’re ready to go walking in the rain!

Since most raincoats have two sleeves, that means you can make two dog raincoats if you have two little dogs.

Or if you have one dog, you can keep an extra in reserve if one gets dirty.

convert a waterproof vest

This method of making a DIY dog raincoat is a little more involved, but the result is worth the effort. You will need an unused waterproof west.

This approach could be for both small and medium-sized dogs, depending on the size of the vest.

Here is what you’ll need to do:

  • Lay the vest out and cut precisely up the middle.
  • Slide the sleeve of the vest half over your dog’s head and measure where your dog’s front paws will go.
  • Fold the vest around your dog’s middle and mark what you will have to trim off.
  • Once you have cut the holes and trimmed off the excess, you’ll need to sew up the edges, preferably in a way that matches existing sewn edges, either with all new piping or by mimicking the existing style as best you can.
  • Refit the coat and mark where you want the velcro straps to go.
  • Take it off again and sew on the velcro.

Easy-peasy! Now you have a raincoat for your dog.

As a bonus, you can use pockets or material from the other side of the vest to sew a hood together.

Simply attach it to the collar of your dog’s new raincoat and you’re good to go.

How to sew a dog raincoat from a pattern

How to make a DIY dog raincoat on a budget
Homemade dog raincoats don’t have to be just practical. They can be cute, too.

This is the most time-intensive raincoat project, but we think you’ll enjoy the results. The first thing you need to do is find a pattern you like.

There are plenty of dog raincoat patterns on the internet.

After you’re done scrolling, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Measure your dog where the pattern indicates.
  • Make a guide of the pattern from butcher paper.
  • Lay that guide down on top of the waterproof material of your choice and draw the pattern onto the material.
  • Take another sheet of waterproof material and sandwich a sheet of foam between it and the first sheet.
  • Pin the three together, trim off the large excess, then sew along with the pattern.
  • Once you’re done, you’ll probably want to sew piping along the edge.

This approach takes more work, but the end product can look really good on your dog. You can even personalize his dog collar to match.

If you’re looking for a winter coat, be sure to stop by our Best Dog Winter Coats guide!

Final Thoughts

With a little effort, you can save yourself a tidy sum of money by making your own DIY dog raincoat.

You can choose to work with existing material from old raincoats, or you can start fresh with a pattern that you like.

You may need to bone up on some sewing skills, but regardless, a raincoat is in your dog’s future!

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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