DIY Holiday Outfits for Pets!

Over the past few weeks, everyone has been turning their focus to the upcoming holiday season. One of the things on many people’s full to-do list is to take the photo for the annual holiday card. You’ve probably thought about what your family will wear for your holiday cards, but have you given consideration to what your pet will wear in the photo? Pets are an important part of our families, so it makes sense to find them a special outfit to wear, but only if they don’t mind wearing clothes!

You can choose to go the traditional route and find your pet an outfit from a store, or you can make your pets something clever to wear. Here are some ideas if you decide you want to make your four-legged family member an outfit this holiday season.


Well-dressed Ladies and Gentlemen

No one wants to look like a slouch on their holiday cards, so make sure all the members of your family clean up well for the photo shoot – including your pets. For your male pets, consider dressing them in a simple bow tie or collar and tie that will easily affix to their everyday collar. You can purchase a clip-on bow tie and affix it to your pet’s collar, or make them a tie and collar combination from an old shirt and a clip-on tie.

To make the tie and collar combo, cut the collar off an old shirt. Next, cut the collar in half and then glue Velcro to the back of your pet’s collar. Then, take the tie and adjust the length of the tie to make it an appropriate length for your pet. Attach the shirt collar to your pet’s collar and clip the tie to the front of the collar. The finished product should look something like this.   

For your female pets, consider sprucing up their look by making them a simple tutu. Take a piece of ribbon and cut it so it’s long enough to tie around their waist. Next, take strips of tulle fabric and fold them in half. Loop the tulle around the ribbon, as seen in this blog post. Continue looping the tulle around the ribbon until you cover the ribbon completely. As an added benefit, if you have young daughters, you can create matching tutus for them as well, allowing all the young ladies in your family to match.


Holiday Sweaters

Holiday sweaters are a classic look to wear in holiday card photo shoots. If you have old sweaters that your family has outgrown, consider turning them into holiday attire for your pets. For a small dog, you can create a holiday sweater from the sleeve of your sweater, as demonstrated in this tutorial. If you want to go for a less formal look, you can also create a hoodie for your dog using an old sweatshirt. Most of these DIY holiday sweaters are best suited for dogs that aren’t very large, so make sure you measure your pet and your sweater before you begin cutting.


Jingle Bell Pet Collar

This option might be best suited only for the photos, unless you like the sound of jingle bells radiating through your hallway. The simplest way to create a jingle bell collar is to first choose a festive holiday fabric from your local craft store. Then, cut it to the length of your pet’s collar. Tidy up the edges of the fabric by sewing up a nice border on the fabric. Then, affix the bells to the fabric (most bells will have a small loop at the top for easy sewing purposes). You can attach as many as you would like, based on your preferences for how much noise you want the collar to make.


This is just a small sample of some ways you can dress up your pets for the holiday season. Pick a festive holiday outfit based on your pet’s preferences and what you think they wouldn’t mind wearing while having their photo taken. The outfit won’t do much good if your pet is struggling to take it off the entire time you’re trying to take a photo.



Burton Hohman writes for Natural Balance a pet food company that offers a variety of dog and cat foods and treats.

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