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Bead Embellished Dog Collars?

Q: Does anyone have info on where can find instructions for a beaded collar for a large dog? I don't want to use seed beads, but perhaps plastic pony beads or bone pipe beads for an Indian look? I am looking to decorate an existing leather collar.

A: I've been thinking of beading my llama's Halters, or at least the nosebands (llama Halters don't have browbands like Horse Halters) for shows. I use nylon halters, and will probably squarestitch the nosebands, and then stitch them to the nylon. I think squarestitch will hold up better than looming for this. Maybe make beaded tassles for the cheek rings... I'm not sure how you would attach beadwork to the heavy leather of a dog collar... glue perhaps? My Mal has nylon collars, too. I'm just not big on leather collars anymore (my GSP had a great carved leather collar. It cost me a fortune. He ate it). Oh, real bone pipe on a dog collar seems like a bad idea... you'd be torturing the poor dog. Use the plastic kind. It would hold up better to abuse too, I think. Dog collars get quite a bit of abuse, unless this is just for show. llamas only wear halters when going for walks or showing, never when they're in the field or barn. I make leather bracelets decorated with pony beads like this: I punch holes in the strap and thread leather lace up through the hole, through the bead and down through the next hole as needed. The end of the leather lace is glued to the underside of the strap, and skived (that is, shave away part of the thickness of the leather to taper the end of the lace so there isn't a lump sticking up, begging to be torn off). A customer at the hobby shop I worked once wanted to decorate a leather dog collar with a strip of loom beadwork. First, he chose a strip of leather the same width as the collar and longer than the beaded strip. Then, he cut out the middle of this strip to set the beads in, and skived the ends of the strip (from the back) to make it look continuous with the collar. Next, he lay the strip on the collar, and marking where the beads would lie, punched holes with an awl to hand sew the bead strip to the collar. Then he sewed it, checking the fit often (by laying the strip on top of his work). Afterwards, he glued the leather strip to the collar, and saddle- stitched it all the way around. It was lovely. The strip of leather protected the beads from rubbing, and from having the edges rubbed or pulled. He did say that if he made another one, he would just glue the beaded strip down, that the hand sewing was a LOT of work.