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How to make dog clothes from baby clothes in 4 simple steps

Put your sewing expertise to work by transforming old baby clothes into dog PJs

The second your human child outgrows their clothes, you might look for a donation box. But you can actually repurpose these items in your own family by making them into dog clothes. That's right, handing down some baby clothes to your fur baby isn’t all that tricky. With just a few adjustments and a little time, you can turn nearly any onesie into a cute, comfy outfit for your pup.




1 hour

What You Need

  • Scissors

  • Fabric pencil or marker

  • Sewing machine or sewing kit

  • Needle

  • Thread in your desired color

Grab your old onesies, your pup, and your sewing machine: You’re about to learn how to make dog clothes from baby clothes. Even better: You may even have everything you need already in your home!

You don’t even need to be an experienced sewer to get this project done — a simple hand-done stitch will do the job just fine! And remember, recycling used items is one of the most sustainable ways to reduce waste (and save money). Here's how to make dog clothes from baby clothes.

A small dog wears a sweater outside
ArtdayAnna / Shutterstock

How do you turn clothes into dog clothes?

A human onesie to dog onesie transformations will make a great start, but truthfully you can make all kinds of clothes for your pup pup from recycling your outfits. A normal (small) t-shirt will easily morph into a dog shirt with a few snips and stitches. Additionally, cutting off the legs and back of a onesie will turn it into a jacket or sweater.

We do recommend having your design in mind first before making any alterations as you might end up taking off too much and having to start over (no worries if that does happen — just grab the next t-shirt or onesie in line).

A Chihuahua in a pink sweater sleeps on a carpet
Zozz_ / Pixabay

Find the correct size of baby clothes

If you’re really lucky, you just might have a perfectly sized onesie for your dog in your home. It helps to plan ahead if your child (the human one) is still young, so you know what size of their clothing you should be looking to save.

Although every dog’s body is different and may not fall easily into these categories, you can start your search for the correct one based on your dog’s weight (via OurEverydayLife):

  • Newborn: for dogs up to 7 pounds
  • 0-3 months: for dogs 7-12 pounds
  • 3-6 months: for dogs 12-16 pounds
  • 6-9 months: for dogs 16-20 pounds
  • 9-12 months: for dogs 17-22 pounds
  • 12-18 months: for dogs 22-27 pounds
A French bulldog wearing banana-patterned pajamas sits in front of a yellow background
Karsten Winegeart / Unsplash

How to make dog pajamas out of baby clothes

Here comes the fun part! Once you have all your materials ready to go, all that’s left is to actually make your pup’s new clothes.

Step 1: Gather your materials.

Although your exact steps and materials depend on the style of shirt or onesie you make for your dog, every project will need a few basics. Don’t forget your onesie and the dog, though your furry friend will only need to model their new shirt for a few moments while you take measurements. They still might expect a treat as a payment, as models do.

Step 2: Try it on for size.

Before you start modifying your onesie, make sure it’ll be a comfy fit for your dog. You can measure your pooch’s length from neck to tail, as well as their chest girth, but these measurements may not be as useful when comparing them with baby clothes.

Step 3: Measure and cut the onesie.

While you keep your dog semi-occupied with a few treats, use your fabric pencil to draw any guides you’ll need for cutting and sewing your pup’s PJs. To make a true onesie for your fur baby, most of your work will be around the tail of the garment. Feel for the base of your pup’s tail, then mark a wide enough circle on the onesie to give them some extra wagging room.

Step 4: Hem the edges.

The edges of your dog’s new onesie will be smooth and protected if you decide to hem them (especially important if your pup likes to chew). To do this, you’ll fold back 1/4 of an inch around any cut edges, then sew straight through both layers, following your cut. You can use a sewing machine or sew your hems by hand — it’s up to you! It'll look super professional once you're done.

There are so many perks to making your own dog clothes out of baby clothes, including the positive environmental impact of recycling. Both your pup and the planet will benefit from this fun DIY. You’ll get a chance to practice your sewing and measuring skills, and just think of how sweet your fur baby will look in their new pajamas!

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Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
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