12 DIY Dog Collar Memorial or Keepsake Ideas


When people die, their loved ones often create a memorial for them. Why not do the same for a beloved pet? After all, you may find yourself at a loss of what to do when your dog dies. Repurposing an item that belonged to your dog into a special memorial item can help you cope with your emotions. 

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Here, we break down several DIY pet keepsake ideas that incorporate a dog’s collar for a special dog collar memorial.    

Tip: In addition to a DIY memorial to your pet, an online memorial page can be a meaningful and lasting tribute. Visitors can leave messages about your pet and their memories of them, and you can even raise funds to donate to an animal-related charity or pay for any remaining veterinary bills. We recommend using Cake's online memorial pages because they're free and easy to use.

DIY Dog Collar Memorial Ideas to Display

When a pet dies, it’s hard to see the items that belonged to them laying around your house. At the same time, packing them away may feel too final. You may want to display these items in a new way. We’ll show you some ways you can display your dog’s collar in style.

» MORE: An online memorial is a perfect ending to honor and celebrate someone's life. Create one for free.

1. Pet memorial shadow box

You can create a shadow box, a glass-front display case that contains an object or a group of objects on display. Pick up a shadow box at any craft store and gather various special items that belonged to your dog; you can also make your own shadow box if you'd like to personalize it even more.

Besides the collar, you can display items like your dog’s leash or a favorite toy. When pets die, the veterinarian’s office sometimes gives you your dog’s paw print impression in clay. You could also put that keepsake in a shadow box alongside the collar.  

2. Painted portrait with dog collar in a frame

Paint a portrait of your dog that captures him in a happy moment — if you feel comfortable. If you’re not a skilled painter, you can commission an artist to create a portrait instead. You’ll need to provide the artist with several photos for reference.

Whether you paint the portrait yourself or get it done by someone else, the DIY part isn’t quite over yet! Order a keepsake picture frame that allows you to display objects as well as pictures. Place the portrait in the frame along with your dog’s collar for a great way to combine a new art piece and an older object into one unique tribute. 

3. DIY framed photo

Even a novice crafter can easily tackle a DIY framed photo. You only need a photograph of your dog, a simple photo frame, your dog’s collar, and a hot glue gun. Choose a special photo of your dog. Take the photo frame and hot glue the dog collar so that it runs vertically on one side of the frame. Add your photo to the frame, and that’s all you need to do! You can accomplish this in minutes, but the result makes something truly special. 

For another variation on this, you can get a round photo frame and hot glue the collar around the circumference of the frame. You might find this a little trickier to pull off, but a relative crafting beginner can still tackle it. 

4. Memorial portrait silhouette 

Got Photoshop skills? These skills can help you create a collage of your favorite images of your dog. Make that collage in the shape of a silhouette of your dog’s profile from the neck up.

For a special finishing touch, mount the collar onto the silhouette right at the neckline. Make sure to purchase a photo frame with a little extra room to accommodate a three-dimensional object. 

DIY Dog Collar Memorial Ideas to Wear

Pet memorial jewelry has become an increasingly popular way to honor a deceased pet. Many people feel comforted when they can keep a token of their late pet near them. These DIY ideas can help you transform your dog’s collar into meaningful, wearable art.

» MORE: Online obituary that is 100% free. Honor a loved one beyond a newspaper.

5. Memorial bracelet

If your dog’s collar was made of nylon or leather, you can transform it into a sweet bracelet or wrist cuff. You can even incorporate the tags into a buckle. This craft isn’t accessible to everyone, as it does involve some special skills and tools.

However, if you have experience making jewelry, you can find plenty of online tutorials for this kind of project. You might want to make this if you always took your dog with you wherever you went.     

6. Dog chain necklace

You can transform nylon and leather collars into bracelets. If your dog had a chain-style collar and leash, you can turn that into a surprisingly stylish necklace.

This online tutorial shows how you can quickly turn existing chain-style pet accessories into serious statement jewelry.  

7. Fabric-wrapped choker 

Most people wouldn’t wear a rigid leather dog collar as a necklace outside of the punk-rock scene. But with a little fabric, you can transform a collar into a chic and understated necklace.

For a more boho-style look, you can incorporate a colorful patterned silk fabric. You could also wrap the collar in simple black velvet or hot glue additional decorative elements on top of the velvet. Add gemstones, dried flower clusters, or a vintage cameo. Even if it no longer looks like a collar, you’ll still know its significance.  

8. Dog tag necklace

Think you’ll never feel comfortable wearing a dog collar, no matter how well it’s disguised? No problem. Remove your dog’s tags from the collar and thread them onto a simple necklace chain instead.

You can wear them as a more subtle and understated tribute to your dog. Incorporate the collar into a separate DIY project that you can display. This way, you can get multiple keepsake items out of one object. 

DIY Dog Collar Memorial Ideas to Gift

Over the past few decades, a sympathy gift industry has sprung up. Even so, you may feel unsure of what to get someone whose dog died. Often, a personal, handmade gift carries the most meaning. Check out some DIY sympathy gift ideas that incorporate dog collars.

» MORE: Grief can be lonely. Create space for your community to share memories and tributes with a free online memorial from Cake.

9. Memory box for collar and other items

If you have a friend struggling with the loss of a dog, your friend may need help dealing with those items. Purchase a simple cardboard or wooden box and decorate it so that it looks special and unique.

Then bring it to your loved one’s home and help pack away items like toys, food bowls, and the dog collar. Your friend can tuck away the memory box in the closet or display it as a memorial item, depending on your loved one’s preference. The act of you thoughtfully creating the box means you’ve been a great friend.   

10. Stuffed animal in a dog collar 

Snuggling up with a pet can bring a sense of comfort when people go through difficult emotional times. Your loved one may feel very lonely.

Find a cuddly stuffed animal that looks like the deceased pet. Place the dog collar around the toy’s neck. Just let your loved one know that you offer a stand-in stuffed dog, not a replacement.  

11. Dog collar suncatcher

A suncatcher, a small ornamental decoration, hangs near a window. It incorporates a faceted crystal that can refract sunlight and cast rainbows around the room.

You can find many online tutorials on how to make suncatchers out of a few simple materials. These include crystal or glass beads and fishing line. You can adapt any one of them to incorporate a dog collar as well. 

12. DIY memorial wind chime

Wind chimes always make a beautiful memorial gift. Whenever they ring in the wind, they serve as a reminder of a deceased person or pet.

You can find many online tutorials about how to make your own wind chime. Incorporating a dog collar gives it a specialized, personal touch. Adding the tags to the chimes makes a lot of sense. 

Make Dog Collar Keepsakes You Can Treasure

The death of a dog can affect people just as much as the death of a person, so memorialize a dog in meaningful ways. Making a DIY dog collar keepsake for yourself or someone else makes a beautiful way to pay tribute to a special friend.  


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