How to Decorate a Dog Backpack, Harness, or Jacket: 9 Ideas with DIY Accessories

Written by Ray Wang: owner, operator, and decoration extraordinaire of 

Have you ever looked at your furry friend's harness, coat, or backpack and felt it could use a bit more pizzazz? It turns out that over 60% of pet owners consider their pets to be family members, which means we often want them to look their best.

This article is your go-to guide for adding flair to your dog’s harness or backpack with some fun DIY accessories. Get ready to unleash your creativity, and let's craft a harness that shines!

 Dog wearing a backpack and jacket with patches in the snowy mountains

Key Takeaways

  • Personalize your dog's harness with DIY accessories like beads, tags, embroidery, or clip-on lights to show off their unique style.
  • Decorate harnesses with paint, fabric markers, or attachable nameplates. You can also use rivets or sewing to add decorations.
  • Make sure all decorations are safe and securely attached to prevent choking hazards for dogs.

How to Decorate a Dog Backpack, Harness, or Jacket: 9 Ideas with DIY Accessories

Add some flair to your dog's harness. Get creative and learn how to decorate your dog's harness in unique ways!

1. Iron-on patches

Embellish your dog's harness with iron-on patches for a unique touch. These patches come in various sizes and designs. This allows you to add flair to your furry friend's harness effortlessly.

Simply stitch them or attach them securely to the harness for a personalized look that reflects your pet’s personality and style.

Elevate your dog's harness game by incorporating patches. This ensures a one-of-a-kind accessory that sets your pup apart. With an array of options available, you can easily find patches that suit any occasion or mood. Thus, you can add both charm and individuality to your loyal companion's attire.

 Dog wearing a coat with many patches while traveling in the mountains with a suitcase

2. Embroidery

Add a touch of sophistication and elegance to your dog's harness with embroidery. Choose a sturdy fabric harness that can withstand the stitching. Then pick out colored threads for vibrant designs.

Outline the preferred design on the harness before you start embroidering to ensure precision. Use basic embroidery stitches like backstitch or satin stitch for clear and defined patterns. This will add a unique and personalized element to your dog's accessory collection.

Enhance your DIY skills by incorporating different colors and intricate patterns, making it an eye-catching and stylish addition to your furry friend's look.

3. Reflective tape

Decorating a dog harness with reflective tape can be a great way to improve visibility during nighttime walks. Cut the reflective tape into appropriate lengths and shapes. You may want to cut strips or shapes that will fit well on the harness and provide good visibility. Carefully apply the reflective tape to the harness, pressing down firmly to ensure it sticks well.

Remember to consider your dog's comfort and movement when placing the reflective tape. Make sure it doesn't restrict their mobility or cause any discomfort. Also, it's important to regularly check the tape for any signs of wear and tear and replace it as needed to maintain visibility and safety.

4. Beads or tags

When it comes to decorating your dog's harness, beads or tags can add a touch of personality. String colorful beads in between the gaps of the harness for a vibrant and fun look. Alternatively, attach small decorative tags for a personalized touch that stands out.

Experimenting with different bead sizes and shapes can create a unique design that reflects your dog's individual style. Likewise, attaching small tags with your pet's name or a special message adds a personal flair.

These simple additions can turn an ordinary harness into a stylish accessory, befitting your furry friend.

5. Painting

Decorating dog harnesses can be done in various ways! You can use fabric-safe paint to add vibrant colors and patterns. Remember, always let each layer of paint dry completely before adding a new one for the best results.

Another option is to use fabric markers or pens to draw fun designs directly onto the cloth harness. These markers are easy to use and come in a wide range of colors, allowing you to get creative with your designs.

6. Hair ties with decorations

Add a pop of color and fun to your dog's harness with hair ties adorned with decorations. Slide the hair tie over the harness. Then, you'll get an instant and interchangeable accessory that reflects your dog’s personality.

This simple DIY idea allows you to switch up styles easily. This makes it perfect for any occasion, whether it's a casual walk in the park or a special event.

7. Ribbon

Wrap colorful ribbons around the harness for a fun and stylish look. Choose different widths and textures to create a unique design. Simply weave or tie the ribbons onto the harness for an instant pop of color.

Experiment with patterns, mix and match colors, or coordinate with your dog's accessories for a personalized touch. Ribbons are versatile and easy to change out for any occasion.

Slide thin ribbons through the buckle holes or knot them around the D-ring attachment for a playful flair. Alternatively, use wider ribbons to cover the entire harness or make bows at strategic points for an adorable finishing touch that'll surely stand out on your furry friend's neck!

8. Glue-on rhinestones

Enhance your dog's harness with sparkly flair by adding glue-on rhinestones. Select a variety of sizes and colors to create unique patterns or spell out your pet's name on the harness.

Carefully apply a small amount of non-toxic glue to the back of each rhinestone. Then, gently press them onto the harness in your desired design. Let it dry completely before allowing your pup to wear their bedazzled accessory proudly.

Transform a plain harness into a dazzling statement piece with this simple but glamorous DIY idea.

9. Rivets

When it comes to adding decorations to your dog's harness, using rivets is a sturdy and stylish way to attach embellishments securely. These small metal fasteners can hold various accessories, such as studs, tags, or fabric patches, firmly onto leather harnesses, ensuring that they stay in place during your pup's adventures.

Rivets add an edgy touch and provide a durable option for customizing your pet's accessory with unique flair while offering long-lasting wear.

A rescue dog in the mountains with the handler


In conclusion, you now have plenty of ideas to decorate your dog's harness with DIY accessories. Whether it's adding rhinestones, ribbons, or custom patches, the options are endless.

You can easily personalize your dog's style and switch up decorations for different occasions. So go ahead, get creative, and make your furry friend stand out with a uniquely decorated harness!


1. Can I make a custom dog harness myself?

Yes, you can learn how to make a custom dog harness with the help of tutorials online and add your own touch with DIY accessories.

2. What do I need to make my own personalized dog harness?

To start making a personalized dog harness, you'll need materials like scissors, fabric, or ribbon in colors you like, such as navy blue, and some decorative items you may find at a pet store.

3. How do I ensure the DIY accessories fit snugly on my dog?

Always measure your four-legged friend before creating anything, and adjust the size so it fits snugly without sliding around.

4. Is there an easy way to dress up my boring old dog harness?

The simplest way to dress up a dull harness is by attaching fun DIY accessories like floral designs or charms that show off your pup's personality.

Three handsome SOS dogs working avalanche rescue in the snowy mountains

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published



Welcome to DOGPAK!
Please login to securely save your pets to your account.

Already have an Account?
New to our store?
Create an account
Purchased with no account?

Your pet data is never shared or sold.
You have been unsubscribed.