I have a minor obsession with detachable collars. And for good reason! They can easily transform the simplest of outfits into something a little more interesting and eye-catching. And they’re super simple to DIY! Making one requires zero sewing expertise, and since they’re essentially blank canvases you can design and customize yours to look how you want it to.

All you’ll need for the first part of this DIY is a thrift-store shirt and some scissors.

1. Open up the shirt and lay the collar down flat, like so:

2. Using the neckline seam as a guide, take your scissors and cut as close to the collar as you can (but be careful not to snip the neckband in the process!).

And that’s it! After cutting your way through the neckline you’ll be left with one detachable collar.

That was almost too easy, right? Well, now comes the fun part: decorating it! I’ve put together four different ideas you can use to jazz things up a bit, starting with…

Lace Trim

You’ll need: lace or ruffle trim (enough to go around the edge of your collar), sewing pins, a sewing machine or a needle & thread.

1. Take whatever trim you’re going to use and pin it to the outer edge of the collar, making sure it’s positioned just under the hem.

2. Using the existing hem on the collar as a guide, run the collar through your sewing machine using a straight stitch.

And that’s really all there is to it! Crazy-cat-lady appliqués are optional, but I think they add a lot to the overall look.

Glitter Patterns

You’ll need: a large paintbrush, masking tape, glow-in-the-dark or other translucent fabric paint, fine craft glitter.

1. Use masking tape to section off parts of the collar to make a design. You can experiment with different widths of tape to make grids, stripes, whatever! I decided to keep things simple with a thick line following the shape of the collar.

2. Mix the glitter and the fabric paint together; paint the mixture on the collar in thin layers, letting each one dry a bit in between. I did three coats of glitter for this collar. You can do more or less; it really depends on how sparkly you want yours to be.

3. Once the paint is completely dry, pull the tape off and check out the design! The paint/glitter will likely darken the fabric just a bit and give it a cool two-tone effect.

If you’re not a fan of the glittery look you can totally use this same technique with fabric paint instead!

Googly-Eye Skulls

Seeing as it’s now October and Halloween is just around the corner I couldn’t resist making at least one collar to match the theme! This next design is my own little homage to the season.

You’ll need: a multi-size pack of googly eyes, fabric glue, chalk or a fabric pen.

1. Sketch out the basic outline of a skull on the front of the collar with chalk. It doesn’t have to be perfect—you’ll be covering it up later.

2. Using the smallest eyes you can find, outline the skull and all of its features (mouth, eyes, nose, etc.) with them, securing with fabric glue. After you have your design outlined, start filling it in with more googly eyes, alternating the different sizes.

The end result is kind of wicked awesome, if I do say so myself.

Candy Collar

And last, but certainly not least, in honor of CANDY DAY here at Rookie, I decorated a collar just for the occasion!

I used actual candy for this one, but if you want something a little less sticky and a little more wearable try looking for “candy cabochons” on Etsy. They’ve got tons of these adorable, mini faux candies to embellish your collars (or virtually any other clothing item) with!

And that’s it for today’s DIY. I hope you enjoyed it! If you’re feeling somewhat inspired by all this and decide to make or design your own collar, please let us know! We’d love to see it. ♦
Marlena is an 18-year-old seamstress/blogger from Wisconsin. When she’s not busy turning Care Bears bed sheets into dresses you can find her fangirling over FRUiTS, thrift-store finds, and crafty stuff over at her blog, Self-Constructed Freak.