I'm Bri Garbani, a designer + photographer living in San Diego, California. It's here that I express my passion for dogs, design + DIY through writing + photography. If you like what you see, you'll want to check back often as I have a constant need to create + Native Blonde is my prime creative outlet.

Handmade Rope Dog Leashes

Handmade Rope Dog Leashes

Have you noticed the latest craze in dog leashes? It seems that every dog gear supplier I admire has put their own touch on the right-now rope lead trend that I have literally been drooling over. Although some are more wallet friendly than others, the average price to get your paws on one of these leashes is roughly $50. Needless to say, that is not in the budget, especially since I have two dogs to spoil.

First, I gathered up my inspiration.  Next, I gathered my supplies. Some of the items I already had on hand from previous projects, but I’ll reference where I purchased them anyway.

Knot & Rope – I spent .37 cents per foot for ½ inch 100% cotton rope.

Tandy Leather – I shopped the scrap bin, which is weighed by the pound, at my local store. For $14 I walked out ½ a pound of leather (which was more than enough for this project), a leather punch tool + pack of needles.

Home Depot – Clamps, snap clips, and welded rings are available in an assortment of sizes and finishes for $2 to $4 each. Bonus: take your dog with you when you shop here - they’re allowed!

Michael’s – Embroidery floss in every color of the rainbow was 3 for $1.

Joann’s – Fabric dye was on sale for $3.19 per bottle.

Other items that came in handy were duct tape, scissors, a hammer, a ruler, rubber gloves, stainless steel tongs + a pot to dye the rope in.

The process of making my own rope lead for a fraction of the cost was quite simple + it was really fun to get creative with it! I customized each lead to my preference by choosing the length and dye color. Three leashes I made at a standard 4 feet, but made them all unique by dying them either a solid color, a two-tone ombre, or by leaving the rope completely natural. Another leash I made is a hands-free version for when I attend festivals, the farmer’s market, or do any other kind of shopping with a dog in tow + need my hands for things other than holding a bunch of slack. Pictured below are the four leash variations I made (also, check out that awesome concrete acid stain job that Patrick did on our patio).

Happy leash making!


Knotted T-Shirt Dog Toy

Knotted T-Shirt Dog Toy

Elevated Dog Feeding Station