Making a Yarn Dog

Use an old hanger and a skein of yarn to make a yarn dog This is a guide about making a yarn dog.

Photo of a finished dog made out of yarn.
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Photo of a finished dog made out of yarn.This is something I made for my children when they were little and am now making for my great grandchildren.


  • lightweight wire coat hanger
  • light cardboard for template
  • about 1 4 ounce skein 4-ply yarn color of choice
  • 30 inches of ribbon
  • 3/4 inch black pom pom for nose
  • 2 wiggly eyes 15 MM
  • white tacky glue or hot glue
  • small piece of red felt for the tongue


  1. Bend the hanger using the photo as a guide. First stretch it out then bend according to measurements shown. These measurements are not critical, but make sure the "legs" are stable. The tail should be higher than the back.

  2. How to bend the hanger.

  3. Cut a template that is 2 1/2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Cut slots in the edge about an inch from the top.
  4. To make the ties, wrap the yarn around the long side 20 times, then cut along the bottom. This will make 8 inch ties. Repeat for the rest of the ties. You will need approximately 135-150 ties.

    Making yarn bundles.

  5. Place a tie through the slots on your template, and make 20 wraps around the long side for an ear. Pull the tie up to the top, slide off the cardboard and tie tightly at the top with a double knot. Repeat for the second ear.
  6. Making ears.

  7. For body bundles, wrap 20 times across the short side of the template. Carefully slide off the cardboard and lay a tie under the middle of the bundle. Tie tightly around the bundle with a double knot. You will need about 135-150 body bundles. This may vary according to how tightly you pack them as you tie them onto the frame. The dog shown used 137 bundles plus the two ears.

  8. To assemble, start with the circle for the head. Starting at the bottom front of the circle, tie on about 8 bundles, tie the ears in and then finish filling the circle with bundles. Next start tying bundles on the front legs. It is easiest to do work on both sides as you proceed from the front to the back of the dog, finishing at the top of his tail. Just tie them and keep pushing them together as you go. Cut a rectangle of red felt and round one end. Put a dab of glue on the square end, and tuck it in place pressing the yarn loops against it to hold it in place. Add the pompom for his nose and the wiggly eyes, using the photo for a guide.
  9. Yarn dog head.

  10. Tie a bow around his neck, and give him a little "haircut", trimming the ends of the ties that are sticking out all over.

I forget to time myself when I make a craft, but would estimate that it will take about 3 hours to complete this project.

By Harlean from Hot Springs, Arkansas

Photo of a finished dog made out of yarn.

CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

How do you make yarn dogs and cats on coat hangers from back in the 60s?

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Do a search for it. I posted the pattern in detail a few years ago. In fact as I post this there is a link to it on the right side of this page under "Related Guides.

    Harlean from Arkansas

    Editor's Note: Here is the link to Harlean's project.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Can someone please tell me how I can dust a yarn dog. My 17 month old has just been given one that is 30 years old and it is very dusty

    By Tamara

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    You could try this place in small kitchen garbage bag , grab and gather in hand and hold over the wand of your vacuum cleaner. Then suck the air out being careful not to get too close to the yarn.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Read More Answers...

    I'm looking for the instructions on how to make a shaggy dog out of yarn.

    By Ashley from Fort Drum, NY

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I too would love to have this pattern if you could email it to me thanks

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Read More Answers...

    White yarn dog.I am looking for the pattern for the yarn dog with "no" wires. I love that pattern and would like to make it for my grandbabies. Pictured is the one I am looking for. Can anyone email me a copy of it?

    By Michelle B.

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I wish mine turned out this cute. I made my first one tonight... LOL well, I'll show you a photo and if you want the pattern just let me know. I did a horrible job gonna get someone to help me next time. I tried to make a yorkie for my friend.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Read More Answers...

    I am looking for the pattern for the shaggy yarn dog. I have the pattern that uses a wire hanger. Thank you.

    By Gina

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Can you be more explicit in your request please? I have a few patterns, but not sure exactly what you are looking for.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I need instructions on how to make the wire form for the coat hanger dog. The horse and cat are really cute, too.

    By Carol from MT

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I have never seen the horse and cat one. Could someone send me a picture, would love the patterns for them but without the wire because they would be for children. Thank you

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I am looking for the pattern to make a shaggy dog. It is in Coats and Crafts #Art j17 Book 0713. It is titled Animal Bazaar Book. There is no wire is in this dog. I am desperate to find either the book itself or at least the directions to make the dog. He is so so cute. Thanks to anyone who can help.

    By shaggyjean from Park Ridge, IL

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Check etsy.Com/it's a place where crafters sell there wares. It works like ebay. So go to the site and put the pattern number in and see if they have it.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    I would like to know to get a copy of the Animal Bazaar pattern from the Coats and Clark book number Art J17 0713? Please help me. Thank you.

    By Bonnie from Athol, ID

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Here's a pattern complete with pictures:

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Good afternoon everyone, hope all is well! I am looking for the shaggy dog pattern made out of yarn. I would love to have this for our church Christmas bazaar. I had the book and pattern, but evidently I have misplaced it. Thanks so much!

    By pejoef from Louisa, KY


    Coat Hanger Yarn Dog

    Search for it in Thriftyfun search bar. That's where I got mine from, there are several. (11/03/2010)

    By boobaboo

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How do you make a yarn dog out of hangers?

    By Debbie from Connersville, IN


    Coat Hanger Yarn Dog

    Moderately Easy Instructions

    Things You'll Need:

    To make a yarn dog, the following items are needed: two or more balls of yarn (of any color), a metal hanger, a large two or three inch sewing needle, and a pair of scissors.

    Step 1- Making yarn dogs involve tedious work and sound concentration. The amount of time you have will determine how long it takes for you to finish your yarn dog. The first thing you do is form the yarn dog skeleton. You do this by stretching the metal hanger so that it resembles a short snake with a hooked head.

    Step 2 - Next, at the section of the metal hanger where the split begins, start folding the metal hanger so that it creates a figure. The first two legs should resemble spiked folds with the neck and head of the yarn dog longer than the hind portion of the yarn dog. The two hind legs should resemble smaller spiked folds with a hump to represent the back of the yarn dog and a loop for the yarn dog's tail. If the yarn dog skeleton is created correctly, then it should stand level and evenly on any surface. If your yarn dog skeleton is not standing evenly, then re-adjust the folding of the metal hanger until it reflects an even, standing structure.

    Step 3 - Now that the yarn dog skeleton is ready, it's time to start adding flesh to the yarn dog. Start by taking a piece of yarn and place it between your thumb and your index finger. Next, turn your right hand or left hand, if you are left handed to the side. Slowly, begin wrapping the yarn around your hand at the top near your thumb. Do this procedure twenty times. Using the scissors, cut the yarn.

    Step 4 - In creating the tail and the ears, create the same yarn bundle, tie a piece of yarn to the bundle on the inside of the bundle so that one side of the bundle is bound, while the other side is not unbound. Tie the yarn bundle with the bounded side to the yarn skeleton. Afterward, take the pair of scissors and cut the unbounded portion of the yarn bundle, which should be hanging downward from the yarn skeleton.

    Step 5 - If you have followed the procedures illustrated properly, your yarn dog should turn out well. It will become a source of great conversation and many people will either want to take it home or have one made for them. Either way, cherish your creation because now you have made a yarn dog, not man's best friend, but a best friend for anyone.
    good luck. (12/04/2009)

    By kffrmw88

    Coat Hanger Yarn Dog

    In 2006, I submitted step by step instructions with pictures and measurements for forming the hanger shape. You can print this out if you go to this link in the Thrifty Fun archives.
    Just copy this into your browser: (12/13/2009)

    By Harlean from Arkansas

    RE: Coat Hanger Yarn Dog

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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