How to make a DIY wooden bow tie with simple tools and a little sewing knowledge. This is a simple project and is very rewarding as the final piece will make a great accessory or gift for someone.
I made my own one of these and I get tons of compliments on it every time I wear it. Admittedly taking on the sewing was a first for me and I had to learn a new skill from scratch but it's important to learn new things!
You can either watch my video or read through the steps in this Instructable to make your own bow tie.
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Step 1: Preparing the Template & Wood
To make my bow-tie I drew up a template on a piece of graph paper. I basically estimated these dimensions from an old bow tie but you can design yours however you like.
The first step was to prepare the wood. I decided to make a lamination with wood veneers, this way I could use exotic woods or bits of scrap that would otherwise go to waste.
I cut 5 pieces into sections that were 12x7cm – ensuring that on each layer of the lamination the grain was running in opposite directions.
Then I glued all of the layers using wood glue to create a ply.
When the glue was cured I cut out my template using a craft knife and stuck it to the back of the wood. A simple spray adhesive worked perfectly.
Where To Get Hard Wood Veneers
I found a great selection of wood veneers on Ebay. You can get great off cut packs that are inexpensive and filled with beautiful exotic woods.
I am an affiliate of Ebay so if you use one of my links to go through and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. This helps me to keep creating these tutorials and making videos!
Step 2: Shaping the Bow Tie
To shape the bow tie I cut around the template on a scroll saw but this could easily be done on a bandsaw or by hand with a coping saw.
The edges were easy to smooth over with a bit of sandpaper and I used a few progressively finer grits to finish the shaping.
I finished the bow tie with a few layers of Tung Oil to keep it simple.
Now for the difficult part: sewing!
I double threaded a needle with black thread to match the elastic that would go around my neck.
The first part to sew was the little buckle thingy that would make the tie adjustable. When this was secure I fed the rest of the elastic through the buckle.
To figure out how much elastic I needed to make my bow-tie fit properly I wrapped the elastic around my neck and cut off the excess. The hook was then sewn on to the end I'd just cut.
To decorate the middle of my bow tie I used an old tie. I cut a section out of the tie that was about 2.5 x the thickness if the middle of the bow tie.
Step 4: Gluing the Necktie & Fabric
Next I glued the elastic neck tie to the wood with the hook facing outwards and used a small amount of glue to position the fabric in the middle of the bow tie.
A hot glue gun or superglue would be perfect for this.
Step 5: Sewing
The final step was to sew up the back of the bow tie and to do this I used a technique called the “Slip stitch” or “blind stitch”.
To do this I folded over one section of the fabric to form a hem.
Starting from inside the hem I passed the needle through to hide the knot inside. Where the needle emerged I picked up a few threads from the other side of the fabric and passed the needle back down into the fold of the hem. I simply repeated this process until the back was sewn up.
That's how I made a wooden bow tie with an adjustable strap! If you'll be making one then you can find off cuts of veneer or straight up hard woods in the links below. Feel free to message me here for any advice!
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Thanks for watching, see you in the next one!