Introduction: Pet Collar Bowtie

About: I'm just your average personal trainer/ luchadora/ lucha libre gear maker. I specialize in stretchy garments.

What do you do when you get adorable puppies? Make them bowties, of course!

I was at the pet store a couple weeks ago and saw some overpriced ($7-15+ ?!) bowties and thought "Psssshhhhh. I can make those." And I was right. After about 15 minutes of experimentation on fabric scraps I had my first prototype pair of bowties in hand.

This project is a great scrap-buster, and you can use almost any type of thin-ish foldable material you have around. I used various shades of sparkly spandex scraps left over from my job making lucha libre gear & masks. Don't limit yourself to puppies! Any adorable critter that wears a collar can be decked out in collection of dapper doo-dads in no time.

Step 1: Gather Materials

For this project you will need:

  • Fabric. I used spandex, but anything that doesn't become too rigid when folded and glued will do.
  • Small hair ties or thin elastic sewed into a circle
  • Cutting implements- Scissors and/ or a rotary cutter
  • Spray adhesive and/ or all-purpose tube adhesive
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine

If you don't have access to a sewing machine, no worries! You can sew the bowties by hand or even just use more glue.

Step 2: Cut Pieces

For each bowtie, cut out two rectangles. They don't have to be perfect since you'll be folding them over and squaring the ends in the next steps.

  • Body of bowtie: approximately 8cm x 18cm.
  • Tie: approximately 2.5cm x 5cm

Note: These dimensions make a bowtie with finished dimensions of ~8cm by 4cm. This size is perfect for 4-month-old pitbull puppies (my babies pictured in the intro), small dog breeds, cats, or comically small bowties on larger dog breed. Feel free to scale up or down as needed.

Step 3: Glue and Fold

Apply adhesive of choice to the wrong side of both pieces. I found it easier to use spray adhesive for the body of the bowtie and tube adhesive for the center tie.

Use the same folding technique outlined below for both the main body of the bowtie and the center tie. Once glued, fold one third of the strip to the center (the long way) and press. Do the same with the other exposed third. Flatten any wrinkles or bubbles.

If in the folding process the ends become uneven, trim so the ends are square.

Step 4: Sew Center of Bowtie

Take the body piece of the bowtie and fold the ends toward each other so they meet in the center. The ends should overlap slightly so that you can run a seam down the center of the piece and catch both ends.

Sewing note: The color of thread you use doesn't matter since you will be covering it up with the tie later on. If you don't have access to a sewing machine, you can sew this seam by hand or simply use tube adhesive to tack the ends together at the center of the piece.

Step 5: Pick Your Bowtie Style

Before glueing it all together, take a second to see how your material folds. Have fun with this part! I found that with different fabrics, simply pinching at the center looked great, while with others I did a sort of accordion fold to achieve the classic bowtie look. Once you find a look you like, it's time to glue!

Step 6: Assembly!

This part can be a bit tricky, and you'll need both hands to stop the fabric from springing back open while glueing.

1) Place a drop of glue at the center of the back of your bowtie. Center a folded hair tie over the glue and press.

2) Taco-fold the bowtie over the glue dot to pinch the hair tie between the fabric.

3) Put another drop of glue over the pinch.

4) Sorry...I needed both hands for this part, so there are no pics. Stick one end of your folded center tie piece to the glue. Hold the end down while you wrap the strip of fabric around the front of the bowtie. Pull gently on the fabric strip as you go so the "knot" is snug and holds the folded bowtie in place. If needed, place a small dot of glue at the center front before wrapping. Once you have wrapped all the way around to the back, put yet another drop of glue down, stick the strip to it, and trim off any extra that hangs over the edge.

5) Let the glue dry...

...And voila! Your fuzzy friend is ready to be decked out in their formalwear. Attach the bowtie to your pet's collar by running the collar through the two elastic loops formed by the hair tie.

For the record, I'd not be mad at all if I got a ton of photos of your dapper fur-babies in the comments ;)