Introduction: Quick Outfit Fix - Cardboard Bow Tie

Quite some time ago I did my first bow tie out of wood. Since then I dreamed of a laser cutter. Now I started building my own one. This project is one of its first tests.
I came up with the idea of cardboard bow ties inspired by the cardboard speed challenge.


  • different cardboard sheets
  • laser cutter (DIY with 2W diode laser)
  • design and control software (Fusion360 and LaserGRBL)

Step 1: Step 1: Design

I did design my cardboard bow tie using Fusion360 by Autodesk. It allows to design and also create the gcode needed for the laser cutter afterwards.
Basically you can use whatever software you prefer. It also depends on the laser and its software. Many might prefer something like photoshop. In this case the laser software will have to do the gcode part.

In terms of the design you are mostly free. The basic size of mine is 110x60mm - I would name it medium. A minimum wall thickness off about 2mm is recommended. Since the material is free of charge you can try out all desgin ideas without much cost.

Step 2: Step 2: Laser Cutting

As already mentioned before I generated the gcode within Fusion360. Therefore I used the laser grbl post processor since my machine is controlled using grbl's laser functions.
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Step 3: Step 3: Sewing the Ribbon

For the ribbon you might want to get some hardware as shown and any fabric of your choice. Rubber band as known from sewing would also make an alternative. I got mine sewn by a friend with better skills in that perspective.

You can either sew in the cardboard bow tie by hand or put on small pieces of Velcro as shown. That way it can easily be swapped out with a different design or something made from other materials.

Step 4: Conclusion

That's it for this instructable. I'm pretty happy with the results. The wrinkled look makes it even more interesting. In the end it held for two times wearing it. Therefore I would go for a sturdier design next time.

Cardboard Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge