Introduction: Wooden Necktie (and Bowtie)

About: So many things to learn and make, so little time! I like things that are cool, useful, efficient, well crafted.

Make a stylish necktie and bow tie with alternative material: wood!

The Windsor knot will no longer be a problem.

As it requires some (nylon) thread and a needle, will it be entitled to enter the Summer Sewing Contest?

Do you like it?
Vote for me:
- in the dadcando family fun contest! (click vote now on top of page; see also my other entry)
- and in the summer sewing contest!

Step 1: Needed Stuff

  • Moderate woodworking skills
  • Patience
  • A piece of soft wood (e.g. pine) of size suiting your design (see next step) plus much margin. Choose a wood grain that you like.
  • Nylon string, "quite robust" (0.5 mm)
  • Some pieces of flat scrap plastic (e.g. the cap of a PVC box) that is easy to cut and drill
  • Elastic string
  • Saw and miter box; a jigsaw is also helpful
  • Wood files
  • Sand paper (coarse to fine) and sand block
  • 1.5 mm drill bit; drill (at best, a drill press)
  • A sewing needle
  • Linseed oil
  • Wood stain

Step 2: Make Your Design

Choose a (real) necktie that you like, and tie it to your liking. Loosen the loop, and take it off.

Use it to make a sketch. Divide into 4 to 5 cm long pieces.

Wear the sketch to check the length.

Step 3: Cut the Wood

Cut the wood.

Shape it for round side edges, using files and sand paper.

Depending on your liking and woodcarving skills, you can make a more or less realistic knot.

Keep an extra piece for drilling training and stain trials.

Step 4: Drill the Pieces

Drill the pieces. This is the most tricky part. Use an extra piece for trial/training.

All pieces are drilled through, except:
  • the last one is drilled approx 3 cm deep
  • for the knot, see next step.
It must be drilled parallel to side edges, and parallel to the surface. Using a drill press is highly recommended.

Since it can be difficult to find drill bits of 1.5 mm diameter that are more than 5 cm long, I used a hard steel rod of 1.5 mm diameter and approx 8 cm length, that I sharpened and used as a drill bit to complete the drilling of the holes.

Start by drilling the narrowest piece (next one after the knot).

Now we're using the needle:
After piece number N has been drilled, we align it with the next piece (N+1), slide the needle through the holes of N, in order to precisely mark the position of the holes in N+1.

Step 5: Make the Knot

The knot is drilled with an angle as shown.

The two small wooden bars are drilled and carved as shown, then loosely attached to the knot with small screws (pre-drill the bars!). Sand the screw, so that it won't damage your shirt.

Make two little plastic pieces with two holes, and one with three holes.

Step 6: Stain and Oil

Optionally: apply stain, let dry completely. Make a trial on the extra piece, to find out the wanted stain strength.

Apply linseed oil, remove the excess oil with a cloth, let dry completely.

Step 7: Assemble the Pieces

Glue the nylon strings into the end piece, with some epoxy.

"Sew" the pieces together: have the nylon strings cross them all. The wood pieces must move freely on the nylon strings (it is the elastic string that will keep them together).

Step 8: Assemble the Knot

Bar #1:
  • Have the nylon string cross the end bar, then cross the plastic piece.
  • With matches or a lighter, melt the nylon to form a ball.
  • Have the elastic string cross the other hole, and block it with a knot.

Bar #2:
  • Do the same, and in addition, use the plastic piece with 3 holes, to allow length adjustment of the elastic string.

Optionally, make a sleeve.

Step 9: Wear It (And Shine!)

Step 10: Now, Make a Bowtie

It's much easier to make, and equally fun to wear!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words; here are 5 pictures of the making. Hint: I used a piece of fabric band and epoxy to bind the wood pieces together.

Dadcando Family Fun Contest

Runner Up in the
Dadcando Family Fun Contest

Summer Sewing Contest

Participated in the
Summer Sewing Contest