DIY Bow Tie: Style on the Cheap and Easy




Introduction: DIY Bow Tie: Style on the Cheap and Easy

About: When I'm not studying engineering, I'm helping people reach the top shelves at grocery stores.

Howdy! In this instructable I am going to show you how you can sew your very own bow tie!

These are great because you can pick out any fabric you want, and it doesn't cost much at all.

The way I show you uses a sewing machine, but you'll also get by just fine with a needle, some thread, and patience. You'll also need to know the neck size of the creature you are making it for (bonus points if that creature is as cute as my dog Taffy and you post pictures).

Step 1: Get a Pattern. Get Materials.


Find some bow tie patterns on the internet. I really liked the patterns from Sew Like My Mom and Martha Stewart. Your local sewing shop may also have patters available for purchase.

Sew Like My Mom:

Martha Stewart:

Instructable User Piggleliggle:

Most of the patterns will direct you on how to size the bow tie pattern.


For each bow tie, I used a 1/4 (quarter) yard of fabric, and a 1/4 yard of fusible interface. For the pattern I used, it accommodated me whether I was using fat quarters or regular quarters (see photo for details on the cuts of fabric). The really awesome part about making your own bow tie is that it is cheap, and you can pick out whatever color you want. I was able to get my fabric for $2.00 a quarter. Awesome! I don't think I will buy a bow tie ever again.

In list form, for 1 bow tie:

  • 1/4 (one quarter) yard Fabric
  • 1/4 yard fusible interface
  • Thread

Step 2: Cut Materials [Cloth and Interfacing]

Place your pattern on your fabric and cut out the material.

Your bow tie will have a front and a back, a left and a right. That is four parts total:

  • Front Left Fabric
  • Front Right Fabric
  • Back Left Fabric
  • Back Right Fabric

This means you'll cut out your pattern a total of four times on the fabric.

The interfacing really only needs to go on one side, so you cut it out twice. Double the interfacing for a stiffer tie.

Step 3: Fuse Interfacing

The interfacing gets fused to the fabric to give it some stiffness.

Interfacing comes with some instructions, so follow those! What I had to do for mine was put a damp cloth over it and press on it with a hot iron for 15 seconds.

The rough/bumpy part of the interface is what melts. Lay this part flat against the "wrong side" (that means the side that isn't pretty) of the fabric.

Also don't burn your house down with your iron.

Step 4: Sew Front Sides and Back Sides Together

The short ends of each side will need to be sewn together. That means you are making a full front and a full back before sewing it.

Place the "right sides" (the pretty sides) together so you are sewing it inside out -- this will hide the seam. We will turn it inside out later once it is all done.

Sew them together, close to the end (within about a quarter of an inch).

Step 5: Sew Around Border

Pin the front and back together so that the "right" sides are touching/on the inside. We will sew it like this so once we are done, we will turn the tie inside out to hide the seams/stitches.

When sewing, leave a gap between the edge of the fabric, about a quarter inch, but you can get away with less. If you get to close to the edge, you may have issues with it coming apart and fraying.

Finally, you will not want to close the tie together, you will need to leave a gap so you can push the fabric through itself and turn it inside out.

Step 6: Reduce Material on Edges

Before we turn the tie inside out, we will reduce the material on the edges. This makes it so that the tie doesn't bunch up or take on an odd shape because of loose material on the inside. Cut notches into the edges (without clipping the stitching) and corners.

Step 7: Turn It Inside Out

It is time to turn the bow tie inside out! Its kind of like watching a child take its first steps; full of wonder.

I find it easiest to start turning the ends in with my finger, then use a chopstick or pencil to "roll" the tie in on itself. Be careful not to be too rough or to puncture the tie! I did the first time I made one because I was a bit too impatient.

Iron parts of the tie down flat if that makes it easier.

Step 8: Stitch It Shut, Iron It!

Time to close that gap! Fold the edges together and stitch it shut. Since this part of the tie is on the back of the neck, and under a collar, it is not too noticeable if it is a bit ugly. Practice will make perfect for this part.

Finally, iron the tie as much as you need to for it to be flat and crisp. Follow ironing instructions for the fabric you bought!

Step 9: Tie It!

Now it is time to tie the bow tie yourself! It is actually not too difficult, and there are a whole bunch of instructables that will teach you how.

Here are a few instructables to get you started:

From the classy gentleman n8thedisciple:

From the classy gentleman lisohenr:

Step 10: Take a Look in the Mirror, You Beautiful Person.

You have a handmade, beautiful bow tie for you, someone special in your life, or your cute dog. Congratulations!

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!



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    24 Discussions

    Thanks for easy to follow instructions. The site I got the pattern from no longer was available when I went to double check the directions before starting.

    Great 'ible! Love my new bows. And also, are those lilacs behind you in the first pic? I'm jealous! :)

    2 replies

    Also! I love to see photos of what others are doing. Post some pics of what you made if you'd like!

    Thanks for reading!

    It's a hydrangea. The flowers look very similar though--good eye! Our bees go wild for it when it gets around to blooming.

    Hey man, I was wondering if you had any instructables on regular, neck tie making as well? I'd really appreciate it if you did!

    4 replies

    Hi! Currently, no I do not. Maybe I can look at some patterns and sew some up just for you. I've been meaning to get back in front of the sewing machine so this could be the motivation I need.

    Thank you so much! It would really mean a lot to me! My dad's birthday is soon and I was thinking of getting him something more personal from me and something that he could use everyday so I necktie that he could wear to work would be perfect!

    Don't get discouraged. I like to get my tie innards from old or stained ties. After that, it's a matter of finding a pattern (there's a great one that is like the first one that comes up when you google tie pattern, it's maybe the fourth one down) and cutting some silk or polyester on the bias. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do it.

    Dani, straight neckties are nowhere near this simple. They have to be cut, folded and hand sewn pretty precisely if they're going to hang straight. You have to cut a large piece of silk on the bias, and fold it around a piece of wool lining of a type that you basically can't get except by special order, making sure you line everything up perfectly, and you handsew the entire tie to that lining for the tie's entire length. It's advanced work and pretty specialized, you're probably best making something else.

    I wonder how this would work with leather. I'll have leftovers soon, I think I'll give it a try.

    1 reply

    Thanks! Her name is Taffy and she is quite an adorable goof-ball. Her sister will hopefully be featured in an 'ible soon.

    I would absolutely enter it in the contest, but its not eligible! Created it a few days too early. Unless there is something in your contest-managerial powers that say otherwise. :p

    I love this. I like the last picture the best. I think it would be a great image for your front page. Thanks so much for sharing and do have a splendorous weekend!


    1 reply

    That looks pretty cool. I guess I could go searching for a nice fabric and give my girlfriend the cutest of looks. Lets hope it works ;)

    1 reply

    Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions, I'm hoping it works too. The great thing about getting into making your own clothes is that you and your partner or your cute dog can all have matching outfits. It's just awesome. Post pictures when it is done!

    great ibble, good pics, do you have suggestions for what material is better. I always thought they were made of silk.

    1 reply

    Thanks for reading! The fabric I used to make these was a cotton (specifically a Calico print). The cotton with the interfacing actually feels and looks really great--no need for silk, but that works just fine as well! Note that I have never worked with silk, so I'm not too sure how it handles.