As I have been asked to be the best man to my best friends wedding, I decided to make my own bow tie to give a little extra to this 'special day'
Step 1: Used Materials and Tools
Here are the materials and tools I used
- Scrap wood and saw
I used an old wine box to make the bow tie template.
- Wood veneer ($ 2-5)
I found some different types of wood veneer, one is bubinga wood (darkest and cheapest), the other was zebrano (zebra-like/most expensive). The eventual bow tie was the bubinga one, as this wood was easier to bend and less fragile. Notice that the first photos show the zebrano wood, I had to switch to the bubinga wood as this was a lot easier to use.
- Pencil, iron ruler, saw,
To draw out and saw the template and cut the veneer.
- Cooking pot and stove
To 'cook' the veneer to make it bend.
- Danish oil
To give the bow tie a darker, non-shine finish.
- Leather scraps ($ 2)
I went to a local leather shop and found some scrap pieces of leather, an old leather jacket would do fine as well.
- Leather working tools
Different leather working tools for cutting, creasing, punching,...
- Sewing needles and thread
- Popper buttons (50 cents/piece)
- Wood glue, leather glue/superglue ($5)
Step 2: Making of the Wood Bow Tie
1. Drawing and sawing the template
I drew out the template on a piece of scrap wood. You need two pieces, one for each half of the bow tie.
2. Transfer to veneer and cutting
Next transfer the template and cut it out of the veneer. I used a iron ruler and a stanley knife. As I had to push rather hard to cut through the veneer, the iron ruler helped to make a straight cut. Make sure that the grain of the wood is vertically, otherwise it's impossible to bend later on.
After I completely finished the bow tie, I found that putting paper tape on the veneer makes it less brittle and it doesn't crack that much. I would recommend it, as I wasn't able to use zebrano wood because it cracked fairly easily.
3. Cooking and bending the veneer
I cooked the two pieces of veneer for approximately 20 minutes to then bend them around a metal pipe. It went completely wrong in this step without the zebrano wood do I switched to the bubinga (but forgot to take pictures through the proces)
4. Glue the pieces together
Make sure the pieces of veneer are completely dry. I made sure there was enough overlap to glue the pieces together (I used normal wolf glue and resemble a normal bow tie as closely as possible. Let sit to dry
5. Cover the overlap
To make sure you wouldn't see the overlap between the two pieces, I glued on a piece of leather (I later removed it and used another piece, which I liked better). Tadaam your veneer bow tie is ready
Step 3: Making the Leather Strap
1. Measuring and cutting
First I measured the circumference of my neck, to make sure the strap would fit. I made it 1 inch longer to make sure it wasn't too small in the end.
2. Creasing, punching and stitching
I wanted a decorative sewn line on the strap to make it look more elegant. Unfortunately I don't own a sewing machine, so I had to do it by hand.
I first used various leatherworking tools to make a straight crease and to make sure all the stitches were approximately the same length. After that I took 2 needles and a white thread to start the stitching. I used a double stitch technique you can find on the internet
Step 4: The Assembly
To finish, I used popper buttons to attach the bow tie to the strap. So if I want, I can change the bow tie, depending on the clothes I wear.
Step 5: The Result
Tadaam, hope my soon-to-be-wedded friend enjoys it as much as you do!