Wooden Bowties




If your like me, then you are much too interesting for just any old necktie. Since I am so overly interesting, then only a bow tie will do. I have seen a few examples of the wooden bow ties on line, but the cost is high and my funds are low. Being a woodworker I decided that I should go to the shop and try my hand at making one.

Step 1: What You Will Need.


-A thin wood for the body of the tie. (This then wood could be a piece of 1/8" Luan ply, project wood like you get at a box store, or a table saw shaving like I used.

-A thin piece of contrasting wood for the knot area. (Again, this can be a piece of project wood, veneer {veneer edging already has contact cement on it and can be applied with an iron}, or table saw shaving)

-A saw for cutting out the body of the tie. (Scroll saw like I used, band saw, or even a coping saw will work)

-Super glue

-Hot glue gun w/glue

-Spray laquer

-Alligator clip (I got mine at a hobby store, they are cheap and came in a pack of 25)

Step 2: Step 1: Drawing Out a Design for the Body

Want to skip the steps and see a video? Check it out!

Everybody's design will be a little different based on the size and shape of their neck, as well as the size and shape of tie they prefer. There are no real rules here, I have even seen the body of the tie cut in the shape of a mustache.

For some general guidelines though, I made mine 4 inches across. I used 2 inches for the hight of my bows, and made the center knot section 1"x1". To insure uniformity find a center point on your would and make all markings and measurements from this point. This means for a 4 in bow tie, you will need to measure 2" from the center to each outside. If you are not so used to drawing designs, start on a piece of paper, and play around with designs till you find one you like.

After finding a design I liked, I made a wooden template because I plan on making more of these. I then used the template to draw the designs on my stock.

Step 3: Step 2: Cutting the Bow Tie Out, and Sanding

I used a scroll saw, but a bandsaw or coping saw will work just as well. Just remember you are cutting this stock, and there is the chance of messing it up if you do not hold it well. The cutting is simple, but you need to go slow and cut on the line. The reason I am suggesting you cut on the line is because and type of sander can really destroy the edges of the body. Since hand sanding will be the prescription here, cut close to keep sanding to a minimum.

When I sanded I used a sheet of 220, 350ish, and then 1500 grit. The 1500 grit is not a necessity here, but the smoothness and gloss that this final sanding provides really gives it a professional touch.

Step 4: Step 3: the Knot

For the knot you will use a thin strip of wood or veneer. For us woodworkers, this project helps us get rid of some exotic hardwood scraps. For all of the non-woodworker types (gasp), you could always call a friend that has the woodworking addiction and see if he has scraps. Other than those resources you could buy veneer, but that would run the cost of the project up. Another interesting idea would be edge molding for the formica countertops.

Using the body of the bow tie, trace out the shape you need on the knot material, and then trim. I prefer to use a sharp razor knife for this procedure.

If you have used a edging for the knot you can then iron it on to the bow tie, but I have tried that and it is not easy to do. You have to try to line up the knot where you need it, and then heat it with an iron without moving the material. Of course you could use an oversized piece, and trim it after you heated it.

If you went the other route and used a non-adhesive backed veneer or scrap wood, then you can just use super glue to glue it in place. This is the road that I followed. It only takes a minute or so to dry, so if you are making a lot of bow ties, then this speeds up the process.

Step 5: Step 4: Finishing

For my bow tie I used a spray lacquer, this is the fasted and easiest route for applying a finish. However you can use a variety of finishes. I would stay away from oils and waxes though. You don't want to find an imprint of the tie on your white shirt.

Next I position the alligator clip on the back of the tie. Make sure you do this slightly of center. Then middle of the mouth, needs to be in the middle of the knot area. This insures it will sit right when you put it on. I then used a pencil to mark the position, leaving a small square on the back of the bow. This little step helps me know where to put the glue, and easily line up the clip for gluing. A good dab of hot glue in the square, and press the alligator clip into place.

Thats it your done.

Now go impress your friends!

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    12 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool bow tie!

    First instructable, too! Very nice. Hope you'll share lots more great stuff!

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is a very cool bowties ->http://www.ideedilegno.it/prodotti/papillon-legno


    Reply 4 years ago

    I took them from a video I made, I will take separate pictures next time.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks Mom, it's great to have supportive parents :)