Sunday, April 24, 2011

How-to Bow Tie tutorial!

Oh gosh, I have fallen for bow ties recently.
I mean, I have always been a very bow-y person, but recently, with all the nice shirts I have acquired from op shops, I just love to dress them up with some geek chic.

I tried my hand at making a bowtie on Saturday- I was going out shopping + wanted to look cute! This is something I whipped up in five minutes before heading out- you're more than welcome to sew instead of using a hot glue gun, if you have the patience/a good sewing machine! I think the best thing about this tutorial, is it's super adaptable; I have used this to make bows for clothing, accessories + even my hair! :D

Please please make sure you read the whole tutorial before giving it a crack to ensure maximum success ;D

Okay, so you will need:

- A piece of fabric, preferably longer than it is wide. You'll see why when you read through :)
- A scrap of material for the middle bit

- Around 30cms of elastic/stretchy soft material
- A hot glue gun/hand sewing needle + thread/sewing machine
- Embellishments! They're half the fun!

How to:

1. Take your main piece of fabric + fold the end in about an inch. Glue/sew in place. This is to give the edges of the bow a rounded look + reduce fraying etc. Repeat on the other side- you should have something that looks like this:

2. Fold down the top edges, about 5mm or so, and glue/sew in place. Again, to stop fraying + to give the bow a more rounded + structured look. 

Yeah, it looks dodgy as shit- but do you know how hard it is to glue + shoot a tutorial? Stupid hot glue dries so fast! :P

3. Flip your fabric over + fold into a concertina. Basically, you want it to look like an M on the side- with the top and bottom seam both facing back. It takes a bit of wrangling, but I am sure you'll cope :D

4. See where my fingers are pinching the middle of the bow? This bit is probably the trickiest bit to the whole tutorial. What you need to do, is take your elastic/soft stretchy material, drape it over the middle + tie it in a tight knot at the back of the bow. This will give your bow it's shape, but will also be what you use to tie around your neck.
Okay, so once you have the initial knot, tie another one. This will make sure it's good + tight! This is where you cut off the excess 'tails' IF you want to make a bow to attach to a clip, but for a bowtie, leave it alone! Your bow should look something like this:

Yeah, I used a scrap of jeans material. It's super stretchy!

5. Flip your bow over. Bows usually have that middle bit, right? This is where your scrap fabric comes in. Usually I make mine to match, but I kind of like the colour difference. I spruced mine up by attaching a stud- but you can wait til you've finished the bow to decorate if you aren't using fiddly things like studs :)

Put a nice blob of glue on the middle bit, press your chosen fabric + glue in place. Or sew, if that's your deal :) Trim off excess ends + secure in place with extra 

6. Decorate to how you see fit! I'd love to see what you come up with :)

Viola! You have your very own bow tie to love + to wear! My finished product is modelled by my very fetching cuddle buddy, Vincent- I went with a kind of half assed polka dotting ;D

Me modelling my five minute faux leather attempt that inspired this tutorial! :D

I kind of look like an alternative used car salesman from some whacked out sitcom. But I can deal with that!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial- if you need any help at all, don't hesitate to contact me or drop me a line in the comments. Happy bow tie-ing adventures!




  1. i love wearing bow tie!
    congrat your's is so cool

  2. i love your blog, you always have some really cool tips and lovely photos. keep it up :) I think i may have to make one of these :)

  3. Loved it!
    Thanks for the step by step pics too Z - very easy to follow.
    I'm going to try and make one of out shaggy faux fur in an ostentatious shade like apple green!

  4. You really look amazing, and with a bow tie even more amazing!! <3