Bow tie DIY—wear them and make them!

Intrepid Hallmark industrial designer Alexandra Sperrazza is back on the blog today with a very timely sartorial lesson and DIY craft project for the dads in your life. 

How to make your own bow tie for Father's Day |

Shopping for a Father’s Day gift is something I always struggle with. I usually end up getting my dad a gift card to buy fishing gear. While he does really enjoy fishing gear, I always wanted to give him something a little more personal that would remind him of our special relationship throughout the year. He wears a suit and tie every day to work, but I’ve never seen him wear a bow tie. So when I started making them as a hobby, and he expressed interest in them, I surprised him with one for Father’s Day. Over the years, he’s received several from me. He always sends a #selfie when he’s donning one of my creations (his name is Ralph, so he calls them #Ralphies).

With Father’s Day swiftly approaching, I’m here to help you learn to tie a bow tie and teach you to make your very own clip on bow tie to gift the dad in your life.

A lot of people are really intimidated about tying a bow tie but it’s really nothing to be scared of. First, pop the collar. We don’t want it to get in the way of bow-tie fun. Place the bow tie around the neck so that one side is visibly longer than the other side. Criss cross the ends, with the longer side over the shorter side. Fold the longer side back and under the shorter side and pull through. Give it a good tug so it’s tight and then fold the shorter side in half. The longer side comes over the halved side then back around and through the knot. Don’t pull all the way through. Now you have a tied bow tie! Pat yourself on the back but don’t celebrate too much, ’cause we’re not quite done. The most important part about tying a bow tie is the fluffing and tightening at the end. Pull the looped ends to tighten, you may have to readjust and do this several times. When you’ve gotten it to a good place, fluff away. Fold down the collar. Voila! You’ve just tied a darn good-looking bow tie.

Making your own clip-on bow tie is another great way to celebrate Father’s Day, especially if you have a little dude in the house who loves matching with dad. We have a free template for you to download to help with this DIY Dad project.

Make your own clip-on bow tie |

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ yard of fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Clip
  • Glue gun
  • Sewing machine

Here’s what to do:

Make your own clip-on bow tie | step one |

1. Print and cut out the pattern that we’ve provided. You’ll cut both pieces on the bias. An easy way to find the bias is to fold a corner of the fabric back at a 45 degree angle. Pin the template along the fold. Unfold the fabric and cut your pieces.

Make your own clip-on bow tie | step two |

2. You’ll need two pieces of the long part and one of the short one. Take your long pieces and place together so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing out and the right side is in. With the fabric I’ve chosen, it’s hard to tell the difference between the wrong and right side, but with a printed fabric, you’ll be able to tell for sure. Sew three of the sides, long/short/long, with ¼ inch seam allowance. You should be left with one short side open. Take the little piece and fold it in half, lengthwise. Run it through the machine with ¼ inch seam allowance.

Make your own clip-on bow tie | step three |

3. Turn both pieces right side out.

Make your own clip-on bow tie | step four |

4. Take both pieces over to the ironing board to press out the seams so they’re nice and crisp.

Make your own clip-on bow tie | step five |

5. For the open end on the larger piece, tuck the edges in and then press them with the iron.

Make your own clip-on bow tie | step six |

6. Fold the large piece in half and sew the short ends together. Take the small, center piece and fold in half so that the edges are overlapping. Run through the machine.

Make your own clip-on bow tie | step seven |

7. You should have two loops of fabric now. Turn both right side out, so that the seams are on the inside.

Make your own clip-on bow tie | step nine |

8. Accordion-fold the larger loop and slide the smaller one over it until it is aligned in the center. You’re almost finished!

Make your own clip-on bow tie | step three |

9. Heat up your glue gun. Slide your open clip under the center loop. Add a dot of glue to either side of the clip and press down onto the fabric. You’re done!

Make your own clip-on bow tie |

Photographs by Lindsay Tippett.

Share your own Father’s Day gift ideas and bow-tie creations with us on Instagram: @think.make.share.


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