diy mens tie into a boys bow tie

We all have a little man in our lives. Whether it’s your son, your nephew, or the neighbor, you probably know a little boy. Dressing little boys is sometimes a challenge. As the mother of three young boys, I feel like sometimes I go to the store and the girl’s clothes and accessories are fun and inexpensive, and everything I like in the boys department is overpriced or has puppies or words all over the front. Not my thing.

During Easter, I set out to find bow ties for my little guys. I wanted something that looked good but was inexpensive and easy to put on. To my dismay, everything I found was out of my price range, looked cheesy, or I didn’t like the way it clipped on. That’s when I took matters into my own hands. For the price of one men’s necktie I can make two bow ties! This is how I did it.IMG_0412_zpsb0d14f2d copy

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What you’ll need: One men’s necktie, scissors, pins, needle and thread, and velcro. A sewing machine is handy in this project but you can do it without as well.

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First, measure out 10-12 inches on the thicker end of the necktie. I like a large, fairly fat bow tie, but if you have a toddler or you like a slimmer bow tie, you can adjust accordingly. IMG_0345_zps66ba557b copy

Cut the tie straight across. This might give you a little heart attack, but I promise it’s ok.

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Now you’ll fold the cut portion into thirds, cut side under the finished side.

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Pinch the bow tie with your fingers to create the look you’re going for. Take your needle and thread and push the needle up through the middle of the bow tie. Once you pull the thread all the way to the knot in the end of your thread, wrap the thread around the middle of the tie, cinching it tightly. Then, run the needle back through the middle and tie off.

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Now measure and cut about 4-5 inches on the tail end of your men’s necktie. You’ll use this to cover the middle portion.

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Take the small portion of the tie you just cut and rough stitch the cut side to the back portion of your bow tie. This doesn’t have to be pretty because you’re just going to cover it up, but make sure it’s secure.

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Now wrap that portion around the middle of the bow tie and really pull it tight. This can be a little tricky, so get a good grip and turn the bow tie to make sure you like the way it looks. Fold under the excess tie and whip stitch it into place. Again, this doesn’t have to look pretty because no one will see it.

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At this point you have a few options. For the part that goes around the neck you can either use pieces of the actual necktie, or some grosgrain ribbon. Since I was making two bow ties from one necktie, I used ribbon. I measured my son’s neck and decided 16 inches was good for a four-year-old. I cut long pieces of velcro so I had wiggle room with how tight I wanted the tie around his neck, and sewed the strips on using my machine. If you don’t have a sewing machine you can hand sew these pretty easily, or maybe even use some fabric glue. After the velcro was all sewn, I attached the ribbon to the center portion of the bow tie with four quick stitches in the middle of the bow tie.

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Easy and quick and done in a flash. The boy can even put the bow tie on himself! The other good news is that  if someone yanks on it, it comes right off and isn’t a choking hazard for your little buddy.

One necktie plus a little bit of time equals two bow ties for the little men in your life!

diy mens tie into a boys bow tie

Emily Fonnesbeck signature

  1. May 3rd, 2013 at 8:15 am
    Missy says:
    These are ADORABLE! ...and green - repurpose Dad's ties with the little stains that won't come out in stead of throwing them away. Looks easy to do as well. Thanks!
    • May 8th, 2013 at 11:53 am
      Emily Fonnesbeck says:
      The orange tie in the tutorial was one I bought for my husband and it had the teeeeenist tiniest black dot on it, so he said no way. Hello bow ties!
  2. May 3rd, 2013 at 9:03 am
    Sara says:
    I love this idea!
  3. May 3rd, 2013 at 2:20 pm
    Cristi Dame says:
    My husband has WAY TOO MANY ties that he never wears...this is perfect!!! And so easy!! I can't wait to do it!
  4. May 3rd, 2013 at 5:19 pm
    Allison says:
    Oh I'm soooo excited! I was drooling over some of the cute bow ties at Easter but at $20+ a pop x 4 boys who would need matching ties I kept walking! Now with two ties I can get 4 ties! You ROCK! :) Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to try it!
    • November 6th, 2014 at 7:39 pm
      Greta says:
      Love creative people. I have a 4 year old grandson and his mom looked for a nice tie for a wedding reception. Now this helps me. Thanks
  5. May 3rd, 2013 at 5:41 pm
    Tara says:
    These are too cute! I'm having my first boy (after two girls) in September, and I've been a little bummed shopping for him. It seems like everything for boys either has sports balls or monkeys all over it, or like you said, is too expensive! But these are adorable, I'm definitely going to be whipping out some of these!
    • May 8th, 2013 at 11:55 am
      Emily Fonnesbeck says:
      Congrats! I have loved having boys, and it's a trick to dress them inexpensively with my "champagne taste on a beer budget" style. I buy quite a few plain shirts from Walmart and do a lot of freezer paper stenciling with cheap acrylic paint. It's awesome!
  6. May 3rd, 2013 at 6:08 pm
    Angela says:
    Love it! This is the best and easiest bow tie tutorial I've seen yet! Excited to get started on some! Now, if you can tell me where to find short sleeved, white dress shirts for little boys you'll be my new best friend! I can never find nice ones for my 3 year old.
    • May 8th, 2013 at 11:51 am
      Emily Fonnesbeck says:
      I know it! Of course while I was scrambling to find new Easter outfits for my boys I couldn't find the size I needed. Then, while shopping for chocolate at Walmart, I actually came across a short sleeved, button down collar white oxford for my four year old, and there were smaller sizes too! I snatched one of those and it has worn, washed, and ironed well.
  7. May 3rd, 2013 at 9:53 pm
    Shelley says:
    Such a brilliant idea!!!
  8. May 5th, 2013 at 6:00 am
    jennifer says:
    What a great idea, great pics, and actually acheivable. Did I miss how you made two from one, though? I only see how to use a whole necktie for one bowtie...
    • May 8th, 2013 at 11:49 am
      Emily Fonnesbeck says:
      You didn't miss it! I didn't include the second bow tie in the post. Since you only use the end of the tie, you can make another bow tie from the middle section. It will be a bit slimmer, and you might have to unpick the necktie and adjust the width, but you can definitely get two. You'll use the same method and again, use the tail end for the "wrap-around" middle section. Let me know if you have any questions!
  9. May 26th, 2013 at 8:26 pm
    Dougie Dad says:
    I am thrilled to find this, thank-you for sharing it.
    Now me and my boy can wear matching ties to my wedding!
  10. August 3rd, 2013 at 4:58 pm
    Felipe says:
    This is great!! How would you measure for a mens boetie??
  11. September 23rd, 2013 at 10:23 pm
    Allison says:
    I did it, I finally did it! I pinned this so long ago and then just haven't tried. I should have done this a long time ago! Thanks for the easy tutorial! I linked back to you in my post with my "brag pics". :)
  12. October 31st, 2013 at 1:51 pm
    Lydia says:
    Thank you!!! My son needed a bow tie to go with his "nerd" Halloween costume, but I couldn't find a cheap one anywhere! Made this with an old Salvation Army tie in less than 1o minutes!
  13. December 28th, 2013 at 12:00 am
    Amanda says:
    I have been looking for an easy hand-sew version since I do not machine sew! So glad I found this.
  14. March 6th, 2014 at 12:02 am
    Macharia Vincent says:
    Wooow...!!! You are such a Fashion icon...!!! This tips of how to make a bowtie using a necktie is Brilliant. Thank you for your Creativity because am now the coolest dude in one of Kenyan University.
  15. July 6th, 2014 at 8:47 pm
    noell says:
  16. August 26th, 2014 at 9:58 am
    Nikki R says:
    I can't wait to try these!!!
  17. September 12th, 2014 at 4:25 am
    Nona says:
    Can these bow ties be made for Men?
  18. March 16th, 2015 at 8:00 pm
    Corrie - Quilt Taffy says:
    Absolutely adorable. Both the boy & the ties. Emily, thanks for sharing directions & your tips!
  19. July 26th, 2015 at 8:55 am
    Tavette says:
    Very nice. My question is the same as Jennifer's - how to get 2 bow ties from 1 tie. On the 1st tie you use both pointed ends, so what do you use on the 2nd one as you'll only have the middle part of the tie left.? Thanks.

    Tavette - S. Fla.
  20. November 8th, 2015 at 4:25 am
    Julie says:
    Hi. I love your post and of all the diy bow ties I've seen this seems like the best. I can't wait to try it out. I'm just a bit confused as to how you get two bow ties out of the one tie. Are you meaning one from the fat end and one from the skinny tie end? Then using the middle bit as the wrap around?
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