Bow ties can be fun and also very fashionable. It can add a dash of fun to an otherwise boring outfit or a dollop of glamour to an evening outing. For the DIY enthusiasts the good news is that it is easy to make the bow tie at home and in a very short time too.


A bow tie is a great addition to your wardrobe but before you go buying one may be it helps to know that you can make one quite easily. Though the easiest option may be to buy bow ties online but some DIY enthusiast may just like to make one at home.



Looking back


The bow tie started becoming popular in the 18th and 19th centuries although their origin was somewhat less romantic. Croatian mercenaries are credited with the first bow tie which was actually a piece of fabric worn around on top of the collar to keep the shirt together. The French took the style home where the aristocracy really took to it and it became immensely popular as the cravat.



Old Time Neck Cloth



There is a bit of disagreement among fashion historians about how the bow ties came about-from cravats or on their own or whether they just inspired the evolution of the necktie in the long run.



The Style now

Bow ties are now available in a variety of avatars. There are clip-ons, the ones that need to be tied and pre-tied bow ties that just need to be tied at the back. The choice of fabric is also quite alluring and one is spoilt for choice between cotton, satin, and polyester and of course the quintessential silk ties.



Do it yourself

It is easy to make bow ties yourself-yes it is. If you are a fashion enthusiast or simply just love bow ties and can’t get enough, the best thing is to make it yourself. It’s not as difficult.  



The steps

  • 1) Choose the fabric: Decide on the type of fabric you want and which way the design or pattern should face for example the pattern that should be in the middle of the bow tie.
  • 2) Cut the fabric: Cut the fabrics into three pieces- two for the leaves and one for the centre band. Before cutting the pieces mark the wrong side of the fabrics for seams-1/2” for fabrics like silk which fray at the edges quickly and ¼” for the others. You can also use two pieces of fabric one which will be folded half way and a smaller one for the centre band. In the second case use a cloth 5” by 8” for the leaves and a 1 ½” by 4” cloth for the centre band.


Steps in Clip on Bow Ties



  • 3) The Folding: Fold the edges of both sides so that they meet in the middle, and then fold the top edge till halfway. Do the same for the bottom edge and fold till the middle. This will make the body of the bow.
  • 4) The centre band: Fold the smaller fabric similarly with the pattern facedown.
  • 5) The Pinch: Now pinch the body of the bow tie in the middle and stitch it in.
  • 6) The Wrap: Wrap the centre band around the middle of the body and stitch it on the back of the bow tie. Your DIY bow tie is ready to wear.  
  • 7) The Clip: Use a regular (single prong curled) clip through the back of the band and just clip on to the space just below the top button.
  • 8) Alternately: Instead of a regular clip, use a bow tie clip and stitch it on both sides of the bow tie’s back. Voila you are ready to wear it.


A great tip to make the bow tie crease hard as professional ones would be to put some hot glue in between the folds to keep them in place and to get the desired finish. While attaching the clip remember to insert it with the curved part facing the fabric so that the metallic part is visible outside.


It’s fun and easy to make and takes only an afternoon to finish. And if the steps have scared you, just buy bow ties, after all, it is about how you look, right!