Boy Tie Tutorial: Making a Boy’s Tie from a Man’s Tie

If you complete a project based on this tutorial, I would love to see it posted it to my Flickr group:

A Spanish version of this tutorial is now available on Chica Perika
Versión española de Chica Perika

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boy tie tutorial

This weekend we attended a church wedding. I know, right? A wedding in a church! Maybe it’s because I spend my time with a bunch of hooligans and heathens, but this was actually the first church wedding (or even indoor wedding) I had been to since my own in 2001. And since it was held in fancy schmancy Newport Beach (of The OC fame), I had to dress all of my guys up in formal attire.
Now we’s simple folk and we don’t really go for them fancy clothes, and I don’t like spending big money on clothes I know will only be worn once or twice. So I hit up some consignment shops and overstock stores like Ross and Marshall’s and managed to throw together two formal outfits for my kids for under $30. The one thing I couldn’t find was a cute tie for Milo to match his hand-me-down navy pinstripe trousers. So I did what any crafty momma would do–found a $3 tie on clearance in the men’s section and made a few cuts and and stitches and managed to make a very cute boy’s tie.
This is how I done it:

Boy Tie Tutorial: Make a Boy’s Tie From a Man’s Tie

You will need:
A cheap men’s tie
piece of elastic cut to the size of the child’s collar
needle & thread
fabric scissors
steam iron
sewing machine (optional–all stitching can be done by hand)

Flip it over and remove all of the elements on the back, including labels and the little stitch that holds the back flaps together.

From the widest part of the tie, cut the tie to the desired finished length (you want the full length of the entire tie from the top of the “knot” portion to the tip, not just the length of the “tail” pieces). My tie was about 8″ long for a size 18-month outfit.

Place the narrow end of the tie against the back of your cut piece and cut it off to the desired length.

Cut off an additional piece from the narrow end to make your “knot” piece. It should be about 1/2 the length of the first piece you cut. For a fatter knot, cut it longer, for a skinnier knot, cut a bit shorter. The pictured knot piece is 4″ long.

To make the knot:
Set a steam iron to the “silk” setting.
Turn the knot piece over so that the back flaps are facing up. Fold the left side towards the center at a slight angle and press flat with the steam iron.
Do the same to the right side. The left and right sides should slightly overlap each other.
When you flip the knot over it should look like the second picture above–a trapezoid that is longer on the top than on the bottom.
Still working from the back, tuck the overhanging pieces down to make a little pocket and press with the iron.
When you flip it over, the finished knot piece should look like the last picture in the series above.

Place the large tail piece right side down and open it up.

Fold the bottom side up and at a slight angle to the desired width of your finished tie. Press with the iron and cut off the excess material in a straight line across the back of the tie.

Flip the tie over, folding the other side under at a matching angle. When the tie is the desired width and the angles are correct, press with the iron.

Flip the tie back over and cut the excess material off in a straight line that slightly overlaps the bottom flap. Make a small stitch by hand, stitching these two flaps together. This small stitch is very important, as it will keep the tie from opening up and falling apart on you!

Place the second, smaller tail piece right-side down onto the larger tail piece (also right-side down). Line the tops of the tail pieces together and either machine or hand stitch them together. Trim the top so that the raw edge is even and straight.
Also, make sure that the small tail piece has a small stitch keeping it’s flaps together, too. If it does not, make one small stitch to hold the two flaps together the same way you did with the large tail piece.

Make a dimple in the tail by curving the top as shown above and running a piece of thread through to hold the shape. Tie off the thread.

It should look like this.

Place the knot piece right-side down and open up the top flap. Place the tail pieces right side down and re-close the flap. Hand stitch the top flap to the tails.

Like this!

Re-fold and re-tuck the knot so that it closes over the tail and hand stitch the back. Make sure your thread goes through the tail and stitches everything together, but doesn’t show through the front of the tie.

Run a piece of thread through the bottom of the knot piece and tie a knot in the thread to cinch it together.

It should be pinched like the above picture. Secure with a double knot.

Sew a piece of elastic to the back of your new tie. The elastic piece should be just slightly smaller than the collar of the child’s shirt. It should fit just a little bit snugly, but be very careful not to make it too tight! You could also use a piece of matching ribbon that closes with velcro in the back.
Alex of Crafting with My Cubs has a great tutorial for an alternative closure using velcro instead of elastic.

Finally, find a super cute baby and put your new tie on him. Now every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man!
By the way, I think it would be really cute to have a matching tie for Daddy. It would make a great Father’s Day gift.


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48 Responses to Boy Tie Tutorial: Making a Boy’s Tie from a Man’s Tie

  1. You lost me at “piece of elastic cut to the size of the child’s collar” but the tie looks great. You should be on Bravo, that clothing show, the name escapes me at the moment.

  2. thanks, this is JUST what i was looking for today, for a church program requirement this weekend and my 5-year-old-usually-non-tie-wearin-fella! I’m going to put it on my “to-do list because it’s so rockin” blog roll. thanks again.

  3. I love this!! Your blog came up at the top of a search I did, and I can’t wait to make it for my little guy. I knew it *must* be possible :) Thank you so much for the awesome tutorial!

  4. Rock on! I have been trying to figure out how to get my hands on a toddler skinny tie for my 14 month old’s Blues Brothers costume – this is perfect, thank you for the great tute! And I can’t wait to start cutting up Daddy’s ties for picture day…
    PS – your little men are too stinking cute!!!

  5. Okay, that is AMAZING awesome!!! I am so going to try this. You are the best. I am totally doing this. And blogging about it (giving the credit back to you of course). I am completely in love with this idea!

  6. Thanks so much for this tutorial! So easy to follow and so easy to do. I made ties for all 3 of my boys in an afternoon! They turned out amazing!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this! What a great idea! I have a terrible time trying to find ties that will fit my boys & my husband has a billion ties. I’m sure I can talk him into giving some up! Thanks again!

  8. Your little guys are TOO CUTE… what an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing it. I just happen to have an adorable blond-haired, blue-eyed 2-yr old cutie pie who needs some “new” ties!

    Kristy @ Homemaker’s Cottage

  9. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial! I just finished making ties for my two little boys. I asked their grandpa’s to each donate a few ties. Now they have a tie from Grandpa! They love it. Thank you!

  10. Thank you for the lovely tutorial. I just finished a tie for my little man. He is going to wear it tomorrow, which means I will have a photo up then. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I can’t thank you enough. I have seen a dozen tutorials on how to make ties from fabric, but none on repurposing a tie and my husband has at least a dozen he will not wear anymore. You are a Genius!! Thank, thank, thank!!

  12. Do you know your cute boy’s picture is being used in an advertisement for Kid to Kid (a children’s second hand store)? I never would have known it but I found your site by searching google for how to make a boys necktie and when I checked my email today there was that same picture from your post. (I’ll send you a link if you haven’t seen it already.)

    Anyway, the tie… It’s SO DARLING! Thank you for the great tutorial. My baby boy is turning 1 next month and I want cute pics of him in dressy clothes. I’m so excited to try this.

  13. Kari-No! I did not know that! Please do send me the link. I don’t mind people using the pic to link back to me, but I don’t want my pics used for advertisements without my approval. Thanks!

  14. Thanks! I contacted the corporate office and they were very nice and apologetic and told me that they usually use stock photos for their ads. Hopefully this will prevent them from using non-stock photos without permission in the future.

  15. Made my first attempt tonight…I think it’s pretty good. I’ll make another one and post a pic to your account. My knot didn’t turn out so great so I’ll have to improve it for the next one.

  16. Very good idea for little one’s ties!! For my older boy, who is 6, I just cut several inches off the large end of the tie following the angle. Fold the tip up straight and stitch, then fold in the angled sides and stitch to form a new triangle. Further up a mans tie is more narrow and is the perfect width for an older child. Of course you have to have Daddy tie it but it’s sooooo cute!

  17. I just made a tie for our 3 1/2 year-old ring bearer using your pattern and tutorial! It came out really well! Thanks so much for posting this! I’d post a picture to Flickr, but I don’t have an account. But if you can imagine plum paisley in little guy size, there you go! Thanks again!

  18. Thank you! While I didn’t need to convert a larger tie to a smaller tie, your tutorial helped me figure out how to create a tie for a dance recital costume. It saved me many tearful hours!

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Marigold Haske

I'm Marigold and I like to make stuff. Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! is a place where I share my love of DIY and working with my hands. You'll find projects for kids and adults that are quirky, fun, artful and functional.You can email me at