How to Make A Bow Tie

And you thought we only made girls’ stuff!  As I mentioned, we had the amazing honor of creating these bow ties for a little website you may have heard of called Martha Stewart, and as you mentioned, you’d like the tute.  So here is our free bow tie pattern for you!

See the whole gorgeous shoot on Martha Stewart Weddings here and get the full DIY for how to sew a clip-on bowtie for a boy after the jump…

How to Make A Bowtie

You’ll need some fabric and a teensy bit of lightweight interfacing for the bow, and for the strap you’ll need a set of bow tie accessories (one 7/8″ slider and one clip set).  There are three sections to this DIY, two different ways to sew a bow tie, then how to sew the bow tie strap.  See the measurements for each item below.

Simple Bow Tie & Double Bow Tie

These two use the same method but the big one doubles up. Make ’em any size you want, I like them a little big to give the boy a funky look.

1.  For each bow tie cut two rectangles of fabric 1/4″ bigger then you want your finished bow tie to be.  Mine are 4.25″ X 3.25″ for the small one.  For the big one I also cut two pieces 6.25″ X 5.25″.  You’ll also need a piece of fabric for the center of the bow tie 2″ wide X 3″ long. I eyeballed it after the fact but it should be double the width you want it to be plus 1/2″ and the length plus 1/2″.

2.  Cut a piece of lightweight double-sided interfacing 1/4″ smaller then the fabric and iron it to the wrong side of one rectangle.

3.  Leave the paper on the un-ironed side of your interfacing and pin your rectangles right sides facing.

Sew all the way around the edge with 1/8″ seam allowance, leaving a hole in the center of one long side for turning, then remove the paper from the interfacing and trim the corners:

Turn it inside out, push the corners out as sharp as you can, and fold the edges under at the turning hole.  Iron it flat, which will attach the interfacing to both sides and give you a stiff rectangle:

4.  Now take your small piece of fabric and fold it in half the long way right sides facing and sew a tube.  Turn it right side out and iron it flat with the seam in the middle:

Fold it in half right sides facing and sew together along the short side like so (ignore my huge seam allowance, I cut it off after as I was eyeballing it):

Iron the seam flat:

Turn it right side out:

Take your bow (or two bows) and fold them accordion style:

and slip your tube over them.  Arrange your bow tie to your liking:

You’re done:

Double Fold Bow Tie

This one is my favorite and also the easiest!

1.  Cut two long pieces of fabric, double the length you want your bow tie plus 1/2″ and the width your want your bow tie plus 1/4″.  So for mine I cut two pieces of fabric 12.5″ long by 3.5″ wide.

2.  Cut a piece of lightweight double-sided fusible interfacing the size of your finished bow tie (3″x6″ for mine) and iron it to the wrong side of one piece of fabric in the center:

3.  Leave the paper on the un-ironed side of the interfacing and lay your two pieces of fabric right sides facing:

Sew around the two long sides and one short side:

Trim the corners, remove the paper from the interfacing, turn it inside out, poke out the corners, and fold the edges of the unfinished side under.  Iron it flat to fuse the interfacing to both sides:

4.  Decide which side is the front of your bow tie and fold it in half with that side to the inside:

 Sew up the short side:

You’ve created a tube.  Turn it inside out and align the seam to the middle of the back:

5.  Sew the tube as described in the simple bow tie above:

And slide it onto your bow tie with all the seam to the back:

You’re done!

Clip-on Bow Tie Strap

Now I only created one strap so these could all be interchangeable, but you could actually sew your bow tie to the strap if you wanted.  This strap is sizeable so it can grow with your boy!

1.  Cut a long piece of fabric for the strap.  If you know the neck measurement of the boy, make it about six-seven inches longer by 2″ wide (for a 7/8″ strap width).  I made mine so at it’s largest it would fit a 12″ neck circumference (the size of my neck), but could go down to 6″.  So I cut a piece 14″ long and 2″ wide.  It is a good idea to cut this on the bias.  Fold it in half the long way with right sides facing and pin:

Sew it together then loop turn it inside out with a loop-turner or safety pin:

Iron it flat with the seam in the middle:

2.  Slide your slider on in one side and out the other.  You are looking at the BACK of the neck strap in all of these pictures:

Now slide the receiving end of the clip on:

Then fold the end of the strap over and back through both sides of the slider:

Cut notches in the end of the strap:

Fold it under 1/4″, then another 1/4″, iron and sew in place:

On the other end of the strap, cut notches like above, fold 1/4″, then another 1/4″ and iron to hold the shape, but don’t sew yet:

Slide the clip on, making sure it is facing the right way to actually clip into the other side, fold it back up along your ironing lines, and sew in place:


Slide your bow tie on!

Yay!  These sound complicated and probably look that way from the instructions above, but really they were not.  Once you make one, you will want to make a million and might reconsider the usual position that it is more fun to sew for and dress girls.  I totally wish I had a little boy of my own to make 10 million of these for!




I whipped one up so my grandson could be Dr. Who for Halloween – took me a half-hour, but only because my first one was too small (and I poked thru the seam turning it right-side-out). Thanks for the instructions!

adriana martinez

This is kinda confusing. I was trying to make one for my grand daughter because she’s going to be a nerd but it’s not working.


Hi, do you have instructions if you just want to use a clip instead of making a bow tie strap? I am excited to try this!


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[…] from Prudent Baby made this awesome tutorial for making a child’s bow tie. One is never too young to develop a finely tuned fashion sense and je ne sais quoi, and we think […]

Grace Coffey

Lovely tie, I just finished one for my grandson and it is beyond cute. I was wondering, what fabric did you use? It is a lovely ok for boys to wear floral.

thanks for sharing the great tutorial.


just whipped one up for my son – quick, easy and SUPER cute! thanks for the great tutorial. my son will be the most dapper 2 year old at my friends wedding this weekend!

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how to tie a tie

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Hello! What kind of fabric? I bought 100% cotton from the fabric store and its so thin!!!

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Thank you!
Just made two for my boys for a wedding! Very easy and quick. I’d run out of fusible interfacing, but all seems fine without!


Nice guide, but it could stand to be clarified for the amateurs… for example should the interfacing have a 1/4 inch border of fabric around it, or should it be measured 1/4 inch smaller in each direction?
It’s too early to tell if I made the right call 😉


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