Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Little Bow Ties for Little Boys

If you had told me ten years ago that I would be sitting down to type a tutorial on how to make bow ties for little boys, I would have said something along the lines of, "HAHAHAHAHAH!! HOOOHOOOHOOOO!!! THAT'S HILARIOUS! THERE'S NO WAY I'LL BE WASTING MY TIME WITH THAT!" But I say to you, past Miriam, "It takes all kinds. And don't dye your bangs black in a few years. It's not as trendy as you think."

Let's begin!

What you'll need:

  • Sharp scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Alligator or hair clips
  • Double sided fabric tape
  • 1/3 or 1/4 yard fabric (I recommend Hobby Lobby - their fabric is cheaper and usually more adorable)
  • Felt (an 8 1/2" x 11" piece should get you through about 5 or 6 bow ties)
  • Iron and ironing board
Cut your fabric about 3 inches wide and the length of the fabric, forming a long rectangle. Fold and iron down all the edges so they'll be nice and fray-free. I fold over a little less than 1/4" if you need some measurements.

You'll be making nice clean corners too, so fold the ends to get them ready to tape down. Fold down the corners just like you're wrapping a present.

Place the tape on the fabric above the crease and press down firmly. Peel off the back of the tape and fold the corner down. Make sure you press down firmly. 

Do this to all four corners and you'll end up with something like this:

Ah. Nice clean corners. Now, fold the fabric into about thirds, or however you long want the bow tie to be. If you're using 1/3 yard, you should be able to fold it into exact thirds. 

Scissors for scale. I like to iron it just for a few seconds so I have some creases that mark the length when I unfold it for the next step.

Cut a piece of felt to fit inside the fabric rectangle you've just created. This will help the fabric keep its shape and will make the bow tie a bit beefier. Which is a good thing. Close the fabric back up so it's ready for pinching.

Next, cut a small strip of matching (or not matching, I don't judge!) fabric and fold and iron down the long sides. This is going to be the middle of the bow tie; the tie of the bow tie, if you will.

Find about the middle of the large piece and pinch the top and bottom together to make the bow. You can adjust this later so don't worry if it's not perfect.

Wrap the small strip of fabric around the middle.

Here's a nice preview of the bow tie. Adjust as necessary. I'm terrible at guessing the middle of things so I usually have to move things around quite a bit to get it just right.

Now comes the permanent part, so make sure you're happy with your tie before you move on. Flip the bow over and put a nice little glob of hot glue in the middle. Open your clip and put the bottom half of the clip in the glue. Then fold over the small strip of fabric so it covers the bottom of the clip. Close the clip on top of it.

It should then look like this:

Wait for it to cool and then snip off the extra fabric from the top strip.

Open the clip again, and put another glob of hot glue, smaller this time, in the middle so you can tack down the bottom strip. Fold up the bottom strip and then close the clip. It should then look like this:

Wait for it to cool and snip off the extra fabric from the bottom strip.

Flip it over (DUH!) and voila! You have one adorable bow tie for one adorable boy.

We moms of boys accessorize where we can, and bow ties are one of my favorite things for little boys to wear. Thankfully my 2 year old loves wearing them, because in the immortal words of the Doctor, "Bow ties are cool."

And just in case you want to pin it, here's a nice little graphic: