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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to turn a men's tie into a boy's tie

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Each Sunday for church my son used to wear a little clip-on tie, which meant it got dirty, fast!
I cleaned it a couple of times, but after a while it just got bad.
I looked around for little boys ties for a while, and I finally bought one online that had the elastic around the neck.
It ended up being a little short, but it was better than the dirty one.
Well, last week as my husband was getting ready for work, I saw him throw a tie into the garbage.
Shocked and horrified that all of that fabric was going to waste, I ran over and grabbed it out.
My husband has had this tie for a couple of years, and it has some stains on it. My husband told me it wasn't worth it to have it dry cleaned because it was a cheaper tie.
I decided right then and there to turn my husband's tie into a tie for our son.
I was so excited with my new challenge, and I think it turned out pretty well for my first attempt.
I was going to make a 'fake' tie, (you know, the ones with the elastic around the neck), but my husband said it would be better to make it into a 'real' tie, that was as our son grows, the tie is adjustable.
So, real tie it is.
Here's my little guy modeling the finished product for us.
I just want to let you all know that I tied that tie all by myself!
I was very proud.
*There are a lot of pictures, and I will try to explain my process as best I can.
Here is my husband's tie before we got started.
I started out by placing my son's tie on top of my husband's tie to find a spot where it was the same size across. This way it would just make it easier. I also had to make sure there weren't any stains on this part, and thankfully there weren't. 
 I then cut off the excess bottom part I wouldn't need anymore. (The piece I cut off ended up being 12")
(I took the little tag part off the back that holds the 'tail' when the tie is tied, and saved it for later).
 Turn the tie over and just pull the thread out that was holding the tie together. DO NOT cut off this thread, you will use it again.
 Fold the bottom of the tie in half, right sides together and sew a straight line about 1" across. I used my sewing machine only because I thought I would be using it for the rest of the process, but I ended up just hand-stitching everything else, so this part can be hand-stitched as well. 
This will make the point at the bottom of the tie.
Flip the tie back over and it should look like this.
A point at the very bottom, and two flaps.
 Fold one of the side flaps in, and do the same with the other side. 
If you have a design on the tie, make sure it matches up now.
 Using an iron, press everything so it has nice crisp lines and edges. 
 Next, take the part sticking out and fold it over (see below).
The tie should just fold naturally since we didn't change the size.
Fold over the other side as well and iron it all again to make sure everything is flat and neat.
 Now take the thread that you pulled through earlier and a needle and using a whip stitch, close up the tie. 
(see below)
Finished back
Finished front
 If the tie is the right length for your child, then you are done!
If not, continue reading :)
See those stitches across the tie? When the tie is tied, those stitches are located at the back of the neck, hidden under the shirt collar. This is where I made the length adjustment.
First I just unpicked the stitches
Take the half with the 'tail' part of the tie, or the end, and pull the thread through that was holding the back together. Keep this thread, you will use it again.
I pulled it all the way out to unfold the tie, it was easier to make the next cut this way, but you don't have to pull the thread all of the way out.
When it's unfolded (or at least the top part where you are going to cut), it will look diagonal, lay the two pieces of fabric on top of each other and cut off the amount you want, keeping the cut at the same angle (see below)
I ended up cutting off 11" (this is the piece I cut off, do you see the angles?)
Take the two pieces of tie (both pieces should have a tie end), and pin them together. 
They should be pretty easy to line up since we kept all of the same lines/angles.
I just hand-stitched it around. 
I obviously did not do a professional job on this part, the stitches kind of look Frankenstein-ish I know :)
But it's ok, no one is going to see this part anyways!
Once the two pieces are connected take the thread, and using the same method that was originally used (whip stitch), close the tie back up.

The adjustment is all finished. 
If you want you can iron this part out as well, it will make it look better than my picture below, but again, no one will see this part, so I didn't iron it.
I then sewed the little tag thing on the back that holds the 'tail' in place.
 The finished product. (see how it still has the original 'tail' part?)
It sounds like a lot of work, but the whole process only took me about 40 minutes, and my main chunk of time was trying to decide how long the tie needed to be. (And I was taking so many pictures!!)

In all I ended up cutting off  23" of the tie.
My son's tie ended up being 42" long.

My son LOVES his new tie!
He is very excited that he gets to wear his daddy's tie :)


  1. such a great idea. It looks so great, Michelle!

  2. Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I am sure I will be using this tutorial for my 2 boys soon. :)

  3. I love this idea! The store bought ties for my son always seem to be too short for my tall boy, so I love the idea for making them adjustable. Just wanted to let you know that this will be featured on Someday Crafts tomorrow. Be sure to check it out :)

  4. Awesome tutorial! (Stopped over from someday crafts.)
    Tonight I am going to subtly hint to my hubby that he has too many ties. Our little boys could use some for sure!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. This is SO AWESOME I just pinned, and I Love you, for this inspiration, I have 5 boys...

  6. Thank you for this great tutorial. I am currently in the process of making ties for my grandson. We aren't sure which tie he is going to leave on the longest, so I will make one clip-on, and one that will tie, as this one does. We know he won't keep on the zippered ties. When I finish them, I will post them on my blog,

  7. Great tutorial!! I've featured it over at Craft Gossip.


  8. Wow! This is very impressive! Great tutorial, Michelle!

  9. That is some creativity. Really liked it, now won't be spending money to get my son a new tie when I can convert mine into his

  10. Thank you so much! We have searched for ties for my preteen son and can't find what fits. I was ready to try on my own, when my daughter (14yo) found your website. You saved me so much time and headache! Now he has 3 ties and is really thankful. Bonus points that 2 of them belonged to the grandfather we all miss so much. Thank you!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad this was a helpful post for you!! That is awesome that he has those momentos now, thank you for your kind comments ❤️


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