Sew Cute: Bow Bolo Tie

I tend to collect accessories. To the point where I’m pretty sure I could stand to reorganize, since I can’t find my dresser under all of those studded bracelets, dangling earrings, and heart-shaped lockets (I never pass up a heart-shaped locket). But one of my most prized accessories isn’t flashy at all. It’s a bolo tie that I found while sorting through my late grandmother’s jewelry box. The piece is simple, just a green cord with a small charm to link it. My grandmother tended to dress in a way that was more comfortably casual than high fashion, and that bolo tie perfectly represents her to me.

As I was thinking of ways to update my wardrobe for the new year, I kept coming back to my grandmother’s bolo tie. It’s such a perfect blend of masculine and feminine, a small touch that adds a big impact to a basic blouse. I’ve seen a particularly sweet take on the traditional bolo tie with a bow pop up a few places on the internet, and decided to try my hand at making one for myself. I’m happy to report that this craft is super easy—you can go from nothing to tie in under an hour flat. Plus, since it uses so little fabric, it’s a fun way to use up some of the scraps you might have hanging around from other projects!


  • Piece of paper
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Felt or other sturdy fabric
  • Leather cord
  • Thread in a corresponding color to the felt
  • Basic sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Straight pins

Craft away:

  • Draw a bow-tie shape on the paper, 1.5 inches wide at the sides and 0.75 inches wide at the center.
  • Draw two rectangles, one 2 inches long by 0.5 inches wide, the other 1 inch long by 0.5 inches wide. Cut all three shapes out.
  • Trace the three shapes onto the felt, and then cut them out.
  • Pinch the center of the bow-tie piece to create creases on either side. Loop the larger rectangle around the middle of the bow tie and pin it in place.
  • Cut a couple of feet of thread and fold it in half, then thread the needle and tie a knot.
  • Using a simple in-and-out motion, stitch the rectangular piece in place around the bow-tie piece. Make sure your seam is in the back of the bow to hide your work.
  • Place the other rectangle horizontally across the seam you just stitched, and pin the two shorter ends in place.
  • Cut a 36-inch long piece of the leather cord.
  • Fold the cord in half, and slip each end of it under the piece of felt. Carefully stitch alongside the cords to enclose them in a narrow channel. Make sure you don’t stitch the cord by accident!
  • Remove the pins and knot each end of the cord.
  • Slip the completed bolo tie under the collar of your favorite blouse, adjust the bow, and show off your fresh new accessory!
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