The Art of Darkness

Fun with Neckties

April 21st, 2015 by Cobwebs

Necktie ScarfWay back in the Cretaceous Era 80s, when I was a young lass with much more time than money, I saw a clothing store window display featuring vests with neckties appliqued to the front; the ties were cut in half and stitched at an angle, with the wide front* on one side and the skinnier end on the other, so they gave the illusion of wrapping around the whole vest. I thought, “Heck, I could do that,” so I went to the thrift store and got a secondhand vest and a bunch of interesting neckties and did. For way, way less money than the originals cost. I’ve made several of them since; they’re an attractive gift that can be made in an afternoon, and it’s fun to match the necktie patterns to the recipients’ tastes. To make one, simply cut the ties in half at an angle, remove the weird core fabric that’s used for stiffening, and slipstitch the tie halves to the front of the vest; turn the raw ends under at the seam where the vest fronts meet the vest back (or if you’re feeling really ambitious, pull out the stitching there, tuck the raw ends inside, and re-stitch).

I was reminded of the vests recently when I saw this tutorial for a corset belt made of old neckties. Ties are a great crafting resource: They’re usually made of nice, silky material (sometimes actually silk), they come in every color and pattern imaginable, and they’re available dirt cheap at thrift stores. It’s easy to find secondhand ties in gothy colors, but if you want something special just google “Halloween neckties” to find retailers: Tie Guys,, Absolute Ties, and Zazzle have lots to choose from.

There are a zillion different projects which use repurposed neckties. In addition to the lace-edged scarf in the photo above (which Pinterest credited to Etsy shop Creative Restorations, although they don’t carry it now), you can make handbags, roses, quilts, skirts, and even a decoupaged mirror. You can make necktie snakes and pretty pumpkins. Decorate with necktie throw pillows, lampshades, and wreaths. If none of those appeal, google “necktie crafts” to find a plethora of other ideas.

These projects are also a wonderful way to create mementos from ties with special meaning: The necktie your husband wore on your first date, or the favorite tie of a deceased relative.

Bonus: By dint of their source material necktie crafts involve relatively small pieces of fabric, so the same design ideas can also be used for other scrap fabric you might have on hand. Projects like the corset belt and stripey pumpkins would be a great way to use scrap Halloween fabric.

*Not that any tie was particularly wide in the 80s. We had skinny neckties and pastel men’s shirts and we liked it that way. Now get off my lawn.

Posted in Paint It Black | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Pixel Pixie Says:

    I’d like to take a moment to Tanta out my mother throwing away all my Jellies when I was in kindergarten.

  2. xJane Says:

    Those quilts look like they must be so warm! Also, loving some of those belts—perfect steampunky accents.

  3. Cat Says:

    I totally pinned this.

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