Discover how to create a DIY Denim Bow Tie in two unique ways, perfect for the stylish individual. It’s a fantastic project for upcycling your old jeans! Includes free bow tie pattern
Originally, the idea to craft a denim bow tie for my son was inspired by his school leavers’ party. Though the party was unfortunately cancelled, it didn’t stop us from proceeding with the plan.
I designed two distinct kinds of denim bows—one crafted from a repurposed jeans waistband and the other from denim scraps. While both creations were delightfully simple, each had a unique character: the waistband bow tie exuded a hipster charm. In contrast, the bow tie from denim scraps presented a cleaner, neater aesthetic.
These bows are perfect for neckties and double as cute hair bows or chic handbag embellishments. Or, for a dash of creativity, you can even use them as gift toppers, adding a personal touch to your gift wrapping.
(There is a printable how-to card for this craft at the end of the post.)
Making Upcycled Jeans Bows
What makes this project even more appealing is how little time and materials it requires. You can create these fun bow ties and the smallest amount of denim scraps in just a few minutes.
Even if you’re not an experienced seamstress, a few simple stitches—or even some super glue, if you prefer—will hold your creation together. So, are you ready to turn your old denim into something new and trendy?”
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How To Make A Jeans Waistband Bow Tie
I love to upcycle all the parts of a pair of jeans, especially the bits that add characters, such as the jeans pockets, seams, and waistbands. I used a bit of the jeans waistband and a belt loop to make this first bow tie.
Step 1: The first thing to do is to cut the denim waistband off the top of a pair of jeans. Use scissors for this, and cut as close to the stitched seam of the waistband as you can.
You only need a small part of the jeans waistband to make one denim bow tie. You can probably get at least three bow ties out of one waistband. Cut the waistband into a 24 cm length, ensuring that the belt loop is in the centre of that piece of the waistband.
Step 2: Then, using a seam ripper, unpick the belt loop from the waistband.
Step 3: Stitch the waistband’s ends together to form a circle. Keep the belt loop to one side.
Step 4: Flatten this denim loop and then wrap the belt loop around the centre. Stitch the belt loop tightly so that the denim gathers in the middle.
Step 5: Finish off the bow tie by sewing an elastic fastening strap to the back of the bow.
How To Make A Bow Tie From Denim Scraps
These second denim bows were made from just small scraps of denim fabric. These bows are less rustic than the waistband bow tie above and would make great hair bows or gift toppers.
Step 1: Besides a small scrap of denim, you will need a belt loop (or a small bit of denim seam) and fabric Mod Podge.
The Free Bow Tie Pattern
Step 2: You will also need the free bow tie pattern template. You can download mine here.
Step 3: Paste the denim fabric scrap with glue and leave it to dry. Covering the fabric in glue not only does it stiffen the glue but also will stop it from fraying. The material can be easily cut and treated like stiff paper.
Top tip: To avoid an unwanted shine on your denim fabric, paste the wrong side of the material with glue.
Step 4: Once the glue has dried on the fabric (hanging in the sun on the washing line, this took under an hour), place the paper template on the fabric and draw around the shapes.
Step 5: Next, cut out the shapes with a pair of scissors. I found that I folded the shapes in half in the middle before cutting; this helped make sure they were symmetrical. The denim should be very easy to cut and will not fray.
Step 6: Take the top denim shape and bend the ends into the centre. Then stitch them in the centre to keep them in place.
Step 7: Next, place this top bow onto the base piece and stitch it in place again in the centre.
Step 8: Finish off the bow by sewing a small denim seam or belt loop around the centre to hide the stitches.
These second denim bows can easily be turned into bow ties by adding the same elastic as the waistband bow. Adding a crocodile clip onto the back can also be easily made into hair bows. I also think they would make a lovely decoration for denim handbags or denim pillows or even as gift toppers.
As they are so quick to make, I ended up making a few of these denim bows. I used denim scraps from different pairs of jeans to get bows in shades of indigo.
Other Bow Tie Ideas
- The waistband and belt loop from an old pair of jeans
- Scrap piece of denim fabric and about 1 inch denim seam
- Fabric Mod Podge
- Needle and thread
- Seam ripper
- To make the first denim bow tie from a jeans waistband. Cut a length of waistband about 24cm in length.
- Using a seam ripper remove the belt loop from the denim waistband.
- Sew both ends of the cut jeans waistband to make a loop.
- Next, flatten the waistband loop and then stitch the belt loop tightly around the center. Pinching the denim fabric so that it forms a bow shape. . Turn this waistband bow into a bow tie by adding a fastening elastic.
- Next, to make the other kind of denim bow. Paste a piece of denim fabric about 25cm by 15cm with fabric Mod Podge and leave it to dry.
- Next, download and cut out the bow pattern from the site.
- Draw around the bow shapes on the denim fabric and cut out the pieces.
- Next, fold the ends of the top denim piece into the center and hold it together with a stitch.
- Then place this on top of the bottom bow piece and again hold it in place with a center stitch.
- Finish the bow by sewing a denim seam around the center of the bow.
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I have made my son some cool craft beer can candles to complete the hipster look.
Find more green crafting ideas here.