Skip to content

DIY: No Sew Bow Tie Pins To Wear & Decorate With!

Ready for a fun no sew DIY? I thought I’d share a project with you that I recently worked on for the first time in my hotel room earlier this month in preparation for my book launch party at Anthropologie. I mentioned to my husband, Thorsten, that I wanted to give those who were helping me and speaking at my party a special tag to wear but a sticky name tag felt too generic and boring so I wondered if I should just skip the typical name badges and give them something pretty to wear on their lapels and shirts that would set them apart from the crowd AND that they can use and wear again & again. He suggested using fabric, in keeping with my obsession for textiles, and to create simple bows. Of course, it’s impossible for me to be inspired and then just do as I’m told – I have to spin it a million time around and around so that I can come up with my very own idea and so that is exactly what I did. I decided to make bow TIES with fabric button centers and pretty ribbons hanging from them. Easy!

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP ONE |||  My first stop was Liberty where I found lots of ribbons and fabrics. You can approach this project two ways, using: 1) Neat fabric strips, ribbon or bias tape OR 2) Torn strips of fabric with frayed edges. I opted for the “neat” look but in the future, I want to try out the frayed torn fabric strips because I think those could be amazing too! At Liberty, I picked up several packs for their bias tape in, of course, iconic Liberty prints. So YOUR first step for this project would be to pick the fabric, ribbon and/or bias tape that you want to use.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP TWO |||  My next idea was, because I was in a hurry, to find already-covered fabric buttons. Liberty had loads in their haberdashery department so I bought a jar of them. You can also make your own with button kits (like the kit from Cath Kidston for Chronicle Books), or buy packages of button kits at your everyday craft and sewing store (the most affordable option). I made them for the first time in the beginning of 2011 at Sania Pell’s house when we were crafting together and have been hooked ever since – they are super easy to do, so don’t feel intimidated! After finding the buttons, I started shopping at Liberty for ribbons.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP THREE |||  The next step is to lay all of your tools out before you and start to think of the colors and patterns you wish to use and determine how many bow tie pins that you’d like to make. This past Saturday, I made 17 of them for students who will be attending the Blogging Your Way: Studio class in my home studio space.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP FOUR |||  Loop your bias tape (or whatever you decided to use) around your hand, with your fingers closed, 3 times and pinch in the middle to form a bow. You may want to use a pin to hold it in place for now. If you want your bow to be stiffer, you can use horsehair from a millinery supply shop.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP FIVE |||  Next, grab a covered button and put a ribbon or string through the center of your button.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP SIX |||  You will now tie the button to the bow by flipping it face down on your work surface. But first, before tying, lay two ribbons down to form an “X” over the ribbon that your button is on.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP SEVEN ||| Now tie everything together good and tight. I suggest making a knot.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP EIGHT |||  Now add a safety pin. I used gorgeous French Pins by Merchant & Mills that I bought at Liberty – but they are available online too. I am addicted to them now and will never use standard silver ones again – these are softer and more flexible but also elevate the craft a bit making it look more fancy.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP NINE |||  Flip over your bow and admire it, along the lines of, “ohlala”, and then do a little happy dance. Make some friends for your bow so there are more pretty ones to enjoy and giveaway. You can make big floppy bows for curtain tie backs, for jackets, for presents and everything else you can imagine topping with a pretty handmade touch. You can also add tags to them with the names of your guests for a party.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP TEN |||  Finally, wear your bow with pride – you made it! No one has to know that it took you minutes to pull together. Doesn’t that feel good?

Note: If you share this project on Pinterest and your blogs, please add the link back to this blog post so your followers have the complete instructions and because, well, it’s just the nice thing to do.

(images: styling/project & photography: holly becker for decor8)

Posted by decor8 in DIY on November 19, 2012

Your comments...

  1. Louisa Blackmore commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 5:22pm

    So EXCITED because I just spotted the name badge for me! Holly you are the sweetest person ever!! LOVE them xx

  2. mijk commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 5:27pm

    What an awesome hairaccessory for daughter to make herself!
    mijk´s last blog post ..Honeymoon souvenir

  3. emma commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 5:32pm

    Oh theses are lovely :D A super idea which I think I will make for my christmas gift wrap with vintage buttons :D:D Thank you for sharing :D:D

  4. Ashley {GirlyObsessions} commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 6:21pm

    Supre cute, Holly! Lovely use of fabric!!
    Ashley {GirlyObsessions}´s last blog post ..The Holiday 2012 Girly Gift Guide!

  5. Holly (Love,Thomas) commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 7:09pm

    Holly (Love,Thomas)´s last blog post ..A burst of sunshine on a cloudy day

  6. Ivana @ Macarons and Pearls commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 7:15pm

    What an amazing and adorable idea! It’s really a perfect alternative to sticky name tags :)
    Ivana @ Macarons and Pearls´s last blog post ..Brunch with a blogger: Natali of L’art of fashion

  7. Giulia commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 7:20pm

    I love the ribbon on them. I made my own bow ties earlier this year when I had trouble finding nice vintage ones. I also took the no sew approach and used fabric samples and scraps. I use the extra ones all the time now and have also glued a couple of them to headbands for my daughter.
    I might add some ribbon now that I saw yours.
    If you want to you can see mine here.
    Giulia´s last blog post ..Advent calendar

  8. Juliette commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 7:25pm

    Oh, I love this! I picked up some of those buttons when I was at Liberty this fall and have been mulling over possible crafty ideas. This is perfect b/c I’ve also been wanting to make a pin to perk up some of my teaching outfits, so this lets me kill two birds with one stone (or should I say fabric covered button?).
    Juliette´s last blog post ..A Simple Fall Photo Filter

  9. Dee commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 7:38pm

    Very sweet, this would be a very cute gift for a little girl.
    Dee´s last blog post ..Holiday Cards

  10. Shannon Willey commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 8:08pm

    Great idea! I’m hoping to try it myself to use for name tags for participants at a few workshops we’re having in our shop. Thank you!
    Shannon Willey´s last blog post ..Coastal Color: Bleeker Beige

  11. Rekha commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 8:55pm

    Amazing! I love this idea and way better than a boring generic name tag! Very creative!
    Rekha´s last blog post ..Recovering from Sandy

  12. Pilar commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 9:56pm
  13. Gabrielle Treanor commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 10:27pm

    So simple and so gorgeous, I love it!

  14. FrauSchmitt commented
    November 19th, 2012 at 10:44pm

    Wow, I loved this idea at once and made one for myself. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to sew. A very easy but oh so beautiful and fast project. Thank you very much for sharing this idea.
    FrauSchmitt´s last blog post ..Good things…

  15. Christine commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 1:40am

    I’ve been looking around for a neat project, and looks like just the thing! Thank you for sharing.

  16. fenny setiawan commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 2:20am

    Holly, thank you for sharing this sweet and easy DIY. First time I saw it on your Instagram and I really hope that you shared the steps, and you did..yay!

    I have tea party gathering at my house with my girl friends next month for Christmas, so I will make this for them as well… I think it is a very nice gesture to give your lovely guests something that you made by your self.


  17. hueisei commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 2:36am

    I love this tutorial! Thanks for sharing

  18. Glenda Childers commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 3:33am

    Ah … you and Thorsten are a good pair.

    Glenda Childers´s last blog post ..My Pajama Day (and a winner)

  19. Pysselbolaget commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 9:10am

    We love it and we’ve shared it on Pinterest! We will also try it out soon. It’s a perfect craft for us mother-daughter crafters.

  20. salma commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 10:30am

    lovely ^^

  21. Anna commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 10:36am

    These are really cute and so simple. Holly you just inspired me for all my god children’s christmas presents!!
    Anna´s last blog post ..An Evening with Holly Becker

  22. Suzanne Morris commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 10:57am

    Great! Going to post a link on my site and do something like this with my toddler, she is as obsessed with buttons as I am and she love ribbons and pieces of fabric! thank you.

  23. Nat @ Dear Little House commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 11:03am

    Amazing! They are gorgeous. I could imagine myself getting carried away and having a billion different colour combinations for any occasion!
    Nat @ Dear Little House´s last blog post ..Moroccan Lamb Salad

  24. Alison @Brocantehome commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 12:46pm

    Even though there is no doubt that I am the most hopeless crafter in the blogosphere, I do believe even I could whistle up a few of these little darlings… Thank you.x
    Alison @Brocantehome´s last blog post ..Comment on The Mock Power Cut by Hana

  25. Tina Ramchandani commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 3:16pm

    The name tag/bow tie combos are a really good idea + they look fairly easy to make. I’m a little jealous I won’t be attending this BYW event. I’m going to make you make me a bow tie pin next time I see you Holly!
    Tina Ramchandani´s last blog post ..The Best Hot Chocolate in NY

  26. Sam commented
    November 20th, 2012 at 9:31pm

    Love it, thank you

  27. Lucianna Samu commented
    November 21st, 2012 at 10:59am

    So simple and cute. Great way to use the classic fabric I have collected. Thanks for sharing.
    Lucianna Samu´s last blog post ..Honesty IS the best policy

  28. FrauSchmitt commented
    November 21st, 2012 at 5:48pm

    I’ve posted my bowtie today on my blog and linked back to you, so people can see how to make them.
    Great idea, I’m sure, it was not the last one, I made.
    FrauSchmitt´s last blog post ..dreaming of …

  29. Trisha Brink commented
    November 21st, 2012 at 6:52pm

    Hello Miss Holly! I just wanted to stop by on my rounds today to say how thankful I am for wonderful you! I have been inspired by all that you do and share here on your blog…and since it’s my week to give shout outs to those I’m thankful for (Thanksgiving here in the USA tomorrow!) I thought I’d stop by and let you know.

    Cheers for a great Christmas Season, may you be blessed beyond measure!


  30. Barbara commented
    November 22nd, 2012 at 8:28am

    simply adorable, Holly …

    thank you so much for sharing!

    Barbara :)

  31. Lyndsey commented
    November 22nd, 2012 at 10:31am

    What a fantastic idea! Now I just have to think up a colour scheme!

  32. kellie - fireworks display commented
    November 24th, 2012 at 12:56am

    This is very easy to do! I’m sure my daughter will enjoy doing this with me. :)

  33. Juliette commented
    November 30th, 2012 at 3:24pm

    I totally made this and loved it and wore it to class! Great idea Holly! Thanks!

  34. Anna Steffi commented
    December 12th, 2012 at 2:48pm

    Oh, the buttons are so cute. Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing! <3
    Anna Steffi´s last blog post ..Für die Design-Junkies unter uns

  35. Catherine commented
    December 13th, 2012 at 1:05pm

    Love these.. just made one with wired ribbon, vintage button with a sprig of rosemary for the holidays !

  36. dani commented
    February 12th, 2013 at 7:17pm

    merci pour cette jolie idée de broche et le tuto très bien expliqué ! bravo !
    dani´s last blog post ..cache nez au crochet, melon pistache

Leave a comment

CommentLuv badge


Some of my books

Co-editions are also available in many languages, learn more


Next dates

Blogging Your Way
e-courses, 2015
Visit our e-course website to learn more about our inspirational e-courses by bloggers, for bloggers.