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Creative Crafts With Old Ties

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Creative Crafts With Old Ties

December is National Tie Month. It's a great time for men or women in the Bethesda Gardens assisted living community at Terre Haute to sport a bit of formal attire, but if you don't have a use for business or black-tie attire in your relaxing retirement lifestyle, that's okay. Those gorgeous strips of high-quality fabric can still serve a purpose in the crafting room.

Whether you want to turn your own tie collection into something special or pass them on to creative community crafters to repurpose, here are four things you can make using old ties.

1. Tie Stripe Pillows

Those with a sewing machine or quilting skills can turn a stack of old ties into a fun striped pillow. First, line up the ties in the pattern you want, laying them out flat and alternating the fat and slim ends so that the entire piece will be fairly square.

Sew the ties together, right sides facing, just as you would sew quilting stripes together.

Use the resulting fabric to cut out the appropriate shape for the pillows. You can use the tie fabric in conjunction with complementary solid fabrics to make a traditional pillow casing that you stuff with filling or an envelope-style case that can slip over a pillow form or existing throw pillow.

This same tactic works for turning ties into tote bag. If you have a lot of ties, you can make a small quilt with them.

2. Silk Bows for Gift Wrap

Use old ties to add some fun to your gift wrap. Affixing a tie around a slim, tall gift just as you would around a neck can be a fun way to add some attire to a gift package for a man in your life, and you can use ties like fabric ribbons to add color to bags and baskets.

3. Stuffed Snake Toys for Kids

You can find numerous videos online for turning a tie into a stuffed snake. You can make a simple or more elaborate toy, but remember when gifting these homemade gifts to younger children to avoid sewing on buttons or choking hazards.

For the most basic version of a necktie snake, you simply need to stuff the tie with filling and whip stitch the back of the tie closed around that. You can then add details like eyes, tongues and even rattles by gluing or sewing them on. For the youngest children, consider embroidering eyes so there's nothing removable.

4. Colorful Hair Bands

Convert a tie with a lovely pattern into a fun hair accessory. You can quickly tie it in place, but you can also measure around your head and cut the tie accordingly, sewing the ends together. For a more flexible headband that can be repositioned in different ways, sew a piece of elastic between the two ends of the portion of the tie you're using.

Want to get in on the tie-crafting action but don't have a drawer of old ties laying around? You can often find ties at thrift stores and may be able to get your fellow assisted living community residents to donate ties they're no longer using.