Skip to content

Tutorial: Turn your tie into a clip on tie!

My sister in law approached me a couple weeks ago, asking me to make her two sons matching clip on ties for my cousin’s wedding (which just passed, by the way… CONGRATULATIONS!!). With a bit of luck, I managed to do so, and here’s a little tutorial on how I did it.Because it was difficult to find nice fabric for ties, I decided that the best way for me to do it was to cut down 2 adult ties. This also meant that I could get my brother a third matching tie, in case father and sons wanted to match :) Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An adult tie, of your choosing
  • A used clip on tie (pick them up at your local thrift shop for a dollar… If you find a vendor on the internet for the clip on tie hardware, let me know!!)
  • Coordinating string, needles, scissors, etc.
  • Sewing machine might be helpful at one part, but most of the sewing is done by hand, so no biggie if you don’t have one

So… first thing’s first… take a look at your clip on tie. If you got it from the thrift shop like me, you’re probably dealing with some UGLY fabric.


NICE. Love the retro fabric, but it’s gotta go. So… deconstruct it. Start by prying off the metal ring and retains the fabric and keeps it in place.



You don’t have to pull the ring off all the way, just enough so that you can full the fabric off of the clip on tie hardware. In the end, you should have a tie and the hardware, like so:


The next couple steps, I suppose, are optional if you want the clip on tie to be adult sized. Here’s how to make it cute and kiddie sized! First, lay the decontructed tie on top of the brand spanking new tie you bought. Move the blue tie around until you’ve found a spot where the two ties roughly match in width. We’re going to discard practically the rest of the tie.


If the tie that you bought is the right size for the lucky kid who will be wearing it, then follow this step to the tee. Mark the ends of the tie using needles so that you know how big to make your tie. If you need the tie to be longer or shorter, mark the tie accordingly. Do this to both the fat end…


and the skinny end.


Trim off the excess tie, leaving about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch extra.


I like to add a third pin to make the boundaries really clear.


 Next, flip over the tie. Open the tip up so that you see the backside of the fabric and the tie interfacing. Use a straight edge and mark off the excess fabric that you need to cut like so:


You should get this in the end:


 Then, we’ll need to trim the tie interfacing. If you make sure that the needles you use to mark the boundaries of the tie go only one layer deep, it will make this part easier. You can use the length of the need to mark where you need to cut off the interfacing.


Trim off the excess. Do the same for the narrow end of the tie as well.tie07.JPG

Fold the tip of the fabric up and over the interfacing. Then fold the sdes of the tie up:tie08.JPG

It may help to iron the flaps down, but be careful! You may ruin the sheen of the tie, depending on the material.

Stitch together the tip of the tie about halfway up. (I used red string so you can see it)


Set this aside for a moment. Grab the tie ends that you cut off, and flip them over. Open them up.


Using a seam ripper, pull out the back lining of the tie. We’re going to reuse this piece. Do the same to the narrow end of the tie. You may wish to iron it, so that the creases are gone.


Okay, grab that main tie we were working on. Slip the back lining into the tip of the tie and sew it in.


Continue sewing the sides of the lining in, being careful not to sew through all layers (otherwise, you could see the string on the main side of the tie!) Clip off the excess lining.


Refold the tie in, and sew up the back of the tie.


Don’t forget to add a little stitching to keep the tie from unraveling.


NICE. Do the same thing to the other end of the tie. Once you do that, reassemble the tie as you saw it earlier…

 These next steps are optional, but I like it, so, yeah. I think it helps center the tie a bit. Figure out the length you want the tie to be, and mark where the tie crosses the silver clip. Sew a button hole and cut a hole to one side of the tie at the marking. Then you can slip the tie onto the clip as shown below.


Then you can refold the tie. Don’t forget to put the metal retaining ring back onto the clip tie!


 And then… you’re done!!!

 Of course, if you want to MAKE your own tie instead of converting an adult tie, you can always follow Anne Weaver’s blog.


  1. Mark Lawton says:

    Hi there,

    Do you know where I can get the hardware to do this please?

    I have 8 ties I want to convert.


    Mark Lawton “The Generalist’s Repository”.

  2. tramdang says:

    Hi Mark,

    That’s a really good question. I couldn’t find a single place online that sold the hardware directly, in small quantities. Your best bet would be your local thrift shop and pick up an old clip on tie. I know my Goodwill here had at least 10 of them hanging there. Ebay also has some used ones, but they will probably end up being a bit more expensive. If you’d like, I’ve got at least two here I don’t need; I can send them to you if you pay for shipping.


  3. Jen says:

    My friends and I just got done making ties for our little boys. I found the tie clips on line at the following address…
    I called to place an order and the man was super nice. They sell the clip by the dozen for a great price. Good luck with your ties!

  4. A Slagle says:

    Can you walk through the steps to put the tie on the hardware? My son took his apart and I don’t have another on to use as an example.