This tutorial assumes a basic knowledge of hand-sewing and comes with a serious caution – be super careful with the box cutter! Another caution – if you value your fabric-cutting scissor, do not use it to cut plastic – it will dull the blades.
When working with neckties (one of my favorite materials to repurpose), I often end up with a handful of skinny necktie ends that don’t get used in the initial project. But there is a purpose (or repurpose) for nearly every scrap, so I toss them all into a box with their cousins for later use. If you don’t have a stash of neckties (and resultant scraps) like I do, just head out to your local thrift shop – you can usually score beautiful neckties for a dollar or two each. I would suggest raiding your husband’s/boyfriend’s/father’s/uncle’s closet, but in the interest of keeping the peace, I never said such a thing.
For this project you will need:
- a skinny necktie end
- a plastic yogurt (or similar) container, washed and sanitized
- a sew-on snap fastener
- a button
- scissors and/or box cutter
- cutting/working surface
- needle and thread
First, cut the necktie end to a length that will fit around your wrist with about a one-inch overlap, plus an additional 1/2 inch for hemming. You can make it snug like a wrist cuff, or a little loose like a bangle â€“ it’s up to you.
Next, using either scissor or box-cutter, cut your plastic container straight down the side. Cut off the top lip and the flat bottom.
Then cut out a 1-inch wide strip (wider or narrower to suit the width of your necktie end).
Feed the plastic strip into the necktie, between the lining and the front of the tie (the underside of the tie is usually stitched to the lining, so you can only feed it in at the front). Once it’s all the way in, trim the excess plastic strip as needed to allow for hemming the tie.
Next, turn the raw end of the tie to the inside, pin it, and sew.
I use a blind stitch to hide the thread as best I can, but you don’t have to be that fussy â€“ just keep it tidy. You can even machine stitch it, but I prefer to hand-sew for this particular project.
If you still have a bit of plastic sticking out of the tie at the pointed end, trim it down so that it’s all tucked away and hidden. Then, hand stitch closed the opening (again I use a blind stitch) to completely encase the plastic strip.
Sew on your snap fastener to fit the way you like (you’ll have a bit of wiggle room, depending on the length of tie you cut).
Then, opposite the snap, sew a decorative button to the outside.
These necktie cuff bracelets are so easy to make that you’ll want to make a bunch. They’re nice and lightweight which is great for the summer – a perfect accessory to liven up your outfit!
If you don’t have all the supplies you need for this project, colorful neckties are always in abundance at thrift shops, yard sales and (of course) on Etsy. Loads of vintage buttons are also available from LynnAddison, RakuButtons, and other Eco Etsy sellers.
This is a fun project to do with kids, but be sure to pre-cut the plastic containers.
Have a fun and crafty summer!
LindaEve in New Jersey, USA
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