Monday, 17 June 2013

DIY tie: how to geek out with a half-windsor


Last week, Alan and I attended a wedding with a superhero theme. Guests were invited to participate in the

theme, and I can't say no to a good theme party, so I got down to work. My own outfit could take me pages to explain--the arduous process of finding a suitable garment with which to work, the alterations, the thematic jewellery, and even a rather complicated one-strapped bra--but Alan's ensemble was much more subtle and simpler for the less diehard themer. We made him a tie.

Here's how you can make one for yourself:


1 tie
1 silver Sharpie oil paint marker
1 sheet cardstock
1 X-acto style knife
1 bottle silver fabric paint

It's pretty simple, if you've ever done a stencil. But the trick was that I wanted the edges sharper than you can usually get with a stencil. So here we go:

1. Choose your image. For Alan, we did the Indigo Lantern, one of the Green Lantern's brethren (for those who may not know). You can trace the design onto your cardstock using carbon paper, or you can wing it like I did; or, if your printer isn't being an ass, you can print it onto the cardstock.

2.Cut out the image. Because of the circle in the middle, I almost had some trouble, but the pins are step 3. Using an X-acto blade is a thousand times easier than scissors when you're dealing with cardstock.

3. Pin the stencil. I pinned it onto the tie where I wanted it by putting the tie on top of a cardboard box, and stabbing pins straight down through the stencil, the tie, and the box. This also meant the circle in the middle of my stencil wouldn't shift.

4. Use your Sharpie. I like the Sharpie because I basically just drew repeated tiny lines inwards onto the tie from the edges of the stencil. Because of the level of control I had, I was able to get a pretty sharp edge. Be careful, though: there's oil in those oil paint markers (duh), so if you haven't prepped the marker with lots of shaking and dabbing (follow the instructions on the pen) you may have oil run onto the tie.

5. Bring on the paint. This is where I say, "Do as I say, not as I do". I didn't get fabric paint because I didn't have time. Consequently, my tie is a bit stiff where the paint is on it. Fabric paint is designed to be more flexible. Anyway, I just took off the stencil and painted over the Sharpie and any blank inside spaces. I like using a brush with soft but short bristles.
If you choose a paint colour lighter than your fabric, you
may want to do a layer of white first.

6. Let dry and wear. That's it. Simple and inexpensive, especially if you already have a tie. I happen to find this great silk one at a discount store, but this technique should work on just about anything.

If you wanted to do something more intricate where you didn't need a stencil, you can just paint a pretty picture right on the tie with fabric paint. Or, use a self-adhesive stencil paper and try your hand at spray paint--just remember to do short bursts and lay the tie flat to do it. You don't want the paint being wet and running behind the stencil.

Be creative! Use this technique on a pair of satin shoes, a skirt hem, or even a cotton tee. The sky's the limit and the distressed sort of look will become part of the design. Enjoy yourself. Remember, it's just crafts.

BONUS: HOW TO TIE A TIE with Stroked Ego!

We visited Stroked Ego this spring and they showed us a really easy tie knot. Try it out:

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