Add character to drapes with easy-to-make bow-tie tiebacks.

How to Make a Bow-Tie Tieback for Drapes

by Linda Erlam

Bow ties add formal elegance or whimsy to window treatments depending upon your fabric choices. Make them polka-dotted, striped, plain, sparkly or a simple, but bright color. For added interest, you and the children can add sparkles or rhinestones. Select from fabrics that complement the drapes or choose ones that contrast to make a design statement of their own. You can make narrow-profile ties or go for the gusto and create clown-sized ones. Create a fabric tube or use wire-edged wide ribbon, rope or round trim to make bow-tie tiebacks for your drapes.

Cut a piece of fabric 48 inches long and 6 inches wide. With right sides together, seam the long edge with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Leave a 4 inch long section of the seam open for turning.

Lay the tube on the ironing surface. The seam wants to sit along one edge of the tube; adjust the tube so the long seam lays along the horizontal middle of the length of the tube. Iron the seam open.

Sew across the ends of the tube with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn the tube to the right-side out through the seam opening. Hand stitch the opening closed and iron the tube.The seam runs along the horizontal middle of one side of the tube.

Tie the ends of the tube into a bow. Keep tension on the tube by wrapping the tube around a chair leg as you tie the bow. Adjust the bow to your liking. Make certain you have at least 26 inches of tube in the large loop.

Tie the second tie at this time to ensure symmetry with the first tie.

Remove the ties from the chair leg and cut the loop halfway between the bow.

Tuck the cut ends of the tie into the tube and iron. Sew close to the ends to close the tube.

Attach a tieback pin to the tube or sew rings onto the ends of the tube for hanging over the tieback hook. Alternatively, sew a 1/2-inch by 2-inch piece of hook and loop tape to the ends of the tieback, one side of the tape on the right side of the tube and the side with the seam on the inside of the tube. Overlap the ends to join the hook and loop tape. Sew a hook piece of hook and loop tape to the right side of the overlapped edge, sew the matching loop piece to the second tieback. Cut a corresponding piece of self-adhesive hook and loop tape and attach it to the wall. This creates a wall attachment that keeps the tieback snug to the wall without the sag that happens with pins or tieback hooks.

Items you will need

  • Tie fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Iron
  • Tieback pins
  • Tieback rings
  • 1/2-inch hook and loop sew-on tape
  • 1/2-inch self-adhesive hook and loop tape

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images