DIY No-Sew New Zealand (and Australian) Flag Bow Ties

Dalmatian dog wearing a DIY New Zealand flag bow tie

Feeling puptriotic, furfriends? Check out our DIY New Zealand flag dog bow tie! Pawfect for showing the world that Humphrey is a proud New Zealand dog. It’s completely no-sew, too! We also create an Australian flag version of the bow tie so that our Aussie furfriends wouldn’t feel left out. Here are all the DIY details!

Patriotic Pet DIY Projects

With Australia Day celebrations fast approaching, we had planned to share a special pre-Australia Day DIY dog round-up. However, we discovered that there weren’t a lot of Aussie flag inspired doggy DIYs out there to share to share, so we created one ourselves. Of course, as proud little kiwis, Oli and Humphrey were not impressed to model the Australian flag. Haha! I created a no-sew DIY dog bow ties for both flags so you can pick and choose to suit your own patriotic pups.

DIY no-sew Australian flag dog bow tie
Heck, Mom. Get me out of this doggone Australian flag bow tie! I'm only tolerating this for the treats...
DIY no-sew New Zealand flag dog bow tie
Whew! Now that's more like it! Loving my New Zealand flag bow tie. Kia ora to our furfriends, near and far!

Creating a No-Sew Flag Bow Tie

Making a No-Sew Dog Bow Tie Base

Creating a no-sew dog bow tie is relatively simple, especially if you are using a ribbon tie attachment like these. For more ideas, check out our post on making no-sew DIY dog bows and bow ties (or no-sew DIY dog bandanas if you prefer). Creating the flag design is a little trickier, but totally doable!

Making a No-Sew Flag Design on the Bow Tie

I’m using ribbon with hemming tape to create the union jack portion of my bow ties. The satin ribbon has a very flag like sheen. I used scraps of fleece to make my stars for the Southern Cross. I didn’t have any in my craft stash at the time these were made, but fabric paint would be a great no-sew option for making the stars as well. Alternatively, you can use fabric markers or fabric paint for the whole design instead. Opaque paints, like the dimensional fabric paints used in our DIY ugly Christmas sweater bandana may give you more clarity of colour on the blue flag background. 

These bow ties were made several years B.C. And by B.C. I mean Before Cricut! Haha! Even if you don’t have a computer controlled cutting machine, you can easily manually cut the iron-on materials used with these machines into strips for a flag and/or shapes for stars. I still love my silky ribbons, but would totally make little iron-on Southern Cross stars if making these bow ties today. See our Cricut pet crafts for other ideas and inspiration.

Making DIY New Zealand (or Australian) Flag Dog Bow Ties

Supplies and Materials

To make a similar no-sew flag bow tie, you will need:

  • Fabric for the body of the bow tie
  • Ribbons
  • Scissors
  • Fusible tape
  • Fleece for the stars (or alternative, as noted above)
  • Fabric glue
  • Iron and ironing board 
  • Ironing cloth (optional but recommended)

To make bow ties as a no-sew craft:, you will need some sort of fusible webbing (e.g. iron-on hemming tape), an iron and ironing board, scissors, a piece of blue cotton, red and white satin ribbon, glue, and scrap fleece or felt in red (New Zealand) or white (Australia).  You may wish to use a cloth under and/or over to protect your board and/or iron from any stray fusible tape.

To keep things no-sew, the stars can be glued, but they can also be easily tacked in place with quick corresponding thread stitch. All fusible attachments can be sewn instead if you wish.

Making the Flag Bow Ties

Preparing the bow tie base:

  • If your fabric is creased or wrinkled, iron flat for a fresh starting surface.
  • Cut a rectangle of blue fabric 2x as wide and approximately 1.5x as high as you would like your finished bow tie. This is different to the way I would normally make a bow tie, but since this tie isn’t machine washable, I’m not worried about exposed raw edges inside the bow. The folding method used here hides our ribbon ends and raw edges inside when finished. See our no sew DIY dog bows and bow ties for alternative assembly options.
  • Fold and fuse the top and bottom hems. This back surface will be hidden inside the finished folded bow tie after we’ve created the flag design on the front.
  • Fold the sides inwards to meet at the middle to check your midpoint. Mark (or iron a crease) at the edges and centre. This will help you line up and measure/place the pieces of ribbon for the Union Jack in the next steps.
Making no-sew DIY New Zealand and Australian flag dog bow ties

Creating the Union Jack:

  • Using your fabric as a visual guide, measure and cut ribbon to form your Union Jack such that the diagonals and vertical cross will all extend past the top and bottom of the hemmed rectangle. That extension will allow us to hide their raw ends in the finished folded bow tie.
  • Using an iron and board, sequentially attach the ribbons with fusible tape, starting with the diagonals. See the collage above for step-by-step photos.
    • Place and fuse the narrow diagonal stripes.
    • Once the diagonals are both in place, position and fuse the edges of the vertical cross, but NOT the centre. We need to pass the horizontals through this midpoint.
    • Pass fusible tape and your three horizontal ribbons under the vertical red ribbon and fuse.
    • Place a small piece of fusible tape under the vertical red ribbon at the centre and fuse to secure.
  • Flip and carefully fuse your ribbon edges from the diagonals and vertical cross to the back surface. This back surface will be hidden inside the finished bow tie.
  • The exposed (outside) edge of your horizontals can be carefully trimmed and fused neatly to the back (as shown). Alternatively, you can simply trim square and either carefully flame seal, fray-stop, or glue to inhibit fraying. The inside (centre) edge will be hidden within the middle of the finished tie. Trim and fuse or glue if/as needed.

Finishing the body of the bow tie:

  • Fold the side edges of the bow tie base inwards to meet at the middle in the back of the tie, as shown in the collage above.
  • Fuse the edges of your fabric rectangle into place.

Adding a Southern Cross constellation:

Both the Australian and New Zealand flags have a Southern Cross, but they are not red and white versions of the same. You can read all about the history of the New Zealand flag (including the differences) on the Ministry for Culture & Heritage website. 

  • For Australia: Cut small pieces of white fleece or felt to form your five stars and secure in place with glue (or stitching).
  • For New Zealand: Cut small pieces of red fleece or felt to form your four stars and secure in place with glue (or stitching).
  • Ensure glue is dry before proceeding. Alternatively, you can tack the stars in place with a needle and thread to secure a little stronger than glue, if you don’t mind making a sewing exception for the no-sew bow ties.

See other DIY options in the note above on creating a flag design. You could easily iron on, stamp, or paint stars instead. You could also embroider them. For the latter, you may find it easier to sew before fusing the back. I think embroidered stars would look sensational But then this wouldn’t be a no-sew craft. 

Tying and wearing the bow tie:

  • Pinch the tie together in the middle and secure with a piece of complimentary ribbon.
  • You can leave the ribbon ends as decorative elements on the bow or use them to as an easy tie-on method for attaching the bow to your dog’s collar. Alternatively, you can trim and tuck the ends, then secure the bow to the collar with elastic or another attachment. See our post on no-sew dog bows and bow-ties for other attachment ideas. Humphrey posed for this post briefly with ribbon loops instead of his (clashing) collar, but only briefly and under supervision. Even with supervision, it’s better to attach embellishments to a breakaway collar or other safety release wearable.
Dalmatian dog wearing a DIY Australian flag bow tie

Celebrate Safely, Furfriends!

Looking stylish, indeed. However, good behaviour to go with the good looks is not guaranteed. Remember that accessories like this may not be suitable for all pets. When worn, they’re for special occasions with you present, just in case. Safety is always more important than style.

Whatever your location, celebrations, or observations, we hope they’re doggone great. Don’t forget to share only dog-safe treats from your feast or make a few patriotic pup treats. For our Aussie furfriends, if there are fireworks in your area, please ensure that your pets are safe and secure. 

DIY New Zealand flag dog bow tie

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