Doesn’t Humphrey look doggone dapper in his oversized polka dot bow tie? And handsome old Professor Oli below? These DIY reversible dog collar bow ties are easy to sew, soft, washable, and hold their shape beautifully. Here’s how to make your own cute DIY reversible dog bow tie using soft padding. This easy DIY method is pawfect for making oversized novelty bow ties, but works great for standard sizes too.
Doggone Dapper DIY Dog Bow Ties
Dog bows and bow ties are quick crafts and are great projects for using offcuts or general stash busting. They don’t require large pieces of material, so they’re great for offcuts or upcycling. Bow ties are usually made with stiff fabric or stiffened with interfacing to help hold their bow shapes. You can see how to sew a conventional dog bow tie in our post on DIY dog bow ties and collar attachments.
Today’s DIY is a different style. It’s a fully reversible dog bow tie with padding for a super soft but shapely tie. It works for standard doggy size or an oversized party version. It’s also VERY easy to sew! When I created these ties for our boys for Christmas, I decided to make them with padding because of their oversized style. The padding was to hold them hold shape without being hard or stiff. I actually love them far more than expected! The padded bow ties are super soft, but still hold their shape exceptionally well. They also wash beautifully. Bonus!
How to Make a Padded Reversible Dog Bow Tie
Supplies and Materials
To make a similar padded reversible dog bow tie, you will need:
- Complimentary coloured thread
- Velcro / hook and loop tape (optional for the fastener)
- Sewing machine
- General cutting / sewing supplies
- Iron and ironing board (optional but recommended)
Making simple padded bow ties is quick and easy if you have a sewing machine and basic skills. If you don’t have a sewing machine (affiliate link), you can hand sew your bow tie, but then it will be a labour of love rather than a quick and simple craft project. We also have no-sew projects, including no-sew dog bows and bow ties, that you could make or adapt to oversize.
Making the DIY Reversible Dog Bow Ties
Preparing the materials:
- Optional: Wherever possible (and fabric permitting), I prewash/preshrink fabric and then iron flat prior to cutting or sewing. Washable fabrics are recommended for dog clothing. Got to keep our dapper dog wardrobe clean and fresh!
- Cut a rectangle of each tie fabric in the width and height of your finished bow tie plus a small seam allowance around the edges. Scale the project to suit the size of your pet and style of tie you’d like, whether standard or oversized.
- Iron flat. Optional: Crease or mark your seam allowances.
- Cut a rectangle of quilt batting in the size of your rectangle without including the extra for seam allowances.
Sewing and stuffing the bow tie:
- Layer your fabrics right-side-in.
- Sew together along the seam allowance, leaving an open gap at one end for inverting and adding your batting.
- Trim any threads and/or excess material from the internal corners (helps reverse into a point).
- Invert to right-side-out.
- Fold your batting, slide it in through the gap, and work in into a flat position inside the tie. Make sure it extends into all of the corners.
- Fold your gap seam allowances in to match the neighbouring edges. Topstitch all the way around the outside of your bow tie, closing the gap, securing the batting, and adding a little extra style to the tie. As a little tip, if your dominant fabric colours are different, you can use different thread colours on the top spool and bottom bobbin to better blend your seams, if you wish. That’s what we did here.
- Sew a seam top-to bottom the through the centre of the tie to further secure your batting.
- Trim any excess threads.
Forming the bow:
To keep this tie reversible and easy care, it doesn’t have a permanently loop. If you want a permanent pinch, You can simply pinch the tie together along the middle seam and hand-stitch repeatedly through the centre to secure the bow tie into shape. If you’d like to keep it flexible for possible future flat wash, dry, and iron, you can tie it or use an elastic instead. Or just squeeze when you’re putting it through the slide.
Attaching the bow tie to a dog collar:
Attach as you wish to your dog’s collar, such as a ribbon tie, elastic loop, slide, or Velcro. Remember, embellishments are for supervised wear only. See tips below and our method for these ties. Want a fancy dress collar especially for the bow tie instead? Check out our post on how to sew standard dog bow ties and collar attachments for our simple but doggone dapper easy-sew Velcro fancy dress dog collars.
Options for Attaching a Bow Tie to a Dog Collar
Securing Embellishments and Accessories to Dog Collars
The best method of attachment really varies depending on the size and temperament of your dog, the type of collar, and the type of flair or embellishment. A lightweight decoration may be fine with a simple ribbon, a loop of elastic to slip onto the collar, or a little Velcro. Larger or heavier pieces may need several loops of firm elastic or wide Velcro. To make sure that things stay in place for a special event or with an extra active pup, you might even prefer to sew your embellishment onto a collar slide or directly onto the collar. Good behaviour to go with the good looks is not guaranteed. Haha! Of course, not all of those options work for a reversible bow tie that has to look great on either side.
Attaching Dog Collar Bow Ties
If your dog wears a narrow collar, you can attach a bow tie with a single loop of fabric, elastic, or other material that slides around both the collar and your bow tie’s centre. If your dog has a wider collar (like Oli’s), this doesn’t look as nice around the bow. For these DIY reversible dog collar bow ties, I made a simple all-in-one slide and Velcro collar attachment. It’s easy to sew and takes advantage of the squishy padding to hold the tie firmly in place. Nothing is attached to the bow, so our ties are easily reversed for wear with either of the fabrics facing out. DIY details are below. See our post on sewing DIY dog bow ties for more info on collar attachments and alternative attachment ideas.
Making a Bow Tie Slide with Velcro Collar Attachment
Choosing an Attachment Style
I wanted to my bow ties to be a matching pair, but needed attachments customised to the very different sizes of Oli and Humphrey’s collars. I decided to use matching slides with Velcro collar loops. The fronts look the same when worn, but Oli’s collar loop is larger than Humphreys.
These one-piece slides take advantage of the padded bow ties’ ability to hold their shape without needing extra support on the collar. Other types of bow ties may need help staying secure or upright. A slide that connects to the loop in two points provides more stability, if needed, and would also look good with these ties. You can see an example of this style in our post on DIY dog bow ties and collar attachments. The tight squeeze on the padded bow tie is key here. Creating a slide with a tight fit requires careful sizing, but you can do a test fit before committing to sewing. On the plus side, the all-in-one side and Velcro collar loop was easy sewing compared to making tiny loops.
Making the one-piece bow tie slide with Velcro collar attachment:
- Cut a narrow rectangle of fabric in double the width of your desired slide plus seal allowances, and a length three times the width of your collar, extra to loop around your tie, and seam allowances to finish the ends. Not sure about length? Make your strip a little longer and you re-adjust later in a test fitting, if needed.
- Since long skinny tubes of material are a pain to invert, we’re going to make ours kind of like a binding instead. Fold lengthwise along the mid-line into half and iron to crease. Fold a seam allowance inwards along the edge of each strip, and iron to crease.
- Optional: Pin around your tie, check your length around you collar, and adjust if needed.
- Ensure that your seam allowances are all folded inwards, then topstitch all edges, including the fold on the closed edge, just for consistent looks.
- Fold the strip at the centre. Double check position for size. Sew to create the loop for around the bow tie. Make sure this seam is strong.
- Attach Velcro to the ends of the strips. Sewing Velcro can sometimes be a bit fiddly and small pieces can be difficult to pin and sew. If your Velcro isn’t self-adhesive, you may find double-sided tape helpful for keeping things in position for sewing instead of trying to pin.
Finishing and attaching the bow tie:
- Roll one side of your bow tie tightly and slide it through the loop.
- Fluff it up and you’re good to go!
- Velcro the tie into position on the collar for wear.
Additional Bow Tie and Slide Styling Tips
The DIY reversible dog bow tie can be spun within the slide to reverse sides/patterns. Spin, adjust the folds if/as needed, and you have a whole new look. Easy peasy!
Although the slide is also washable, I prefer slipping the tie and slide apart for washing and drying separately. It’s better for the cleaning process/time than being all scrunched into the slide. It’s also good for the shape of the tie. Plus, they can also have a gentle iron afterwards, if needed. Mine look a-ok after air drying without pressing though. Reinsert through the loop and it looks as good as the day it was made!
Because the slide is removable, you can easily change the attachment method. Changing the bow tie attachment can totally change your look. This red, cream, and green combo is great for Christmas when paired together, but these ties weren’t made for Christmas only. They fabrics are generic enough that they can still be worn any time, and they can be switch with other slides for plenty of other looks and styles. These fabrics would look great with red, black, or cream for any occasion. And spots are always in style at our place.