Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ToolBox Tuesday: Clip-On Tie Hardware

Many months ago...OK, almost a year ago I called up my most favorite ribbon supplier, TheRibbonRetreat of Shelly, Idaho, and asked them if they had any way to order clip-on tie hardware.  They had just recently added clip-on bow tie hardware to their available products and I was really hoping they would be the missing link in the search for clip-on tie clips.

It turns out, THEY WERE the missing link!  Yeah for The Ribbon Retreat!!!
They were super sweet and incredibly patient with me through the entire search.
You can order the clips HERE for only $.95!!!
The Ribbon Retreat is also very reasonable about shipping, not to mention super fast to get your order out the door.  Most times I order from them, the items arrive the same week :0)
It makes me happy just thinking about them. 

So, this is the side that faces out.  

This is the side where all the magic happens.
That post {that doesn't show up well, so I surrounded it with arrows} is the pivotal piece of the whole operation.  Let me show you how it works.

We will be working on a toddler tie today.  Originally when I wanted to make holiday ties a few years back I purchased THIS pattern from YouCanMakeThis.com.  I love that site also.  All the patterns have tons of pictures and are totally downloadable so you don't have to go anywhere to pick them up and you don't have to wait days for them to come in the mail.  

So here is the low-down.  The difference in size between regular tied ties and clip on ties is one size.  That means that if you have a baby tie {tie-on style} it will be the perfect size for a Toddler clip-on tie.  If you have a Toddler tie {again, tie-on style}, it will be perfect for a Children's size.  Children's to Teen, Teen to Adult.  Get the picture?  You can certainly purchase that pattern like I did, or find a free tutorial online.  Or, dare I suggest, go to Goodwill and buy a used tie.  Cut it down to size and grab your clip.  

So, as you can see in the picture above, our infant tie was 18" long.

If we were to find the center of that tie, it would be 9" in from either end of the tie.  Because we want the two ends to be offset, like in the picture below, we need to add one more inch to the front half of the tie.  That means, we need to measure up from the fatter front of the tie to the half-way mark, and then go one more inch.  For larger ties, like for your 12 yr. old, I would probably add 2-3 inches.  

I placed the exact spot, again,10" up on my infant tie, right smack in the center of the front side of the tie clip.  
From here on out we will be calling the spot under my thumb, even though not the exact center point, the middle of the tie.  I need to tell you that so you can understand the instructions later on.

Holding that point, the middle of the tie, on the clip, the front of my tie {fat part} is to the left, the back half of the tie is going to fold under the clip.

I turned the clip backwards to show you what it looks like on the other side.  The corner comes right by the post on the clip.

Take a seam ripper and poked a hole in the fabric, about 1/4" over from the edge of the tie, right in line with the post on the clip.  After we have a small hole poked,  grab sewing scissors and snip that hole just a little bigger on both sides so the fabric will fit right over the post.

There is our little hole, not bigger than 1/4".

It ends up a little hard to see, but there is the white post poking through.

Now that you have that post holding your fabric in place, continue the tail of the tie over the top.

It will look like this.  I show you this just so you can imagine where that back half of the tie needs to go.  You actually need it flopped over the top of the clip, just like it is, but it needs to be under the middle of the tie.   

To make that happen, hold your finger over the fabric on the post, then let go of the middle of the tie.  Once the back end is pulled neatly over the top of the clip...

pick up that middle of the tie portion and pull it in front of the tie end, covering the front of the tie clip again..

Now is the tricky part :0)  Nope, all that wasn't tricky {snicker, snicker}
We now have to get the fat, or front end of the tie under that middle part too.
Pull the front end under the clip, and then pull it up behind the clip.

If you were to turn it over it would look like this.

Mark and poke a hole in this tail just like you did the first.  Go ahead and put the tie down, pick up your scissors, and snip that hole bigger so it will fit on the post too.

Now we need to get "This" under "Here".  You can try to tuck it under the middle of the tie, but I didn't have much luck with that.  Here is what I suggest...

Take the hole you just made off the post, pull the front piece of tie straight out to the side.

Fold it up over the tie like it is supposed to go, but at the last minute, 

tuck it under it's self.  In the picture above, I have the front tie strip folded under and you can see the white arm of the tie clip standing there waiting to be covered.  

From the front it looks a little crazy, but with a little working of the fabric, you will see the miracle in a few more moments, I promise!

Now, after you folded that tie strand under it's self, you will be left with a little loopy area.  That is where you need to tuck the tie clip arm. 

I hope you are not totally lost by this point.  

It looks like a tie, but still a little wonky.  It will get there.  Keep going!

Now that everything is tucked in, I can see my little hole I made. 

Work that fabric over again and again until you are able to work the hole over to the post.
Be sure and turn your tie over occasionally to make sure the tails are lying nicely from the front side.

We did it!  We got the hole back on the post!  Yay!!!!!
Oh, I am so proud of us :0)

Now grab one of those little grommets and shove it on the post.  I use my needle nose plyers to push it down.  That will hold the fabric onto the clip.  Now, if somewhere along the way you accidentally ripped your fabric or something came loose, a tiny bit of FabriTac glue or good old needle and thread to patch things up.  

There you go!  Cute little clip on tie.  
The first one always looks a little goofy, but the more you make the better they will look!

I make these as baby gifts for all the ladies at church.  Now that I have the clip-on hardware I can make ties that are both cute AND easy to put on a squirmy little guy.

Emmalee likes them too :0)  
{do you like how I cropped out her eyes.  They were all weird and blinky and I was too lazy to get the picture again}
What a nice mom!

Here are some of the fabrics I found at SAS Fabric in Phoenix to use for new ties.  Love it!!!   I like a little fatter tie.  Somewhere down the road I will show you my new and improved tie pattern I made myself.
Until then, you can find these tie clips at The Ribbon Retreat.com.


  1. Wahoo! I love your ties and toolbox Tuesday. Joshua wore the one you helped me make just the other day. (It was too long so I had to do some tweaking, which you know only took like 6 months to fix. ;)

  2. I want to try this, Brecken will look so cute in a tie!

  3. Luv your tutorial. Plan on making some right away!!! Question - Did you buy the small boy clip or junior clip? I want to make a few ties for an 18 month old and a three year old...


    1. You know, at the time there was only one size available. I would lean toward the small boy size, unless you are a particular fan of large knots :0) Does that help?


  4. I could not get the link to the clips to go anywhere, can you give us an address or phone? thanks

  5. Replies
    1. Where is the "like" button :0) I have never done a video...will have to talk to the hubbs, but I will let you know if I get that one done!

  6. Can these clips be used for bow ties as well somehow?? I've been on the never ending search for a clip that will go well for a bow tie so that I can clip bow ties on to onesies.

    1. These clips can not be used for bowties, but they used to sell the bowtie clips. That was what got me asking them for the necktie hardware. I am out of town right now, but when I get back I will ask them if they will carry the bow tie clips again. If you get the chance, email The Ribbon Retreat too and ask. It will only help. The ladies there are so sweet. I am sure they will help.

      If you need one right away you could buy a thrifted bowtie and just cut the original fabric off. It will give you an idea of how to attach your ties and keep you busy till The Ribbon Retreat gets them in stock :-)

      Good luck and hopefully you will hear from me again soon!!!

  7. Thank you for this awesome tutorial! I have been looking at them all day and yours is by far - hands down - without a doubt the best one out there of the more than 30 I've read today. You should republish this and teach online classes on how to make an awesome tutorial! :) Thanks again.

  8. Uh, you totally just made my day...probably my week! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for being just so sweet! I have been having a terrible time dealing with life and so appreciate hearing that I did something right. Blessings to you!



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