DIY Projects For Semi Crafty Non Perfectionists

I haven’t done one of these in six months, so I’m over due in making some semi-crafty stuff! Since part of Brent’s Mother’s Day gift to me included painting our front door bright red, I thought the kids and I would return the favor and paint him something too. Today, ladies and gentleman, we’re making these:image

We love homemade gifts in our family and I thought a funky tie painted by the kiddos would make a sweet, memorable gift that was equal parts traditional and quirky. Brent wears both regular and bow ties, so we made him one of each.

This project cost me a total of $40 to make both the standard tie and the bow tie. Any future fabric painted projects will be less expensive as I now have plenty of fabric dye paint left over. Here’s what you need:

  • White or light colored, solid ties. I ordered mine of Amazon here and here. I’ve also seen them locally at TJ Maxx and really any department store men’s section.
  • I really like Dye-Flow fabric dye paints. I bought the sample kit with a rainbow of colors at my local art store for $10, but found it online here for a few bucks more.
  • A fabric paint pen in black. I used this one.
  • Masking tape. I found tape in varying widths at my local art supply store
Step One: Tape off your design. I didn’t really know how this would turn out when I started doing it, but I wanted to add some sort of graphic element to the the tie. If you wanted to skip the step, you certainly could and would just have a solid watercolor effect.  These are not very good photos, but you can see here that I just taped off line designs on both ties. Get creative!



(I wasn’t finished tapping off this design when I took the photo of the bow tie)

Step Two: Time to paint! We used our art easel to clip the ties up but a piece of cardboard on the ground would work well too. I wasn’t sure if the dye paint would permanently stain the children’s hands, so I insisted on gloves at first. I tested a little spot on my own hand, let it dry, then washed it with soap and water and it came right off, so we discarded the gloves halfway through. 

We used an empty plastic egg crate to hold our paint colors and decided to do one tie in warm colors and the other in cool colors. Everly insisted that both ties should have some pink (but of course!)




Step Three: Let the ties dry for about 15 minutes. Because the paint is a similar consistency to watercolors, it dries quickly. Next take your black fabric marker and trace the sides of the masking tape to make your graphic design stand out. (Note: You could skip this step if you wanted. I found the the color still bled under the edges of the tape, but it still made some nice white areas)


Step Four: Peel off the masking tape and heat set the ties. The directions on the package recommended putting a piece of paper between the fabric and the iron, so I just used a piece of grocery bag. Heat through for about 3 minutes with no steam.

The finished results:

I also used the craft paper that we painted the ties on as homemade wrapping paper. It was a nice touch that tied (TIED! get it!) the whole thing together.

The entire project took us 45 minutes start to finish. Now that we’ve got this under our belt, I’m already thinking of other fabric pieces we could paint - pillow cases, t-shirts, even fabric hair bows.

This gift for Brent was originally supposed to be a surprise, but Everly announced to him as soon as we were finished that he “better not come outside or he might see the ties we painted for him.” Oh well! We’re all still really excited for him to open these this Sunday for Father’s Day!



Check out previous semi-crafty posts here.