Ties are the Perfect Post-COVID Refashioning Projects (Upcyling, Repurposing)

In these days of COVID-19 social limitations and working from home, a lot of men’s formal clothes aren’t being used nearly as much as they used to be. Those wearing it don’t have nearly as many occasions to dress up, nor do they have to dress up on nearly as many occasions like work, as in the past. The difference with this latest turn on men’s formal fashion, though, especially the casual work look, is that it looks to be here to stay. That makes men’s formal clothes ideal for purging, and refashioning if you were into that trend.

Among the men’s formal clothes most available for refashioning, the neck tie has to be the one most overlooked. The need to wear them has been drastically reduced, and that isn’t some fleeting trend, so there are plenty of ties around to refashion! Many of the ties available are also silk, which is not exactly cheap! Yet, what can you do to refashion a tie? It’s not exactly the easiest garment to refashion, like taking off sleeves to turn a jacket into a vest, or blinging up a dress shirt to increase its attractiveness while decreasing its formality.

Fortunately, tie refashioning has been a novelty in the past, so there are plenty of ideas and instructions, including:

Refashioning ties just had a limited life in the past, probably from lack of them freely available, but is now ready for a long-term resurrection. Fashion will always come and go, but when the tie comes back for men, it won’t stay for long before reverting back to what it will be in 2020 and 2021… not much. That is, in most years ahead, neck ties for men will be a thing of the past rather than a thing of the present. Years when ties will be “in” will be the exception rather than the norm.

So what can one do to refashion ties? Below are some of my favourite ideas I found scouring the Internet. Each item name has a link for instructions you can click through, with a Pinterest pin that may be alternative instructions, or just a nice picture to show what something turned out like. I will be trying these myself over the next year or so, having just inherited over 120 ties from a simple call out for ties people I knew on Facebook were willing to give away! I don’t doubt I will get more once people see products I will be making with them, and maybe respond to those calls for ties they were willing to give away rather than my initial one that got me the 120+ !



Ideas for Single Ties


Bias Tape and Binding


Ruffled neckline or collar


Collar trim

No instructions found but basically put the tie under the collar, rounded like the woman’s version here, or pointed for men’s dress shirts. You could even make it run over shirt or cardigan button plackets, around the neck, and down the other side to cover the buttons. Lots of easy and creative opportunities here!






Hat decorations




Butterfly brooch

For fabric, in general, from paper origami, but can work nicely with tie fabric.


Cuff bracelet or wrist cuff


Smart phone pouch


Eye glasses case




Scissor and crafts pouch

No instructions but generally, turn the tie upside down, cut and sew it off. A more challenging version is below, but it seems the tie was folded several times to create different depths, with it having been folded out before usage for greater width translating to depth.


Key chain


Zip pouch




Hipster bag


Regular belt


Obi belt


Shoulder straps


Pant leg mending or decorations

No instructions found but you get the idea


Kid craft snakes


Camera Strap


Watch Strap (no instructions found)


Decorative table flowers


Table placemats and napkin rings


Cup Cuffs or Cozies


Luggage handle tags


Give them to women

At least in Fall 2020 and early 2021, tie wearing for women is a current fashion trend! Shortening tie length may be your only refashioning step here, if any, which it can be done easily enough on the part under the collar.



Ideas for Multiple Ties


Heart Pin

No instruction but I think I got this figured out. 😉


Simple skirt

One of many instructions sets online for many styles. I want to make a few of these so I will post a few different styles here for my inspiration.




One of many instruction sets online for many styles. This is what I’m most interested in doing with ties I’ve gotten from others so I’ll keep a whole bunch here for favourite ideas.



No instruction but very sexy and just figure it out for fitting all the same.




Poncho (no instruction found)


Cloche Hat


School Bag


Purse and handbag


Hobo bag


Photo album covers




Lamp Shade


Sunburst clock






Sunburst rug (and Ottoman)

This woman had instructions for both, but I thought I’d show a few additional looks that’s probably not too different from what she has instructed.


Chair seat


General tie weaving


And finally, quilts…

Like the dresses from neckties, there are many variations for quilts from neckties. Far more than dresses, in fact. Unlike the dresses from neckties, though, I have no aspiration to do any quilts with neckties. Still, I’ll share a handful of ideas for those who may be interested. They don’t come with instructions, though, so you quilters will just have to figure it out, but I’m sure you can!

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