How to Make a Bow Tie Out of Construction Paper

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Make a simple construction paper bow tie by folding a square of paper accordion-style, like a fan, and adding a thin strip of paper around the middle to secure it. For the simplest version, cut out a sideways hourglass shape; then tape or glue a thin strip around the middle. Add a long thin strip of paper to any paper bow tie to make it wearable.

Super Simple Bow Tie

Step 1: Cut the Paper in Half

Position a piece of construction paper on a smooth surface landscape-style so it is wider than it is tall. Fold the top half down to meet the bottom half and crease the fold. Cut out the paper along the crease.

Step 2: Cut a Piece for the Bow

Fold one of the two pieces in half from left to right. Cut it along the crease or fold as well.

Step 3: Make the Bow Shape

Draw a basic sideways hourglass shape along one of the small pieces so the bow tie is as wide or tall as you'd like it to be. Cut out the shape.

Step 4: Cut Long Strips

Cut the wide, narrow piece of construction paper into wide strips approximately 3/4-inch wide.

Step 5: Add the Center Piece

Wrap one of the strips around the narrow center portion of the bow or hourglass shape and tape it in place. Feel free to cut or tear the strip if you do not want to wrap it around the bow shape more than once.

Step 6: Make the Tie Wearable

Tape one of the wide, narrow strips to the back of the bow near one wide end. Wrap the strip around the back of your neck or a friend's neck; then tape the free end of the paper to the other end of the back of the bow. Tear or cut the paper to the proper size to fit the neck before taping the paper in place.

Ruffled Accordion-Style Bow Tie

To make a slightly fancier bow tie, cut a piece of construction paper into two wide, short halves as in Step 4. Cut the paper as wide as you would like the bow tie; then fold it accordion-style, starting from the top and working your way down. Each fold should be approximately 1/2 inch wide. Squeeze the center of the accordion-folded paper and tape a thin strip of paper around the center area to complete the basic bow-tie shape. Add another thin strip around the back of the tie if you wish to wear it.

Tip

    • For a slightly more durable version of the bow tie, tape a lightweight hair clip to the back of the bow tie at its center. Use painter's tape or packing tape. Clip the tie onto your shirt at the neckline. 
    • Decorate the bow tie with strips or dots cut from another color of paper and glued in place.
    • Make a jumbo bow tie by using an entire piece of construction paper, aligned landscape style, to make either accordion fold or hourglass tie shapes.

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