tutorial – Stenciled Rocker Ties for Little boys


My son cracks me up. Sometimes he wants to look “crazy.” Mismatched socks. spiked up hair, clashing colored clothes, and most recently, ties over his t-shirts. He started with some bias tape from my craft drawer that he made me fashion into a tie with his Star Wars tee. Then he moved on to my husband’s ties. They hang down to his knees! i was determined to give him some of his own for christmas and he said he really wanted his name, lightning bolts and a rockstar tie…..hmmmm.

The following tutorial shows what i came up with to get some smiles this Christmas.

i’ll start by saying that finding little boys’ ties that aren’t clip-on is HARD! But i found one standard and one “ZIP” tie that is pretty cool and coop will like since he can tighten and loosen it himself.

1- i started by actually scanning the ties in and using their exact width, point angle, etc, to make a template in Adobe Illustrator. Then i created the art i’d use. i went simple on the name tie and included more detail in the guitar tie (keep in mind you have to cut these shapes with an x-acto knife later!) Little boys ties are just the right size to fit the graphic diagonally on a piece of letter size paper. Phew! i used Full Sheet crack n peel label stock to print my templates.

2 – once printed, i sat down with my x-acto and started carving out the reverse areas of my stencils and sticking them onto the ties. For floating pieces, i just laid the template down on the tie and used it like a puzzle to guide where i placed the bits.

3- i secured and re-secured all the sticker edges as much as possible and left the ties overnight…..because i was tired and it was 2am….not b/c its a necessary step : )


4 – i picked up some soft fabric paints by Tulip, including a neon yellow that just seemed fun!

5- after experimenting with a stippling brush and foam stipplers, i went with the foam. The bristles of the brush were too coarse and kept catching on the silky tie fabric.

6 – i randomly dipped and painted until all the open areas of my designs were covered. ya’ll know how to stencil, right?? Pouncing, no dragging! : )

7 – wait for the ties to dry. i hate being patient!

StenciledBoysTieTute2And after a bit of torturous waiting…here they are!


i hope they go over big on Christmas! It will be so hard to wait til then to see his reaction!


  1. says

    These look awesome! I have a little guy who’s not to the point of dressing himself yet (16 months old), but I still love these! Maybe someday I’ll make my little guy some. 🙂

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