How to Make Curtain Tie Backs and Bows

Written by cheryl munson
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How to Make Curtain Tie Backs and Bows
Tiebacks and bows add a decorative flair to curtains and home decore (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Tiebacks and bows are a creative solution to jazz-up and add pizazz to interior decor. Even a novice seamstress can make tiebacks and bows with little time and effort. If you are artsy, crafty and inclined to create something a bit out of the ordinary, you can go where others may never have dreamed of by re-purposing and being creative with things you already have in your closet, your kitchen and jewellery box to make your tiebacks and bows.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Make a traditional, tailored-style tieback by using fabric that coordinates with the curtains. Give the tieback stiffness by using an interfacing fabric in between the front and back.

  2. 2

    Determine the size of a traditional tieback. Typically, this means that the width of the front or facing side of the tieback will be between 4 to 6 inches wide and 3 to 5 inches in height. This requires cutting a fabric total width of 10 to 12 inches long and 4 to 6 inches high to accommodate sewing the seams.

  3. 3

    Cut the fabric so that it has an arch or crescent shape. This will give a wider centre point to the look of the finished tieback. Experiment by taking a swatch of fabric to determine the right width and height and depth for the crescent. Short curtains can look awkward with tiebacks that are too wide and long curtains can look awkward with tiebacks that are too narrow.

  4. 4

    Sew a traditional tieback by placing the right sides of the fabric so that they face the inside and put the interfacing fabric on one side. Leave an edge open for turning inside out so that the right side of the fabric will show after sewing. Press the fabric and use a hand slipstitch to sew the end or finish on your sewing machine.

  5. 5

    Decorate a traditional tieback with a matching fringe or cording. Sew the decorate finish to the bottom edge of the tieback. Use a tieback or cafe curtain hooks and a short nail, hammered onto the window casing wall to attach and secure the tieback.

  6. 6

    Add a bow by sewing cutting fabric in the same dimensions as the tie but do not use interfacing, as this will make the fabric too stiff to create a bow. Finish the side edges by hand or sewing machine. Tie into a bow and tack with a thumbtack pushed underneath the back of the bow into the window casing to complete the look of a tieback with a bow.

  7. 7

    Go creative and take your tiebacks and bows from traditional to the unexpected using items you have on hand in your home. For example, you can bend a fork to create a silver or gold tieback by placing the twines of the fork behind the curtain and sewing onto the back, so that the base of the fork shows on the front.

  8. 8

    Make bows by using ribbon, or gathering iridescent fabrics such as organza, taffeta and silk to give the bow a look of luxury. Create a casual but standout look by using bananas or belts. Add tassels and decorative hardware for an elegant look. The only limit to what you can use to create tiebacks and bows is your imagination.

Tips and warnings

  • A heavily decorative fork with a filigree pattern will work very well when creating a silver or gold tieback.
  • You can also make decorate tiebacks by using ties, scarves and jewellery. You can use cabinet knobs and pulls to anchor the ties to your windows.

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