A bolo tie is a Western-style tie that is also referred to as a bola tie. Instead of using a thick strip of fabric or linen, like regular ties, bolo ties use a strand of leather, string or cording as the main component. You also need a few other supplies to make a bolo tie, as well as the right tools for the job. Make your own bolo ties within an afternoon as a creative craft project with the family or as unique gifts for others.
Braided leather strands, woven string, beaded string or cord are used to make a bolo tie. The colour and texture are up to you and your personal style. The length is up to you, as well, but you want the tie to be at least a quarter of the way down from your neck, but not long enough to reach your waistline. Most bolo ties are 36 to 40 inches long from tip to tip.
A bolo slider is the decorative piece on your tie. Choose a piece that fits you, such as a decorative charm, semi-precious stone, a beaded design or a small cowboy hat. Make your own slider or you can purchase one. The slider should be about the size of a quarter or smaller. You do not want it too big or heavy as this will weigh your bolo tie down.
The bolo slide is what the slider is attached to. Slides, which look like small hooks, are available at jewellery stores and through online distributors. The slide keeps the slider in place on the tie. If you are making your own slider, use jewellery glue or super glue to attach the slider to the slide.
Bolo tips go on the ends of the tie strands. They are usually made of metal and resemble a bullet shape or a long, elongated tube with a closed end. Find bolo tips at craft stores and through online distributors. Bolo tips tie the whole bolo together and weigh it down slightly so it does not shift around. Place bolo tips at the ends of the strands of material you choose when you are done attaching the slide and sliders.
Some tools and supplies are needed to complete a bolo tie. You may need pliers or when you are working with the bolo tips and attaching the slider to the slide. A metal file can be implemented if there are sharp or jagged edges in the metal pieces of the bolo tie. Scissors come in handy if you have to cut the bolo tie to length. Jewellery or super glue are needed to glue the slide and slider together. Washcloths come in handy when you are working with the glue and to remove fingerprints from any of the metal parts. You can also lay small items on the washcloth so they don't roll around and get lost.