Upcycled Repurposed Men’s Tie Topiary {Guest Post Featuring Kathleen George from Crafts ‘n Coffee}

We spent all day yesterday in the hospital as my little guy is having some problems with his feeding tube. Despite the little set back, he is doing well and should be good to go after an x-ray this morning confirming the placement. So I am grateful to welcome back Kathleen George, a designer for Crafts n’ Coffee, sharing another great project using some upcycled repurposed ties.

Wait – don’t throw out those old ties! There is a lot of luscious and luxurious silk fabric in those ties! In this tutorial, designer Kathleen George shows how to repurpose those castoff beauties to make a Regal & Repurposed Tie Topiary. The deep, rich colors of men’s ties are perfect for this time of year (and when the weather turns again, you can welcome spring with a version made from plaid madras ties). If you don’t have old ties on hand, they’re readily available in second-hand stores.

In a future post, we’ll also share with you Kathleen’s Regal & Repurposed Tie Wreath.

Materials Needed:
STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 12” x 4” cone; 4” ball
Wood dowel, ¾” x 4”
Neckties, six (if you cut two sections from each tie, you could use as few as three)
Pearl head pins in coordinating color
Lightweight iron-on interfacing, preferably in a dark color
Yes! Paste
Low temperature glue gun & glue sticks
Black acrylic paint
Paintbrush with stiff bristles
Serrated steak knife
Old candle or bar of soap
1” putty knife or table knife

First, prepare your tree:
1. Wax the knife blade with the old candle or a bar of soap (this makes for easier cutting). Slice the 4” ball in half; save one half for a future project.
2. Push dowel 1” deep into the rounded side of the half ball. Remove the dowel, add low-temp glue to the hole, and reinsert the dowel. Be sure the dowel is straight before the glue dries.
3. Paint the dowel and bottom of the cone with black acrylic paint. Set aside to dry.

Next, prepare the tie fabric. (Stick with me on this – it takes a lot more time to explain than it takes to make!):
1. Clip the threads that hold the tie together at the back and open up the tie. Remove the liner from inside the tie. Iron the tie flat using the silk setting on your iron.
2. Cut 6 pieces of interfacing 13 ½” x 3”. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, iron a piece of interfacing onto the back side of each tie. Be sure to that the interfacing runs straight with the pattern in the fabric.
3. Make your pattern for the ties. Draw a 7/8” line; this will be the top of the pattern. From the midpoint of this line, draw a perpendicular line 13” long; the pattern measures 13” long from the top to the tip. At the 12” mark, draw a perpendicular line measuring 2-1/4” (or, 7/8” on either side of the line). Connect each end of this perpendicular line to the end of the 13” line, forming a point. Draw a line on either side connecting the end points of both perpendicular lines. Your pattern should look like a long, skinny tie. (There, that was the hardest part!)
4. Using the pattern, cut six pieces from stabilized tie fabric. (Note: plan your cuts strategically. If you’d like to use the excess silk for another project, cut your fabric from the center section of the tie, leaving the larger portions for a future project.)
5. Place the pattern on the topiary and moving it around the cone, mark off six equal sections with a sharp pencil.
6. Using a small putty knife or similar tool, spread a thin, even coat of Yes! Paste on the cone.
7. Starting along the bottom edge of the cone, position the first tie piece on the cone so that the point extends beyond the bottom edge. Carefully continue up the cone, using your fingertips to smooth the fabric into place and keep it in the section. Fold the top of the fabric strip onto the top of the cone and glue down. Trim away excess fabric at the top.
8. Repeat with two more fabric pieces, covering every other section.
9. Add the last three fabric pieces, slightly overlapping the first three fabric strips.
10. Use pearl head straight pins to pin down the edges of each strip. Space pins with approximately ½” apart.

Now, to cover the base:
1. Cut four 4” x 3-1/2” pieces of fusible interfacing. Iron onto four similarly sized pieces of silk fabric.
2. To make your pattern, draw a 1-1/4” line and 3-1/2” line that are centered over each other and 2-3/4” apart. Next, connect the end points on each line. (We’re almost done . . . ) Because the half ball is a curved surface, you will need to add the slightest curve to the 1-1/4” and 2-3/4” lines. O.K., your pattern is ready to go.
3. Cut four pieces from the silk fabric. Find the center in the 1-1/4” end and cut a 2” slit down the center of each piece. This will help you shape the fabric pieces around the curved surface and the dowel rod.
4. Using Yes! Paste, adhere two alternating sections to the half ball, smoothing fabric around the curve. Finish with remaining two fabric pieces and pin down the overlapping edges.
5. Add a row of pins around the base of the half ball.

Phew, you’re done! So, what do you think? Does it sound harder than it is? Please let me know how yours turns out!

Thank you for following along, and thank you again, Stephanie Lynn, for sharing your space with Crafts ‘n Coffee.
Happy crafting!

Sharon can be found at Crafts ‘n Coffee, a blog all about creating with STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam. The blog features fresh and crafty inspiration made by a variety of different creative designers, such as Kathleen George.
You can also follow Styrocrafts on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks so much for sharing this fun repurposed project. I used to love picking out ties for my dad and husband because some of the designs and patterns are pretty fabulous – now I think I need to go raid their closets! There are so many adorable topiary ideas utilizing the STYROFOAM Brand Foam Cones – I just had to share these recent posts for Halloween on Crafts ‘n Coffee below.

Sweet Yarn Ghost Family {found here} designed by Patty Schaffer

Fuzzy Wuzzy Ghosts {found here} designed by Dondi Richardson

Have a wonderful day ~ enjoy.


  1. Thanks for the inspiration, definetly gonna be trying the super cute wreath idea for this holiday season… love the colors and patterns!

  2. What a fun idea! I will be on the lookout for some ties .

  3. Fantastic ideas but more importantly best wishes to you and your family. A hospital visit is always pretty terrifying.

  4. I LOVE that wreath! it is so cool!
    I hope your little guy is doing well really, really soon!

  5. These are so cool!!! Great up-cycling projects.

  6. Love the tie wreath and tree! Very creative… upcycle and upscale at the same time. Well wishes to your little guy.

  7. Super cute! Makes me wish I would have saved some of my Dad’s ties, a tree to remind me of him would have been neat!

  8. Praying for your little one.

  9. I’d like to better see the top of the tree. How did you deal with them?

    LOVE these ideas!

  10. Thanks Stephanie Lynn for all of your inspiring posts. Sorry the little guy had to be in the hospital—I’m praying for strength for you today and for the little guy!

  11. So creative!! Thank you



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