Neck Tie School Bag

Got lots of neck ties lying around? Use them to make this unique bag!

Neck Tie School Bag

What you need

Okay, you'll need a bunch of ties. Mine are all paisleys. A lot of lining fabric - mine is black velveteen.
One 18mm magnetic snap
Heavyweight stabilizer
Large graph paper (or newspaper) for pattern
Basic sewing supplies



Let’s start with the gusset/handle:

you’ll need four ties:

Necktie Ties

(Figure 1)

Lay them out like this. Measure up each tie halfway and mark with a pin. These pieces are joined together in pairs halfway up with the top parts left loose.

Join each pair side by side with a super-wide triple zigzag stitch. This is the number 7 stitch on my Bernina Artista 165. Most fancy machines have a similar stitch. If yours doesn’t, you can use a regular zigzag with heavy thread for a similar result.

Necktie Bag 3

(Figure 2)

Just feed the ties through side by side, no “right sides together” or pinning or anything.

Stitch each pair together side by side halfway up. Leave the tops free. When you reach the halfway mark, do a bartack to secure.

Necktie Bag 4

(Figure3 )

Now you have have two pairs of ties sewn together. Flip them over to the wrong side. See the seam on the back of the tie? See how it is hand-basted? Well, after making HUNDREDS of necktie projects experience has shown me that these tend to come loose with wear. So we are going to take care of that right now. Do not skip this step. No cheating.

Just do another triple zigzag over the center of each tie following the center seam on the wrong side. You can do the entire tie or just halfway up. Either way is fine but no cheating. You will regret it….and I’m watching….

Necktie Bag 5

(Figure 4)

Now place the fat ends of the ties right sides together and stitch across with a regular straight stitch. Fold back the little triangles and stitch them down as well.

Necktie Bag 6

(Figure 4)

Your gusset/strap piece is now complete! The center of this piece where the fat ends of the ties are so neatly sewn will become the center bottom of the bag. Get it?


Now we are going to make the pattern for the front and back of the bag. Select five ties from your stash. Arrange them in a pleasing order. Don’t try too hard. Okay. Place them on the large piece of paper with the sides touching. Line up the center tie with a straight line on the graph or newspaper.

5 ties

(Figure 5)

Now mark a dot at the inside points between the ties. Trace the slanting sides of the outside ties as well.

Remove the ties and connect the dots. Decide how tall you want the bag to be. Mine is about 12 inches. Draw a line across the top. Trace a “junk” cd to curve the corners. Oh….Did I forget to put “junk cd” in the supply list? Sorry!

Neck Tie 8
(Figure 6)

Cut this pattern out. Fold it in half. Trim the sides and bottom to make the shape symmetric. Cut a “smiley” shape out of the top (see photo.)

Neck Tie 9
(Figure 7)

Unfold paper – Voila! Behold your pattern.

Neck Tie 10

(Figure 8)

Cut two of these from the heavyweight stabilizer.

Fold the stabilizer in half to determine the center. Mark with pencil. Align the center of the middle tie on this line. Pin this tie securely.



(Figure 9)

Add remaining ties. Cut them all off well above the stabilizer.

Necktie 12
(Figure 10)

Stitch the ties to the stabilizer with the famous triple zigzag.

Stitch from the front but here is what the back will look like when you are done. Stitch from the front. Not the back. The front.


(Figure 11)

Now trim off the ends and the tops. Pin and stitch all the way around about 1/8 inch in from the edge.


(Figure 12)

Repeat this section for the back of the bag.


Now we are going to make the flap. Cut your pattern about 6 x 8 inches. Round off two of the corners with the junk cd.

Neck tie Bag 15

(Figure 13)

Cut one flap pattern from heavyweight stabilizer.

Neck tie Bag 15

(Figure 14 )

Place stabilizer on the wrong side of the black velveteen, pin, cut out and stitch about 1/8-inch in from the edge.

Neck tie Bag 17

(Figure 15)

Install the “male” part of the magnetic snap to the flap.

Neck tie Bag 18

(Figure 16)

Now place this piece right sides together on another piece of velveteen. Cut out, pin and stitch around the flap leaving the top straight edge open.
Sorry about the blurry image.

Neck tie Bag 19

(Figure 17)

Trim seam allowance, turn to right side and top stitch all around the edge.

Neck tie Bag 20
(Figure 18)

Choose another necktie to decorate the flap. Center and pin it to the top of the flap. You should still see the magnet on the back.

Neck tie Bag 21

(Figure 19)

Pin securely and stitch down the sides with the triple zigzag. Add a bartack at the end to secure.

Neck tie Bag 22

(Figure 20)

This is the back.


(Figure 21)

You have completed your flap. Time to take a nap.

SECTION FOUR: The pocket

Time to make a pocket! I use a large index card as the pattern for this.

Neck tie Bag 24

(Figure 22)

Cut two rectangles, sew with right sides together, leave opening, turn, top stitch the top edge, add tag and yada yada yada – pocket!

Now to review – we have one long gusset/handle piece, a front and a back, a flap and a pocket, right?

Neck tie Bag 25

(Figure 23)


Now we will line the bag. Ready?

We’ll start with the back. You’ll need the back piece, the flap, the pocket and the lining fabric. Use the back piece as a pattern to cut out a lining piece slightly bigger than the back.

Neck tie Bag 26

(Figure 24 )

Center and stitch the pocket onto this lining piece.

Neck tie Bag 27

(Figure 25)

Center the flap right sides together on top of the back piece, pin raw edges together. Pin back lining piece right sides together to back piece with flap piece in between.
I know you can’t really see the flap but it’s in there I promise!

Neck tie Bag 28
(Figure 26)

Stitch around the edge leaving an opening for turning. Trim seam allowance and turn to right side. Top stitch top edge. Pin opening closed.

Neck tie Bag 29

(Figure 27)

Starting at the center bottom, with right sides together, pin gusset/handle piece to edge of bag back.

Neck tie Bag 30

(Figure 28)

Stitch around edge, back stitching at ends. This is the inside.

Neck tie Bag 31
(Figure 29)

Now install the female part of the magnet on the center front of the bag.

Neck tie Bag 32

(Figure 30)

Cut a lining for the front piece.

Neck tie Bag 33

(Figure 31)

Pin and stitch leaving an opening for turning. Turn to right side and top stitch the top edge. Pin the opening closed.

Neck tie Bag 34

(Figure 32)

Starting at the center bottom, pin the gusset/handle piece to the bag front.

Neck tie Bag 35

(Figure 33)

Stitch around the edge, back stitching to secure.

Turn bag right side out – and voila! You have a beautiful Neck-tie bag!

Neck tie Bag Finished

Now, if your ties reek of cologne/cigarette smoke/must and dust – I’d like to recommend a home-dry-cleaning product called Dryel. I use this for all of my necktie projects and it works like a charm. Have fun!

This project was contributed by Laura

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  1. You can print the pattern: Just highlight and copy, past into MS Word and print. Takes about 24 pages however so you might want to go back and delete any irrelevant content to save space. I already tried it so I know it works. I wanted to print it at work and take it home with me.

    • Vikram Goyal says:

      You can also just login and then click the print button. That prints it in a nice format without the ads and much less pages!

  2. How are the ends finished off for the handles?

    • for one of them I put a belt buckle on & just put rivets down the other side so that it was adjustable.. Also, for one I just used a knot that could be adjusted to the person’s liking. Next one I think I’m going to try “D” rings & see how they hold up. otherwise just sewn together at the top to what length you prefer & it looks great too. I didn’t butt them together but rather laid them on top of the other side & sewed down the edge of the ties laid one on top of the other. If that makes sense. I wish I could share a pic of some of mine!
      They really came out cute & I love the pattern that was shared here! I made my first one as a trial becuz my niece’s father-in-law passed & she came over with tons of his ties to make ‘Memory’ purses for his wife & daughter. I barely mend clothes & had not much experience on a sewing machine. She told me that they loved them. I felt kind of blessed to give them something that helped them think of him even tho he was gone..

  3. i love this i was at a second hand store the other day and bout about 15 ties for this purse.. but i do have a question.. when and how do u sew the skinny part of the handles together??

    • I love it! II made my 1st purse & didn’t realize that It would end up being as large as it was. All i did was follow all the instructions but only used 3 of the front panels ties. The back panel was made using the scraps left from the front. After you’ve sewn the ‘handle/ gusset piece if you DON’T cut it off it’s a good shoulder bag, they hang to ab the hip.

  4. Sorry about my ‘poo-poo’ comment! I would love to have anyone explain to me what it is I’m doing wrong :( I’m just lost here. I’m a beginner ‘sew-er’ ! LOL More education is a must!

  5. Not meaning to be a buzz-kill but after making the front of the purse I found that the remaining ties aren’t a sufficient size to fit together for the back, which makes sense because they are in a ‘V’ with a wide end & a narrow end. The only way I was able to fit the pattern was to make piece it with alternate wide & narrow ends.
    I’m not too experienced & I’m sorry but the math of the project with these ties is practice. My niece lost her father-in-law & wants me to take his very expensive silk ties & make a couple purses for her mother-in-law & sister-in-law.
    The way I figure, its going to take me 14 ties to make this purse because you have to cut off most of the wide end for the 12 inch tall panel. and the flap wont be from the wide end if I want to keep a point for the flap.

  6. Vivian Anderson says:

    I have made this purse , but I want to make another smaller one tonight – to wear tomorrow. I was hoping I could print the pattern . Thanks. Vivian

  7. Can.t wait to try it!!!

  8. Diane Egan says:

    Very well done instructions. I’m a visual/hands-on learner, so the pictures were a great help. I will try this pattern. Thank you!

  9. carol I says:

    Awesomely cute, I love it, will make a nice big purse for my mom who uses “Depends.”

  10. just loved tie purse! also, thanks bunches for the dry cleaning product, Dryel. how generous for you to share—truly appreciate your dedication.

  11. Thanks for the inspiration, I have been holding on to my Grandpa’s ties, waiting for the right inspiration to make something special. This just might be the year to make something happen. Thanks again.

  12. Being a visual learner it turned me off that I would have to constantly search through the photos and guess which one went with each step. I also agree with those who commented re: finishing the top of the strap…is this up to personal preference?


  1. […] You’ll never have to worry about someone else having the same tote when you’re carrying this necktie bag. […]

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