Matchy Matchy Laser-Cut Leather Bow Ties!



Note: I have been reading the forums non-stop since Oct 2015, but this is my very first post…

I have a family wedding coming up this weekend and the groom is super into bow ties. I am too!
The groom likes bow ties enough that the wedding invitation actually said “bow ties preferred”. Nice!

Anyway, I decided a long time ago that I wanted to make a select few family members matching bow ties.
However, my Glowforge Pro is delayed (still), so I took matters into my own hands!

I designed a bunch of bow ties using Adobe Illustrator and sent the final files to
In case you don’t know, Ponoko is a 3D printing, CNC machining and laser cutting service.
They do great work, but they are EXPENSIVE!
I was able to fit 6x bow ties (various sizes) on their 181mm x 181mm sheet of 3.5mm thick veg tanned leather.
The final work piece looked like this:

In case you are wondering what this service costs when you don’t yet have your Glowforge, here you go:

Fast forward through some sewing and a lot of hot glueing…

Note: each bow tie is slightly different. I customized the name on each bow tie as well as the little picture between the text.
Also, I sized the bow ties according to age (adult size -> 5 years old -> 3 years old -> 8 months old)
Here are some close ups:

Hope you all like them!
We are going to look GOOD this weekend!


P.S. It would be pretty awesome if GF decided I am worthy of a pre-release unit…

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Thats Awesome!! Thanks for sharing! And welcome to the non-lurker side! :stuck_out_tongue:



What a creative design! Excellent job, and welcome to the Light! :sunny: :grinning:


Nice work, and great idea!
Thanks for joining us :sunglasses:


Please post pix (after the wedding) of the folks wearing them. What a great idea! :smile:


Thanks for jumping in the conversation. This is a great contribution to the forum. I love the custom design that, from a distance, doesn’t look custom. I’m looking forward to seeing photos of them in use.


Those are FANTASTIC!!


Love, love, love it! Such a nice design job, and it’s very helpful to know the Pocono costs. I hope this is just the first of many posts from you!


Using their names as part of the design pattern is brilliant. From a distance it looks like a nice geometric hash pattern. Up close and you see it’s personal. Really nice!


That is absolutely delightful! I did something similar for the holiday party in plywood… but more tie, less bow.


Dude… You made a wooden tie. A tie… made out of wood.


How about living hinge ties in wood? But Dan’s is way, way cooler! :sunglasses:


oooooh, inspiration: a tie made out of wood, and for the pattern: randomly-placed holes in the shape of termite-bites surrounded by engravings of the termites eating the wood. hm…


And are those Glowforged earrings that I spy there, adorning your lovely lady? :sunglasses:
Tres, tres chic!

I really like the hinge bow ties, never seen those before…I need to try to pull that off for my brother for next year.


One gotcha with the living hinge ties – they are relatively short-lived. Our local makerspace printed cut some ties as a test and although they are amazingly supple, they snapped in half pretty quickly. YMMV depending on how much you let admirers play with them.

Good eye – was going to ask about the earrings too.


I actually bought one of those longer living hinge wood ties a couple years ago to give to Brian.
(I wonder whatever happened to that thing? I don’t remember actually giving it to him…hmmmm.)

Anyway, I can soon make a new one.
Might even sprinkle a few of these on it, just for grins. :smile:


Love it! I am crazy about 18th and 19th century-style naturalist illustrations. I could see getting a really nice Isoptera illustration and engraving it on a tie…


My ex-husband is a spider biologist, so I actually have a spider species named after me: sisicottus cynthiae (wow! I was just checking the spelling online to see that there’s a wikipedia entry for it! wooo hoooo! So, maybe I’ll engrave some of my species drawings into something someday.

Though, I used to tease my ex-husband - spider biologists spend a lot of time drawing spider genitalia. So, a lot of my species drawings are spider-porn!


That’s kind of cool…(Having a species named after you, not the porn part!) ROFL!