I have to be honest and tell you I have an obscene number of neck ties. For a while, I thought it would be fun to "collect" neckties. I mean, I figured it was better than collecting something like thimbles or bells from different states, or collecting dust. I could at least wear these to work, weddings, and obligatory social functions. I also grew up in the menswear/haberdashery business, so I was rocking the little bowtie, seersucker, and saddle shoes from the time I was knee high to a grasshopper. However, 2 full tie racks of neck ties and bow ties later, I've learned my lesson in this small bungalow. I saw this as a fun way to make a conversation piece that would both represent me (someone who dresses up quite frequently/fancies himself a bit of a Southern gentleman) and pay homage to my heritage in the menswear business. Taking an old necktie of my grandfather's he gave me, I cut it half, about 7 inches from the bottom tip. (small disclaimer: my grandfather is still very much alive and kicking, this tie also had a small stain in the middle, which I knew I could cut out, making it a prime candidate for the project). Taking the 2 tie halves, I decided to line them up, frame them, and mat them to form a diptych. A diptych is a continuous painting, photo, or piece of art that is done on two separate panels or canvases. Using 2 identical frames and white mats, I lined up the tie pieces to create the whole tie once again. Using double-sided tape, I secured the tie pieces to the backs of the mats, lining up the center to create a continous tie.
I purchased 2 pieces of scrapbooking/craft paper from a major craft store that I thought looked like a man's dress shirt. I decided on a small blue gingham to go with the red striped tie. Finishing off the backs with some cardboard to press everything into place, I sealed the frames and hung them one above the other, leaving some space to create the division between the two pieces. I'm really pleased with the result. It's fun, kind of whimsical, and a new approach to "Bachelor Pad." I think it could be a fun series, lined along a wall in a bedroom, hallway, or dressing room with several different ties and backing paper. Ladies, this project might not appeal to you and your lack of bachelor bungalow, however, don't discount the necktie. Your husband's, boyfriend's, significant other's, or insignificant other's neckties can make great, fun, curtain tie backs, a fun belt to wear with jeans, or a great accent tied around a throw pillow. Or if you're just not buying my necktie campaign of love, why not frame out an old silk scarf you love? When in doubt, frame it out.
Also, you can bet your bow tie I'm going to make this wreath for Christmas. So be warned! I've already started collecting contrasting neckties from local thrift stores/sales to make my wreath next month. I think I would put pieces of coat hanger or wooden dowel inside the back of each tie to make more of a stand-out sunburst pattern and to prevent the ties from wrapping down around the edges of the wreath form. However, that's a different project, for a different day, and a different blog entry. So, hit your closet, get a little creative and crafty, and then really "Tie One On" to celebrate your new piece.
Photo Credits: Skitzo Leezra Studio and http://www.southernproper.com/