Adele has been a youth services librarian for 22 years, and a Harry Potter fan for 18 years.
Making a Harry Potter House Tie for a Costume
When you have a “house tie” sporting the colors of one of the houses of Hogwarts, you are well on your way to having a costume for a Harry Potter party or activity. You can simply pair it with a white shirt, or you can dig up a black graduation robe to add to your costume. If you want to go as Harry Potter himself, add a pair of round spectacles and draw a little lightning bolt on your forehead.
**Note: You can get the printable template for the tie by scrolling down and clicking the orange link. That will take you to a PDF file.
A No-Sew Alternative
When I was tasked with coming up with a craft for a Harry Potter library program, I found instructions for sewing ties out of felt, but I wanted to come up with a no-sew variety for 50+ children who were going to come to the library program.
Here’s what I came up with: a tie that is held together with a certain kind of glue called “tacky glue” and Velcro that is stapled on to the neckpiece. It worked well. The children were able to complete them quickly and wear them out of the library.
Items Needed for a No-Sew Harry Potter Tie
You'll need the following five things.
1. Felt in House Colors
You’ll need some pieces of felt that are at least 13”X 3” for the base color of the tie. I ended up buying the felt by the yard because the felt rectangles that measure about 9” X 12” aren’t big enough to make the whole tie.
On the other hand, the felt rectangles will work just fine for the stripes. You can make two sets of stripes out of one 9” X 12” rectangle.
You will also need a piece of each base color that measures 20” x ¾” to make the neck strap.
Official House Colors
Here are the official House Colors according to none other than J.K. Rowling on her Pottermore site:
- Gryffindor: Red and Gold
- Slytherin: Green and Silver
- Hufflepuff: Yellow and Black
- Ravenclaw: Blue and Bronze
In practicality, most people use gray for silver and a goldenrod color for the gold. For bronze, you can use a dark tan color. I’ve noticed that most people use a muted red or burgundy for the color of Gryffindor, as well.
2. Tie Template
You can get the following templates in two ways. One is this PDF file. The other option is to copy and paste the following template photos into a program like Word or Publisher. Then, enlarge the template until it’s 8 ½” by 11”. I’ve put it in two sections so that you can print it two pages of regular printer paper, then join them together with tape. The rounded top will be folded over later so that the neck strap can go through it.
Tie Template: Top
Tie Template: Bottom
3. Tacky Glue
I use Aleene’s tacky glue. It has more adhering power than Elmer’s, and you don’t need as much to hold it. You also don’t have to deal with hot glue, which can be a problem if you are doing this craft with a group of kids. It does take a little while to dry, and it is NOT washable, since it’s water-based.
I have found that the stripes stay on pretty well, even if they aren’t dry. When you glue the top of the tie over, you can hold it together with a gold paper clip. The child can still wear it right away, and the clip kind of blends into the décor. Once the tie is dry, you can take the clip off.
4. Velcro Squares
I needed supplies for about a hundred ties, so I bought a package of squares. They are the “stick-on” kind, but the sticky stuff doesn’t work well at all on felt. Fortunately, it is really easy to staple the squares onto the felt neckband, and you won’t even see the staples if you tuck the neckband under the collar of a shirt.
5. Jumbo Gold Paper Clips
If you buy a box of jumbo gold paper clips, you can use them to hold the top portion of the tie while it dries.
How to Assemble Your Harry Potter Tie
Here are the steps, illustrated with photos.
1. Use the Tie Template to Cut a Tie Shape From Your Base Color. (Gryffindor Would Be Red, Slytherin Would Be Green, Etc.)
2. Cut Stripes From the Contrasting Color.
The stripes can be of most any thickness. Just make sure they are a little bit wider than the tie.
3. Arrange the Stripes Diagonally; Then Glue Them to the Tie.
4. Trim the Edges of the Stripes to Make Them Even With the Tie.
5. Apply Glue to the Top of the Tie; Then Fold over the Top Half of the Circle.
6. Fasten With a Gold Paper Clip.
7. Cut a Neckband 20” X ¾”. Thread It Through the Top of the Tie.
8. Attach the Velcro to the Ends of the Neckband, and Then Staple.
Here Is Your Harry Potter Tie, All Ready to Wear.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can I use paper for this?
Answer: Sure. If you'd rather use paper than felt, you can do it. I would still use a strip of cloth or a wide ribbon for the part that goes around the neck because paper is uncomfortable and tears easily.
Cee-Jay Aurinko from Cape Town, South Africa on September 04, 2016:
I enjoyed reading this post Adele. I really want to make me one of those now. :)