cryptoquip (cryptoquip) wrote in fan_tutorials,

How to Paint a House Tie

Ha-hah! I was so excited about this community that I decided tonight was a good night to do this project. Now what I want to know is, who will do the tutorial on how to do a tutorial?

Title: How to make a house tie out of a solid-colored thrift store tie
Fandom: Harry Potter
Fanwork Type: Cosplay
Difficulty: Easy
Additional notes: This is a cheap and creative alternative to ordering your tie from a website. Please excuse the poor quality of the camera is crap.
Lj-cut or Link:


Apart from the tie, you can get all of this stuff from a big craft store like Michael's, or from your small neighborhood shop if you have one. You will need:

  • One bargain tie. Use any solid-color thrift store tie that matches one of the of the house colors. If you are doing even-width stripes (first two movie versions), it doesn't matter which of the two colors you have. If you are doing uneven stripes (Prisoner of Azkaban style), then you will want red for Gryffindor, blue for Ravenclaw, gold for Hufflepuff, or green for Slytherin.

  • Fabric paint. Make sure you get the kind of paint that that works on all colors of fabric (this will be advertised on the label). Do not get anything called "tint" or "dye", and do not get anything with a watery consistency. You want thick, gooey paint that will sit on top of the fabric.

  • Paint brush. Craft stores sell special fabric painting brushes, but really, any fairly stiff brush that isn't too large (up to maybe one inch wide) will do.

  • Masking tape. I like 18mm masking tape for the even-striped tie. For the PoA tie, you can get 1/4 inch wide tape that works great. It's a little hard to find--I got mind from the "Stenciling" aisle--it was being sold for use as grout lines between fake stencilled tiles. Go figure.

  • A cup of water (to rinse your brush)

  • A paper towel (to wipe your brush)

  • A small bowl or plate to mix paint on, if you don't have the right color.

  • Step 1: Set it up

    The blank canvas. This one is silver, for Slytherin.

    It is okay if the tie has some wrinkles or small stains. You can cover up a lot of problems with paint. Put some newspaper or other junk mail under the tie.
    Silver tie from a thrift store.
    Step 2: Tape out the Stripes

    Use masking tape to mask out the stripes. The stripes should run parallel to one side of the point at the wide end of the tie. Since the stripes are of even width on this tie, you can use a spare piece of tape as a spacer between the main stripes. You can see the "spacer" tape being pulled off in this picture. When taping, make sure that the fabric of the tie lies smooth under the tape, and the tape has no wrinkles. This will keep the edges of your stripes nice and straight.
    Peeling tape
    Step 3: Painting

    Paint over the parts of the tie that are still showing. Hold the brush almost vertical. Do not slide the bristles under the edges of the tape. Paint over the edges of the tape, and make sure you paint all the way to the edge of the tie. Do not dilute your paint with water (I learned the hard way that it will bleed under the tape).
    How to paint
    Step 4: Let it dry!

    All covered in paint. Be patient and wait for the paint to dry.
    painted tie
    Step 5: Peel it off!

    When the paint is finally dry, peel off all of the tape. Then put the tie on immediately. Hot damn.
    Tie in use
    Two Finished Ties

    My two ties. The Slytherin tie was made as you see here. The Gryffindor tie was made using 1/4 inch masking tape, with yellow paint on a red tie. It is a little more complicated to get the spacing right on the stripes.
    Two Finished Ties
    Tie in use

    Gryffindor tie in context.
    Tie in use

    A li'l icon base. Just in case.

    Some additional Notes:

    Nice reference pictures for both styles of tie can be seen at the Alivan's website, here.

    The most crucial part of the tie as far as looks go is actually the part where the knot is tied (since if you are in full costume this is the only part that will show). The second most crucial part is the wide end. So if you think you might need some practice at painting, start at the narrow end. If you are afraid of running out of paint, start at the wide end.

    I used the tiny paint-pots you can see in the picture, and one pot had more than enough paint to do an entire tie of either style.

    Lastly, for anyone interested, this tutorial was formatted almost entirely using Livejournal's picture hosting capabilities. Anyone who has a paid account can use this functionality.
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