Did you ever wonder what was lurking on the inside of a man’s necktie? No? You have better things to wonder about? Well, good news: I don’t. And I have discovered that if you slip your index finger into the back of a man’s tie, you might find some wonderfully soft felt that you can use to make your very own squiddy friend. Hello, friend!
The best part is that you can stitch this guy up in under an hour and use him as a pin cushion, a hanging decoration, or a present topper – all from the inside of a couple of neckties! Who knew?!
- Two old neckties with soft felt on the inside
- Polyester stuffing or something else to give the squid some volume
- Scraps of tie fabric or craft felt
- Embroidery floss
- Safety eyes (optional)
1. To make sure your ties have felt on the inside, lift one or both of the back flaps. If you can’t lift one of the back flaps, slip your finger inside and feel what’s in there. If you feel something soft and felty, you have a winner! If you feel something cheap, thin, and mesh-like, keep searching.
In my experience, designer ties are more likely to have felt treasures inside than ties that cost $10 new, so even if you’re at Goodwill, look for the good stuff.
2. To disassemble a necktie, clip the stitch that’s holding the two flaps together, then start pulling the back of the tie apart.
Keep going until you have liberated two felt ties.
3. Lay one tie on top of the other and turn them so the point – i.e. the bottom of the tie – is at the top. Using your scissors to cut through both layers, create the arrowhead shape at the top to represent the top of the squid’s head (see picture below). Choose your overall length – mine is about 14″ from top to tentacles – and cut a wavy line where you want the tentacles to end.
4. Cut tentacles, making them slightly more than half of the overall length (my squid’s tentacles measure 7 1/2″ of the total 14″). Don’t worry about making straight lines – you shouldn’t. The squid will look far more interesting if you introduce curves and waves.
5. Now select the squid’s eyes. You can use plastic safety eyes, if you have them in your stash, or you can cut simple shapes out of tie fabric.
6. Once you’ve selected the eyes, choose your color of embroidery floss / thread and stitch up the sides and top of the squid’s body. I selected bright green and did a blanket stitch, but you can do whatever flips your pancakes. When finished, gently stuff the body with polyester filling. Technically, there won’t be anything to hold the filling in place at the bottom, but as long as you don’t embellish the polyester filling with lead ingots, it will stay in place just fine.
7. Now comes my favorite part: Giving your squid some personality! Glue or sew the eyes to the face. Add a mouth and some big white teeth. Give him a beret and a lumberjack beard. Make him into a clown squid. Whatever works for you!
If you like, you can also add suckers to the back row of tentacles using fabric paint, beads, or buttons.
Attach some embroidery floss or ribbon to the top of his head so he can hang from a plant hook or a kitchen cabinet, and Squiddy is ready to go!