By request, here is a step-by-step tutorial for making bow headbands from repurposed men's ties.
So, go ahead and raid your local thrift store, Goodwill, or even someone's closet. To save you multiple trips, I'll go ahead and warn you that, once you try these and see how easy they are, you'll want one to match every outfit. So, make sure to get extras
1: Choose a tie with a pattern that you like.
2: Cut the point off at the widest end so that you get a straight edge. Measure about 32 cm (once you make one, play around with the size. Go really big or make some cute, smaller bows). and cut again.
3: Depending on the tie, you may have to iron the end where you cut the point off. Some really wide ties will require this. On ties with less variation, the width difference will just get covered up.
If you need to make an adjustment, just gently refold the width of the wide end of the tie and iron.
4: Right sides together, fold the tie piece in half and sew raw edges together. I used the presser foot edge as seam allowance. (Again, if they don't match up perfectly, it's no big deal. If they are still too different, go back and make adjustments in Step 3 again.)
5: Trim seam allowance. I found that some of the ties raveled a little, so use a bit of Fray Check if you have this problem. Flip right sides out so your fabric will be a loop. The main portion of you bow is finished! (That was quick!)
6: From the leftover piece of your tie, cut a section from the wide end about 8 cm. This will become the middle of your bow.
Seam rip at the back seam, and remove stabilizer.
7: Fold length-wise, sew and flip (Without a good tube-turner, I like to use the safety method).
8: Flatten so the seam is in the center on the back side. You may need to iron (although I am bad about skipping pressing things since my ironing board has to be stowed and set up in the dorm). With the back of this middle piece facing out, wrap around the main section pinched into bow shape.
9: Sew middle piece close to the bow. It helps to have the needle aligned to the left.
10: Trim seam allowance. I definitely added Fray Check here since this seam can be subjected to some stress when flipping in the next part.
Flip the middle so the side without the back seam faces out. (I like to do this as it looks nicer. If you have trouble or don't want to bother, this step can be omitted. Just sew the same way with the seamless side already facing out. You will end up with a visible seam on the back of your headband, but this will be covered when worn.)
Your bow is complete! Slip a thin headband through the middle loop on the back side of your bow, add a dab of hot glue between headband and fabric, and you're finished!
Alternately, there are a lot of projects these bows can be used for. Shoe clips, clothing embellishments, on hair elastics, etc. Be creative!
If you make one, share your pics!
This tutorial and more at http://chiffonshifty.blogspot.com/2012/01/bow-tie-headband-tutorial.html