How To Own It: A Tomboy/Femme’s Heart

Hello beautiful, and welcome to How To Own It, where store-bought fashion meets DIY crafts. Each week I’ll be exploring an aesthetic theme, showing you some of the best ways to wear it and how to make it for yourself.


Last week, we talked about how to wear hearts if you’re a human who likes wearing dresses and pretty tights. Today I want to continue the heart theme from a different angle; one that is more on the androgynous side of things. Heart motifs mostly appear on feminine clothing, so when an item of traditional menswear has a heart on it, it can visually suggest a kind of tomboy-femme gender presentation. Think bow ties, cuff links, pocket squares, and, for the DIY project, a heart bolo tie from scratch (because I’m snowed in, but more on that later).

To get this tomboy/femme heart-centric look, I rounded up some handmade and vintage pieces from Etsy. As it turns out, it’s not that easy to track down traditional menswear with hearts on it, which is all the more reason why you should rock this look! You’ll totally stand out.

DIY Heart Bolo Tie

My plan for today was to make a heart bolo tie, inspired by a tutorial on Modcloth’s blog. However, in order to do so I would have needed to go to the crafts store and buy some very bolo-specific items. Unfortunately this was what I saw out my window the night I had planned on buying the things I needed:

not gonna happen

not gonna happen

I was very determined to make this, though, so I improvised, using things I already owned. I was pleasantly surprised by the end result! So, if you have some cardboard and twine and are also snowed in or don’t want to leave your house for whatever reason, this is for you.

You will need:

Foam core or cardboard
Acrylic Paint
Super glue
Optional tiny beads

1. The first thing to do is make a brooch. Other bolo tutorials presume that you already have a brooch to work with, but this is going to be a scrappier effort. Cut a heart-shape out of foam core or thick cardboard, and paint it a color of your choice. I went with brown. Then, I wanted this to look like a piece of jewelry, so I glued a border of tiny gold beads around the heart and around the sides.
3. Cut a piece of twine, about three feet long, and knot each end. I had some spiked beads leftover from Studs for Studs, so I took a needle and thread and sewed the spike beads to each end.
photo 2
4. Cut 1.5 inches of twine and glue it to the back of the heart. Over it, glue the twine of the bolo tie (at about a quarter of the way down from one of the ends) to the back of the brooch. When it dries, glue the 1.5 inch piece of twine into a circle.
photo 1
5. To wear it, thread the other end of twine through the circle on the back.

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Gabrielle Korn

Gabrielle Korn is a writer living in Los Angeles with her wife and dog.

Gabrielle has written 95 articles for us.


  1. The cardboard still looks pretty legit, Gabrielle. And I’m impressed you just keep spike beads lying around. Very cute tutorial.

  2. I wasn’t snowed in at all this weekend and all I managed to do was catch up on Grey’s Anatomy.

    Gabrielle, this is amazing.

  3. jumping on the impressed bandwagon! i myself used this snowed-in weekend as an excuse to eat a lot of unhealthy food and snuggle with my girlfriend’s dog, but i’m glad to know at least one of us was productive ;)

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