Ever wanted to learn how to make your own pocket square? It’s surprisingly easy if you just know the basics on sewing! In this guide, we’ll teach you how to make your own pocket square with the following 3 to 4 steps:
Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read it all.
Disclaimer: This guide assumes you have access to a sewing machine and at least a basic understanding of how to use it, or have access to someone who can help you with using it safely and properly.
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Things You’ll Need To Make A DIY Pocket Square:
- Strip of fabric 12″-14″ wide (cotton works best, silky material is much more difficult to work with)
- Cutting tool (rotary or scissors)
- Cutting surface/mat
- Sewing machine/needle/thread
- Iron and ironing board
- 30-45 minutes of time
Despite what you might have thought after seeing some of the prices of pocket squares while out shopping, they’re incredibly easy to make. Therefore, if you have the tools, you should be making them yourself and saving a ton of money.
Ready to get started? Well brace yourself because in about a half hour you’ll be sitting pretty.
Step 1: Cut Your Material
First off, take your strip of material and square it up to the right size. This various according to your choice in fabric and bear in mind that you will lose an inch in width and length once it’s finished.
For instance, around a 12″ (30 cm) rough cut puts the finished square somewhere around 11″. We prefer this size if making a pocket square from cotton. However, silk pocket squares tend to benefit from being much larger at around 17″ (43 cm) given their airiness when used.
If you prefer a bigger or smaller square, cut to your personal preference. As long as it’s square, the technique doesn’t change.
It doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect but the closer you get to a square, the better your finished product will look (it’s not called a pocket rectangle). If you don’t have a mat and rotary cutter, scissors and a ruler will do the trick just fine.
In fact, we’re pretty sure you could do with with a book and a razor blade, which would be extra manly. Anyway, the point is that when faced with an obstacle, get creative to find a resolution.
Step 2: Prepare Your Rough Cut Square For Sewing
Once you have your rough square, fold over all 4 edges with about a 1/4″ fold. If you’re brand new to sewing and want some more breathing room, you can go a little wider, you’ll just have a wider edge when you’re finished.
Pro-tip: use your fingernail or something hard like a coin to help persuade those folded edges to stay where you want. It’ll make ironing in a minute a little easier.
When all 4 edges are folded over, you’re going to do a second fold on each edge so that there are no exposed unfinished edges. There are a handful of different techniques for dealing with the corners, some more advanced than others.
Personally, we prefer these straight folds. They’re super quick and easy, look pretty good when finished but still have a little character as each corner will likely have slight variances.
Probably not something you’d wear with a perfectly cut suit to a formal event but it’ll look great in a denim jacket or shirt pocket when you want to add a personal touch to your outfit.
Step 3: Sew!
Once those 4 edges have been double folded over by hand, give each side a quick hit with your iron just to lock down those folds and make your life a little easier when you start sewing.
Now, start from any corner and don’t forget to do a few back stitches to lock it in.
When you get to the first corner, run up to the edge and stop after you’ve sewn into all layers of the material. Lift up the foot and just turn the whole square 90 degrees so you’re back to sewing the next edge.
Depending on the type and thickness of the material you’re using, this might get a little tricky. Just take your time and don’t be afraid to help the material along with your seam ripper or whatever else you have on hand (a buck knife or pair of pliers might work). Just watch those fingers.
Run over all 4 edges until you get back to where you started. Back stitch to close, trim your ends and that’s it, you’re done!
Step 4: Bask In The Glory Of Your Accomplishment
Throw that bad boy into your favorite breast pocket and revel in your dapperness. When you’re done doing that, you might as well sew your own bow tie to go with that new pocket square.
Once you’ve made your own pocket square, you’ve got to learn how best to wear and fold it too! Check out our other in-depth guides and you’ll be a pocket square master in no time:
Thanks for the tutorial. I am going to make 6 pocket squares for a friends wedding . The fabric is wool plaid from Scotland. I am working up my nerve to cut into it. Fortunately, she bought way more than I am going to need for this project, so I have some wiggle room.
No worries Judy! That fabric sounds very nice, we’re big fans of Scottish wool, especially Harris Tweed.
Good luck, and hope you all have a great time at the wedding.
Tanx, just did a “Where Is Waldo?” pattern to match the “Where Is Waldo?” bow tie that I made for my grandson.
thank you so much for your illustration and humor . Teaching my boys to mke slim ties and bow ties> they followed directions evcept I would not let them do the step on drinking! which they tried to assure me I said ” please read thoroughly twice, and then begin the project”
thank you from a southern mother
Many thanks for the comment, Belinda! Glad to see you’re getting your boys started off in the right sartorial direction!
While we’re fans of the occasional adult beverage, we appreciate your parenting choices on that one!
I’m making a few to match the masks I just made for this pandemic. Thank you! Straight forward, and easy!
Delighted it helped!
I wanted to make pocket squares for the guys in my wedding but the material I want to use is stretch velvet. Any chance that material can work? Should I back it with something? First timer here!!
That sounds like a fantastic idea. I don’t see why stretch velvet wouldn’t work, though you may have to try yourself to see if any issues come up.
Thanks for the helpful tutorial! My son-in-law to be and his bridal party will look so snazzy after I sew up some squares.
Glad you found this helpful! We hope you enjoy the celebration and that your squares are a hit.
Just made one, with a matching ascot, in jade paisley sateen. It’s for a 1920’s men’s evening costume. Nice easy instructions and not overwrought with detail like some bloggers :-)
Sounds like a great choice of pattern & fabric! Very glad to hear that our article helped.