Tassels are everywhere…on the runway, on purses, on curtains, on pillows, on jewelry and key chains. They can be made from yarn, thread, beads, feathers, leather, ribbon, etc. They are relatively easy to make. The key is to make them thick. Length is up to you. Long or short. Tassels use a lot of fiber, so purchase an extra skein just for this purpose.
Until recently, I had only made tassels from yarn, then, I saw these long beaded necklaces with silk
tassels and had to try. Surprisingly, they were just as easy to make with thread as with yarn. For the gray strand, I added the tassels to the existing strand of hematite beads. For the coral strand, the
beads were strung for the necklace and the bead extensions for the tassels.
– Silk Thread (1 spool) – for a fine rich look to decorate jewelry; yarn – for thick full look on pillows or afghans (1 skein); etc
– Heavy cardboard, book, ruler, anything that is stiff and the size of the finished length
– Thin crochet hook or sewing needle with eye large enough for yarn or thread
1. Decide on the finished length. [Silk tassels are 2” and 2.5” long]
2. Cut cardboard slightly longer than the finished length and a few inches wide for
thread (4’-5” for yarn)
3. Cut 2 12” pieces of thread/yarn. One will be used for attaching the tassel to your chosen project and the other will be used to wrap around all the strands to form the tassel.
4. Starting at the bottom begin wrapping the yarn vertically around the cardboard. The more wraps, the thicker the tassel. [Note: If using silk thread, wrap 200-300 times; one time completely around is one wrap. For yarn, try not to stretch while wrapping to avoid the tassel from shrinking once removed from the cardboard. I like thick tassels, the thickness of the yarn will determine the # of wraps. Count as you go so that all tassels for the project use the same # of wraps.
5. Once the tassel is the desired thickness, finish on the same end where the wraps started and cut the yarn. Take the 12” piece cut earlier and slide it under all thicknesses as the top of the tassel and tie a knot.
6. Now cut through all thicknesses at the opposite end (bottom) and remove the cardboard. The 12” yarn is now tied around the top center of the cut lengths.
7. Fold the tassel in half so the 12” tied piece is at the top. Now take the remaining 12” length and wrap it tightly around all loose threads slightly below the connector thread leaving enough yarn exposed on both ends to tie a knot.
8. To hide the knot, use the crochet hook or thread the sewing needle with both loose ends and pull it down into the center of the tassel.
9. Trim all ends to the same length. That’s it!
There are so many fun and easy ways to make tassels. I found a few on YouTube
that I plan to try. They use DMC embroidery floss. There is no need to wrap or even
remove the labels. Think of it as a tassel that’s already premeasured!
For variations, use a ring at the top of the tassel instead of the string. This can then be easily added to jewelry or a key chain, etc. Choose a ring that fits the size of your project. Add a lobster claw to clip to your purse, or ear wires for earrings. Add some fun to any project. Enjoy.
Carolyn Hanson is a local knitting and crochet designer, teacher and fiber artist. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.