Somewhere in my crafty childhood I was shown how to make tassels. It was probably my mom who taught me. It’s a really easy craft for a kid, and everyone has some string laying around somewhere.
But how many kid’s level crafts do you know that get used all the time in fashion and decor?? The tassel truly appeals to all audiences.
So today I’m sharing a very easy and quick photo-heavy tutorial on how to whip up a bunch of tassels! The ones I made in these photos were used for a pillow DIY that will eventually be posted, too.
Step One: Gather Your Materials
You only need three main things for this project:
- a piece of cardboard that is the height of the tassel you want to make (mine was about 2 inches)
- some string
You can use pretty much any kind of string or yarn for tassels. The thinner the material, the more number of times you’re going to have to loop the string in the next step to make the tassel dense enough. But use whatever suits your project! Above I have some yarn, and also a big nest of embroidery threads.
Step Two: Wrap the Cardboard
Begin by holding the end of your string in the middle of the cardboard as shown in the picture. Keep the very end of it level with one edge of the cardboard.
Wrap the string around the cardboard as many times as you need to get the right density. Since I’m using wool, I wrapped it 10 times. This will give me 20 little strings hanging down from the tassel, which will look great.
Before you cut the thread, make sure you’ve pulled it to the same side as the other end of the thread. Basically, you want both loose ends on the same side, so you can tie the hanger on the opposite side and bundle all the threads neatly.
Step Three: Make the Hanger
The piece of string that the tassel will hang from (dubbed here “the hanger) needs to be long enough to attach it to whatever you’re making.
Slip the piece of hanger string underneath the wrapped strings, between them and the cardboard. You can use a pokey tool like a pencil or something to lift the threads if you find them too tightly wound.
Take the two ends of the hanger thread and pull it to one end of the cardboard (preferably the end that doesn’t have any loose threads).
Tie a simple knot, and double knot it. This will create the hanger and keep the threads all together.
Step Four: Cut Off the Cardboard
Now, take your scissors and get one blade underneath the threads, up against the cardboard. Cut the tassel free from the cardboard.
You’ll find that the ends are probably not all even, but that’s okay. We’ll fix it later.
This is a good time to check that the tassel is approximately the size and density that you want.
Step Five: Make the Choker
I’m sure there’s actually some technical name for this piece but I’m calling it “the choker”. This is the part that cinches the threads together to make them into a proper tassel with a little bulb on top.
Cut a length of your thread. It doesn’t have to be a specific length, just long enough to tie around a couple of times.
Create a simple overhand knot, making a little tassel lasso. Cute!
Pull it over the top of the tassel and carefully cinch it closed where you want the gathering to happen.?
Wrap those tails around the tassel a few times and knot them securely. Trim the ends close to the knots so they disappear as much as possible. That’s it for the choker!
Step Six: Trim It Up
Now all that’s left to do is take your scissors and give the tassel a little bit of a haircut. Make the ends even and fluff them up a bit.
Using your hands, you can brush the threads down to make the tassel more uniformly straight. Don’t be surprised if, at first, you’ve got a few stray springy threads that just want to be free! You can train them down into the proper shape with a little handling.
And that’s it! You should now have a very cute tassel for whatever projects you’re working on. Or maybe you just want to start a tassel collection. Follow your tassel dreams.