I love tassels. You can make them out of pretty much anything you have lying around, and they can be as fancy or simple as you like. I made a black and white one this morning for Jane, who is coming round later today to pick it up.
What you need for one tassel:
1. one large bead with a big hole (this will be the tassel head)
2. a selection of beads in various sizes and shapes
3. a 16cm length of soft cord (you can use ribbon if you prefer)
4. a sharp needle with a narrow eye (I used a #7 crewel needle)
5. strong thread (I used Gutermann topstitching thread)
What you do:
1. Cut a short length of thread and fold it over the cord.
2. Push the thread up through your big bead and pull it out at the top, the cord with it.
3. Pull the cord up until the loop is about as big as you want it. Leave approx 1.5 cm of cord stub sticking out of the bottom
4. Thread your needle and knot the end. Run it through the stub and wrap the cord round it a couple of times to make it really secure.
5. Trim the stub if it’s got a bit fluffy.
6. Make the first length of beads: thread them on (in the order of your choice), using a little seed bead as the last one.
7. Skipping the last bead, take your needle and thread back up through all the other beads back to where you started.
It will look something like this:
8. Make a couple of stitches through the stub to secure the thread nicely, then start a second length of beads.
9. Add as many lengths of beads as you like (depending on whether you want your tassel to be slender or chubby), and vary each length slightly.
10. When you’re happy with how it looks, secure the thread tightly in the stub and carefully trim off any messy bits. I also like to dab on a bit of clear nail polish or fabric glue, just to make extra sure the thread won’t ever loosen. Push the head down firmly and knot the cord if you wish.
And that’s it! If anything is unclear, please let me know.
To give you some more ideas, here are some of the tassels currently in my home:
Hanging on the key hooks at the front door
Very simple tassels that Alex made when she was about 6; they’re on the key to the linen cupboard
Multi-coloured tassel with a silk flower pinned on top, on my trusty old brown leather handbag
A tassel on a long piece of black and gold cord that I sometimes wear as a necklace. Modelled by you-know-who.
And if you don’t have the materials to make your own tassel, or if you want someone else to have the fun of making one, I’ve finally got around to making up more kits for bead tassel keyrings and listing them on etsy again.
Back soon x