Things You'll Need
- Stiff material for template, such as cardboard or balsa wood
- A tapestry needle or crochet hook (opitonal)
A tassel is a great starting point for decorating a diverse array of items. Tie them onto clothes to jazz up a simple outfit, on curtain tiebacks to make a dramatic statement or on a blanket to make it special. Tassels can be classy, silly or simply plain fun.
Cut a rectangular template a little longer than the desired length of the finished tassel.
Cut a piece of yarn about 6 inches long and set aside (this will be the top tie). Cut a second piece about 12 inches long and set aside to bind the tassel.
Anchor the end of skein of yarn at the bottom of the template by holding it firmly with one hand. Wrap the yarn around the template, holding it taut but not strained. Use more turns around the template for a fuller tassel, fewer for a slimmer tassel.
Snip the yarn free of the skein at the bottom of the template when the tassel reaches the desired fullness. Keep the two ends anchored to prevent unwrapping.
Pass the 6-inch piece of yarn across the template under the wrapped yarn. Center the piece of yarn at the top of the template. Tie it as tightly as possible to form the top of the tassel. The ends will also serve as anchors to attach the yarn to your project.
Cut through the wrapped yarn at the bottom of the template.
Bind the tassel to hold it together. Point one end of the 12-inch piece toward the top of the tassel. Make a loop back and anchor it as you tightly wrap the binding yarn around the tassel several times (see Tips), taking care not to cover the top end of the wrapping yarn or the loop. Push the free end of the wrapping yarn through the loop. Pull the top end of the yarn to snug the free end in the loop and hide the loop under the wrapping. Trim off any protruding ends or work them into the tassel using a crochet hook or tapestry needle. Trim the bottom of the tassel so it's even, if desired.
Balance the appearance of the tassel by the location and width of the binding, four to five turns for a lighter tassel, six or more for a heavier or longer one. Try a textured yarn for a fun look. Use two skeins of yarn to wrap the template for a more colorful tassel. Accent the tassel with a contrasting or complimentary color for the binding. Build other projects, such as yarn dolls, from the tassels you've made.
If you're making a large number of tassels, choose a strong enough material for your template to last through repeated use. Select an appropriate weight of yarn for the length of tassel you need. Lighter yarn will tend to give a silky effect; heavier yarn will give a fluffier look.
- Mary Beth Magee