homemade tassels are a wonderful way to add an extra special touch to a gift — wrapped around the neck of wine bottle or bag of coffee beans. I generally make them from jute twine or cotton string. The rustic look of jute twine appeals to my love of contrasting textures. I keep this one in the bedroom dangling from the desk lamp.
last weekend at the shore, I spent several hours walking among the dunes looking for seashells and was happy to find enough to fill my pail. I’m always thankful to find extra small seashells that I can use for embellishing homemade items. today I decided to make a jute tassel with one of those tiny seashells.
I like a simple top finish on my tassels, so I use a button. If you’d like to make one, here’s a brief set of simple instructions. The first 4 steps are essentially the same for any sort of tassel. The photo tutorial for the home sweet homemade buttom-top version begins at step 5.
(1) start by wrapping jute around a piece of cardboard, about the size of a greeting card – about 30-35 wraps for a fluffy tassel.
(2) Secure one end by gathering all the loops in a snug knot tied with a separate piece of twine. Don’t worry about cutting the ends of that gathering piece yet.
(3) Slide the tassel off the card and cut the looped ends. Now fold the tassel over the other way, so the gathering knot is inside.
(4) Smooth the jute strands at the top closely, then wrap several strands of thread around the upper portion of the tassel to band it together, keeping a long tail at the beginning end. Tie the two ends, but don’t trim them yet. You’ll want a tail at least 3-4 inches long to work with later.
(5) Create a hanging loop by braiding 9 or 12 strands of thread. Make the braid at least 15 inches long to have plenty of thread to work with in the next several steps. Tie a knot at each end of the braid to secure, and go find your needle threader to help with these next steps. First thread both ends of the braid through two opposing holes of a 4-hole button and slide the button to the center of the braid.
Thread each end of the braid through the securing jute tie piece at the top of the tassel. Thread the ends under this jute strand in opposite directions.
(6) Now slide the button down the braid toward the top of the tassel and thread the two loose ends of the braid up through the button. Use the two opposing buttonholes that are empty.
(7) Thread the loose ends back down toward the tassel through alternate holes and position the button at the top of the tassel. Adjust the braided loop for the length that you desire.
(8) Tie the ends of the braid below the button to secure and snip off the ends. Tie an overhand knot with the braided loop on top of the button to finish. At this time, tie your embellishment of choice to the main part of the tassel with the tail ends of the banding thread.
(9) For a more finished look, thread the tail ends of the banding thread through a needle and feed them into the center of the tassel before cutting them off. Now, just fluff up your tassel by unraveling the jute. Trim the bottom as needed to give it a nice rounded appearance when you’re finished.
It won’t be flat, so making it even across the bottom isn’t necessary. Also, irregularity of shape is one of the things that makes this homemade tassel beautiful and visually interesting. <other home sweet homemade tassels here>
If you happen to make one, please let me know–I’d love to feature yours here as a follow-up!
Thank you for reading