I’m someone who often avoids doing the last couple steps to finish up projects – mostly weaving in ends and blocking. Though I do have to admit that those finishing touches can make all the difference! I love a good pom-pom or tassel to finish off almost any project. When I first started making them, I didn’t understand why my tassels and pom-poms didn’t look as stellar as other makers’ finishing touches. Today I’m going to give you all the tips and tricks you need to make gorgeous tassels, and you don’t even need to buy any fancy equipment!
This post contains affiliate links that support the content on sekhandmade.com. All opinions are my own. Find my affiliate policies here.
Let’s talk tools
What you’ll need:
- Sturdy cardboard
- Sharp scissors – I love these
- Tapestry needle – these are my favorite
- Iron or steamer and water – this one is similar to the one pictured below!
When it comes to what you need, it’s pretty basic and very flexible. However, there are a few tool tips that will make the process easier.
Yarn – This can be ANYTHING! When adding your tassel to a finished project it’ll probably be the same yarn you used in that project, and that is perfect! Tassels can be made with anything from the finest yarn to the bulkiest yarn. Just know that the finer the yarn the more you’ll need. If you know before you start a project that you’re going to add tassels at the end, make sure you purchase enough yarn to make tassels too. Don’t be scared to mix it up! Tassels don’t have to be one color, and if you run out of yarn from your project, a similar, complementary yarn can be beautiful!
Sturdy Cardboard – This can be from anything from an Amazon box to a shoebox to a cereal box. The main thing to look for is that it’s not too flimsy and that the edges are smooth. If your cardboard is too thin, it will fold when you start wrapping your yarn around it. If the edges are rough, your yarn may snag on the cardboard. Rough edges can be remedied by adding tape to the edges to make them smooth.
Sharp Scissors – While your kid’s safety scissors could work for this, you’ll have a lot easier time cutting your yarn with sharp scissors made for cutting yarn and fabric. If you only have one pair of scissors in your house that gets used for everything – I’m looking at you Marla (named changed to protect the un-crafty) – you might want to sign up to get emails from your favorite craft store. Take one of that handy 50% off coupons, and spoil yourself with a nice pair. Then hide them on a very high shelf or in a box of tampons so no one else in your house uses them! Or if you’d rather just order a pair quickly, I love these! They’re not super big or expensive, but I’d still hide them away!
Tapestry Needle – Doesn’t that sound fancy!? If you’re just here for the tassel tutorial and don’t own an entire room of yarn – no judgment either way – a tapestry needle is just a blunt-tipped needle. You can get them in lots of sizes and materials, and if you’re not going to use them much, go cheap. If you love all things yarny then Clover has some wonderful metal needles in several sizes that are fantastic!
Iron or Steamer – This is the secret weapon. This is the reason other people’s tassels look like Chanel and yours look like WalMart. It’s fiiiiiiiine! I’m going to show you how to step up your game! If you’re a professional or avid crafter. I highly recommend getting a handheld steamer on Amazon. I use mine a lot more than I thought I would. It also helps me avoid ironing, which I avoid at all costs! But if you don’t have a steamer and want those tassels now – or have no desire for a steamer – you can use the steam setting on your iron! You’ll, of course, need to add water to make steam.
How to make a tassel
Step 1: Gather your supplies and cut your cardboard
Ok, run around your house and gather everything up – go! Just kidding, you can gather when you’re done reading and come back here then.
Cutting heavy cardboard can be a bit difficult so take the time to consider how big you want to cut before diving in. I recommend deciding how long you want your tassel and cutting your cardboard a bit longer. This will account for trimming, which is always necessary. I’m no good at free handing or eyeballing it, so I usually use a ruler to draw my rectangle on my cardboard before cutting. Your cardboard doesn’t have to be super wide, just enough to accommodate wrapping the yarn several times. You may want it to be a bit wider if you’re using super bulky yarn, but otherwise 3-4” is usually plenty wide.
Step 2: Wrap yarn
Holding the beginning of your yarn, wrap the yarn loosely around the cardboard. Be careful not to stretch the yarn. This could cause the cardboard to bend, shortening your tassel, or your yarn could shorten back up when you cut it, which will also shorten the total length of your tassel. You choose how many times you wrap the yarn around your cardboard. There’s no wrong answer! The more yarn you wrap, the fluffier your tassel. For a less fluffy tassel, wrap the yarn fewer times. If you’re making multiple tassels, it might be a good idea to count how many times you wrap your yarn so your tassels will be consistent. Once you have your desired number of wraps, cut the yarn coming from your ball of yarn at the same end of the cardboard as your beginning tail.
Step 3: Secure the top
Cut a 10-12 inch length of yarn. This is going to be used to secure the top of your tassel.
Slide it behind the yarn you wrapped around the cardboard, No need to try to do this at the top of the cardboard. That’s tricky. Go ahead and slide it under at the middle. Then shimmy it up to the top of the cardboard, this is the side without the yarn ends. At this point, it’s super handy if you have someone to help you tie a knot at the top. But if you don’t, I find that wrapping the yarn around twice for my first knot helps it stay put a little better. Tie a nice secure knot. I usually knot it a couple of times to make sure that it’s not going to come undone. Then double-check to make sure that the knot is at the very top of all of your yarn. This can be adjusted a little later but it’s easiest to get it as close as possible now.
Step 4: Remove from cardboard
This is the scary part; you’re going to cut all that beautiful yarn you just wrapped around your cardboard! Take a deep breath, it’ll be fine! You do want to try to cut right at the bottom of your cardboard to get the ends of your tassel as even as possible. It’s definitely worth taking this part slowly. That will allow you to trim less yarn off the total length of your tassel at the end. Carefully slide your scissors under all of your yarn at the middle of your cardboard. Then cutting as close to the end as possible, cut the yarn off the cardboard at the opposite end from the knot.
Step 5: Create the Neck
The neck of the tassel is just a fancy name for the yarn wrapped around the upper middle part of your tassel. To make this, cut a 12-15 inch length of yarn. You’re going to want the yarn to wrap around your tassel several times, so I always like to be a little generous with this length. Holding the top of your tassel and one end of the yarn you just cut in one hand, start to wrap the yarn around your tassel wherever you’d like the neck to sit. This is totally a personal preference, but if you are making multiple tassels, you want to try to get them in about the same place. Wrap the yarn around the tassel several times. Try not to pull too tight or it will stretch out your yarn. I like to wrap twice a little tighter to give the neck nice definition. Then wrap a few times more gently for a uniform neck. The number of times you wrap around to create the neck of your tassel and how tightly you wrap are personal preference. Once you’ve got it just right, knot the ends of your yarn. Here’s one of my big secrets to help make your tassel look extra professional… Place both ends of the yarn you used to make your neck onto a tapestry needle. Carefully stick the tapestry needle into the center of your tassel from the top of your neck to the bottom of your tassel. Gently pull the ends so that the knot you just created moves to the inside of the neck. This creates a really smooth look to the neck of your tassel and keeps the ends of your neck from sticking out causing your tassel to have a front and a backside.
Step 6: Make it amazing
One of the things I love most about yarn craft is that it’s often the most simple things that take a project from mostly okay to amazing. This tip is definitely one of those things! Once you’ve finished the neck of your tassel, you’re going to carefully steam the ends of your tassel. Please be very careful not to burn yourself! It’s definitely easy to do when you’re working so close to an iron or a steamer. Also, be extra careful if you’re working with an iron. The goal is to steam the yarn to remove any waves, not to iron it flat. If you are working with acrylic yarn and an iron, be extra careful not to melt the yarn. Carefully steam the ends of your tassel. If you’re not in a big hurry, allow your tassel to cool and dry before messing with it too much. This will allow all the ends to dry nice and straight. Once your tassel is cool, the last step is to make sure that the bottom of your tassel is straight. Carefully trim the bottom of your tassel so all ends are the same length. Congratulations, you’re done making your gorgeous tassel!
Creating multiple tassels can be tricky, but you can totally do it! Also, don’t be too hard on yourself if they’re not exactly perfect! No one is going to be looking as closely at your tassels as you are! Just do your best to place the neck at the same distance from the top, and trim all the tassels to the same length. If you have a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler you can wait until all of your tassels are made to cut them at the same time. Line them up carefully on your self-healing mat, line up your ruler, and trim them all at once!
As you can see, there are definitely some tricks to making the perfect tassel. The good news is none of them are difficult and it’s totally worth the extra effort! Tassels make a great addition to almost any project! I love to add them to the ends and center of triangle shawls, and the ends of scarves! They also make a great addition to the corners of pillows, and the handle or closure of a bag or purse. You can even add them to the corners of blankets or attach one to your keys for a joyful reminder of your favorite pastime every time you drive somewhere! Tassels are beautiful, versatile, and easy to make! Pin this post to Pinterest by clicking on any picture so you’ll easily be able to find this tutorial when you need it! Happy crafting!
Pin this tutorial so you’ll never have to search for it later! Click on the picture below and save it to your favorite Pinterent board!