Learn how to make tassels from yarn and add them to the zips of clutches and bags, or to the ties on clothing. DIY Tassels are an easy way to make your purse and clothing projects stand out. Yarn tassels are also very trendy in jewelry design, particularly in bracelets and necklaces. If you are always losing your keys why not add a brightly colored yarn tassel to your keyring!
Best of all they are fast and easy to make following my step by step instructions on how to make tassels 2 different ways. The first way is the traditional way and the second way is a bit of a shortcut that gives you small tassels that are great for jewelry and smaller items.
Further Reading: How to Make a Leather Tassel
How to Make Tassels - Video
Here is a YouTube video I made for you on how to make tassels. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly sewing and craft videos.
METHOD 1 - How to Make Tassels
This method can be used for any type of yarn tassels in any size.
What you will need
- Yarn - you can use wool, embroidery thread or crochet thread. I used crochet thread in this tutorial.
- Heavy Cardboard - Don't go to the shops. You can just cut up a cereal box from your pantry
- Large tapestry needle - While this is not essential, it is nice to use to hide the knotted ends.
Step 1 - Cut a Cardboard Template
The first step of how to make tassels is to determine what size you would like your tassel. Cut a 2 inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard ½ inch (12mm) longer than the tassel length. This way you can safely trim the ends without worrying that your tassel will get too short. Your cardboard needs to be quite sturdy so it doesn’t bend when you start wrapping the thread.
For example, if you want to make a 4 inch (10cm) tassel then cut your cardboard 2 x 4.5 inches (5 x 11.5cm).
Starting at one end, wrap the yarn around the cardboard. Don’t pull too tightly as this will make your tassel shorter than you want. Stop when the tassel has the desired thickness and cut the end.
Don't forget the tassel will be the thickness of both sides of the yarn.
It is best to stop at the same end you started at.
Step 2 - Cut the Yarn and Create the Top
Cut the yarn at the bottom of the cardboard.
Step 3 - Knot the Top
Cut a piece of thread around 15 inches (38cm) in length. Double it over and tie a knot approximately 1 ½ inches (4cm) from the end.
This will become the loop on top of your tassel so make it longer if necessary.
Step 4 - Wrap and Knot
With your loop facing up, wrap the looped piece around the middle of the yarn and tie a secure knot underneath.
Step 5 - How to Make Tassels Top
Cut another piece of yarn 10 inches (25cm) long and wrap it around the body of the tassel. For the position, just decide what size head you would like.
If your thread is thin, you should wrap it around a few times.
Tie a secure knot.
Step 6 - Hide the Ends and Tidy Up
Pull the ends through the center with the needle or crochet hook. This should disguise the tied ends.
If you don't pull them through they tend to always stick out of your finished tassel.
Step 7 - Trim
Now give your tassel a little haircut on the ends and you’re done!
Here is the tassel on my new clutch sewing pattern.
DIY Tassels for Jewelery
Above we learned how to make tassels from yarn. Now I’m going to show you a fast and easy way to DIY tassel using embroidery thread. These smaller and finer tassels are great for use in jewelry making, on bag zips and clothing.
METHOD 2 - How to Make Tassels & DIY Tassels Fast
- Cotton Embroidery floss. You will use one piece per tassel. These come in every color of the rainbow and are really cheap if you buy them in bulk.
Step 1 - Tie the Center
Carefully cut off 2 pieces of thread approximately 10 inches (25cm) long. It does help if you can keep the paper on the ends of the embroidery floss to keep it all together and neat.
Wind one of the pieces around the center of the thread and knot it securely.
DESIGN IDEA - In the green tassel sample, I threaded a clip at this stage to the center.
Step 2 - Fold in Half
Take the paper off the ends of the embroidery thread and fold the tassel in half. If you don't need a loop on the tassel, fold it with the ties inside. If you want a loop on the tassel then keep the ties on top.
Wind your second piece of thread ¾ inch (2cm) from the top and knot it securely.
Step 3 - Trim
Give your tassel a trim on the ends and you are done!
Look at these three different looks using this DIY tassels technique. You can then thread a small o ring through the top knot and attach it to an earring loop.
How to Make tassels - Design Ideas
To make really fancy tassels, add beads to the top of the tassel or tiny seed beads around the head. Thread the beads on a piece of yarn in a row, then wrap it a few times around. Just knot to secure the ends. These could be used on clothing or presents.
A nice effect can also be achieved by wrapping a contrast color or gold thread around the center. If you are using your DIY tassels for earrings, you can purchase small gold caps that cover the head of the tassel and attach to the hook.
Bags can be decorated with a combination of pom poms and tassels and attached to the handles. Learn how to make pom poms.
Looking for more bag decorating ideas?
Now you know how to make tassels, then why not try some other embellishment techniques.