FLIPPY, FLIRTY AND FUN – TASSELS MUST BE THE FAVOURITE EMBELLISHMENT AT PRESENT; THEY’RE APPEARING ON EVERYTHING FROM CUSHIONS, BLANKETS AND CLOTHING TO KEY RINGS, NECKLACES AND BRACELETS.
By Judy Newman
A tassel takes a string of beads from boring to funky in a nano-second. Try it! It’s a great skill to teach the kids too and we show you a simple tassel making idea where you make two tassels from a skein of embroidery thread.
Use materials that reflect the look you want: wooden beads and brightly coloured tassels for boho chic. Try silver chain and random charms for a more elegant look. Bright beads and contrasting colour tassels add zing to a plain black outfit.
The necklaces and bracelets are super easy – as the pieces are all slip-on there are no clasps.
- Beads and bead string (or a length of chain)
- Needle for threading beads
- Jewellery glue
- Tassels with a jump ring attached to the head (see our step by step instructions)
- Assorted charms or gypsy coins (optional)
Finished length guide: 75cm for an opera length necklace, 36cm for a bracelet worn as a double strand and using stretch elastic – these are approximate, vary to suit your own needs.
When stringing beads, there are lots of suitable materials to use – nylon and silk, cord with a fine needle attached, bead cord, waxed cord, satin cord etc.
For a slip-on bracelet, worn doubled, use stretch elastic string. Stretch elastic string is fun for bracelets and lightweight beads but will not be suitable for heavy glass bead necklaces, and it does have a tendency for the knots to loosen so caution if you go down that track.
Sewing thread and other such materials are not suitable and you will run the risk of the bead string breaking and scattering your beads everywhere – not fun.
Of course if you are stringing something precious such as pearls you will want to knot each one individually (allow 100 percent more thread for this) but for our tassel necklace, we are assuming glass, plastic or wooden beads are used for this project.
The weight of the stringing material must suit the size of your beads, actually the size of the hole – with some room to spare as some beads will have smaller holes than others.
It’s faster if you can use a needle but you will need to have one that accommodates the string and fits through the bead. You may also want to use a double strand of bead cord.
Cut a length of string allowing at least an extra 20cm for a knot and tails. Thread it into a needle and string your beads. Use a clip or tape at the end to secure them. When the stringing is done, knot the ends together using a square knot and firmly pulling up the string to ensure it is covered by the beads. Thread each end into the needle and back through the beads next to the knot; trim the end.
Dab a spot of glue onto the knot and allow it to dry.
Attach the jump ring of the tassel to the string of beads as you like, referencing these pictures for ideas, then add charms to finish.
Here are some ideas:
Attach one single long tassel and charms in a contrasting colour to the beads.
Attach one single long tassel and charms onto a length of chain.
Make three, five or seven tassels in same or different colours and attach to the centre section of the bead string allowing equal space between each so they fan around the bottom of the necklace.
Bracelet: String beads to a bracelet length on elastic string. Trim a tassel to be quite short and add it with a charm to make a bracelet.
[NOTE: you can also download and print the following instructions by clicking HERE]
TIP: Avoid using slippery thread such as rayon as the threads don’t sit as well.